Stupid Shit My Dad Has Done

So yesterday was my dad’s birthday and I was having too much fun with him to remember to write this post! I like my dad a lot. He’s a cool guy and one of my best friends. He’s taught me so much over the years and he looks after me and my siblings. He’s also dozy as fuck and says stupid, annoying shit constantly. He does stupid shit even more frequently. I’ve written a Terry appreciation post in the past (you can read it here: https://sarahwilliamsandco.com/2018/06/15/fathers-day/), and, to be honest, I don’t want his head to get any bigger. So I intend to humble him instead with this post. Below is a list of things my dad has actually said and done. Brace yourself for the biggest eye roll of your life!

1. “What’s that, er, that bubbly stuff you put on your head?” “You mean shampoo?” “Ah yeah, that’s it.”

2. He once put the petrol cap on top of the car and then drove off. We never saw that petrol cap again.

3. He used to duck his head when we’d drive into multi-storey car parks in our people carrier with the roof box as if that made us shorter.

4. “Oh it’s a lovely day, boiling outside. Shorts weather.” “It’s two degrees.”

5. He once sat on a pizza.

6. He watches movies on the iplayer on his laptop and doesn’t make it full screen.

7. He drove into a grass verge and then wondered why we had a puncture.

8. “Sarah, my phone appears to have broken.” “No, it’s just not turned on. Here, just click the power button.” “Ah, I see.”

9. When playing ring of fire last new year: “Dad come on, you’re like four sips behind!” “I’m trying but it’s so fiery!” He was drinking ginger beer.

10. Got an egg out and juggled it in his hand whilst he got a pan out too. He dropped the egg and it splattered on the floor. “Good Jesus!”

I know, I put up with a lot of shit, don’t I? I think I’ll keep him though. He gets rid of all the spiders from my room.

Happy Birthday Dad!

Long Grey Mare – Fleetwood Mac

 

Tattoo Origins: 53 03’ 40’’ N 9 21’ 46’’ W

These are the coordinates to my favourite place on earth. Yesterday I got to visit there again after three long years.

It’s been quite a while since our last tattoo origins story. I guess that’s because I find them quite draining. I love tattoos. And I love my tattoos. But the gravity I think comes with inking something permanently onto yourself means all my tattoos have very personal and emotional reasons for being there. They’re not secret, obviously, since I’m telling you about them. But sometimes they’re hard to write because I want to articulate their importance perfectly and that almost never happens. So it’s been a while. But yesterday made me realise this was the next journey for us to conquer together. So, onwards.

If you’ve read any blog post by me ever, or even just had a conversation with me, then you’ll know my family are the single most important thing in my life, bar nothing. Their journey is my journey. And my journey is theirs. We’re so wonderfully intertwined. I love them. Put in the simplest terms possible. Diving deeper, they are the reason I breathe. The reason I get out of bed. Fight Live another day. Hearing their voices, reading their sarcasm, feeling close to them is all I need to sustain myself.

You’ll probably also know that I love Ireland. The country just holds a special place in my heart. It’s my family’s home, so it’s my home. Aside from Liverpool, it’s where I feel most safe.

So how do these two facts collide to create this tattoo? And where is this place I’ve drawn on myself forever?

My favourite place in the world is a small slice of the Burren that stretches out alongside the Wild Atlantic Way. Driving from Doolin towards Fanore, just as the road turns to give you a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean, there is a small gravelled area to park a car. Park there. Cross the road, carefully. Climb down onto the world’s largest limestone pavement and breathe. Feel the harsh breeze from the water hit your face, close your eyes. Breathe deeply. You have arrived. You are alive.

My family and I have been travelling to the west coast of Ireland since the eighties, my brother’s first time being when he was still in our mother’s tummy. County Clare is our favourite. The Burren is possibly the world’s biggest playground and as kids we were mesmerised. I don’t recall the first time we ever found this little spot. But I’m thankful every day that we did. Every visit we’d park the car, wrap up in hats and scarves and coats, and just go. Whilst my sisters would hang back with our mum, casually exploring (they were older and more relaxed), my brother and I would run until we felt the sweat dripping down our backs beneath the winter layers. Under the watchful eye of our dad, it is a clifftop, we’d play the Burren game: no stepping on anything other than rock. You touch grass and you lose. Working our way to the cliff’s edge we’d all eventually pause. Blown away by the crashing waves below and the endless vastness that lay out in front of us.

