Day 100 (Thu 13 Aug, 2015)

National Quote From The Movies Day

If you could create one new law, what would it be?

A song memory
I Should Have Known Better : The Beatles (from A Hard Day's Night - 1964)
This is one of my earliest memories – I would have been 4 or 5, so just a wee young thing. I was left in a room with my much older cousins and they were listening to Beatles records. I remember being fascinated with the cover of the album, A Hard Day's Night – the one with 20 pictures of the band members faces – each with a different expression. Other than the cover, I clearly remember this song – it is the only song I remember hearing from that time – it got into my head and sat there comfortably – it really appealed to that little me and when I hear it, I remember the house, the room, the sight and the sound.

Day 99 (Fri 14 Aug, 2015)

National Call a Friend Day

What is the single most valuable lesson that you have learned?

A song memory
Winnie the Pooh theme : The Disney Studio Chorus
When I was a young lad, my folks bought a record that I can't remember anything from, other than this song - in my mind, it was played a hell of a lot. I love this song and if I hear it or sing it in my head, I am transported back - it conjures a feeling in me, but not a clear memory - it is a sense of something fun about to happen. Thinking about it, the record might have been the reading of some Winnie The Pooh stories and that is why the song stirs anticipation within me. I didn't have a Winnie The Pooh bear - I had a panda - but Winnie is still in my life, so that is good.

Day 98 (Sat 15 Aug, 2015)

National Tell a Joke Day

Would you like to know when you are going to die?

A song memory
Robinson Crusoe theme : Robert Mellin
The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe was a 13 part French children's television drama series from around 1965. Dubbed into English, it told the story of Robinson on the island as well as other adventures, told in flashback. It was continuingly showed on TV when I was a kid and as such, the episodes don't tie together for me - I must have seen them out of sequence - and I didn't see the final episode until a couple of years ago when I got it on DVD. At the time it seemed like it went on for ever, but I guess that I was seeing the same episodes a few times - it is a bit of a blur. But the music is so tied into my childhood - when I hear the theme tune, I zoom back to the little kid in short trousers sitting cross-legged in front of the TV wondering what the hell the bloke was doing on the Island.

Day 97 (Sun 16 Aug, 2015)

National Extra Dessert Day

Which is the best movie ever made?

A song memory
I Wanna Be Like You : from Jungle Book (1967)
Another record that my parents bought for us - this was the record of the animated film and all the songs were there and we played it over and over and over again. This was my favourite song closely followed by The Bear Necessities - I can still watch the movie and sing along to all the songs - they've been in my head for so many years now. Sometimes when I am cycling along, I find myself singing this song - a strange riding song, but something is triggering it. When I hear the song, I remember the album, its cover and I remember the old record player we had - though I'm not sure that I was allowed to put the record on myself - I couldn't be trusted with such things.

Day 96 (Mon 17 Aug, 2015)

National Wear Something New Day

When did you perform the bravest thing that you have ever done?

A song memory
The Carnival Is Over : The Seekers (from Live At The Talk Of The Town - 1968)
My dad worked longish hours, so when he got home after work, my sister and I would sort of stay out of his way as he unwinded. But Friday nights were different even though he worked on Saturdays too. We used to eat and all sit around and the TV would be on and with only 3 channels, the viewing was limited. On Friday nights it was stuff like The Likely Lads, The Liver Birds, Cilla Black, Rolf Harris, Cliff Richard, Lulu, Roger Whittaker, The Spinners, Val Doonican - that sort of thing. But I do have a memory of one evening when they showed the Seekers 'last' show before they split up - I don't know why I remember it - maybe it was the conversation around it - but I do remember this song being played that night and it reminds me of Friday night family viewing.

Day 95 (Tue 18 Aug, 2015)

National Radio Day

What song is most likely to get you up and dancing?

A song memory
Please Release Me : Englebert Humperdink (from Release Me - 1966)
Now why this song? I guess that it got played a bit as both Englebert and I are from Leicester - so maybe some local pride. But I like the song and if I was a singer, I think that it would be my karaoke song - does everyone have a karaoke song? Anyway, a memory associated to this song is when we moved house - I was 8 years old and I am guessing that it must have been playing as we unpacked or something. It's weird thinking back to that house as the way it looked when we moved in didn’t last too long – it developed and changed, but this song reminds me of the one we moved into.

Day 94 (Wed 19 Aug, 2015)

National Old Folks Day

If you could change your first name, what would you change it to?

A song memory
White Christmas : Bing Crosby (from Song Hits from Holiday Inn - 1945)
When I was 9 or 10, each week my parents took me and my sister to Nottingham (35 miles or 56km away) so that we could ice skate. I'm not sure where that idea came from, but it was a fun thing to do - I could go really fast in a straight line but couldn't turn corners - but that didn't matter - it was going fast that mattered - falling over was just an inconvenience. Somewhere along the way, this song reminds me of those days - whether we were doing this around Christmas time or this was the first song with snow in it that I remember, I'm not sure - but the song reminds me of those skating trips.

Day 93 (Thu 20 Aug, 2015)

National Learn a New Word Day

What was the last gift that you have given?

A song memory
Last Train To Clarksville : The Monkees (from The Monkees - 1966)
Another unusual link. On Saturday afternoons, my mum would take my sister and I down to the library. She'd wander around and leave us in the kids section. I would sit and read Asterix and Tintin books - over and over again. Tintin is the one that stands out - I've always liked him and I talk about having my inner Tintin - the part of me that craves adventures - a constant influence and responsible for a few of my decisions in life. I didn't think that we had any Tintin books at home - I think that it was a library thing, but the fact that I remember hearing this song whilst reading the books makes me wonder - but they are linked in my head somehow.

Day 92 (Fri 21 Aug, 2015)

National No TV Day

Does anyone deserve to be put to death?

A song memory
Without You : Harry Nilsson (from Nilsson Schmilsson - 1971)

Towards the end of my last year at Overdale Junior School, they had a disco – well, if that is the word when 11 years olds are in a room together and music is played. So it involved closing the curtains in the assembly room (as it was daytime) and one of the teachers playing singles on a very primitive record player. Anyone looking in would have seen a group of boys, hands in pockets, standing around kicking their heels whilst some girls stood together gently swaying to the music. Then the funniest thing was when they put this song on – a slow song! Suddenly all the girls were invisible to the boys and vice versa - the most awkward few minutes of our school lives - nobody really looked at anyone else and then the curtains were opened and we were all back on safe ground. I can always see that day when I hear this song.

Day 91 (Sat 22 Aug, 2015)

National Kiss and Make Up Day

Who is the first person you call when you have had a bad day?

A song memory
Hot Love : T Rex (from Electric Warrior - 1971)
My first memory of this song is soon after I started at Lancaster Boys School. It was a lunchtime and somebody was playing music. I loved it - and over time, I ended up loving most of what Marc Bolan released. This is also the first song that I can remember dancing too - though I can't remember what my dancing was like - and that is probably a good thing. Some people feel sorry for my generation – having to grow up with glam rock as our backing track – personally, I am grateful.

Day 90 (Sun 23 Aug, 2015)

National Be Early Day

What was the first thing that you read and it inspired you?

A song memory
Shake Your Money Maker : Fleetwood Mac (from Fleetwood Mac - 1968)
A friend of mine, Gary, lived opposite the school and before school started some mornings, I would wander over and hang with him before going in. His dad had this Fleetwood Mac record and Gaz (as he was then) would put it on sometimes. I loved it. Very different music to what I was used to at home - and music that thrilled me - and still does. This song takes me back to those days of scruffy school uniform, huge knot in my tie and dirt behind my ears – whereas I now have dirt everywhere.

Day 89 (Mon 24 Aug, 2015)

National Cheese Day

What was the last thing that reduced you to uncontrollable laughter?

A song memory
Bring It On Home To Me : Sam Cooke (a single from 1962)
When I was 13, soon after our house had been burgled and trashed, we bought a dog - the gorgeous Rosie - from the RSPCA. She was a delight and I enjoyed her company over the years and she is still the background picture on my home PC. In later years, she would come in the car with me when I headed out and I always liked her with me. Somewhere along the way, I must have been driving around listening to Sam Cooke with Rosie beside me and when I hear him now, little Rosie comes to mind - and I remember the early days of her getting more and more comfortable around the place after her tough start in life.

Day 88 (Tue 25 Aug, 2015)

National Winnie the Pooh Day

In conversations, do you tend to listen or talk more?

A song memory
Heroes : David Bowie (from Heroes - 1977)
There is a lot of David Bowie stuff in my past – he was creating his unique genre during my teenage years and early 20s and a lot of his songs carry with them a lot of my memories from the time. I think he was special because he was of the time - something new happening and we could go on the journey with it - this was our music - nothing to do with previous generations. There was a lot of excitement around Bowie amongst school friends as we all seemed to be waiting for what he would do next. This was whilst I was at a very impressionable age, but I never actually adopted any of the fashion around it - I think I was watching rather than getting involved - then again, I was only a lad. Listening to the track just now I find myself back at Lancaster Boys School listening to a mate, Baz, play Bowie songs on the guitar. It is a long time since I've liked anything that he has done, but the early stuff still works for me.

Day 87 (Wed 26 Aug, 2015)

National Get a Tattoo Day

Does everything happen for a reason?

A song memory
I'm Not In Love : 10CC (from The Original Soundtrack - 1975)
When in my teenage years, there were quite a few parties going on - innocent stuff on the whole - but we were growing up and things were changing. This song was the big slow dance number to end a lot of parties and as such, when I hear it I am drawn back and remember the atmousphere and tensions that come about when the slow songs came on - where people's real likes began to manifest. And I remember that I had my first ever kiss to this song. Sigh.

Day 86 (Thu 27 Aug, 2015)

National Wear Your Pants Backwards Day

What is your most valued material possession?

