Stars can't shine without darkness...

21 Feb 2020
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I saw this quote amongst some funny emails my husband sent me... it made me think about depression, darkness and Moodscope!!

We all have the ability to be stars, yes! Me, even you - yes you hiding at the back!

But for many, we find it hard to shine because of our depression... that deep, dark pit of treacle we find ourselves in daily, from the minute we wake up, if we managed to get any sleep, that is!

But from the responses the blogs receive, you will see how many stars are there, shining quietly in the gloom. They pull us up a fraction, providing us with a liddle lift, reaching out with kind words and holding a hand out or a paw!

There are many amazing peeps on Moodscope who not only contribute by writing or responding to blogs from other peeps, but also in the background: people like Caroline, Adrian, and others behinds the scenes, peeps we never see or hear from.

Thank goodness they are there because they all help whilst asking for nothing in return and keep Moodscope going for everyone's benefit.

There are others - the Moodscope buddies. They are possibly never seen by us... it might be someone in another country, it might be your OH! But they are there, giving a little prod now and then, maybe sending a smiley face, a sad face, a question mark to ask 'How's your day going?' They also receive your score, every time you take the test, so they'll know how your day is going. They'll be there for you.

The darkness for many of us is depression and we need to let ourselves shine. Show the world it's not what defines us; depression isn't me and I am not depression.

Why not drop by, take the test if you feel you can or read and respond to a blog post; ask us for help, tell us what's happening with you... there's bound to be another star here in this community who has just the right thing to say, one who can share a liddle light with you.

So, as the Take That song goes:

'Stop! Being so hard on yourself!

It's not good for your health!

Don't you let your demons pull you down!'

Apologies if that song becomes an earworm all day!

Love and Bear hugs

Bear xx

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

Email us at support@moodscope.com to submit your own blog post!

Comments

Margaret

Feb. 21, 2020, 5:37 a.m.

Good morning again to all Moodscopers still do the test and read the blogs and comments every day, it all helps me that I am not alone with my suffering depression mobility issues loss of a partner but we all have to carry on every single day. Please say hello to me it would be nice. *** to everyone.

Reply

Sally

Feb. 21, 2020, 6:12 a.m.

Hello Margaret. I think I remember you commenting? I’d started replying to your comment even before I read your “please say hello to me “ , how weird is that, and I’m so glad you commented . It’s nice to hear from you. Life, eh?! So sorry for your loss. So hard. Virtual hugs to you this morning. Xx Sally

Molly

Feb. 21, 2020, 6:18 a.m.

Morning Margaret, good to see you back. Hello from me. Life is tough! It’s good moodscope helps you through. Hugs and kisses and I hope you get many more. Keep popping by and joining in. It’s a great support group here. Are you ok? Love Molly xx

Daisy

Feb. 21, 2020, 6:50 a.m.

Good morning Margaret- have a good day

Nicco

Feb. 21, 2020, 7:32 a.m.

Hello Margaret, extending a (virtual) hand & arm of friendship to you - i can empathise re depression & decreasing mobility. We must, as you say, keep going &, for the moment, take a day at a time, sometimes an hour or even a few minutes at a time. Sending a comforting ((hug))) to strengthen you. x Nicco x

Valerie

Feb. 21, 2020, 9:05 a.m.

Morning Margaret.Good to see your name here,do keep in touch.I am so sorry for your loss,big hugs ***

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 9:17 a.m.

Hi Margaret! Waving Bear paws at you this morning and so glad you ventured out to be with us today. So sorry you have lost your partner and hope you gain oodles of virtual hugs from kind Moodscopers. May it ease your pain and calm your mind. Loving Bear hugs xx

Oli

Feb. 21, 2020, 11:09 a.m.

Hi Margaret. I hear you! Loneliness can be a drag. :-) xx

Liz

Feb. 21, 2020, 1:40 p.m.

Hi Margaret and huge hugs from the Highlands for the loss of your partner. You are right, whatever we are doing we have to just go on. It helps to have people around that care. I hope you can feel the love x

Hopeful One

Feb. 21, 2020, 2:13 p.m.

Hi Margaret - sooooo sorry to hear about your trials and tribulations and particularly the loss of your partner. But as you clearly show “Life goes on” All I can do to help you along with my stock in trade - a laugh. I once met a man who had been married for 50 years. "Amazing. 50 years!" I said. "What's the secret to such a long, happy marriage?" "Well," he replied, "It's like this. The man makes all the big decisions... and the woman just makes the little decisions." "Really?" I responded. "Does that really work?" "Oh, yes," he said proudly. "50 years, and so far, not one big decision!"