It’s standing in that exact spot, looking at the ocean, that I’ve continued to come back to over the years. It calls to me. There’s nowhere in the world that I feel vibrates with such possibility. I could stare at the water forever. Yesterday was one of the windiest times I’ve ever been there. The powerful, white waves crashed so hard into the jagged black rocks next to me that I was periodically sprayed with fresh salty water. Feeling it hit my cold skin I felt alive. Peaceful. But secure. And loved. I don’t know how a place can make you feel that way. I think it must be magic. But all I know is I am one with that nameless piece of land. It is me. It has a way of emptying my mind and making me see clearly. About what I want. About what’s important. About what my life should look like. It guides me. Just as my mother guides me. It makes me feel safe. This spot is mine.

I’ll be attached to that place forever. It is my past, my present and my future. I just hope I don’t wait so long next time for the craving pull to ignite action inside me.

All I Am – Jess Glynne

Summer in the City

Proof that Liverpool is the best city, I’ve got the next few weekends sorted for you.

Brazilica

14th July

Starting in 2008 as part of Liverpool’s Capital of Culture celebrations, Brazilica is a parade that celebrates Brazilian music and culture as well as the magic of carnival. The parade sucks in around 30,000 visitors each year; this is probably due to the intoxicating atmosphere. There’s so much going on between drumming bands, samba dancers, colourful costumes and intricate floats. The parade begins on Abercromby Street and will wind down through the city and end in Williamson Square. The event will also host live Brazilian/Afro Latin music on a stage at the waterfront. It’s not to be missed! The event is free. http://brazilicafestival.co.uk

Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF)

@ Sefton Park, 21-22nd July

As always this is one of Liverpool’s biggest events of the year and you should be there. The two day festival showcases music from many countries and cultures to celebrate the vibrant history and diversity of our city. This year LIMF has named their theme ‘Co-Exist and Connection’ which seems like an excellent idea to explore this year given the current world political climate. It’s also a great way for Liverpool to celebrate it’s ten year anniversary of Capital of Culture. Artists include Basement Jaxx (DJ set), DJ Jazzy Jeff and Jax Jones. Tickets start at £5 and under 11s go for free. http://www.limfestival.com

Liverpool Pride

28-29th July

Pride is always guaranteed to be an excellent weekend. As it’s still quite a new event in Liverpool, the event continues to blossom an get bigger and better each year. Ran by an entirely volunteer-led charity Pride aims to combat homophobia and transphobia in Liverpool and across the world. Their website states their core values to be FREE, INCLUSIVE, VISIBLE. So whether you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community of just an enthusiatic ally, this weekend is not to be missed. Whether you want to be in the colourful parade through our streets or celebrate from the side of the road it’s up to you. The march will start at Liverpool Central Library and twist though the city to end on Tithebarn Street where a main stage will be set up full of excellent performers including, Atomic Kitten and Sophie Ellis-Bextor. This year Pride will also be hosting events on the Sunday that are more casual, family-friendly. Sunday is about learning, experiencing and making a difference. This event is free. https://liverpoolpride.co.uk

There’s just something magical about the summer, don’t you think?

T-shirt Weather – Circa Waves

Reasons To Get Out Of Bed

I’ve been needing a bit more coaxing recently to get out of bed and I figured some of you might be feeling the same way. So here’s ten reasons why you should get out of bed today.

1. Any day could be the best day of your life but you won’t know until you actually get up.

2. Just look at that beautiful blue sky. Feel that heat radiate through you. And if it’s raining? You’re not getting off that easy. Look how the drops are feeding our earth, let it rejuvenate you too.

3. That overly extravagant cocktail in your favourite beer garden with friends.

4. I know you have dreams. Even the tiniest of tasks will get you a step closer to it.

5. Pizza.

6. There is literally millions of books waiting for you to read their wisdom.

7. Your presence makes somebody smile every single day. Even if you’re feeling lonely your existence affects other people’s day. Maybe you called your sister, maybe you just held a door for someone or tripped over a curb. Whatever it was you made them smile and I think that’s pretty magic.