A song memory
Ripples : Genesis (from A Trick of the Tail - 1976)
I am not really a Genesis fan, but this album was one that I liked a lot in the day. I had gone to Gateway Sixth Form College, so I was now grown up - I was 16 after all. So suddenly, after being at a boys school, I was back in the real world where both genders were equal - happy days. So new friends and lots of hanging around together - playing music and pretending to be cool. Acting like we didn't care, yet caring that we didn't look like we cared - usual stuff. And so, I was exposed to lots of new music - I had quite uninformed and boring musical tastes I think – but then there was all this new music - some I liked and some I didn't. This song got into my head and it represents all that new music from those times.

Day 85 (Fri 28 Aug, 2015)

National Pretend To Smoke a Pipe Day

Would you add one year to your life if it meant taking one year from the life of someone in the world at random? Would it matter if you were told whose life you had shortened?

A song memory
Ain't No Sunshine : Bill Withers (1971)
Having enjoyed the journey through disco music, along with school friends we became Bowie fans. Then through older people at school, more prog rock and Led Zeppelin kind of music. And then there was Status Quo too and other rock stuff. And somewhere in there, soul music appeared in my life. And such soul - lots of 60s stuff was still played at discos, but there was so much more - layer after layer. Other than soul music, there were great soul singers - and this is by one of the best - I still love this song and I remember hearing it for the first time - it was a lunchtime and we were in the music room and somebody put it on - it grabbed my attention straight away – the lyrics, the melody and such a great voice. He didn’t release a huge catalogue of songs, but there is great quality in all that he did.

Day 84 (Sat 29 Aug, 2015)

National Shake Hands Day

If you could have permanent possession of any one item, what would you like?

A song memory
When I Need You : Leo Sayer (from Endless Flight - 1976)
At the age of 16, I went on a holiday to Felixtowe. This was not a family holiday but through a youth club. It made me feel very grown up to be let off the leash and to meet so many new people of my age. This was possible the first time I was an individual - I carried no pre-conceived idea of who I was - I was just the person I was at the time - good and/or bad. It was a very exciting time and a lot of fun. It was a two week holiday and every night there was a disco and the slow song at the end tended to be this one - and I got to kiss a rather lovely girl. I still like this song, but the strongest memories with it are back in those teenage years without a care in the world.

Day 83 (Sun 30 Aug, 2015)

National Throw Out Rubbish Day

If you could only eat one type of national cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A song memory
She’s Not There : Santana (from Moonflower - 1977)
Having my teen years in the 1970s meant that I was surrounded by glam rock - which I actually liked. But then there was music like this - it felt like grown up music that was part of my world - no longer listening to music from the past - this was here for me. I saw Santana twice, the last time was at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl with support from Yothu Yindi back in 2003 - a bloody good night that adds to the my memories when I hear this song. But I first heard this song when I was visiting friends up in Glasgow - and going all the way up there felt exciting too - another world and another expression of who I was. The people I met up there and spent time with were some of the funniest folk I had met - life was different there and they saw things differently. Very refreshing and a lot of fun - and good music.

Day 82 (Mon 31 Aug, 2015)

National Air Guitar Day

Who is your hypothetical celebrity spouse?

A song memory
Free Bird : Lynyrd Skynyrd (from Pronounced - 1973)
My college was next to Leicester Polytechnic and on a Saturday night, they had live music and parties and all sorts going on, but we couldn't get in because we didn't have student cards. However, we would wait outside and ask students to take us in as they could each take one guest. So we'd get in there and, oh boy, what a world it was. Loads of booze, smoke, music and life - it seemed incredible to us, though we were only a year or two younger than these people. Well, the big disco on a Saturday night would find me playing air guitar to this song - it seemed to be the last song they'd play and the lights would come on as it finished and there the people like me would be seen for what they truly were - sad! So happy memories, despite being embarrassing too.

Day 81 (Tue 01 Sep, 2015)

National Lazy Day

If you could seduce any person you have known, but didn’t seduce, who would it be?

A song memory
Drift Away : Dobie Gray (1973 - Drift Away)
In 1978, I passed my driving test - the first of my friends to do this and wow, what freedom that gave me and what distances I travelled. So much opened up for me and I explored the villages and countryside around the place. So many lovely and remote places to visit. Ok, I became a bit of a taxi driver for others, but I loved driving - I still do. It was wonderful - opportunities and adventures a plenty - all there for me. And with driving came my own space for listening to music whilst I explored the world. I remember driving over to Foxton Locks for the first time and this song was playing as I did so. A great song attached to wonderful memories.

Day 80 (Wed 02 Sep, 2015)

National Hug a Hound Day

Someone you love deeply is brutally murdered and you know the identity of the murderer, who unfortunately is acquitted of the crime. Would you seek revenge?

A song memory
Hotel California : The Eagles (from Desperado - 1973)
This song takes me back to another youth club holiday - a group of about 30 kids away for 5 weeks. It was a sensation - a real growing up time - experienced lots of emotions and more laughter than I would have thought was possible. I became good mates with people who I am still in touch with 35 years later. In particular, it reminds me of my mate Clive - a funny man with lots of dimensions to his personality - we have had some great times over the years and in some ways, we are quite similar - or share the same traits anyway. This song was played a lot on that holiday and I believe that I even sang it on occasions - what was I thinking?

Day 79 (Thu 03 Sep, 2015)

National Share a Memory Day

Should you be allowed to hit your own children?

A song memory
Let It Grow : Eric Clapton (from 461 Ocean Boulevard - 1974)
Friends of my parents had a daughter called Jodi and on and off over our earlier years, we’d be stuck together at some boring event or another and became friends. That friendship grew and we became pretty close and shared some great times. She remains one of my closest friends even though we now live on opposite sides of the world. This song reminds me of the time when our friendship became our choice rather than the result of circumstance. Alas, it is certainly not the greatest song ever written, but I like songs that invoke good memories.

Day 78 (Fri 04 Sep, 2015)

National Narnia Day

What is your favourite thing to do?

A song memory
Silly Putty : Stanley Clarke (1975 - Journey To Love)
This is a song from the first album I bought after I left school and got my first job - this was probably purchased from my first ever proper pay packet. I can't remember where I first heard Stanley's music, but I do love a funky bass player and he was the king - this album got a lot of plays and it was with me as I began to adapt to being a grown up. It was weird leaving school as I had assumed that I’d have exams and then contemplate university, but no, I just stepped out and got on with it.

Day 77 (Sat 05 Sep, 2015)

National Try New Food Day

Who would play the current you in a movie of your life?

A song memory
Goodbye Girl : Squeeze (from Cool For Cats - 1979)
Squeeze are a band who were around for a long time with hit after hit - they were a soundtrack in my world back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I remember listening to them one night when I began to realise that life had changed. There had been a strange feeling when I started work about there being something else that I should be doing too. And I remember that it was whilst listening to Squeeze in my car one evening when it came to me - there wasn't anything I should be doing - what my mind was thinking was that I was avoiding doing my homework. But I wasn't avoiding homework - I was no longer at school/college - I didn't have homework - I was a free elf. What a great feeling.

Day 76 (Sun 06 Sep, 2015)

National Contact an Old Friend Day

What is your secret talent?

A song memory
Imagine : John Lennon (1971 - Imagine)
I remember turning up to work on the 8th of December in 1980 and there was a strange mood around the place - it was as the news of John Lennon's death spread around the place. There was disbelief - he seemed to be most people's favourite Beatle and his material had a lot more depth and layers to some of the McCartney stuff. He had an angle to him - he was cool. And there was always the hope that the Beatles might one day do a gig together - that died that day too. He was a cool bloke who people liked and admired and he was murdered. It was a really strange time and this song played everywhere for about a month and is tied to that time for me.

Day 75 (Mon 07 Sep, 2015)

National Remember Your Favourite Holidays Day

Which is your favourite drink?

A song memory
Summertime : Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong (from Porgy and Bess - 1957)
This song has been covered by so many and there are some fine versions out there - this is my favourite one. Many, many years ago I had a huge crush on a girl called Marilyn - though she never knew - we were just mates as far as she knew. This was one of her favourite songs and I therefore liked it because of her - but then I started liking it for what it is. When listening to the song, I can remember being helplessly crazy about her but not knowing what to do to change things. I therefore did nothing but hoped that something would happen. Pathetic, I know.

Day 74 (Tue 08 Sep, 2015)

National Correct Punctuation Day

If you could have one specific power over other people, what would you like it to be?

A song memory
Roll Out of This Hole : Jools Holland and Ruby Turner (from Rockinghorse - 2010)
A couple of my mates, Rocky and Rachel, had gone to Huddersfield Polytechnic and through them, I met some of their friends who then became my friends too. I would drive up to Huddersfield and hang out with them (mainly with Drew and Jo) and one night we all went to see Ruby Turner perform. My word! What a voice. It was a fantastic gig and I became an instant fan and have seen her a few times since. The last couple of times that I've seen her, she has been singing with my hero, Jools Holland - such good music and songs. But when I hear her, it takes me back to those days and those people.

Day 73 (Wed 09 Sep, 2015)

National Book Tickets For A Show Day

Which has been the most memorable night of your life?

A song memory
Cry Me A River : Julie London (a single - 1955)
A song and an event that don't really fit together, but they are linked due to the timing. I watched an old movie and Julie London was in it and sang - so I went and bought an album and this is one of the songs from the album - a classic. I used to play it a lot. Whilst the song was new to me, my Grandmother died - my father's mother. She had obviously been in all of my life, but I didn't know her - she was just my grandmother. After her death, I started hearing stories about the life she'd had and what she'd been through and experienced - it was shocking and also difficult to take in that the woman I had been around and the person behind her persona were very different. It was a lesson and one that is often said ... you don't know what anyone has been through or is going through - so think of that before judging them. I hear the song and am reminded that we tend to know only what a person decides to share.

Day 72 (Thu 10 Sep, 2015)

National Speak To a Stranger Day

What is the best chat-up line used on you? And the worst?

