This blog has been dormant for some time and…I’m not entirely sure what the impetus for this is…but let’s run with it.
And since this blog has lain dormant for so long, and there may be new people who are coming to have a gander at it, then let us reintroduce ourselves.
My name is Larelle and I run a blog called Priptona’s Simple Minds Space. As you may have deduced from the title, it is ostensibly a Simple Minds blog (*cough* Jim Kerr *cough*) and broader music blog. That “broadness” just kept on creeping into the personal more and more, especially during the pandemic when not a lot was happening in the music scene, especially when it came to Simple Minds. This past year has changed that. My personal life has changed in the past year also. This resulted in so much blending of the personal and the SM fan blog becoming somewhat blurred.
Last December I enrolled into the Open University to take a Diploma in Higher Education in English. Creative Writing was the pull. I want to be able to write better. I want to be able to use language better and express myself better and I am hoping that Creative Writing will give me the tools I need. It may eventually lead me to somewhere else…who knows?
I’m now about one third of the way through my second module of my uni diploma. I have four modules to complete before I get my diploma – roughly another two and a half years to go.
The last time we “spoke”, I was still living in Luton with my Other Half, Em. At the end of 2019 there were some dramatic life changes that happened. Within the space of a few days we moved to Glasgow (after a whirlwind search to buy a property here) and my mum passed away. I spent Christmas 2019 in Australia, praying I would make it out there in time to be with mum. It wasn’t to be and it is something I still probably haven’t fully come to terms with.
At that point I felt relieved for Mum, I still do. The pain she had been suffering for years was over and she was in peace. I was also starting life in a new city, in a new part of the country – a new country! Just a few months into life in Glasgow, Covid struck and the world went weird.
After a year, my coping mechanisms began to falter and … I dunno what happened, really. Shortly after settling into life here in Glasgow, and before the pandemic really took hold, we took in two rescue cats. A brother and sister called ASAP – a grey tabby, and Sultan – completely black (I had wanted a black cat for YEARS). These were the names they had originally been given by their owner, although their foster carer had been calling them Oscar and Sheba. I didn’t like either Oscar (I couldn’t have a cat with the same name as one of my nephews! Lol) or Sheba (I much preferred the name Sultan – especially that she was female and having a female cat called Sultan fucked up with gender norms. Lol), so decided I’d stick with their original names. They had been named after rappers. ASAP was after A$AP Rocky (I think is how you are meant to spell his name) – ASAP being an acronym for Always Strive And Prosper, which I thought was really cool.
I hold my hands up in admitting I rushed in to getting the cats. They were young. Less than a year old, and I told myself I would get mature cats. Cats 7 years+ because they were harder to re-home. But no one seemed to want ASAP and Sultan. They were awaiting re-homing for MONTHS! They had been with Cats Protection since early December and it was nearing the end of February in 2020 and no one seemed to want them.
Long story short we got them and they were lovely but not without their problems, esp. ASAP. After about 15 months with us, ASAP developed a urinary tract problem. The timing wasn’t great. Em was going through a bad mental health period and when ASAP required emergency veterinary treatment, things came to a head. We made the gut-wrenching decision to return the cats to Cats Protection. This doesn’t really explain entirely what happened. And I feel an enormous amount of guilt. I still miss them both so much. I pray they are in a new loving home (I do know that they did get re-homed. I kept an eye on the Cats Protection FB page until I saw they were re-homed) and are having the most wonderful lives. I wish I could have continued to provide that for them.
Those months after weren’t that great for me. I felt relieved that the stress of the babies (I always referred to them as my babies. I still do.) was gone, but Em was in a mess and I wasn’t much better. Other things that used to be a comfort, namely the music of Simple Minds and Jim…just Jim as a kind of focus, muse, someone who would lift my spirits or have me believe in myself and being a force for positivity wasn’t really there for me. And when that happens I tend to start believing that he just HATES me and I stew on it and it just becomes my everything. And I know how incredibly sad that is! Like, for me, as a human being…to express how much this man means to me like that. I was incredibly low. Just sitting here thinking about it. Writing about it. Yeah…it’s not good.
University has been a fantastic diversion and focus. Of course, it doesn’t always work. I still have many of those hang ups. I still think FAAAAAR too much of Jim. But I am working on trying to not have him be the focus of EVERYTHING and instead just be the focus of fun. The man he was at the beginning. The man who rekindled that teenage swooning girl. The one who has the absolute hots for him circa 1979-1984, with particular emphasis on 1981-82. The man I first *really* saw in 2014 (from 1979) and went “Holy fucking shit! That’s Jim Kerr?! Why did nobody tell me how fucking HOT he was?!” Eight years on and….I’m still obsessing! And man…what a journey! Never thought I’d get to meet him a million times over. Never thought, for good or bad…that he’d end up knowing be my name and have a face like a Russian winter every time he sees me, as if he’s thinking “Oh, fuck. Here she comes. HELP!!” In one respect, the notoriety is fun. In another, I miss the days when he seemed happy to see me. But that’s all my doing, I guess.
I can’t regret anything though, can I?
It’s an endless roller-coaster. Just recently I had another massive wobble. It involved the new Simple Minds album and personalised signings. I’ll leave it at that, as I don’t want to go over old ground. It is what it is and whether I have done my usual thing of over-analysing and misinterpreting or Jim really has finally had enough of me and wants me to take a fucking hint (short of a brick being thrown directly at my head, I tend not to see the obvious…but boy can I get fixated on and over-analyse stuff that actually ISN’T there!) – I need to just keep things in perspective and focus on the uni. “Get a life” – as they say.
So, where are we at now? It’s early December, 2022. I am, as I stated earlier, about one third the way through module ‘A112: Cultures’. This module is run through the Arts and Humanities faculty of the Open University. I started study in January, 2022. I have already completed module ‘A111: Introducing the Arts and humanities’ in which I scored a 75% mark, which is a clear pass (10 percentage points off a distinction mark – I can’t tell you how happy I was with that result).
A111 gave us a broad look at the arts and humanities subjects, so we worked through art, art history, classical studies, creative writing, English literature, music, philosophy, and religious studies. My choice of continuing on into A112 was solely for the Creative Writing aspect of it. The first 4 weeks of the new module was focused on Classical Studies and I really struggled with that and didn’t engage with it very well. Also, I was having my latest ‘Jim wobble’ so that didn’t really help. Despite that, I did really well with my first assignment of the module and scored a 79 mark.
And, well…I think we’re pretty much up-to-date. Of course I am hoping most posts won’t be quite this long in future but I may just rant from time-to-time for the catharsis of getting things off my chest. I’m not sure I still want to even call the blog “Antipodean – The Right Side Up” anymore. I used to feel like I was literally “the right side up” for being on the other side of the world. It was a pun I liked as the word ‘antipodean’ means ‘two places diametrically opposed to one another’ or ‘something that is the exact opposite or contrary to another’. My father-in-law, Gilly (Gilbert), used to say I was from “Upsidedownland” and so…. being here I felt I was “the right side up.” These days, I don’t know if I still ‘feel’ The Right Side Up…
What I call this blog instead, I know not. I will give it some thought. In the meantime, hello! Thanks for reading, and please be warned, I may talk about Jim’s nipples from time to time. Lol