“Frosty The Snowman was a jolly happy soul” rings out as I enter the Starbucks, and on my way here I bumped into friends (a couple who have kids the same age as Taiga) “back in time for this cold weather Dan!” The thing is I actually feel I’ve escaped the cold weather, it’s 11 degrees and bright sunshine here, so English readers will understand my confused face upon receipt of this passing comment.

Caught the sunrise for the second time in a row this morning and it’s given me a little bounce in my step, which I might need if this ‘final report’ is to get written. I’m summarising the Brierley Hill Song Book (LISTEN HERE) project I undertook this summer with a fantastic, talented group of songwriters from the Black Country. Together, we ‘re-imagined Brierley Hill’ – took a moment to reflect on the town’s industrial past, the tight knit community, and turned our gaze to the future and what we all hoped and wished for. We also sat around and had a good old natter, drank bucket loads of tea/coffee with yummy biscuits and just generally supported one another through this little musical adventure that ended up with a magical concert at St Michael’s Church at the very top of Brierley Hill. They you go.. maybe i’ve written the report already! I’ll take the rest of the day off… ?

My body weighs heavy in the chair i’m sitting in here and it occurs to me that I haven’t moved a great deal since I landed 7 days ago. Jet lag is such a strange condition, it takes extra effort to remain upright, let alone exercise. I’ve been doing my yoga twice a day as ever, but I suspect that my life in the UK is a naturally a little more ‘active’ with lots of travelling between shows, carrying gear around and so forth.

A pair of security guards walk past the window, one has a trolley chained to his wrist, the other has a big stick. It reminds me of a podcast I listened to narrated by Jonny Marr about the bank robber who escaped on a rubber dinghy Anthony Curcio (LINK) https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0g1xz8p

Oh look! the green capped kids are back, on route to the park again. I catch the stern look of one 3 year old, a weary furrowed brow as if he’s got the weight of the world on his tiny shoulders. They shuffle along, hand in hand, groups of 2 or 3, about 30 kids with 3 adult guides. What will they discover this morning? I imagine them taking their chisel and make their first mark on their journey, out exploring whilst their parents are hard at work elsewhere in the city,

I feel a bit stunted today, like my thoughts are walking through snow. Some folks call this ‘brain fog’ Do you get days like this? Maybe i’m a bit sick, I have a sore throat. Clarity is welcome, where are you? clarity. I do a daily practice of morning pages, 3 pages of freewriting as soon as I wake up and the practice typically clears the fog. This is what came out this morning:

I walk slowly through our echo

the days come and go

we can, (with care) create the perfect nestled bed for him

we don’t have to be in love, to love one another

but I have to sow seeds of trust

that’s what you need

your daily rituals, fuelled by fear

let us absorb that fear and protect him from that

Can I honestly remind you, i’m not going to hurt you

let me hold you, I pose no threat 

don’t be scared anymore my love

I’m here to love

I came to share

open your arms open your heart

we each know this love