A song memory
Willow : Joan Armatrading (from Show Some Emotion - 1977)
When I was around the age of 19, I started going out with Janine - one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet - I knew her for 2 years and couldn't say one bad thing about her. For some reason, I ended the relationship after around 18 months - it's hard to know the mind of the chap who made that decision, but I assume that he needed to do or be somewhere else and he ended it. This song reminds me of us going to see Joan Armatrading together and me thinking how good life was with her - and it was. I can't regret the decision as it must have seemed right at the time.

Day 71 (Fri 11 Sep, 2015)

National Stay 5 Minutes Longer Day

If you were to discover that your closest friend was a heroin dealer, what would you do?

A song memory
Son of a Preacher Man : Dusty Springfield (1968 - Dusty in Memphis)
Back in 1981, I move into a flat with a mate (and a mate of his) and it was a great time for me - I had my own space - I could pretty much do as I pleased. I was working a shift job, so that gave a mixture of weird hours but good periods of free time. I even bought a brand new car to take me from adventure to adventure. I had a huge room at the new place and used to enjoy the space. I played a lot of music and I played it loud - very loud. A song that featured a fair bit was this one and it takes me back to those exciting days.

Day 70 (Sat 12 Sep, 2015)

National Good Neighbour Day

Which book would you like to have written?

A song memory
Feeling Good : Nina Simone (from Put A Spell On You - 1965)
On the 3rd of February 1982, Louise (my sister) gave birth to her one and only son, Dan. I understand that children are popular with some folk, but I don't really get it myself, but each to their own. On the day of the birth, my parents were in London being part of the whole thing whereas I was at home - hanging out with friends - just sitting around chatting and listening to music. It just happens that when they called with the news of Daniel arriving, this was the song that was playing and therefore it is the memory that is attached to it.

Day 69 (Sun 13 Sep, 2015)

National Drink Wine Day

Who would you like to welcome you into the afterlife (if there is one)?

A song memory
Bridge Over Troubled Waters : Simon & Garfunkel (from The Concert Live in Central Park - 1982)
I grew up hearing Simon and Garfunkel’s greatest hits being played around the place, but as they split up in 1970, it was just recordings that I had to experience them by. Then they had a reunion in 1981 where they played a huge free concert in Central Park that was recorded. The following year they performed at Wembley Stadium and I was there – it was fantastic – something that I assumed would never happen, but did happen and it was magical. Whenever I hear this version of the song, I remember standing there in awe – it was the biggest gig I had ever been too and I think that it was a lot to take on board - a bit overwhelming. Even though I saw them again in 2009 in Melbourne, it is that Wembley gig that remains my highlight of them, plus it also reminds me that feeling you get when at a large outdoor concert – marvellous.

Day 68 (Mon 14 Sep, 2015)

National Speak In Rhymes Day

What makes your best friend, your best friend?

A song memory
Shine on through : Elton John (from A Single Man - 1978)
Elton John has been there throughout my time - doing what he does. I've seen him live in the UK, US and Australia and I do like what he does. As he's been around for so long, his music reminds me of different times - so when looking at the options, this one is a good song and a good memory. It takes me back to around 1982 and one particular evening where a group of us were sitting around in the back garden at Rocky's place - the weather was lovely and the company was mighty good. I remember that we then set off for a walk around Bradgate Park at midnight. It is just a night that was heaped full of the pleasure of young people enjoying each other's company and enjoying the moments. Life was mighty fine.

Day 67 (Tue 15 Sep, 2015)

National Buy New Socks Day

Which three books have you loved most?

A song memory
You've got a friend : Carole King (from Tapestry - 1971)
Looking back and seeing how I grew into life and embraced different opportunities and direction is an interesting pastime. Back in 1983, I went to London to see Carole King at the Dominion Theatre. I had been to shows, concerts and gigs before, but they were all local - this was travelling to something - making an excursion - not seeing what was around but stretching further afield. It was choosing to take adventures. It was removing limitations. It was going for things. Being pro-active. It was one event, but it encapsulates how I am now. Maybe that was the start.

Day 66 (Wed 16 Sep, 2015)

National Eat Less Day

If you could be physically transported to anywhere, where would you go?

A song memory
Court and Spark : Joni Mitchell (from Court and Spark - 1974)
At various times in my life, I have attempted writing. Something inside me tells me that I would be a good writer. And then I write. And then I read what I wrote. Then reality slaps my face. Then I stop writing. The longest stint of writing came back in the early 80s. I got an idea and the idea grew in my head and it developed - it could work. The idea came from a line in a book that I used in a letter to somebody and that was the seed. I never got very far into it, but I loved having this story in my mind and watching it develop. The writing coincided with me developing a love of Joni Mitchell music - particularly the Court and Spark album and that ties the two together.

Day 65 (Thu 17 Sep, 2015)

National Remember Your Youth Day

What is your karaoke song of choice?

A song memory
You Are My Sunshine : Bryan Ferry (from Another Time, Another Place - 1974)
This song has strong memories associated to it for me as it was a song that I associate with an old mate, Dave, a friend I made at my first job. He got sick with Hodgkin Lymphoma in 1984 and though he wasn’t working during the treatment, we spent a lot of time together and became very good friends. Having completed his treatment and looking like he’d beaten it, he caught jaundice and within 72 hours was gone. This was my first interaction with death (outside of the family) and it was brutal to see it take someone my age. The evening of the funeral, I was listening to this album and the end of the first side was this song and the record was dirty, so when it finished, it got stuck in a groove and went around and around sounding like a heartbeat and I left it running for a long time and sat there thinking. It was a strange time for me and this version of the song is full of melancholy.

Day 64 (Fri 18 Sep, 2015)

National Say No To Bullying Day

What was your first full-time job?

A song memory
Sweet Caroline : Neil Diamond (from Brother Love’s Travelling Show - 1969)
The first house that I bought was 13 Fleetwood Road in Clarendon Park, Leicester. I remember my first night in the place - the realisation that this was my home - the only people who would ever be in it would be because I invite them in. That was a glorious feeling - a space to call my own. The first evening in my new house, I made a cup of tea and the first song I played was this one and I sat back, supped my cuppa and had a sing. I then remember putting the mug down and thinking, if I don't move that mug, it will be there forever. It was a big moment – I had craved my independence and this felt like I may have achieved it.

Day 63 (Sat 19 Sep, 2015)

National Go Out To Eat Day

If you could have one song played every time you enter a room, what would it be?

A song memory
Mac's Boogie Woogie : Dr John (from Dr. John plays Mac Rebennack - 1981)
Discovering Dr John was the start of the piano journey that has meant that boogie woogie has been with me throughout the years. I read that he had recorded an album with just him and a piano, but it wasn't available in the UK back then and I ordered a copy (via a record shop) that they were going to get from the US. It took 3 months to arrive, but it was worth the wait - I loved it. This is the second track from the album and my favourite. I had a Sony Walkman at the time and used to listen to this while at work - this was at a time when I was training to be a computer programmer (so around 1985) having been a Computer Operator before that. Once a geek, always a geek.

Day 62 (Sun 20 Sep, 2015)

National Change Your Signature Day

Who is the most famous person that you have met?

A song memory
One More Night : Phil Collins (from No Jacket Required - 1985)
Having learned the art of computer programming, I decided to move to a new company to determine whether I was any good or not. The place I chose was quite a small place and the IT department was only seven of us - and a bit of a weird setup - but a good opportunity. Anyway, there was a girl who sat near me who played music all the time and Phil Collins was a favourite of hers. I actually don't mind him - and it wasn't too disturbing having his stuff in the background while I worked - but a bit weird to have to listen to somebody else's music - this is before the beauty of headphones and people listening to their stuff in private. So that is why this is up there - memories of that job as I stepped out on my own to ply my trade.

Day 61 (Mon 21 Sep, 2015)

National Double Portion Day

If you could own any building, which would it be?

A song memory
Meet me where they play the blues : Mary Coughlan (from Tired & Emotional - 1985)
I had been down to North Devon to stay with my mate Rocky and one day whilst I was out on a long solo walk, I saw somebody riding a horse along the beach. I thought how nice it looked and how I'd like to do that - and then I remembered that I didn't know how to ride a horse. When I got back to Leicester, I joined a horse riding place. For a year, I went twice a week; one session to go out on rides and one session to ride inside and go over the jumps. I loved it. The drive out to the stables took a while and I would listen to music of course - it coincided with me having discovered Mary Coughlan and I would listen to her all the time - I have seen her a few times over the years (twice over here) and I adore her. This song reminds me of my horse riding days.

Day 60 (Tue 22 Sep, 2015)

National No Acronyms Day

What is the first music that you bought?

A song memory
Stranger on the Shore : Aker Bilk (1961 - single)
My dad was having a clear out one day and gave me a camera that he didn't need any more - it was a proper camera with different lenses and stuff and not something I knew how to use. But it was cool to have and I started seeing things differently - with the thought of how they'd look on film. I had a few months where I took loads of photos and some that I really liked - I felt that I had a knack for it. For some reason, I suddenly stopped and have never bothered again - weird. I remember having the camera in North Devon and was headed down to the beach to take photos - on the radio came this song and I hadn't heard for ages and it seemed quite apt that it escorted me to the shore. And listening now, it is a beautiful melody.

Day 59 (Wed 23 Sep, 2015)

National Test Your Brain Day

How well do you read the intentions of others?

A song memory
After The Goldrush : Neil Young (from After The Gold Rush - 1970)
In 1988, the company I was working for was bought out by another. All our systems were going and we were to adopt the new companies systems. Therefore, our IT department was to be phased out, but they asked me to stay on to support our existing systems during the 6 month handover period and then join the new company. So for six months, I had nothing to do other than fix any issues - there were no issues. I spent most of my time going to a cafe and drinking hot chocolate and reading Raymond Chandler books. At the end of the six months, I decided not to join the new company, but they gave me a bonus for staying around to help the transition. During all that spare time, I listened to lots of music, but the memories I have are around Neil Young and this track features strongly.

Day 58 (Thu 24 Sep, 2015)

National Buy Nothing Day

Who is funny?

