And so it came to pass, Led Zeppelin had been and gone and one of the most eagerly awaited concerts of the millennium, indeed perhaps of all time drew to a close. It will always be a deep regret that I was not there. It was during a film about a weeping camel in the Gobi desert that I started pondering on life’s disappointments. Apparently this mother camel had given birth to fine young colt but would not feed it, indeed it was rejected. However those mystic nomads who herded camels found a musician who played and sang to the camel until it cried then led the young colt to the mother who suckled her young charge with no problems. The connection between the two? hmmm.
While I was compiling a list of all the things I have either missed out on or would have liked to have done but either didn’t or could not I also began a list of things I am rather proud of. I suspect most of us have lists like this. For example who can forget the time each of us managed to tie our own shoe laces with asking for help or actually telling the time from a clock without having to ask some one what time it was? The first time you rode a bicycle without a steadying hand behind you or skated across an ice rink without hanging on to the sides? Perhaps the first time in a new job that you felt everything clicked and fell into place and it all made sense. I was so proud when I received my honours degree at the age of 42 and even more so when I made the last payment on my mortgage, the shackles of debt finally broke. For some it may have been the birth of their first or the arrival of a grandchild.
Ok onto disappointments. Maybe it was the time you realised that your father was not superman and could not fix absolutely everything or the time you realised that your mum was not the best cook in the world. It could possibly have been when you discovered that truth about Santa. Indeed in a long list of disappointments is the reality that I am a rubbish musician and will never be able to play like Jimmy Page. I will never be a martial artist of the calibre of Bruce Lee. I will never meet Marilyn Monroe. Perhaps among the two biggest disappointments are the facts that I never really got to understand and like my father before he passed on and the realisation that I was a national dried baby and not weaned on draught. Some things may seem disappointing at the time but less so with passing of time, in fact some of life’s disappointments turn out to be positive blessings. A pivotal moment for me was New Years Eve 1999; a decision made then has shaped the last few years since and will continue to affect me for the rest of my life. I could go on but I am sure that each of you has your own corresponding list.
It was with this in mind that I compiled a new list, a list of things to do and see before I shuffle off this mortal coil. When time allows I am going to practise music more often. I intend to set foot on each of the six continents (I have four more to go). I intend to meet up with old friends where ever in the world they may be. I may not be able to alter the past but I may be able to charter the course of my own destiny. Now if only my mother had listened to a musician in the Gobi desert…