8. It’s your fucking life. Aside from like work and family obligations etc, you get to do whatever the hell you want. So go and do something that serves you.

9. The Hamilton soundtrack is waiting for you to listen to it, fall in love with it, learn every rap, and then go and tell every single person in the world about it as if it’s gospel.

10. Because you are important. And you are loved. And because you make the world infinitely better. So don’t fucking forget that again.

Waiting for Something – Nada Surf

Father’s Day

I don’t know about you but my dad is pretty boss. Like he’s probably the best guy I know. You can tell him anything and I think that shows how well he raised me and my siblings. A lot of dads try to be a big, scary authority figure whilst their kids are going up. Maybe it’s just the crushing pressures of hyper masculinity but I’ve never understood that mentality. Why would you want your kids to be scared of you? That doesn’t create love or respect, it just creates fear. That’s not an inviting environment to express support or kindness. At least, I don’t think it is. Maybe you think I’m wrong. But that’s just not been my experience of fatherhood.

In my life, fatherhood is about love and generosity and compassion and selflessness. But I guess that’s just cos that’s who my dad is. He’s a quiet guy but he’s full of ideas, opinions and intelligence. He taught me that words and ideas can change the world, that books are precious. That learning is paramount no matter what your age. He taught me to open my heart to other people’s experiences in the world and to always be an ally. He taught me how to take life with a pinch of salt and to laugh about what we can’t change. He taught me what it means to put your family above everything else and how to never lose sight of what is important to you. He taught me how to be authentic.

And don’t get me wrong, the man can be an ass. He can try my patience like almost no other. For anyone who knows our Terry, you know that to be true. But you also know the amazing man he is. You know that he is strong and he is brave and he won’t ever stop trying to be a better person. And that’s the main lesson he’s taught me so far: how to be a good person. Because a good person isn’t this shiny, perfect, angelic figure. A good person is someone with faults, but someone with many more qualities. A good person is more than the sum of their parts. A good person is always open to learn and change and evolve. And that’s my dad.

My life would be infinitely worse without him.

What’s your dad like? I hope you have the same relationship with yours and I’m sorry if you don’t, for whatever reason. But this weekend go and celebrate your dad, or anyone else in your life you see as a father figure. Or just a cool guy that you want to thank. Let them know that you appreciate them. And tell them you love them. Even if it makes them uncomfortable. Especially then.

Happy Father’s Day!

A Horse With No Name – America

when life throws you a curveball

About six weeks ago my dad, we call him Terry, found a Groupon for cheap Odeon cinema tickets so we bought it. It runs out next Wednesday. We need to go to two different movie showings and currently we’ve been to zero. You know how it is, life gets in the way. We decided to head to the cinema this morning to get the first one boxed off. About five minutes down the road I decide to check the film time. For no reason, just cos I felt like it. Turns out it started twenty minutes earlier than I thought and we’d already missed the start. Yeah, my bad.

So when life throws you a curveball what are you going to do about it? Be angry? Moan all day? Blame the person who’s at fault and make them feel bad? Or laugh at how stupid you are and go and do something else instead? Me and Tez chose option four.

So skip an hour into the future and we ended up in a garden centre planning our extravagant garden makeover; working out how to grow our own vegetables (conclusion: we have no fucking idea); and sitting on every garden bench we come across whilst talking about life. We treated ourselves to some bougie vegan flatbreads, coffee and elderflower water. Cos why not?

I’d say today is the best weather day we’ve had for about eight months. For real. The sun is shining, there’s a pleasant breeze, and today is the first time I haven’t worn my winter coat since like September. So who would wanna spend it in a dark, indoor cinema anyway!

It feels like the start of summer. And that makes me happy.

So just remember, kids, take each day as it comes. No matter how much you plan, life will find a way to change your circumstances. Realise that there isn’t much point in living if you’re not at least having fun. Do something completely random. Something that sounds weird. Because adventure is anywhere. You just have to remember to look for it.

Have a happy, sunny day, everyone!

Peace.