A song memory
Call Me Up In Dreamland : Van Morrison (from His Band and The Street Choir – 1970)
I started work at a company in 1988 and the same week that I started, I went to see Van Morrison for the first (and last) time. I was a huge fan and it was a thrill to be there. Unfortunately, Van didn't seem so thrilled - he was drunk and was bitching about this and that. Other than having to endure that, he performed crap versions of my favourite songs of his. Luckily, it didn't take too long before I could listen and enjoy his music again and not think about the man himself. So listening to him reminds me of the move into a new phase of my life and new friends and colleagues that soon became big in my world.

Day 57 (Fri 25 Sep, 2015)

National Have Some Booze Day

Would you be willing to commit perjury for a close friend? For example, might you testify that they were driving carefully when they hit a pedestrian, even though had been on the phone.

A song memory
The Rose : Bette Midler (1979 - The Rose)
In 1989 I bought a real grown up house - in a great area - a 3 bedroom detached house with gardens front and back, a garage, car port and a conservatory. Yes - me - I bought that. It was lovely and I was thrilled. I remember moving in and discovering that all my stuff fitted out of sight and I still had lots of space. It was incredible to me - I don't know why, but it was. Anyway, that first night in my house, I turned the fire on, made a cup of tea and watched TV. The film The Rose was on TV and I can still remember putting my feet up and sighing contentedly as this song played and I looked around me thinking how good everything was.

Day 56 (Sat 26 Sep, 2015)

National Name Your Genitalia Day

If you could script the basic plot for the dream you will have tonight, what would the story be?

A song memory
The Weight : The Band / The Staple Singers (1978 - The Last Waltz)
In 1990, the 14th Football World Cup was held in Italy. England drew their games against Northern Ireland and the Netherlands and then beat Egypt, Belgium and Cameroon before losing on penalties to West Germany who won the competition - leaving England in 4th place. During the competition, a lot of games were watched by me and my mates at my house. There were some exciting games and close finishes and there was plenty of hollering and whooping - it was a great time. Around the same time, I had bought the 3 album set of The Last Waltz (the final show/concert by The Band) and was listening to it a lot. This song is one of my favourites from the concert - other than a great song, it features the wonderful Staple Singers and reminds me of a room full of happy football viewers.

Day 55 (Sun 27 Sep, 2015)

National Give To The Needy Day

If you could read the private diary of somebody, whose would you read?

A song memory
Down In The Valley : Otis Redding (from Otis Blue - 1965)
In 1990, I had been working at the same place for a while - a rewarding job and some great people. I also achieved quite a bit in terms of what I learned there - skills that set me up for a lot that followed. The drive to work was a fair one - 25 miles (40km) each way and cross country. Having said that, the countryside between home and work was beautiful and so many different routes could be taken - a lovely start and end to the working day. I also enjoyed socialising with friends closer to work, so I got to experience whole new worlds - lovely times. With so much driving going on, other than listening to talking books, I listened to lots of music and my travelling music of that time was soul - and this song stands out in my mind from those times.

Day 54 (Mon 28 Sep, 2015)

National Cupcake Day

Which fictional character do you associate with?

A song memory
Little Wing : Stevie Ray Vaughan (from The Sky Is Crying - 1991)
In November of 1991, I left my job and home town for a role in the US - Madison in Wisconsin was my new home. It was a big move but I had the yearning of adventure when the opportunity came along. As it turned out, the job fell over soon after I arrived and having failed to land another job, I ended up back in the UK in March 1992. Regardless of the end, it was a fun time and I really enjoyed the experience - totally out of my comfort zone, but something that I handled easily. A lot of the socialising there was in bars - not my ideal venue, but that is how it was. And the music that played most was Stevie Ray Vaughan. I hadn't known much of his stuff until those few months and he is associated strongly to those cold, cold days in the US – and a glorious white Christmas.

Day 53 (Tue 29 Sep, 2015)

National Play Games Day

What was the first live music event that you went to?

A song memory
When The Going Gets Tough : Billy Ocean (from Love Zone - 1986)
Having returned from my failed job in the US, I needed money quickly and started contracting. My first contract was up in Leeds, a city that I didn't know but settled into very easily. There were three mates already on the project when I arrived, so my transition was easy and I shared a flat with one of them. Local to the flat was a pub that had a pub quiz each Monday night and me and my flat-mate would go along, join in and play pool and have fun. The guy running the quiz was a Billy Ocean fan (as was I) and he played lots of Billy throughout each Monday night leaving me associating Billy to that pub in Headingly.

Day 52 (Wed 30 Sep, 2015)

National Eat Fruit Day

What question would you least like to be asked?

A song memory
Angie : The Rolling Stones (from Goats Head Soup - 1973)
My first contract in Leeds was not brilliant, but the people were nice. We played football once a week and there were some good people to hang out with after work. There were also three guys who played the guitar and at lunchtimes, they would go into a room and jam - I used to go along and listen and they were all pretty competent. One of them used to drift into playing this song - it was his default song and he did a great version and when I hear the Rolling Stones, I am often drawn back to those days - a new way of life in a new city.

Day 51 (Thu 01 Oct, 2015)

National Static Electricity Day

If your closest friend was dying and in terrible pain, could you help them on their way?

A song memory
When It All Comes Down - B. B. King & The Crusaders (from Midnight Believer - 1978)
When I worked in Corby, I became mates with a French chap called Dominique - a very funny man with a drive towards all sorts of adventures. When I worked in Leeds, he was on the same project and we ended up sharing a flat - which was an experience. His tastes for adventures meant that some mornings as I was heading out to work, he was just getting home - he sometimes told me what he'd been up to - I don't know how he survived. He was a top bloke and after I moved here, he and his then wife and kids moved to Sydney, so I caught up with him a couple of times - I don't know what became of him. Anyway, whilst at the flat, I used to play a lot of B B King - he was the first blues hero I had and he released two albums with The Crusaders - a top jazz outfit - I love the two albums - but it is listening to B B that takes me back and reminds me of those days.

Day 50 (Fri 02 Oct, 2015)

National Nut Day

If you could have an extraordinary talent in one of the arts, which would you choose?

A song memory
Nothing Compares 2 You : Sinead O'Connor (from Do Not Want What I Haven't Got - 1989)
At Christmas in 1992, I went back to an old place of work for their Christmas function - it was great to catch up with some old friends. Whilst there, I got talking to Charlotte and through a clever bit of trickery, we ended up meeting up a couple of weeks later and it was a great evening of learning about an amazing person and sharing tales. Whilst sitting in a pub chatting, this song came on and the song takes me back to that lovely evening of discovery of somebody who was a friend for quite a while - I still think back fondly.

Day 49 (Sat 03 Oct, 2015)

National Listen To Music Day

Which was your favourite family outing?

A song memory
Even The Night : Martin Stephenson (from Gladsome Humour & Blue - 1988)
During my two years in Leeds, I really came to like the place - it had lots to offer and though I never got to know too many people, those that I did hang out with were a fine bunch. And the best of all was my cousin Juliet who moved there from Hull and we got to spend quite a lot of time together and would go out for dinner and go to see bands - it was great to develop that friendship. One of the acts that we saw a bit was Martin Stephenson and though I've seen him many times, including in Melbourne, he still links me back to those times with Juliet.

Day 48 (Sun 04 Oct, 2015)

National Appreciate Art Day

When you were young, who was your role model?

A song memory
Safe In My Garden : The Papas & The Mamas (from The Papas & The Mamas - 1968)
Whilst living in Leeds and hanging out with my cousin Juliet, our grandfather died. He had been ill for a while and it wasn't a surprise, but it was my first time of dealing with somebody who was losing their mind. It was an unpleasant experience as many other people can attest to. It threw me a bit to not be recognised or to be addressed as though I was his son, David. As I was living away from Leicester, I didn't get too much exposure to it, though when around, I would take my Grandmother there on occasions. I remember driving back to Leicester for the funeral and listening to The Mamas and the Papas as I did so.

Day 47 (Mon 05 Oct, 2015)

National Have a Dance Day

Do you think that the world will be a better or a worse place 100 years from now?

A song memory
Me and Bobby McGee : Janis Joplin (from Pearl - 1970)
After two years in Leeds, I decided that a new adventure was required and I landed a contract with IBM in Bristol. Having spent a year there, I can say that I love the City - it is gorgeous - so much character. The people that worked on the project were good fun and it was mainly people from out of town, so there was a great appetite to socialise. It was an exciting time and very entertaining - some very funny people around the place. Whilst there, I drifted back into 60s and 70s music and this song became (and still is) a favourite and takes me back to a damn fine year.

Day 46 (Tue 06 Oct, 2015)

National Book a Massage Day

Which musical act have you owned the most different pieces of music by?

A song memory
Columbus : Mary Black (from No Frontiers - 1989)
Whilst in Bristol, I lodged with a girl called Vivienne in a gorgeous place in Clifton Village. One evening, whilst out playing football, I broke my leg and ended up in hospital for a few days after having had an operation to have a pin inserted down the middle of the bone and into my ankle - yuk. Anyway, I was in plaster for almost three months and therefore stayed in Bristol all that time as I didn't get around as much as I had before. Whenever I was in, Viv seemed to be playing Mary Black albums - I do like Mary's voice and her type of folk music - it is very calming. So Mary reminds me of those days in plaster and slowly wandering around Bristol chatting to folk.

Day 45 (Wed 07 Oct, 2015)

National Chocolate Day

If you could discover one item from history, what would it be?

A song memory
Brain Damage : Pink Floyd (from Dark Side of The Moon - 1973)
Following on from my time in Bristol, the whole project moved to an IBM site in Hursley, near Winchester. It is a gorgeous part of the world and I shared a gorgeous house with Alison and Tony, in a beautiful part of Winchester - a five minute walk from the Cathedral. Every Tuesday night, eight of us got together at this house for guitar night. Some talented players and a large variety of tunes - they were great nights. My mate Jezz taught me how to play this song (it is simple) and I used to enjoy playing it. Most of the time, I just sat back and listened to the others. Large and enjoyable memories from a great time and a great place.

