Family Life Personal

Hey, This Is My Heyday Too

Even if, like Lily, I am often just chasing my tail

All aboard, my bloginary friends, and gather round as I pull in this drift net from the ocean of my thoughts.

Let us see whether the teeming iridescence within is to be filleted and feasted on, or mere oily plastic figments of my base imagination.

Watch as I unleash my squirming haul on to the gleaming salted deck, to sort the usual mix of minnows, flounders, slimy eels and the odd juicy cod.

Ugh, let’s cast those ugly eels back quickly into the oceanic abyss.

Yes, you are right, I am not sure what to write about.

Actually, it’s more I cannot really write about parenting things so freely these days, now our two children are teens.

There are daily dramas and compromises aplenty — and lots of good things too — but, really, all things considered, our two are thriving.

Him and his football and her and her bulging social diary and clothes and make-up expeditions with her gal pal pack.

So different, and so much in common.

Her musical journey alone is amazing. With no thought to genre or fashion, her drift net is landing its own teeming iridescence.

You cannot imagine my joy when she told A the other day about this really interesting singer she had discovered on Spotify.

“Nick Drake, ever heard of him, Mom?”

Nick Drake!! The tragic, enigmatic and astounding English singer-songwriter who produced Northern Sky, River Man and a slim body of inestimably influential work before he died aged just 26?

“Oh, yes, he’s one of Dad’s all-time favourites.”

If Drake’s heart-rending tale is not a call to get one’s act together and work on the good stuff before it’s too late, then how about the article I was reading this morning about the short life of Irish singer-songwriter Mic Christopher, friend of Glen Hansard and one-time partner of the brilliant comedy writer and actress Sharon Horgan?

A documentary has been produced about him and that is what the article was about.

Few of you will have heard of Christopher, who died aged 32 back in 2001 in Groningen in the Netherlands after falling down some steps after playing a support gig for the Waterboys.

But he was a talented guy, and his gorgeous song Heyday achieved posthumous acclaim, not least on foot of being used for a popular ad for Guinness, called “Quarrel” that featured a then unknown actor named Michael Fassbender.

Fun fact: the ad was shot by Nick Kelly, the singer-songwriting force behind the wonderful Fat Lady Sings, and who turned to advertising to earn his crust when music became his secondary career.

The documentary, called Heyday: The Mic Christopher Story, features contributions from Hansard and a host of talented people who knew the singer-songwriter, but ultimately were galvanised by his death into working hard on turning their potential into achievement.

Like Hansard and Horgan, who was Christopher’s girlfriend when the newly-buoyant songwriter had moved to London on the crest of the creative wave that produced the posthumously delivered and much-loved Skylarkin’, his first and only solo album.

I have only seen the trailer and look forward to watching the documentary itself.

So much for first and second chances, and riding the crest of creativity and discovery.

These days my own creative crest and momentum are more akin to that of our dog Lily, our already legendary bundle of joy and positivity … well like her when she does that hilarious tail-chasing routine of hers.

Have you ever watched a dog chase its tail?

As a spectacle of the absurdly gormless, it’s right up there.

Faster and faster and faster Lily goes, a tightly-coiled blur of ever-increasing momentum, a furry black axis of frenzied rotation locked into an impossible quest.

She will never catch that flexible extension of her backbone, no matter how fast she goes, or how much she refines her technique, or subtly recalibrates her axis of rotation, and eventually, wild-eyed and thwarted, she decelerates to a panting halt.

She looks up at me, to where I am laughing out loud, with an expression on her that could be interpreted as Buster-Keatonesque comic deadpan, or just plain dumb and uncomprehending.

But dumb and uncomprehending is for others to decide … Lily just chases her tail sometimes and then stops.

And the lack of success never seems to bother her.

Besides, it’s a brilliant little centrifugal workout.

But I feel like that sometimes, working away, spinning faster and faster, trying to balance demand, outlay and income, and squeezing in a little downtime before I rise again the next day to do it all again.

But hey, there are moments of transcendent happiness and fulfilment, which makes me think that heydays don’t just belong to the young, or to artists realised or unrealised.

Because heydays can be short or they can last forever.

