All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…


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25 Songs, 25 Days: Common People

Day 24: A song that you have danced to with your best friend

Common People | Pulp

archie_common_people_1

I’m not one for nightclubs, parties or rave like shenanigans. When I dance, I dance; tango, waltz, salsa, pasodoble…you know, proper dancing. But now and again, when the mood takes me, I have been known to boogy on down to contemporary tunes.

One such occasion occurred in Glasgow with my friend Samantha. After a morning of chilling out and minor adventures, we decided to hit up a pub and ended up drunkenly performing to the Pulp classic Common People. Although it was more a karaoke session than a dance session, we both shook our bootys in between breaking down in fits of laughter.

A rather wonderful memory, if truth be told.


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Music for Monday: A Cyndi Lauper double-bill!

The thirty day song challenge continues with a Cyndi Lauper double-bill to kickstart your week with a smile (and a tear!)

A song that makes me want to dance

Girls Just Want To Have Fun | Cyndi Lauper

I’m not sure why this song makes me want to dance so much, but make me dance it does! Over the years, I’ve also realised it’s a stunningly good ‘housework song’, which is kinda like dancing, only with a vacuum cleaner instead of a hot partner.

Some boys take a beautiful girl
And hide her away from the rest of the world
I want to be the one to walk in the sun
Oh girls they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have”

A song that makes me cry

True Colors | Cyndi Lauper

This is one of those songs that’s difficult for me to listen to given the power it has over my emotions. Needless to say, it’s up there with Macy Gray’s I Try and Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah as a song that can turn on the waterworks almost instantly.

Show me a smile then,
Don’t be unhappy, can’t remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there”


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Saturday 9: Do you want to dance?

Saturday 9 is a weekly blogging meme hosted by Crazy Sam Winters (she added the crazy, not me!).

Every Saturday there will be nine questions – sometimes they will be around a common theme, other times completely random – to be answered however we like. Last week, my answers were a little on the sad side of the emotional spectrum, so to reflect my bipolar, this week I am aiming for the ‘happy’ side of the spectrum.

1. When was the last time that you danced in public?

The last time I remember dancing in public was during the oft-mentioned insanity of winter 2007. Throughout my time in Adelaide, due to my somewhat elated nature, I developed a tendency of breaking into spontaneous dance routines in obscure locations. It was almost as if I were a flash loner, or to sound a little less creepy, a member of a flash mob who’d lost the rest of his performing troupe.

Highlights included:

– A song and dance routine of Song for Ten that saw me ejected from a high-profile venue as I was disturbing the clientele.
– A spontaneous tango on the banks of the Torrens with a slightly bewildered but game-for-it university student.
– A somewhat odd moment when I channelled Mr Bean; only I  lack Rowan Atkinson’s gift for physical comedy.

All of this gives the impression that I’m a terrible dancer, which I’m not. I actually used to cane several of the ballroom dance routines (waltz, tango, salsa) and took lessons in two of these during the two years between breakdown and homelessness. For some inexplicable reason I thought it would be a great way to meet a few new friends, but despite my well refined hip gyrations, I forgot to consider the anxiety; which is kinda triggered by holding a stranger in such close quarters!

My all-time great public dance routine was when I was sixteen and ended up dancing with a woman to the Grease Mega-Miix at a family wedding. It went beyond the realms of overtly sexual into soft-core territory, which given the woman I was dancing with was touching 80, scarred my family for life!

2. Tell us about one of your closest friends.

Curse you Saturday 9, here’s me trying to be all perky and you throw this one at me. Unfortunately I have no friends, close or otherwise…but it wasn’t always like this. I’ve been writing a series of unsent letters this week and at least three have been about close friends. So to save repetition, you’re welcome to read unsent letter #1, unsent letter #3 and unsent letter #4, all of which were written to and about important friends in my life.

3. What is the most that you have ever lost?

Double curse you Saturday 9! Once upon a time I lost everything, and I’m still trying to claw things back.

4. What was the last thing that you have done to help a neighbor?

If they count as a neighbour, I once donated my blanket and the last of my money to a fellow homeless person who was new to the streets and had nothing. I’d been living this way for over year and knew what it was like to be so lost and alone with no-one to turn to. Fortunately, they weren’t on the streets long, as the following day I showed them to some organisations who were able to help him find accommodation.

5. It’s election season. What do you think the priorities of the United States really should be?

Given I am outside of the United States and all I’ve really heard of this issue is Clint Eastwood talking to a chair, I will politely decline to answer. Although I will just throw poverty and homelessness out there, as I believe all governments across all countries need to prioritize this issue more.

6. What was the last severe weather situation that you and your neighbors endured?

I can’t recall any really severe weather situations I’ve been in. Whilst living in a tent at the end of last year it, and most of my belongings were destroyed in a vicious thunder-storm. In fact, several times I’ve been camping I’ve encountered nasty weather conditions; I was flooded out on the Isle of Mull,Wilson’s Prom and, ummm, Lochaber, Glen Affric, Berneray and Wilson’s Prom (again!)

In fact if you can’t swim, don’t ever go camping with me!

7. Have you been or are you a vegetarian? Thoughts?

I used to be a vegetarian. But a combination of a sausage-in-batter cravings upon returning to the UK in 2008 and homelessness rendered me an occasional meat-eater. It’s tough being a vegie when you’re on the streets and the vast majority of all food available from soup-vans and the like contain some form of meat.

8. If you had a wish for your future, what would it be?

To not be alone anymore (see question 2 above). May be sad for some, others may find it amusing I’m so isolated, but of all my wishes this is the one I’m working hard to make come true.

9. Who just doesn’t get it?

Julia Gillard, the Australian Prime Minister…although come to think of it…every politician in Canberra.

And me, because I haven’t got it for far too bloody long to be healthy ;)

Saturday 9: Always the last to know… (September 1)
Saturday 9: Self-Esteem (May 26)

Other great Saturday 9 posts:

My Online World: The Never Ending Search for Answers
Not Suzy Homemaker
Sweet Memes
Nerdbliss
Harriet and Friends