Day 44 (Thu 08 Oct, 2015)

National Stroke a Cat Day

If you could spend 24 hours with one person, who would it be?

A song memory
For Whom The Bell Tolls : The Bee Gees (from Size Isn't Everything - 1993)
Whilst in Winchester, I was in a relationship with Fathima - a South African girl working on the same project. I enjoyed her company a lot - even if she was a bit of a nutter - great company and very funny. When she first joined the project, she was living in Southampton, so I got to spend a bit of time there which was nice, but it was better when she joined the Winchester party. Though our time together was good, it was never going to last - we saw things differently and we went our separate ways when I left the project. We had a great Christmas together in Winchester – lots of eating, chatting, laughter and music. This song takes me back to that Christmas with Fathima and Winchester.

Day 43 (Fri 09 Oct, 2015)

National Magic Day

Is there a lesson in everything that happens?

A song memory
Naima : Angelique Kidjo (from Fifa - 1986)
I remember when I first heard Angelique – I was wandering around a record store in Southampton and they were playing her over the sound system - and they were playing her loud - it was brilliant – such a great energy. I bought her album Fifa, just before I was moving to Cardiff for a job. In Cardiff, I lived on Penarth Marina and used to sit out looking at the boats with a background sound of the ropes slapping against the masts – a lovely sound. During those months I would have the album playing over and over and I listened to it in the car all the time – the album was a huge part of those months in gorgeous Cardiff – I really loved those times. Whenever I hear this album, memories of those carefree times smile back at me. Plus there is so much energy within the album that it lifts me every time – though this is the quietest song from the album – but it’s gorgeous and goes with the whole Welsh experience.

Day 42 (Sat 10 Oct, 2015)

National Sing Your Favourite Songs Day

What do you consider the best quality a person should have?

A song memory
I'll Take You There : The Staple Singers (from Be Altitude: Respect Yourself - 1972)
In 1996 I moved to Oxford - a lovely city with some great buildings and lots of history. Despite all its loveliness, it's been the only city I've lived in where I've struggled to build much of a life or make any lasting friendships. I had a good time, but nothing stands out other than cycling a lot, eating well and going to the gym. With not much going on, I'd have music on at home as I did this and that and this song is one that features from the time. I've always enjoyed gospel music and this track is both soul and gospel and it reminds me of those quieter times.

Day 41 (Sun 11 Oct, 2015)

National Appreciate an Author Day

If you could experience any event in history, which would you like to experience?

A song memory
Tacoma Trailer : Leonard Cohen (from The Future - 1992)
In 1997 I came to Australia for a holiday with my first stop being Sydney to see my cousin Vicky. What a great place Sydney is - beautiful with so many sights to visit - loved it - though after an afternoon at Bondi, I received the worst sunburn I have ever had. Next, I went to Melbourne to visit friends that I had worked with in Winchester and I really loved the place instantly. It was a big holiday and there was a lot of music that I listened to on planes and sitting in airports. The main artist I was listening to was Leonard Cohen and this song works for me whatever my mood - when it comes on, my mind slows down and ponders. I feel very connected to it and it complemented my enjoyment of my first time in Melbourne.

Day 40 (Mon 12 Oct, 2015)

National Have a Cuppa Day

Do you feel you have much impact on the lives of people you come in contact with?

A song memory
Champagne Supernova : Oasis (from What’s The Story, Morning Glory? - 1995)
In 1997, I went to a villa in France with Leander (girlfriend of the time - it was her sister's villa) and 3 other friends. It was a lovely place - up in the hills overlooking a valley and the weather was gorgeous and there was a pool to enjoy and a short walk to the village. One of the guys there was playing Oasis all the time, so this song takes me back there. We were there the day of Princess Di's funeral and that was an odd time - a strange mood took over the place when all that happened and it was a bit more weird watching it from overseas.

Day 39 (Tue 13 Oct, 2015)

National Eat Sweets Day

What is your earliest childhood memory?

A song memory
Angel : Sarah McLachlan (from Surfacing - 1997)
In October 1997, I received a random call from a recruitment company looking for IT people to work in Canberra, Sydney or Melbourne. I looked around me and thought, hmmmm, sounds good to me. I had a phone interview for a role in Melbourne and was offered a six month contract. Over the next three months I was sorting things out and visiting friends and planning the move. Having friends all the way around the UK, I covered a lot of miles and listened to a lot of music. This song was released around that time and featured on the radio a lot and it reminds me of those final days in the UK.

Day 38 (Wed 14 Oct, 2015)

National Pretend To Be a Time Traveller Day

What has been your proudest sporting achievement?

A song memory
Throw Your Arms Around Me : Hunters and Collectors (from Human Frailty - 1986)
The month after I arrived in Australia friends took me to the Hi Fi Bar in the city to see the penultimate show of The Hunters and Collectors – a band that I’d never heard of before – the date was 22nd March, 1998. It was a great gig and a great crowd who pretty much sang every word of every song. Though I’d never heard any of the songs before, a lot of them embedded themselves in me and still live there. It takes me back to the early days of wandering around this great city and the amazement I felt that I actually lived here - I just couldn't believe it.

Day 37 (Thu 15 Oct, 2015)

National Wear a Hat Day

If you had to act in a remake of a movie, which role would you like to take?

A song memory
What a Wonderful World : Eva Cassidy (from Live at The Blues Alley - 1996)
Soon after arriving in Melbourne, at a friend's birthday meal, I met Francine and we ended up going out for about 18 months - and she remains a great friend to this day. It was a fantastic time - I learned Melbourne and its ways from her - we discovered lots of local music together - it was a very social time with lots of friends around - I got to know her lovely family too – and we were out exploring all the time. I remember one day when we were out and we heard Eva Cassidy for the first time and this song reminds of her, those early days and our adventures together.

Day 36 (Fri 16 Oct, 2015)

National Photograph a Stranger Day

If you could go to see any musical act today, who would you want to see?

A song memory
Crying (like you are) : The Bluehouse (from Big - 1999)
In my early days in Melbourne, I was often at a venue called The Continental – a place that I still miss. I saw some favourite acts there as well as seeing new acts that went on to become favourites. It also provided some one-off special nights where music collaborations would occur. I remember the night that I first saw The Bluehouse and it was a delight. Three girls; Bernie, Jacqui and Sam, all talented musicians and great songwriters. Their performances were, despite the humour and laughter, very professional in terms of the music - they cared about what they did and they played almost exclusively their own material. Since the first hearing of this song, I have loved it and listening now takes me back to the Continental days and the fine times spent there until it's closure in 2001.

Day 35 (Sat 17 Oct, 2015)

National Coffee Day

What has been the greatest view that you have seen?

A song memory
You Will Surely Love Again : Chris Wilson (from Live at the Continental - 1994)
I've always appreciated music and going to live music, but in Melbourne, particularly in my first 3 or 4 years, it became almost an obsession. I was staggered at the amount of music on offer, the number of venues, the number of acts and the quality. Astounding. I quickly gained favourite acts that I'd see quite often and I guess that the first one who grabbed me was Chris Wilson - I saw him many times and each time the musical experience was superb - in the early days with his band the Crown of Thorns. This song is a fine song - it's not his normal style and is nothing like the powerful blues that he puts out there, but that just shows the diversity. This song links me to all the music I discovered in those early days.

Day 34 (Sun 18 Oct, 2015)

National Read To Somebody Day

Do you have a previous partner that you regret it didn't work out with?

A song memory
Follow Your Tears : Eddi Reader (from Angels and Electricity - 1999)
I knew Eddi as the singer in Fairground Attraction, but saw her for the first time live and as a solo artist at the Guildford Festival in 1996. I was blown away by that voice of hers. I bought her first CD (Mirmama) and loved the song ‘What You Do With What You've Got’ – I was hooked. The next time I saw her live was in Melbourne where she played for 3 hours - some of the most magical songs and a mesmerising voice - it remains one of my favourite gigs. I have seen her many times now and each time has been special. To pick a favourite song of hers is tough, but whenever she has sung this one, she takes me to another place. My friend Caroline was the owner of a great venue called The Cornish Arms and is also the promoter who works with Eddi Reader when she’s over here. When I hear this song, I think of Eddi, Caroline, the Cornish Arms and some great musical adventures.

Day 33 (Mon 19 Oct, 2015)

National Ask a Question Day

If you had studied harder when at school, do you think that your life would be better now?

A song memory
Jersey Girl : Andy Cowan (from 10:30 Thursday - 2001)
For three years, I was a judge for the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society in their annual Blues Performer of the Year competition, where the winner won an expenses-paid trip to New Orleans to represent Australia in the International Blues Performer competition. In 2002, our winner was Andy Cowan who then came second in the competition in the US, which says something about his talent. Though Andy was a staple of blues scene, he has drifted more and more towards his self-penned ballads and some great covers. This is his cover of the great Tom Waits song, but I enjoy Andy's version more. Hearing it now takes me back to all those gigs back in the day when I was involved with the Blues Society - I met some interesting people as well as some losers, but they were happy days.

Day 32 (Tue 20 Oct, 2015)

National Change Your Name Day

Did you education prepare you well for life or did you learn most of what was required elsewhere?

A song memory
In The Mood : Glenn Miller (single - 1939)
Around 2000, I learned how to build websites and I ended up writing quite a few for different people - I never charged anyone - I just saw it as putting something back into the community - a creative and rewarding hobby. So there were websites for charities, bands, friends and societies. One of my favourites was creating and maintaining Vika and Linda's site for 8 or 9 years - it meant that I got to hang out with them too. But it took a lot of work to maintain so many websites and my own gig guide etc, so I slowly started passing them to others. When working on all the sites, I tended to listen to music with less vocals so that I wouldn't be distracted and at that time, Glenn Miller fitted the bill and he'd be my website backing music a lot of the time.