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 2:40 p.m.

Hi Liz, thank you for reaching out to Margaret. I do hope she is feeling the love and hugs from the top of Scotland down to France and beyond, if there’s anyone from further afield! Bear x

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 2:43 p.m.

Hi HO, thank you for today's laugh...such good medicine! Liked that one and will pass it along! Here are some secrets to a happy marriage: It’s like a pack of cards: You start with two hearts and a diamond....Then later in life you need a club and a spade!!! Bear ***

Hopeful One

Feb. 21, 2020, 6:05 p.m.

Hi Bear- LOL. xoxoxo

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 8:46 p.m.

HO...:)*

Molly

Feb. 21, 2020, 5:58 a.m.

Morning Bear. Thank you for your blog. You are very passionate about Moodscope and that’s very admirable. I’ve not heard the expression before ‘stars can’t shine without darkness’ how very true, I really like that. I don’t think I let depression define me as such, but it’s nice to feel that emerging from all the darkness, there quite possibly is a shining star either waiting for me or already in me. Just a small one will do. The flickering ones are too special. When my dad left us when I was eight and my sister was ten, he told us that if we looked at the flickering star in the sky, it was him looking after us. We sat at the bedroom window staring at the star. There was usually only one I think, that flickered, well that’s what we thought, because that was dad. I get terrible ear worm, and I like Take That, but I have no clue what that song is. This could be good in one respect, depends what ear worm might take its place. Right now, I’m wishing on a star ! Molly xx

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Sally

Feb. 21, 2020, 6:29 a.m.

Nice comment , Molly. I too like the ‘stars can’t shine without darkness ‘ saying, and Take That. Like you, I can’t think which song it’s from, but I’m going to try to try googling it. Xx

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 9:20 a.m.

Shine! It’s from Shine! Well, I think it is!! Oh crikey, maybe I’m wrong!! Ha ha! But thank you for a lovely reply and also the story about your Dad - s bittersweet sadness of two young children losing for their father in the lone twinkling star. :(. Wishing you a good day today, Molly! Bear hugs x

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 9:21 a.m.

Forgive me one and all, have to nip out in Doggit walk as we overslept!!! Ha ha ha fancy me oversleeping!!! A miracle! Bear back later x x x x

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 10:53 a.m.

Wishing on a star...Rose Royce...a lovely ear worm Molly! xx

Molly

Feb. 21, 2020, 6:42 p.m.

Not a bad ear worm to have Bear, only I usually suffer with the most irritating, annoying and unwanted ear worms! xx

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 8:49 p.m.

So how are you this evening Molly...which ear worm stayed with you today?? I keep thinking of both ‘I’m wishing in a star' and take that's Shine!

Molly

Feb. 21, 2020, 10:49 p.m.

Neither of them Bear, or any other, maybe that’s the secret, invite them in and they bog off! One therapist said to be just keep saying thank you and they disappear! Not sure what the world is coming to when you start talking to your ear worms lol xx

Sally

Feb. 21, 2020, 6:26 a.m.

What a wonderful blog to read this morning, Bear. I agree with what you say. I too am passionate about Moodscope and the benefits it gives. Maybe virtual medals are in order to Caroline, etc. Not Oscars, they’re getting way too political, haha! But seriously, WHAT a daily asset! The immeasurable benefit of Jon Cousin’s very sound idea, that he took out into the world to benefit us all. The ramifications are huge. The immeasurable, unseen but definite good of a group of people all fighting a common enemy ( depression) and bonding through helpful tips, words, and personal experiences. Moodscopers we have come to “know” and love, and yes, rely on. I fly the flag for Moodscope because if I cry help, I get a response. I can track my moods and scores and it is evidence to take to the doctor’s. Genius. Bless you all Thank you , Bear, marvellous, thoughtful blog to wake up to. Xx

Reply

Oli

Feb. 21, 2020, 10:15 a.m.

Well said Sally. This simple idea of scoring with cards really connected with me from the moment I used it.

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 10:55 a.m.

I agree totally dearest Sally...Jon Cousins has given us a great tool to help us in a daily battle. I’ve shared it with many, many others and on the Sleepio programme as there are so many Sleepios who are suffering with anxiety over their insomnia and depression. Thank you for a lovely reply, Bear hugs xx

Daisy

Feb. 21, 2020, 6:45 a.m.

