Toploader’s Dancing in the Moonlight reflects a clear point in time for me. I was doing my A Level’s, looking forward and absolutely certain that once day my future would be in a courtyard garden somewhere fabulous with live music. It was a slightly more British, a slightly more defined dream than a couch in Central Perk.

I did a bit of dancing in the moonlight this week as in a staggering break from form I went out on two weekend nights in a row. The first started with cocktails at the restaurant where the fiancé and I are getting married and the second was a gig in Bristol where I stood less than two metres from the divine Peter Shoulder and felt a shiver down my spine as he sang some of my favourite songs (Saviour and Come Rain, Come Shine* stand out as high on the knicker dampening list although frankly I cannot ever imagine stripping them and flinging them the way my mothers’ contemporaries did to the likes of Tom Jones**).

I like to link but more than any other band, I don’t feel The Union (Peter Shoulder is lead vocalist, the others are equally if not more talented but I’m a girl all about the words I’m afraid) are able to get their true essence into a recording. You see, Shoulder and (Luke) Morley*** clearly adore what they do. Shoulder can try to be a bit cool, to pull smouldering expressions but there’s an endless twitch of the lip that gives away a smile than cannot be kept away. Then there’s stuff like the bassist Chris Childs getting the biggest cheer when Morley introduced the band during the encore.

For me, The Union are a band as much about a feeling or sensation as about music. The first time I saw them, Shoulder spoke about his boots hurting but that he’d wanted to look good. They laugh a lot and they address the crowd. Part of me hopes they never get so big or mainstream that I can’t be part of a crowd where everyone is in with a chance of catching the plectrum Morley threw into the crowd (fortunately nowhere near me or I could have been embarrassing).

Anyway, I danced and I headed out into the moonlight (gasping fresh air as I broke from the sweaty rockers) and it was good.

I never did buy a paper.

This week the murmurings on the periphery of my attention (as I met the building inspector, tried on my wedding dress when my mum visited and took receipt of a myriad of bathroom fixtures) has been Euro crisisyness. So periphery in fact that I had to check back to a forum thread I’d read to remind myself as to what it had even been about.

It’s going to take a while to shake off the housewife trappings but I’ll get there. Over lunch on Saturday I launched into an impromptu analysis of the way children acquire language and how this is relevant to the stepbrats so clearly my rusty and reluctant brain is cranking back into action.

Perhaps it fully cranked up but I countered it with the many many cocktails of Saturday evening. I doubt it though as I am terrible for creating my best work whilst over the limit. When I visited Vietnam in 2005 (with a vague desire to work in international sales) I found myself spending the evenings after busy days drinking Mekong and coke and looking out over never quietening streets. Within a week I had drafted my Masters’ thesis. Earlier this year when at the deadline for my PhD thesis, I took a break to pace my deserted (it was 2am and the fiancé and kids were asleep) house with a ridiculously large whisky before returning to conclude five years of work in a slight haze. I woke up five hours later (since I had to go to work), scan read it and submitted.

My ex once said I was so smart that I got in my own way and I’ve often wondered whether the veneer of alcohol is simply what stops me analysing what I’m thinking about and just get on with things. Given all that I can hardly blame the cocktails then.

A few months ago I was struck by the bravery of my friend Jelly who blogged about feeling dragged down by the very life that was pretty much everything she wanted. It’s a tricky thing to put into words (and as a life coach I’m forever trying to support the contradictory feelings of my students) but while I don’t want anything other than what I have, it isn’t exactly what I want.

It’s temporary. I’m on a path and the chaos of my surroundings (because really it does just come down to dust, noise and feeling ill today but not being able to curl up on the sofa because the living room is being painted) will soon clear to let me take big steps as opposed to these hesitant ones through the rubble.

We’re past the worst.

Maybe I’ll get time to buy a newspaper this week. Or maybe the fiancé and I will just sit on the bare floor of what will be our new bedroom, look and the stars through the Velux windows and get up to dance. I don’t know but I’m still going and that’s ok for now.

This is the link to The Union’s official site. Listen to Siren’s Song if nothing else and if you like it then go and see them. They are eleventy times better live.

* I’m sorry but I can’t find a decent video and you deserve better so just buy the first album (and the second as you’ve got your credit card out).

** Pure speculation but Polly as I know you now read this I’d love to hear any knicker throwing stories you might be able to rustle up!

*** Yup, the Morley we named our grey kitten after.


Andy D
10/28/2011 03:11:06 am

Your A-Level's what? Admit it - you put that in just so I could pick you up on it, didn't you? ;)

Personally, I've always hated that Toploader song. It evokes an image of a party where everyone is pretending too hard to have a good time whilst feeling dead inside. But then. I'm a twisted, bitter, cynical bastard! :)

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