Day 31 (Wed 21 Oct, 2015)

National Walk Like an Egyptian Day

Which music really gets you up and about and charged?

A song memory
Cannonball : Damien Rice (from O - 2002)
I first heard about Damien from a mate in the UK who was raving about his album O. Always interested in what friends like, I gave it a listen and was blown away by it – a very different type of album and style but one that I connected to and fell into happily. It was an album that I played a lot and still enjoy a listen now. Each track has its own magic and upon needing to choose one, Cannonball felt right. I saw Damien once when he was in Melbourne - a great gig. Anyway, my discovery of this album was at a time when I had three months off between contracts - not a nice experience to see your money disappearing and no sign of more coming in - but I survived and this song reminds me of those times.

Day 30 (Thu 22 Oct, 2015)

National Ignore All Idiots Day

If you could be in the audience for the filming of any TV program (past or present), which would you choose?

A song memory
Lighthouse : The Waifs (from Up All Night - 2003)
In 2002, whilst I was between jobs, I shared a house in South Melbourne with Fiona, Nigel and (now good friend) Trudi – I needed to conserve money so a house-share was a way to do that. During this time, I started listening to The Waifs and loved them more and more with each hearing. Since then, I have seen them quite a few times and each time I do, I walk away thinking how it couldn’t have been any better than that. Sisters Donna and Vicki are great singers who harmonise gorgeously and with Josh’s guitar playing, they make a fantastic sound. And they all write great songs. As they no longer live here, my chances to see them are few and far between, but I grab the opportunities when they come to town. When I hear them, I still transport back to those times in 2002 - the people and places and those relaxing days that passed by in a leisurely manner as I roamed around watching the world – carefree indeed.

Day 29 (Fri 23 Oct, 2015)

National Clean Out Your Fridge Day

Which has been your most enjoyable walk?

A song memory
Fire and Rain : James Taylor (from Sweet Baby James - 1970)
After my short period of unemployment, I found a contract at a small company near to where I lived - perfect. It wasn't a great job but I met some nice people. Once I was earning again, I left South Melbourne and rented an apartment in the city - a great location and it suited me even more when I found a new contract in the city too - close to home again. The move coincided with going to see James Taylor perform and a time when I enjoyed some of the harmless, laid-back pleasantries that he has to offer – not that I don’t like him now. Anyway, memories of city living.

Day 28 (Sat 24 Oct, 2015)

National Appreciate Disco Day

Who has been the most interesting person that you have sat down and had a conversation with?

A song memory
Too Many Hearts : Vika and Linda (from Love Is Mighty Close - 2002)
There are so many great songs to choose from Vika and Linda and though this isn't anything like their best, it has meaning to me. They were planning on doing a country-blues album and I suggested this song - it's a Chris Wilson song from his album The Long Weekend - the album he was promoting when I first saw him. They liked the suggestion and it became a track on that album. At the album launch, the girls thanked me for my support and for suggesting the song - a proud moment. I got a big thank you from Chris too. So this is MY Vika and Linda song and represents my friendship with them.

Day 27 (Sun 25 Oct, 2015)

National Plan a Trip Day

If cosmetic surgery was risk-free, painless and free, what would you have done if you were booked in tomorrow?

A song memory
Born to Lose : Elton John and Leonard Cohen (from Duets - 1993)
When my Grandmother (my mum's mum) died, I was living in Melbourne and my cousin Vicky was living in Sydney. At the same time as the funeral was happening in the UK, I was on the phone to Vicky and we shared that time chatting. I was sitting on the steps of the Shrine as that was where my walk happened to have taken me and it felt good that we were sharing family time whilst the families were doing that back in the UK. As I strolled home after that, I was listening to music and this song came on.

Day 26 (Mon 26 Oct, 2015)

National Teacher Appreciation Day

In terms of singing, who has the best male voice? Female voice?

A song memory
It’s Only a Paper Moon : Ella Fitzgerald (1945)
In 2003, I joined NAB as a contractor on a great project that introduced me to some wonderful people - it was sociable and friendly and we did good work too. I still have close friends who I met on that project. It also coincides with a time when I was having a jazz phase having started to help the International Women's Jazz Festival with their website. Though I am not a great one for jazz, I did drift into a period of listening to a lot more Ella Fitzgerald and this song links that project and jazz together for me. It is a song that would drift into my head repeatedly (and stay a while) and still visits me at unexpected times.

Day 25 (Tue 27 Oct, 2015)

National Remember the Dead Day

Which is your favourite piece of art?

A song memory
Under The Milky Way : Jimmy Little (from Messenger - 1999)
I had been intrigued to understand the circumstances that led to the issues with and for the Indigenous population of this country. It was hard to find the story laid out or clear and people I spoke to hadn't really had much connection to Aboriginals other than seeing some drunk ones on the streets. But I spoke with more and more people and got a picture - though it wasn't pretty. I then got my hands on a DVD called Kanyini where Bob Randall (an Elder from Uluru) explains some things about the Aboriginal culture. I then read Bob's book, Songman and learnt a lot more. I've seen Bob talk a couple of times - he has a good way with words. He also wrote the song ' Brown Brown Skin Baby (They Took Me Away)" which became an anthem for some Aboriginal people. In keeping with the theme, whilst I was studying and reading about indigenous matters, I tended to listen to different Indigenous performers and this album is one of my favourites from that time.

Day 24 (Wed 28 Oct, 2015)

National Buy a Book Day

What are all the different modes of transport that you have experienced?

A song memory
Fast Train : Solomon Burke (from Don’t Give Up On Me - 2002)
In 2004, I got deported. A visa mix up and I had to leave the country, build a defence for a one-time hearing to decide whether I'd be allowed back in or not - there could be no appeal. An awful time with my future out of my control and a seven week period of waiting in England until a verdict was reached. Meanwhile, my apartment and my possessions sat dormant and my job was on hold while I waited. Whilst sitting it out in the UK, it was grand catching up with friends and family, but my heart wasn't in it - I was out of sorts. And I looked in my diary each day and saw what I was supposed to be doing in Australia yet these things were happening without me. And some of those things were gigs. There was one in particular that I had waited a long time for - about the best voice out there was Solomon Burke and he was going to be in Melbourne and I had a ticket. As my future was being decided, time ticked on and the gig got closer and closer. And then it happened without me. So I never got to see him live, which is a big shame. When I hear his stuff I think back to those strange times.

Day 23 (Thu 29 Oct, 2015)

National Give a Gift Day

What is the best gift you have ever received?

A song memory
It'll Be Me : Jools Holland and Tom Jones (from Tom Jones & Jools Holland - 2004)
At the end of 2004, I started a new contract working for my now great mate, Jo - the role wasn't a stretch and I enjoyed it - a lot of laughter and some entertaining folk - some entertaining because they were odd too. This track is from an album that I love and I listened to it a fair bit at this time. Anything by Jools Holland is a good thing, but this one was with Tom's voice. I have seen Jools a few times in the UK and twice over here - if I could be any musician, it would be him. And this track has great piano rhythm and speed. Things had felt different since my deportation ordeal but it was this time with Jo where I started to feel secure again – this song takes me back there.

Day 22 (Fri 30 Oct, 2015)

National New Adventures Day

If you were fitter, what additional things would you be doing?

A song memory
The Twist : The Fat Boys and Chubby Checker (from Best of The Fat Boys - 1988)
I took my first permanent role in Australia with a small company a fair way out from the city. The money wasn't great, but the company said that they'd support my application for Permanent Residency and after my previous issues, I decided that I needed to ensure that I would only be leaving these shores for my own reasons. The job turned out to be a dud - a difficult time with some weird folk - not a friendly bunch on the whole, but I made a good friend, so it wasn't a loss. It was a train and bus ride to get there and a struggle to remain upbeat. To help, I used to listen to fun music on the way to the office each day. This track is one of the songs that regularly kept my head up and reminds me of the journey and the job itself.

Day 21 (Sat 31 Oct, 2015)

National Wink at People Day

Which was your best year and why?

A song memory
When the Saints Go Marching In: Dutch Swing College Band (1960)
In 2005, on my mother's birthday, my father died. It was all a bit sudden and awful. The delay in me getting my stuff together and getting back to the UK meant that I missed the funeral by a few hours. I suppose that I was there for the living and didn't need a funeral to go through the experience myself. Living over here, there are no family memories or reminders - all of those are in the UK - so things happen in one or the other of my worlds. It was a strange time to be with the family and then just get on a plane and leave it all behind again and return home. When I was growing up, one of the records I remember my dad playing was this one - I can even remember the album cover. When I was flying over to the UK and thinking about things, this was one of the memories that came to mind.

Day 20 (Sun 01 Nov, 2015)

National Look People In The Eye Day

Which is your speciality dish - the special one that you make?

A song memory
King of The Mountain: Kate Bush (from Aerial - 2005)
At the end of 2005, I received confirmation that my Permanent Residency had been granted, so by mutual consent, I left the job that had supported me so admirably - they were true to their word about the residency and I will be forever grateful for what they did for me. It did feel good the day I left that job knowing that I would never return. Further to that, I walked straight into a new contract - it was a new beginning. And on top of that, my beloved Kate Bush released her first album in twelve years and I loved it. Whenever I hear the album I am taken back to those days and the realisation around how quickly things can change in life.

Day 19 (Mon 02 Nov, 2015)

National Swap Ideas Day

Which has been your favourite holiday?

A song memory
Across The Universe : Eddi Reader and Liam O'Maonlai (RocKwiz - 2006)
I have been to the recording of many episodes of RocKwiz - and each one has been special - other than Julia, Brian and the humour of the show, it is the music that dominates. Two established musical acts, each perform a solo song and at the end, they perform a duet - probably the only time that they sing that song together - so that makes it special. There have been some great acts that I've seen, a lot of local and some international visitors - it's been great to have the opportunity and to have been able to share the recordings. One of my favourite duets was this one and it was on a show that I missed the recording of but it captures the magic that the show allows. When two talented people who really feel music get together, they’ll always be something special to come out and that is what we get here. A great moment captured and it encapsulates the magic that RocKwiz creates and the pleasure it gives as well as the recordings that I have been to with various friends.