Summer Mood – Best Coast

people are inherently good

So I’ve been trying to write this piece for almost a year. I’ve started it about eight times and every time I’ve stopped. This post has quickly become the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. And it’s because I want it to be perfect and I know it never will. But it’s happening this time. And I’ll try my best to articulate my feelings.

2017 was the worst year of my life. To anyone who knows me, this will be no surprise. It tested me in ways I never knew I could be tested. It broke me, quite frankly, and I couldn’t really be bothered to continue participating in the world. I sat back and just existed. Just barely. It was an abyss of grief I didn’t think was ever going to reach an ending. I still don’t think it will. But I’m at least navigating it slightly better than one year ago.

Over this past year I have been gifted such generosity and kindness and love. And often I wasn’t even able to return it. But I want to try and say thank you. To every person who has shown me tenderness and friendship and patience these past twelve months. Because even the smallest and simplest of acts – that you may have thought completely insignificant – blew me away and made me feel so loved. I’m so fucking grateful to share my life with the people I do. And I need you to know that.

I think people are inherently good. Now even in the most pessimistic state I’ve ever been in I can still appreciate that. People piss me off on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times a minute. I live in the night time because it’s quiet then. Peaceful. And because I don’t have to deal with the thunderous waves of other people’s garbage lives and problems. Yet I believe people to be inherently good. Paradox? Probably. But I think it’s the truth. When you need them, people will drop everything for you. They will put aside their problems or experiences to be completely there for you.

I think of the strength people have shown me and it blows my mind. To the relative stranger, who on that fateful day, put aside your own heartbreak and managed to keep me from falling to pieces.  Your strength baffles me. Completely. You were efficient, kind and caring. I hope I will be able to do the same for someone someday. Although our paths may never cross again, I will never forget you. You will always be my samaritan and I fucking thank you.

To the friends I’ve known longer than myself, where to even begin. For taking me back out into a public place when I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to again, thank you. For gifting me endless vegan treats, thank you. For getting me drunk when I was ready to, thank you. For allowing me to fall apart in front of you with no judgement, thank you. For understanding when I didn’t reply to a message for months on end, thank you. For still messaging me to check in, thank you. For writing me beautiful letters that I will cherish forever, thank you. For supporting me when I made big, somewhat irrational decisions, thank you. For getting me an avocado when I left my job, thank you. For keeping my mind busy, thank you. For giving me things to look forward to, thank you. For making me laugh even when I was determined not to, I thank you the most.

I’m not the same person I was a year ago. I feel harder and more cold in someways. Sometimes I just feel empty. Numb. But other times I feel more free than I ever have before. In ways I’m more reckless and spontaneous because you might as well be. And on some days I have moments of euphoria and extreme happiness and that’s because of the people I get to call friends. The people who I will fight to keep in my life forever. The people who put up with me. I’m positive for the future, you have to be. Otherwise what kind of future would it be? So I’m excited. I’m excited for the future adventures I will take with old friends. I’m excited for the memories I’ll make with the new people in my life and the happiness they have already brought to my days. I’m excited to be alive. And I think you should be too. Don’t ever forget that this world would be a terrible place without your light. And I’m here for you, just as you were here for me.

———

I’ve decided to add in the previous incarnations of this article because although none of them will ever have endings I think they all have important beginnings. Also, now you can see I really wasn’t kidding when I said I could not for the life of me write this fucking post. If you’re still reading, I love you.

———

Some people live to drag you down. But most are inherently good. It takes a hard time in ones life – possibly the worst you’ll ever have – to realise people really do care. Family, friends, loved ones, colleagues, acquaintances, strangers. People exude goodness, it’s natural. We are not wired to pit ourselves viciously against each other (that’s propaganda) (but maybe that’s just the vegan in me). We are beings of compassion, love, kindness. We feel empathy. We feel people’s pain. We crave to fix people’s problems and make them feel better because we need them to know that we care. We need them to know we’re there even if we’re geographically not. Small texts, cards, care packages, chocolate, flowers. Just something small. Something to show our love. Just letting you know I’m thinking of you. Don’t feel obliged to respond. Is there anything I can do? If you need space that’s okay. Feel free to message me whenever. I’m always here. For normal or abnormal.