Hi Bear you are one of my stars. I love you comments the warmth fun and kindness light up my day. Thank you

Reply

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 10:57 a.m.

How kind Daisy, I was not expecting such a lovely response - everyone needs warmth and light in their day so I am so happy to share any help I can offer, no matter how small. It is sometimes the tiniest thing we say that can open a dirt for someone to step through to the light. Bear hugs xx

Nicco

Feb. 21, 2020, 7:23 a.m.

Thanks,Bear for your blog. I remember reading something similar a few years ago - i think it was, "i shall endure the darkness, for without it there would be no stars". I think i'd like to take a little less darkness just now, i dont mind there being less stars as long as there's a little less datkness. My score's 16% - not my lowest (which was 1% a few years ago) but nontheless i must admit i'm at the stage where i want to go to sleep & not wake up. The M.E. has plummeted, the fibro''s excrutiating - i now have limited use in my left arm - i'm not sleeping - been up all night (but could well drift off soon as i've given in & had a sleeping pill which i hate taking & only do so when nothing else works), the partner of my recently deceased brother is having the flat he left her sold from under her by my brother's kids & her kids & i feel useless as to what to do next to help - i cant take on both families but have done what i can re solicitors, my husband's mother recently died too & his brother wants no contact. And when i cry because i feel at my wits' end my husband just does the usual & gets angry - you'd think i'd learned by now not to fall into the trap of trying to explain to him how i feel when he asks me what's wrong. I think one of Michael Sealey's or Jason Stephenson's guided meditation is in order (a forest walk sounds nice) so i'll put my earphones in & hopefully get some respite from that dratted bl**dy black dog who not only nips at my heels but insists on grabbing me by the ankles & sinking his teeth well & truly in - get back, ya b*gger! (with a well-aimed kick!)

Reply

Sally

Feb. 21, 2020, 8:55 a.m.

So sorry to heat this, Nicco. Hang on in there. This too will pass. At my lowest this winter I scored 21.. .16 ,your score is the pits. I feel for you. Virtual warm embraces. Sallyxx

Oli

Feb. 21, 2020, 10:11 a.m.

Hi Nicco, it's really interesting how emotional and psychological distress can drive physical pain. I've probably talked about how that works before so I won't repeat myself but I hope things get easier soon. xx

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 11 a.m.

Talk away, Oli, Nicco needs the reminders of what to do to help and I know that with fibro fog, it is so easy to forget how to pull ourselves up and out of the mire.

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 11:06 a.m.

Nicco, I am so, so sad that you are now in mental pain regarding your nieces and nephews. How on earth can’t they live with themselves by selling the flat from under their mother/step mother’s feet? Despicable. But of course we don’t know the whole story. If it helps, I have been following the Sleepio programme since November and now get more than double the sleep I used to get. Am up to around 6.5 to 7 hours a night. Not totally uninterrupted but so much better as I am able to turn over and nod off again...hence the oversleeping is this morning!! It has had the wonderful knock-on effect that my hands aren’t as painful in the mornings. If you google Sleepio and see if you are eligible to join and if it says 'no' write them an email giving them a brief outline of your ongoing health problems and see if they will allow you to join the programme. I must warn you and anyone else who tries following it that during the weeks that you follow it, the programme gets really hard...but then it starts to get easier. It’s not a quick fix and it’s for life - a life of better sleep quality...not quantity! Wishing you less painful days and nights, Nicco, love and Bear hugs xx

Nicco

Feb. 21, 2020, 4:46 p.m.

Thanks, Sally, for your virtual warm embraces - so much appreciated just now.

Nicco

Feb. 21, 2020, 4:48 p.m.

Thanks, Yes, please do talk away - as Bear says, brain fog impedes memory which needs a prod now & again.

Oli

Feb. 21, 2020, 5:45 p.m.

Nicco, I'll write a blog. Definitely. And will have it done by next week. I think it's an interesting subject. Might be stuff you know already but who knows. And we're always learning -- I'm going to four courses in this area alone this year, always new material coming along in pain science.

Nicco

Feb. 21, 2020, 6:12 p.m.