Day 18 (Tue 03 Nov, 2015)

National Flirting Day

How would your best friend describe you?

A song memory
Crying : k d lang (from Live By Request - 2001)
In 2006, I took myself off to Fraser Island because that is where you can sometimes get to see the migrating humpback whales preparing for their long haul. They are up in that area where they give birth and they train their young before heading off. There is no guarantee that you'll get to see them, but that wasn't going to deter me. Fraser Island was gorgeous anyway, so it was worth the trip to stay there. And heading out on the boats was exciting and then the number of whales I got to see - wow! And they came so close too. The whole experience was just incredible. When I was flying up to the Island, I was listening to k d lang having recently seen her - and this reminds me of the expectation and the subsequent pleasure.

Day 17 (Wed 04 Nov, 2015)

National Learn a New Skill Day

Is there a missing item from your past that you'd love to have back?

A song memory
Makin' Believe : Tiddas (from Show Us Ya Tiddas - 1999)
Upon arriving in Melbourne in 1998, I stayed in Clifton Hill and the local pub had live music – Wednesday nights having the best variety. Once night I saw Sally Dastey perform and loved what she did, the power of her voice and her playful manner. I found out that she was in a band called Tiddas and went to see them – three talented performers, Sally, Amy Saunders and Lou Bennett performing wonderful songs made magical by their harmonies - oh my, such harmonies. I used to see them quite a bit including their final gig together at the Corner Hotel. When I hear them, it takes me back to those lovely times. I choose this song as I love the harmonies and I was at the gig that it was recorded from (at the Continental). I subsequently helped Sally with a website, so got to chat with her a bit - that makes the link and memories a bit stronger.

Day 16 (Thu 05 Nov, 2015)

National Book a Medical Day

Which lesson from your parents do you consider to have worked out to be their best?

A song memory
Michael Franti and Katie Noonan : What's Goin' On? (from New Music Live From The Panel - 2004)
In 2007, I learned how to ride a motor bike - something I should have done a long time ago. Upon passing my test, I decided to get a scooter as I can't be bothered to keep changing gears, so I bought myself a brand new scooter and hit the streets of Melbourne. Nine days after the purchase, I had an accident and wrote the bike off. Considering that the bike didn't survive, I came out of it well - a bit of a limp for a week and some grazing. A month later, I could be seen nipping around the streets on my new scooter and I've stayed upright ever since. The day of the accident was a beautiful summers day and I was riding along, singing this song to myself, thinking how good it was to be on a scooter.

Day 15 (Fri 06 Nov, 2015)

National Walk Further Day

Which is the piece of advice that you have given that has turned out to be the most important?

A song memory
Maybe There's a World : Yusuf Islam (from An Other Cup - 2006)
On the 13th March 2008, I attended my Citizenship Ceremony. I was finally a citizen of the place that I had called home for ten years. I didn't invite anyone along because I didn't want to be distracted - I wanted to listen to what they said and I also wanted to know what it would feel like. I had worked really hard to get my residency, but you get citizenship almost by default, so I think that is why it didn't move me too much. Plus, I had dual nationality, so I hadn't given anything up to get it. But it felt good to finally get it. On my way to Richmond Town Hall for the ceremony, I was listening to this song – I loved having Cat Stevens back with new stuff – even though he was now Yusuf, the music was from the same source and tone.

Day 14 (Sat 07 Nov, 2015)

National Look Through Old Photos Day

How would you feel without having your phone for 3 days?

A song memory
Amazing Grace : Soweto Gospel Choir (from Voices From Heaven - 2005)
I have seen the Soweto Gospel Choir 3 times, twice in Melbourne and once in London. I like choirs and harmonies – the SGC have their own energy - they are very colourful and very energetic, but when it’s required, they can be very soulful. I really like the song Amazing Grace and their eight minute version is superb. Other than liking them and liking the song, when Chick Ratten died, this version was played repeatedly as people entered the Fitzroy Town Hall for the wake. Chick was the owner of The Rainbow Hotel – a place that provided me with many nights of great live music – a hell of a lot of blues music in there too. On top of that, Chick was a very entertaining man and somebody I enjoyed the company of. I did the website for the venue before passing that on to my mate Georgie, who ended up working there and became a great friend of Chicks. The funeral parade was led by a jazz band followed by a horse-drawn carriage with the coffin in it and behind that was around 200 people as we weaved through the side streets of Fitzroy, passing the pub and on to the Town Hall. The service contained some speeches and live music and it was a different day for sure. This song reminds me of the rainbow years and the friends I made and the sounds I heard.

Day 13 (Sun 08 Nov, 2015)

National Buy Yourself a Treat Day

Which three living people would be your perfect dinner guests?

A song memory
Took The Children Away : Archie Roach (from Charcoal Lane - 1990)
I have been to see Archie many times and his shows can be quite diverse depending on what he shares – some very personal stories and interesting topics. Having been a stolen child and spending time on the streets and drinking, his life hasn't been easy, but he has risen from that to tell his story. He is an incredible story teller who writes songs with great melody and depth. He has the gift of not needing too many words because he knows the right ones to use. I remember being at the Aborigines Advancement League in Thornbury on February 13th 2008, listening to Kevin Rudd made the Sorry speech. From there, I headed to Federation Square where there was a music celebration and Archie was performing. He sang this moving and beautiful song and when it finished, people clapped and just kept on clapping and people stood and clapped and Archie just sagged in his seat in tears and his wife Ruby hugged him - he had been telling the story for so long and at that moment it was the realisation that it was acknowledged. It was a magical moment and the song takes me back there.

Day 12 (Mon 09 Nov, 2015)

National Take a Walk Day

Granted five wishes, what would they be?

A song memory
My Own Eyes : Mavis Staples (from We’ll Never Turn Back - 2007)
In 2009, I moved over to St Kilda - an area with all sorts of lights and shades - some interesting folk and some unpleasant folks are part of the fabric. But it's a great location where I live and I can get to most places easily and I overlook Albert Park which I adore. From the roof of the apartment block, the views are stunning and I see all of this side of Melbourne from the City down past Brighton. And that also means that I am looking down on the Grand Prix when it comes to town. Upon moving in to my apartment, when having my first cup of tea, the first CD I put on was the one that has this song on. I adore Mavis's voice and she uses it wonderfully. I think I chose this because the previous time that I had seen Mavis live was at a venue (The Prince of Wales) just down the road from where I live and she sang this song.

Day 11 (Tue 10 Nov, 2015)

National Encouragement Day

If 100 people your age were chosen at random, how many do you think you'd find leading a more satisfactory life than yours?

A song memory
Rock Me : Jools Holland and The Blind Boys of Alabama (from More Friends - Small World - 2003)
For my 50th birthday, Carolyn and I headed off to New York - the first visit for both of us. It was the perfect City to celebrate and the night before my birthday, I had tickets for us to see Aretha Franklin at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem - I was beside myself until it got cancelled because she was ill - so close to a dream. But New York is a fantastic place and we covered a lot of ground - it was all excellent and exciting. When I'm up and about, the music that compliments the mood is usually Jools Holland and I listened to him on the way there and back. I'm not sure why this song is the one that reminds me of the trip - possibly it is the gospel tones and we went to a Gospel Church in Harlem and that was part of the experience. But I do like this song and New York is where it takes me back to.

Day 10 (Wed 11 Nov, 2015)

National Trust Your Instincts Day

If you were guaranteed honest responses to any three questions, who would you question and what would you ask?

A song memory
Flip Flop Fly : Dutch Tilders and the Blues Band (from Live at St Andrews - 2001)
In 2011, Dutch Tilders passed on - I had been supporting him and his manager for the previous five years - I created and maintained his website and helped promote his shows. He was an interesting chap - a great blues performer and a good wit. Admittedly his shows didn't vary much from one to the other, but he was the godfather of Melbourne blues and the inspiration to many. The wake was an interesting affair - some music, some speeches - a mood of sadness and also celebration - and so many old rockers in one room - it was all a bit weird. Dutch and his blues band were the centre of the blues world in their day and they reformed for one gig in 2001 - I was at the gig which was recorded - I love his version of this song from that gig - and it features Geoff Achison doing some mighty fine guitar work too.

Day 09 (Thu 12 Nov, 2015)

National Be the Reason Somebody Smiles Today Day

What is your favourite photograph a photograph of?

A song memory
If It Be Your Will : Antony Hegarty (from Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man - 2005)
In 2012, after a visit to the UK it was a quick train ride and then .... hello Paris. What a beautiful city it is. We stayed near Notre Dame, which was a great point to investigate from. Other than the architecture and the tourist sites, it is a stunning city just to wander around and sit in cafes and watch the comings and goings. It was relaxing and busy at the same time. So many photo opportunities and so much lovely food. I will definitely return one day for another wander. And it was another holiday with a Leonard Cohen backtrack – Antony’s version of this song has great feel - and suited my mood as I sat in cafe's drinking café au lait and soaking up the place and the people.

Day 08 (Fri 13 Nov, 2015)

National Be Impulsive Day

Can you think of someone who, over a short period of time, significantly influenced your life?

A song memory
Leaps and Bounds : Paul Kelly (from Gossip / Under The Sun - 1987)
In February 2013, it was my 15 year anniversary of moving to Melbourne. In some ways it feels so much more - almost like all that I have done has been here - but that makes sense - 15 years is a long time. All my current experiences are here as are my friends - obviously I have friends in the UK, but they are there - they aren't part of my day-to-day life. I know this town well and I take myself around with ease and enjoy so much of it. I enjoy the cafe culture, the number of places to meet, the amount of culture on offer, the sport, the people and the music. On that anniversary, I sat in a cafe and listed out favourite things that I love in Melbourne - whilst doing that, this song was playing and it is a great symbol of Melbourne life and an apt song to have been on.