I don’t know, people are just there. They make you feel less alone when you’re so deeply lonely. And sometimes there’s nothing they can do but sometimes there is and they’ll do it willingly. Even if it’s just getting you drunk. If it’s what you need they’re in. You should trust them more. They can deal. Try and stop holding it in so much. Release it. If you don’t voice it you won’t work through it.

———

I believe people come into your life for a reason. I don’t believe in God, Allah, Buddha, the Messiah, Saviour, Coca Cola, Apple, the Skinny Jean or the Iced Coffee. But I believe in people and what they can do for your soul. As Jake Peralta says, ‘I’m in. Eyes closed. Head first. Can’t lose.’ Let’s go.

But seriously, this isn’t a jokey post. I want to thank everyone who’s helped me in the past few months more than they know. So here goes. 

———

But what makes people inherently good? Is it different with everyone or is there a general rule? I think it’s probably both. I think people have their own little quirks that make them them. Whether it’s getting you pissed because you ask them to, talking about the issue directly or tagging you in homemade cocktail videos on instagram. They’re showing you in their own way that they care. And that gives me a warm feeling inside. It makes me feel special, loved. It makes me feel important which is all humans really crave. 

———

Right, I’m giving this post another go cos this is getting ridiculous. You’ll experience many people in life. People who push past you in the street, cut the line in a shop, demand all the energy from a room because they exude self-importance and don’t respect other people’s existence. But I’d like to believe these people are a minority. The world would be a terrible place if you left the house every day expecting to be annoyed or disappointed. Life is too short to spend it angry. I’ve definitely learnt that recently. Now, at the time in my life when I’ve never been more angry.

But you’ve got to choose to be happy. No one’s going to do it for you. They can definitely try but if you don’t feel it it’s not substantial. It won’t last.

And people aren’t all bad, in fact, I think they’re inherently good. Family, friends, even strangers will constantly surprise you. They bring goodness to your life and sometimes you don’t always get to thank them. Or you don’t know how. Whether it’s something as simple as saying good morning to you in the street when you’re having a rubbish day. Or your friend coming home with your favourite flavour of pringles just because they saw them and thought of you. Or maybe they were there for you on the single worst day of your life. People take control of the situation and inject happiness, calmness, safety even action. Whatever the situation calls for.

I’ve thought a lot about the moments in my life recently where people have shown selflessness. Where they’re shown compassion, love, generosity, and kindness. People drop everything and instead just give you everything you need. Even something as simple as holding a door open – they’re halting their day and where they need to be just to let you through the door.

———

So thank you.

St. Patrick’s

Now this week’s self-care post may seem a little counter-intuitive but stick with me.

So growing up in Liverpool with an Irish grandma, a family who loves Ireland and a surrounding that is predominantly Irish, I’ve always felt a great affinity with the country. More so than with the UK. In fact, I’ve never relished my British identity but found it somewhat embarrassing. I mean the whole idea of splitting land into countries has always felt bizarre to me. Throwing our racist, religious or xenophobic views behind a flag is just pathetic. Patriotism. One of my least favourite words in the English language. A blind belief that you are worth more due to the coincidence of your birth. And the British Empire? Don’t even get me started.

So that’s not how I see my relationship with Ireland. I don’t obey it and I don’t worship it. I just feel drawn to the land. Like I’m coming home. It’s the ideas of family above everything; respecting nature; always striving to be a kind person but remembering to have a heck of a lot of fun along the way that embody the Irish spirit for me. Because that’s been my upbringing. Those are the lessons I’ve learnt from the people I love. The fact all these sentiments bind in my mind to equal Ireland is almost incomprehensible because they’re not tangible, they’re just how I live my life. It’s hard to articulate. Because my family is Irish I’ve seen those lessons as being passed down through ancestors. The people teaching me these lessons may have thought differently but that’s how I’ve always interpreted it. So I hesitate to say I’m proud to be Irish because I don’t ultimately agree with countries and I think pride can be harmful. But I’m very happy to be Irish. I’m thankful that it’s my heritage. Because it’s happenstance of birth that has created the family that I have. And they’re pretty boss to say the least. Liverpool and Ireland did that. I have no doubt in my mind. So I’m grateful for their existence.