Oh, quite easily, Bear - i do know the whole story & they are rogues & charlatans (& that's being polite). My brother's wife left him for someone else around 20yrs ago, leaving him £30k in debt - she'd been squirreling away his hard earned cash into one of her son's bank accounts. He phoned my father in a desperate suicidal state but my father put the phone down on him as they've not spoken for years. He then met his partner who has short-term memory problems due to a massive stroke she suffered during the removal of one of her brain aneurisms - she was on life support & things looked grm, even got to the point where the families met to discuss turning it off. However, miraculously she pulled through but had to have home carers for many months - she was even tagged like a criminal so she wasn't allowed to cross the county line - not even for a funeral - the police went out looking for her when my brother took her to it. That was years ago & he has been with her for about 16 yrs. Now, because he never formally divorced his wife (she refused the papers so they are marked 'undelivered'), everything goes to her because his will has mysteriously (or maybe not - i'll leave that up to you to draw your own conclusions) gone missing, he has apparently died intestate. There is apparently an unsigned electronic will which states my brother wishes the flat to go to his partner until her death or until she is no longer able to live there, upon which the flat then gies to his three children. And therein lies the problem because they are trying to say she has dementia - which a doctor has confirmed she hasn't got - & cant be left alone, which is rot as hou will see later. My brother's (ex)wife has said she will split the proceeds between the six of them rather than give it all to her children. You now get the picture. My brother's partner's children have wrenched her out, put her stuff in storage (so i'm told but anything's possible) & told her she's living with them. (My brother's children have issued physical threats which were witnessed if the flat isnt vacated & have even gone in & opened her mail & bank statements) They're miles from anywhere. They say it's because she cant be left alone (she's alone all day in the house when everyone's out at work & school & all she does is play computer games - she doesnt drive & there's only a bus once a week so she's stuck - they got her there by saying her grandchildren wanted to see her & she is treated like a convenient live-in babysitter - which of course she shouldn't be doing if she has dementia as they - but not a doctor - has stated). She could've stayed on at the flat - even with a little support - but they are saying all sorts of untruths, & it's cruel to take her away from her environment - from the neighbours she knows well, the bus routes she's used to, her well-known doctor, local shops, etc. Bear in mind she nursed my brother for a year at home right up until the morning he died - she wouldn't have been able to do that if she couldnt look after herself. She's a brilliant cook, & housekeeper doing all their own washing, ironing, etc. Her children had contact with me & said they would keep me informed but i've not heard a thing & it is my view that it's because they realised i was on nobody's side but hers, expressing my opinion that she should stay in the flat my brother worked on until almost his last breath for her to have. I told them to fill in a lost will form & contest the probate decision because it can be proved that my brother has been separated from his wife for over 5yrs - but of course they dont want to do that for obvious reasons. My brither would be turning in his grave if he knew but i dont think he'd be surprised as i know how my family works. I'll laugh my socks off if the (ex)wife backs out & decides to give it all only to her three kids & not my brother's partner's kids. My father didnt come to the funeral - said he wasnt interested & is keeping my (late) mother's wishes of no contact (which is odd - but not when you know them - as my mother, when she was alive, said she was keeping my father's wishes of no contact). Then there's all the **** from my husband's family - we were told just a few days before xmas - presumably for maximum impact -that his mother had died back in Nov & we have to contact the solicitor (br-in-law informed us via solicitor). The mother had trapped him into staying with her - she was a controlling narcisist - still controlling us from the grave as she has cards & letters she wrote over the years to my husb & daughter which she wants them to have - she hated the ground i walkd on & never forgave me for taking her little boy away from her & made sure the same wouldnt happen with her other son by convincing him its a great idea for him to buy the mangey council house hole they lived in. I'd honestly scream if i had the energy & if i thought it'd do any good. So sorry about this long rant but i'm in sporadic turmoil as my brother's last words were 'dont lose touch with my sister' & she says i'm all she has left of the man she loved so much. We live many miles away but saw eachother a few times a year. I've stepped back & told myself i've done all i can as i'm not well & all this is having a deteimental effect on my health - no wonder i'm in a relapse. Thank you for the sleep info - i did manage to get around 7hrs in the end which was more than i thought i'd get. I think i have to get back to going to bed at the same time every night, regardless, with camomile tea beforehand & a favourite 'feel good cosy' book, & the meditations, frequent rests during the day, little & often meals for energy, soft music, etc., sedentary things i enjoy (colouring, jigsaws), & some gentle loving self-talk. Not easy when it all has to come from myself with no one to talk to. So appologies for taking up so much space & thanks once again for being able to get this all out. xx

Molly

Feb. 21, 2020, 7:29 p.m.

