The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom - Trying Not To Go Mad In Lockdown

I Never Thought I'd Actually Miss Going To Work...

Of course, I don't actually miss the work, but the job and the people to fill the time with. I've only done a week of Lockdown and it's already grating on my that I can't go anywhere and that social distancing is making any shopping trips I do go on a strange experience. However I know that these things are essential to containing a deadly virus, so by staying at home I am saving lives, which means more to me than going to a pub. I also spare a thought for my best friend that is currently working in a hospital and messaged me the other day that having been on a ward with COVID-19 patients, he said it was quite scary. With constant news updates saying that the lockdown could be extended but various numbers of weeks, it can be a little overwhelming for those of us suffering with mental health issues. We joke that we self isolate normally, but in essence its knowing we can go and see our friends, and being able to go out and sit in the sun, are a few examples of what helps some of us manage it (as well as exercise, music, reading and all the other things). I for one do feel that sense of struggle occasionally, and I feel frustrated that I can't sit out in my favourite fields in the glorious sunshine we've had these past few days. Anyway, the message remains the same, STAY THE FUCK INSIDE. I'm not going to rant, but there is a select amount of the population refusing the Government guidelines and could result in the Lockdown being extended, it is utter selfishness that these people still insist on making unnecessary journeys, etc. Anyway, while I sit in isolation, I've tried to fill my time the best I can, with music, reading and TV (I've also drunk a lot of an insane amount). So, hang in there guys, we can do this, there will be an end to this! 🖤

What I'm Listening To At This Very Moment

During this time I've been trying to really delve into all the black metal bands I follow on Spotify and I really enjoyed this song. Whilst I've been in a rollercoaster creative period, tearing myself limb from limb trying to work out what creative direction the ideas in my head need to go in and how I should go about achieving them, some focus listening has helped consolidate some of them. I think the chaotic nature of black metal (in contrast to my doom metal listening) is keeping my motor engine of a mind in check. Anyway, I thought this was a cool song.

What I've Been Jamming To This Week

Mostly obscure black metal albums from lesser known bands as well as few favourites, which I'm sure will make there way onto The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List tomorrow. The one I most recently listened to was Ómstríð by Icelandic band Vögel. A good mix of atmospheric and brutal sections and is a journey through the bleak snowscape of Iceland. 

What I'm Currently Reading

Whilst we've got all this spare time, I'm gradually making my way through the mountain of books that I am yet to read on my bookshelf. Currently, its works of gothic fiction, while the language is ornate and what some would consider as posh these days, the philosophical concepts behind these novels are deeply fascinating. I'm delving into Mary Shelley's infamous Frankenstein at the moment, but I have previously read Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (one of my personal favourites) and Oscar Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray. These novels are almost like a social commentary that can still be applied today and that is what makes them fascinating for me as they delve into the depths of human thought, looking at our duality and vulnerability. I thoroughly recommend looking back into these old tales, you'll never know what you might discover lurking in your deepest thoughts about yourself.  I think once I've gone through all these, I'll start my study of Norse Mythology and the Sagas again. It's definitely been nice to have a break from my own self study in that area but I can feel it luring me back with a stringer pull each day. 

A Quick Note On Art

One thing that has struck a chord with me over this isolation period is how art is now being thrust,  rightfully so, into the public spotlight. What I mean is, where would we be without art? As we sit in the comfort of our homes being entertained by books, TV, music, and other musings, it begs the question as to why the arts are being allowed to suffer and wain in the public education system? I remember when there was (and I think there still is) a considerable threat to music, with it being scraped completely  from the curriculum in state run schools. It just makes you wonder why there isn't more funding around so that young people can express themselves in a more constructive and beneficial way.

Stay Safe, Keep Rockin'! 🤘

These are trying times as you've heard a thousand times before, but we will get through this! Be mindful of each other and stick to the guidelines and this will be over quicker than we know it. I for one will be getting as much craft beer as I can and chilling to tunes in the sun! Here's a picture of Oskar pitching some riff ideas from a few days ago;


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