But if we’re stepping out of the spiritual world into the physical world I do love the country’s hills and green lands and pubs. I do fully plan on spending time in Ireland every year of my life. Many of my favourite childhood memories are the other side of the Irish Sea and I hope to make more in the future. I just feel comfortable there. Whether it’s pub crawling through Dublin or staring at the Atlantic Ocean from atop the Burren in County Clare. Again, it’s because I feel so connected to my family when I’m there. Either because they’re stood right next to me or because when I breathe I know that’s where we’ve come from. This island.

You’re probably wondering where the point to my article is coming in. It’s here. Go out today for St. Patrick’s and get pissed.

I know. You didn’t see that coming. Well I like to be unpredictable. Makes life more interesting. Now why am I telling you about my Irish heritage and drinking. And how is this anything to do with self-care? Because whilst yes, alcohol will not solve life’s problems (never forget that) it is acceptable to indulge occasionally. Whether you’ve had a long, hard week at work. Whether you just want to meet up with some friends you’ve been neglecting. Whether you’re Irish or not. Go and celebrate. Because whatever it was in the past, or whatever it is to other people now, to me March 17th is about celebrating culture and heritage and family. That’s why it’s my favourite day of the year. Don’t you see? It doesn’t matter what your life or beginnings are. Everyone can celebrate their culture, heritage and family so why not do it with booze, with the Irish. You all know we’re the funnest anyway. So when you’re blinded by a sea of green today, and maybe after a Guinness or two, have a think about what those three words mean to you right now. And what you’d like them to mean always. Then maybe act on it. Or don’t. I mean, you’ll probably have a wicked hangover tomorrow anyway so you might as well get something out of the drunken fun whilst it lasts.

If someone reading this disagrees with my view of St. Patrick’s Day then that’s totally fine. It is traditionally a religious holiday, yep, we are celebrating a saint. But I’ve found since turning from Catholicism to Atheism I enjoy having other ways to connect to my history. And yeah, St. Patrick’s Day famously was a day of alcoholic abstinence. But the Irish government overturned that years ago to improve tourism and celebration of all things Irish. So whether you consider it a bit of a piss up or a serious day I wish you a boss St. Patrick’s. And I hope you spend it with people you love.

And remember to shotgun a beer.

Peace.

Lisdoonvarna – Christy Moore

lessons boss women taught me

In my life every day is international women’s day because I’m constantly surrounded by boss women. Some are my family and some are my friends. Some are strangers or writers and actors. But they have all taught me lessons. So in honour of March 8th and all the fierce women in the world I’m going to tell you some of those lessons. From cool women. About being formidable. About being a woman. About being a human.

1. It’s important to identify as a feminist. Don’t hide from the word for fear of what people will think of you.

2. If people aren’t feminist then they’re on the wrong side of history anyway.

3. Intersectionality is paramount. Keep your heart open to other people’s experiences.

4. It’s okay to like the colour pink and wear high heels. It’s also okay to wear men’s shirts and think make up makes you look like a clown. These stereotypes don’t define you. Like whatever the fuck you want to like.

5. You’re allowed to cry. That doesn’t make you ‘hysterical’ or ‘weak’.

6. You’re allowed to be assertive and demand a room’s attention. This does not make you ‘bossy’. It makes you fierce.

7. Find women who you can confide in and be vulnerable with. They are your soul mates.

8. Don’t let other people’s success make you feel like you’re failing. You’re not.

9. Don’t take your sisters for granted. They’re pretty cool. And they’ll always be there.

10. Men are essential to the feminist movement. Don’t alienate them.

11. Don’t ever feel like you can’t do something. I don’t care what society has told you your whole life. They’re wrong.

12. Being the object of their admiration is not your job. It’s okay if people don’t like you. Pleasing people is exhausting anyway.

13. If you don’t want to fucking smile, don’t. The world won’t alter irreparably.

14. Call out sexism when you see it. Otherwise it won’t ever change.

15. Don’t be afraid to stand out. Being what everyone expects you to be is boring anyway.

16. Your mum really does have all the answers. So stop ignoring her calls and seek her endless wisdom.

17. Sometimes you can just lie in pjs and watch Netflix. It’s hard to fight the patriarchy every day. Make sure to recharge.