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41 comments on “Hey, This Is My Heyday Too

  1. Laura (Em&Me)

    Such an interesting post! Heydays can definitely last forever with the right mindset! #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very nice. I enjoyed it. #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed reading your “catch”, Enda. Even if you feel like you may be chasing your tail, I am always inspired to be a better writer after I read your posts. You never know whose life you may be touching.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Who knows maybe one day I will catch that tail, and what will I do then, Laurie!

    Like

  5. Thanks for the reminder re Sharon Horgan… must look her up to see what’s she’s been up to lately

    Liked by 1 person

  6. haha, love the driftnet and maritime imagery – very summer holiday appropriate. Don’t we all sometimes spin idle in terms of great ideas 😉 ? #dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tracey Carr

    I feel like I am constantly chasing my tail! I bet most people do. Things are hectic here at the minute, our kitchen has been ripped out, the carpenter and electrician are in, I’ve no hob or cooker, the fridge is currently in the sitting room and I am trying to keep my two girls out of the way while the work is going on. And very little time to blog – boo hoo! But as you say Enda I keep trying to remind myself that this is our heyday because there are great happy times in the middle of all of this. Overall everything is good, everyone is well and the house will eventually be put back together again. So I’m not going to complain (even though it is very tempting!!) #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know it’s a mess right now, but it will be brilliant when the work is over and you have your fab new kitchen, Tracey. Yep, when we sit back and look at things, they are no so bad!!!

      Like

  8. I’m forever figuratively chasing my tail too, but have I had my Hayday, possibly, but I guess I can have another. Who says you only have one! I love it when the kids turn around and confess they like an artist or band that you do. It makes you realise that the apple never falls that far from the tree. I think I’d throw the eels back too yuk!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Have as many as you like, Anne! With you on the discivered artistt hing, only thing is they have it all at their fingertips, they will never have that bargain discovered in obscure record shop odd bins, like I had. The only good eel is a discarded one, I reckon!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Always thought the expression was based on the hay being ready for collecting. (Probably wrong, but I’m sticking to it.) Seeing as that seems to happen several times a year for modern farming, I reckon that you are more thatn entitled to have as many heydays as you can fit in.#wotw

    Like

  10. Tracey Carr

    Back from the #dreamteam 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I do love the way you write, so unique!

    Like

  12. Thanks for linking up to #Wotw

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Interesting reflections on heydays and I love the description of your dog chasing her tail – made me remember my dog from my childhood days – he used to love doing the same and it always made me laugh 🙂 #WotW

    Like

  14. I do like a bit of Nick Drake and one of the albums I sleep to at night is Five Leaves left, I know I am random commenter X #wotw #thatfridaylinky

    Like

  15. I loved the start of this post, I was so curious to where we would end up! I’ve never heard of this singer but now I have to look him up and listen. I hope Lily catches that tail one day, she can tell Lola all about her success. #GlobalBlogging

    Like

  16. Today’s one of those days when I can really relate to that dog, though I guess he has the advantage of not accepting the reality of the situation. I will raise a glass to heydays though, those that we’ve had, and hopefully those yet to come. Maybe I just haven’t gotten there yet #KCACOLs

    Liked by 1 person

  17. loopyloulaura

    I think my heyday was in my early 20s and I like reliving it and embarrassing my kids with mum dancing 🙂 Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I could use a heyday. Is it possible to re-heyday? Another great post, Enda! #KCACOLS xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Heyday is a strange word, isn’t it? I’d never heard of Mic Christopher, I’ll have to look him up. Thanks for another great post for #kcacols, hope you can join us again next time.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’m coming back through with the #DreamTeam

    Like

  21. I think my cats believe they are dogs. 3 out of 4 of them regularly try to catch their tail. Never succeeded yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. “Bloginary friends” love that phrase! A lovely tale Enda and so more expressive than the hamster wheel analogy. Life can so often feel like a continual round of tail chasing and I read your post having literally had one of those conversations with my eldest that leaves me feeling so very much “here we go again!” I hope your summer is restorative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jo … we really are in the thick of those “here we go again” conversations with our two teens … they are not going to change just yet — they actually can’t — so I guess, it’s down to me!!!

      Like

  23. I often feel like i’m chasing my tail ! I think I am in need of a new heyday! Great post #KCACOLS

    Like

  24. Tracey Carr

    Hi back from #KCACOLS !

    Like

  25. Tracey Carr

    And again for #abitofeverything

    Like

  26. Food for thought! I’d love my three to start getting into the music I love! #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

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