It is noted that most of my friends and I are working on the ‘coal face’. That seems to mean that are doing ‘real work’ in our communities and no-one in the world of the media has noticed us yet, or shined a light, and no-one, apart from the people nearest to us accolade us with more than golden chutney awards ( for which I am most grateful) or says we are we are ‘the country’s favourite bla bla bla’, or what ever. It is great work. We connect people. We have lots of fun. There are people in my choir who met and got married, became friends, send me photos of them on their holidays together while I am working my butt off making music for them in my little cave in Norf London. Its brilliant! Its badly paid and really hard work.
Then I find trying to get my own music played in the world of the media almost impenetrable. I have been trying hard for decades. Sometimes it feel creatively like being underground in a mine and not being able to get to the surface. Stuck in the pit, covered in soot with no way of getting to the light however hard you try. Just like my Grandfathers.
I have been thinking about the coalface a lot recently, as I am fast approaching the age that both my Grandads died from working down the mine. I joke that emphysema runs in the family. I am sad I never got to meet either of my grandfathers, but it also makes me think about all the things I have been able to do with my life and how I have to carry a light for them. I am very lucky.
Maybe I will continue to work really really hard doing what I do and no-one, apart from my close knit community will see it, and maybe that is actually real life and the shining light of fame is a load of old cobblers. I found this postcard on the internet and love it! So this year ahead I shall be thinking a lot about working on the coalface and how we get back up to the light, and what the light actually is or whether the lantern and the canary are all we need.