18. Go out of your way to tell other people why you think they’re amazing.

19. Be strong and resilient. You’ll work twice as hard as most men have to for the same result and that’s not fair. But we’re going to change that. Remember to celebrate your victories and achievements.

20. You are never done learning. Keep your mind and your heart open to the world even when it challenges you not to. Especially then.

The future is fucking female.

Happy International Women’s Day, friends!

Dream – Gabrielle

what kind of music do you listen to?

This is a frequently asked question, right? And it seems straight forward enough. Maybe to some it is. But I find it impossible. The sheer volume and variety of music. How could you name a favourite? Or even a handful of favourites. I tend to have a few bands or genres ready for people. They find it easier to have a tangible answer. But honestly what kind of music do I like?

Jesus.

It depends on the day. It depends on the season, on my mood, on whether I feel like dancing, on whether I’m cooking or cleaning, on whether I’m drinking, on the weather, on who’s around me, on if I want to smile or not, on if I’m trying to drown something out. And I don’t think I can be the only one. So, no, I don’t think that’s a simple question.

I was sat on a train yesterday and I decided to put Hozier’s album on. No reasoning, it just called to me as I was scrolling. My mum was the one who introduced me to him so I haven’t listened in a while. And as I sat there listening to Jackie and Wilson it hit me. My music taste is the music taste of my family. My family love music. Actually, that doesn’t seem a strong enough emotion. I’m not sure I can articulate how my family feel about music. It understands them. And they understand it. Now in a family of six there is a crazy amount of crossover but there’s also wild difference.

There’s U2, Pixies, Childish Gambino, Nick Drake, Fleetwood Mac (all formations), Elvis, The Specials, Chic, Spice Girls, SG Lewis, All The Luck In The World, Feeder, Genesis, Beyoncé, Travis, Snow Patrol, The Velvet Underground, The Selecter, The Jackson Five, The Eels, Frank Ocean, The Lemonheads, The Lemon Twigs, Green Day, Bowie, Of Monsters and Men, ABBA, The Beatles (obviously). And that’s barely the tip of the iceberg. My whole life I’ve been surrounded by music. And yeah, I find my own music too. Sometimes. But often really I just pick and choose different parts of my families archives and throw it together to make the absolute insanity that is my Spotify starred playlist. I trust the taste of my family so I know I’ll love the music I choose. It feels like a hug when I listen to a song and think of how I ever first heard it and realise my brother messaged me it. My family have led me to some of my absolute favourite music, all from their different corners.

And I think it’s more fun that way. How can you say you only like indie rock or pop or reggae? What do you do when you experience an emotion that doesn’t fit your genre? It seems mad to cut out vast sections of the musical palette of the world. Just so we can fit into a meaningless box.

So I’m happy with not knowing when people ask me. Some days I listen to Of Monsters and Men or Snow Patrol, sometimes I listen to jazz or Blink 182. I also love a good soundtrack like La La Land or Hairspray. I also like Dua Lipa and Ed Sheeran. Some days all I listen to is Fleetwood Mac from their Blues days. Sometimes Bowie does it for me. For some reason I love Childish Gambino whilst I’m idling hours away in my room. When I drive with my sister it’s whatever the radio throws at us cos why not? If I’m cleaning I love something like Years and Years or Betty Who or Troye Sivan. In the shower it’s always All The Luck In The World cos it’s my favourite album of all time. When I’m in the car with my dad it’s anyone guess. Could be The Beatles, America, Walking On Cars even The Thrills. Sometimes you just need The Strokes. And sometimes I need The Thermals to remind me of a simpler time. Is there never not a good time for Beyonce? If I’m drinking with my other sister it’ll be ska or rock and roll or disco. Other times I’ll listen to a playlist I’ve made of bands I know one song of but just haven’t got round to exploring yet. On a sunny day it’s Best Coast. When I miss my brother it’s a playlist he made almost a decade ago called ‘This’ll do nicely’. And when I think of my mum it’s U2. Always. I live for the variety. Makes every day different. I don’t see that changing ever.

And you thought I could pick just one song for this post?