Tagged: happiness

“Shinier than a diamond in a goat’s arse”

Yesterday I spent half a day washing my car. Now, to many of you that sounds liek a boring prospect. Indeed, to ME it sounds like a boring prospect. But here’s the thing: I wasn’t doing it on my own. I was doing it with my father.

Me and dad have had a strained relationship over the years. There’s times he was there for me, times he wasn’t. Times I later found out where he fought my corner but never told me. We had a LONG period where we barely spoke to each other. There were many times I vowed I’d never be like him.

But recently, we’ve been building bridges. He has helped me out a LOT with my house, dealing with the shit time at work, and he’s mellowed out a lot. And so any opportunity I get to spend some quality time with Dad, seems like a good thing to me.

He had this cleaning treatment for the car called “Diamond White”. It’s some chemical compound you apply to the car, wait half an hour, apply a different chemical compoud, wait an hour, then buff it up and it’s all shiny and supposedly you don’t have to wax your car for 5 years.  We spent the morning applying this crap all over the car, talking about the news, my trip to Cuba, and all manner of other things. It was great.

At one point he gave me some metal polish so I could “get the chrome bits shiny as a diamond in a goat’s arse”. I told him it wasn’t chrome just plastic. “Just do it!” he said. Then he told me to do the wheels.
“The wheels aren’t chrome,” I said.
“I don’t give a shit, get them shiny, ” he replied. This should give you some insight into the sort of person my dad is. Still, I got those wheels shiny as hell. I’m glad he talked me into it.

After the car was gleaming brighter than the sun, Dad took me out for lunch in town. We talked about how much the place has changed over the past twenty years or so and shared travel stories. After that, he took me to a health food shop to buy me “some vegan goodies”.

It was one of the best days I’ve ever had. Not just because my car was shining and I get some sweet seitan jerky. I realised that for all our faults, me and my dad are actually pretty similar.

And I’m pretty proud of that.

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Well that certainly raised the bar…

Yesterday I attended Swingamajig, an all day electroswing festival held in Digbeth, Birmingham. The festival ran for 15 hours, from 2pm through to 5am and featured a plethora of superb acts. I can say without a doubt that this is the best music festival I have ever been to, and I have been to many.

The entertainment was superb, the environment was atmospheric (the main stage was hosted under one of the arches of the old railway bridge), and the sound was spectacular. However, the thing that left the biggest impression on me was the people.

I have never before met such a friendly group of people at a music event. There were no pretensions, no judgement, no cliques. Everyone was friendly and approachable, and smiles were in abundance. These people were united by a solitary purpose – to have as much fun as possible.

I got numerous comments on my dancing, and a few people asked me to teach them. I did what I could of course. However, as good a dancer as I may be, I’ve always been a lone-wolf. Watching accomplished swing dancing partners tear up the floor was a sight to behold, and it filled me with joy.

So it’s the morning (or afternoon) after, and I am aching. My legs ache from dancing around on concrete for 15 hours. My face aches from the virtually non stop grinning. My throat aches from the scintillating conversations I had. So all I can do is say thank you – to the organisers, to the performers, to the coffee vendor, and to the people I met: Kathy; Simon; Jess; Lee; Liam; Ed; Kelly; everyone else who came and said hi (if I missed you out, it’s because I’m terrible with names unless I have a register!). All of you conspired to make yesterday a superb one.

Maybe I’ll see you at Shambala!