Day 07 (Sat 14 Nov, 2015)

National Listen Without Giving An Opinion Day

If you were to be forgiven for one thing you have done, what would you like to be forgiven for?

A song memory
Lose Yourself to Dance : Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams (from Random Access Memories - 2013)
Another great holiday was had in 2013. It was to the US and included time in Santa Monica (an ok start), Las Vegas (well worth the visit), Basalt (to see friends), New York (because it's there) and San Francisco (unfinished business). When in Vegas, I got to experience a helicopter ride down into the Grand Canyon for a picnic as well as a visit to Caesars Palace to see Elton John. Basalt is in Colorado near Aspen and having a cabin next to a river whilst it snowed was a bit magical and gorgeous. New York and San Francisco are just great places to visit. So a top holiday and whilst flying between places, I had a playlist of favourite songs of which this one seemed to play most - and I dance inside - which is the best way for me to dance.

Day 06 (Sun 15 Nov, 2015)

National Share a Secret Day

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one ability or quality, what would it be?

A song memory
Show Me The Place : The Webb Sisters (from When Will You Come Home? - 2013)
In 2014, I was back in the UK for my nephew Dan's wedding to Aimee - on the beach in Bournemouth - a very nice affair and the weather was kind - it was a lovely day. After the few days in the UK, it was off for my first visit to Barcelona. There are plenty of things to love about Barcelona - I particularly fell in love with the Gothic Quarter - loads of laneways - shops appearing and disappearing based on the time of day. A great atmouspheric experience. As is often the way, when I am travelling and waiting at airports, I pick the music that suits my mood - on that trip, I was relaxed and therefore my choice was the music of Leonard Cohen - it usually does the job. This is a Leonard song but performed by his backing singers and it is a beautiful rendition.

Day 05 (Mon 16 Nov, 2015)

National Do Something Nice Day

If you could repair a relationship between you and a former friend, who would it be with?

A song memory
Happy : Pharrell Williams (from Despicable Me 2 - 2013)
I have done a number of projects over the years - mostly for my pleasure, but also for others either to enjoy or participate. They have ranged from a time capsule, coffee, doors, faces, eyes, indigenous, a blog, fines, photos and quotes. The one that seemed to get the most and varied reaction was my 100 days of happiness and I think the reaction came from it being more personal than others - where I shared thoughts and memories. And I think that is what inspired this current project - not to reveal but to share. I chose this song as it was the backing track to my 100 Days project and also reflects how I am most of the time.

Day 04 (Tue 17 Nov, 2015)

National Relaxation Day

You are given a chance to return to any previous point in your life and change a decision you made, but you will lose everything that has happened to you since then. Is there a time you would return to?

A song memory
Thorn In My Heart : Kim Richey (from Thorn In My Heart - 2013)
Finding myself single again and without any plans or goals, it gave me a chance to assess myself. Where am I at? What do I want to do? Where do I want to go? What I want to achieve? It is good to have a good hard look every now and then and to see whether you are doing things out of habit or because you want to do them. The answers will come. Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of seeing Kim Richey again - a singer from the US who has the sweetest of voices and the gentlest of personalities - her songs and performances are quite emotional and it was great seeing her again - and listening to her stuff certainly rested my mind and allowed it to reflect on all these things.

Day 03 (Wed 18 Nov, 2015)

National Make a Difference Day

Which 5 words could be used to describe you?

A song memory
It has been 118 days since I left my last job - and the pleasure is that I chose to do this. But it is time for a new job and it looks like I've found one - so as this countdown project ends a new chapter is starting. It has been interesting to have this much freedom - to decide on any particular day what I want to do based upon my mood, the weather, the availability of others, what I need, what I want, etc. It is interesting how busy I have been and how easily the days fill themselves. I have read, I have listened to audiobooks, podcasts and lots of music. So what song encompasses this period? Is it the last song that I listened to on my ipod? That would be Harvest Moon by Neil Young as I was at a gig last week where lots of local acts performed songs of his and it made me yearn for the originals. Or do I use the last song I purchased? That would be The Gospel Album by Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu and the last song on that album is a lovely version of Amazing Grace with Paul Kelly - and Geoffrey sings in his own language. But I decided to hit random on my ipod and the first song it played (out of the 22,493 on there) would be the song that would represent this time. And the song that came up was a version of My Way - a duet by Frank Sinatra and Luciano Pavarotti. It is actually not a great version, so I am intervening and the song to represent the pleasure of my relaxing few weeks, is My Way by Frank Sinatra. It fits quite neatly.

Day 02 (Thu 19 Nov, 2015)

National Random Acts of Kindness Day

If you were writing the story of your life, what would this current chapter be called?

A song memory
I'll Be Seeing You : Maria Forde (from Rough Diamond - 2002)
As this project has shown me, a lot of my life can be mapped through music - and what a range of music it has been. I have enjoyed going on this journey - it has transported me back to past events and allowed me to meet old versions of myself. I have wondered about the person I was at each step of the journey - what were my motivations, what drove me, what did I like, what did I have to say, etc etc etc. And as I thought through the songs, I realised that there are certain songs that I find myself singing in my head on and off - songs that have been with me for years - often songs by Gershwin, Porter or Berlin for some reason. They don't belong to a particular event - they just live in my mind and like to pop to the forefront every now and then. This song is one of those and I love this version by a local singer.

Day 01 (Fri 20 Nov, 2015)

National Nostalgia Day

So here it is - today is my 20k birthday - yes, I am 20,000 days old.

That is 1,728,000,000 seconds or 28,800,000 minutes or 480,000 hours or 2,857 weeks + 1 day.

I lived in Leicester for 11,258 days (1608 weeks + 2 days).
I lived in Madison, Wisconsin for 101 days (14 weeks + 3 days).
I lived in Leeds for 697 days (99 weeks + 4 days).
I lived in Bristol for 364 days (52 weeks + 0 days).
I lived in Winchester for 424 days (60 weeks + 4 days).
I lived in Cardiff for 213 days (30 weeks + 3 days).
I lived in Oxford for 443 days (63 weeks + 2 days).
I've lived in Melbourne for 6,500 days (928 weeks + 4 days) - having arrived on 03/02/1998.

I have lived in 23 homes.

I have worked for 36 years (5 full-time jobs and 14 contracts - plus a new contract that is starting soon).

- - - - - - - -

So what? A very reasonable question. The fact that I haven't heard of anyone else celebrating their 20k makes it worth doing. It is a marker that I am using to assess how it's gone thus far.

- - - - - - - -

The world started at some point and it will end at some other point. My part within that timeline is minuscule - but it is 100% of me. This is my life - the one and only. Everything that happened before I turned up is nothing to do with me and my impact won't last much after I'm gone. I have no offspring and therefore my influence is mostly diluted amongst the people I've met and interacted with.

- - - - - - - -

So what matters? Does anything?

I suppose that it is a fundamental question that is considered by all people at one time or another. And what are the various conclusions? Personally, I can see no reasons - it just is.

- - - - - - - -

So without a reason, what do we do?

I assume that we all arrive unprogrammed, so there are no rules. And we don't choose who influences and teaches us when we are growing up - but we are the result of them. So are we actually responsible for what we do or are we just doing what we have learnt? It's hard to say where responsibility actually starts from.

- - - - - - - -

During this project, I have visited the memories of many versions of myself. I find it tough to remember who those people were - their motivations and opinions - but I remember what they did.

I can't determine how long any version of me existed. If I had an opinion and then changed it, does that mean that the old version of me died and a new one was created? Does the 10 year old version of me that once stole sweets from a shop still exist? Is the 20k version of me guilty of that crime? What if the 10 year old version had murdered somebody?

Am I a being that encompasses all that I have done over my time? Or am I deemed to be responsible for only those more recent acts? If you learn a lesson are you guilty of what action you took before you learned the lesson? Is ignorance a defence?

- - - - - - - -

If we arrive, do our stuff, then leave again - why does it matter whether we've lived lives that we consider to have been good? Who are we doing this for? Why do we care what we've done if we are going to be gone and won't have to face any consequences?

- - - - - - - -

We have core values that are formed by our upbringing, surroundings, family, interactions, events, what we see and what we hear. Some things feel right and we adopt them and some things seem wrong and we reject them. The more we are exposed to, the more that is added into the mix. It is then that mix that makes us a unique individual. The conscience that develops becomes the guide that leads us.

The important aspect is not so much what we do, but how we go about things. The attitude that guides us, greatly affects the impact that things have upon us.

- - - - - - - -

I do what I think is right in regards to those around me, but what does that mean? Is that a purpose?

- - - - - - - -

I have enhanced the lives of some and have been a pain to others. I haven't chased praise and though I obviously have an ego, I don't think that it has been too much of a hindrance. I am interested in others and like it when they are interested in me.

I spend time with many people and enjoy where conversations have taken me. I like to ask questions and get to know what drives other people. I enjoy laughter and good times. I go and soak up good music. I enjoy good food in a variety of places. I like to watch the days as they progress. I stroll around. I think about things. I create projects for my entertainment. I also work, as that allows me to do many of things that I enjoy.

I live very much in the now and don’t worry about what may happen – I just face what does happen and I endeavour to do it with an open mind and with honesty.

I have a sense of justice that is often unsatisfied. Less people seem to take responsibility for their actions nowadays and I get frustrated by people who choose to act as victims and I worry for those that actually are.

- - - - - - - -

So 20,000 days of living. So many people encountered and so many experiences. The more people I've met the more I have realised how easy I've had it. And I am proud that I have recognised and appreciated this - I have never taken it for granted.

My conclusion is that there is no purpose and though that can be a negative, it doesn't have to be. I look for adventures. I try and enjoy each day and all that I encounter.

Assessing my 20k days, there are far too many that I have let down by not given them much to do. But as time has gone on, I have got a lot better at giving each day something to think about or some pleasure.

I walk with my head up and my eyes open and I am enjoying myself - I think that will do nicely until a better plan comes along.

Ok - enough of this - I have things to do .......

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