Oh Nicco, you are really going through it at the moment aren’t you. I think you are wise to take a step back from it all and think about yourself and your health. I know it’s not easy. I really had to have a word with myself about the stress I was putting myself under with a family situation that I had little control over. Your situations sound like a right complicated mess. It will all drive you crazy if you don’t give yourself a break. Sending love, Molly xx

Molly

Feb. 21, 2020, 7:37 p.m.

Oli, I will be interested in your blog too xx

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 9:23 p.m.

Oh Nicco, first of all, don’t worry and don’t apologise about saying everything here. This is why we are here - to help and support each other. Oh, and it is hard to put everything you want to say in such a small space and the same for a reply, but here goes: None of this is your making so you need to step back and let the rest of your brother's family sort out the mess they are making. It’s not yours to deal with...And...breathe. Whether or not your brother has made a last will and testament that will stand up in court is one thing. Anyone who thinks they should benefit want things to go their way. Everyone is human. But, the real things in life that truly matter, aren’t what is being fought over in a will. You loved your brother. His second partner loved him and he loved her. The ones who are left behind, will squabble about anything and everything because they don’t want to be left out. It’s human nature. Forget your mother in law and what she has done and is doing from beyond the grave. You need to have belief in you. Belief that your husband is doing the best for you and your family now. Also, whatever someone else want you to do, you cannot have that take a hold over you, just because they have died. Their wishes may not always be our wishes. You must be able to live your own life, today, Nicco. My mother in law used to say she might not see Christmas so we should do what she wanted - but to be honest...we may not see next week if a bus gets us...so should we always do what someone else wants? No, absolutely not. Life is for living. You need to look after you, today, tomorrow l always :). Bear hugs x x x

Nicco

Feb. 21, 2020, 11:53 p.m.

Molly, that's it exactly, it will drive me crazy - already is to a degree! So i know you are right & i have to take a step back. Thanks for your reply. Xx

Nicco

Feb. 22, 2020, 12:33 a.m.

Bear, very wise words, thank you. I know i have to stay in the now. I think, as Molly says & what you are driving at, is that i have no control over the situation & trying to gain that control will not only cause a lot of trouble but be very detrimental to my health because of the stress levels. It's just that i feel a trait of my personality is being well & truly tested... i have a great deal of indignation when i see injustices, & this is injustice in spades, so it's goin to take a lot of self-talk to keep me from either jumping in with both feet if i'm conacted again by them (which i dont think will happen), & stoping myself from ruminating - my therapist's on holiday at the moment but rumination & thought challenging is something we spoke about so i need to direct my energy on that rather than wasting it on stuff that is not helpful but harmful. Thanks again, Bear. xx

Leila

Feb. 21, 2020, 8:09 a.m.

Thank you for your blog. Not much else to say really x

Reply

Jul

Feb. 21, 2020, 8:47 a.m.

How are you getting on Leila? Are you managing your CFS? I am thinking of you and hoping you are feeling better or at least not any worse. When you feel like it, let us know how you are. Jul xx

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 11:08 a.m.

Thank you Leila, for taking the time and energy to respond. Life is hard and knowing how difficult your time is at the moment, I am grateful you have taken the time to reply. As Jul kindly offers, let us know how you are when you feel like it. Bear hugs ***

Nicco

Feb. 21, 2020, 6:14 p.m.

Leila, thinking of you. Yes, do let us know how you are sometime when you feel up to it. Go well & be easy on yoirself. x

Jul

Feb. 21, 2020, 8:53 a.m.

Good morning Bear. I love that Stars can't shine without darkness. I often think why is it that we meet people like ourselves on Moodscope every day and have done for years but rarely in real life. Do we hide behind our darkness in every day life when meeting friends etc and force ourselves to shine? I know for me personally, it's easier to express myself in writing than it is face to face. I wouldn't be without Moodscope. This is a lovely blog Bear. Thank you. Jul xx

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Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 11:12 a.m.

Oh Jul, I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes it is hard to find people in real life, in the flesh, so to speak, who understand and have compassion and are listening to what we are saying, rather than jumping in with their own agenda. I’m not saying I want to be the one speaking all of the time, but I do want to be heard and know that the other person is actually listening! Having friends around the dinner table is lovely, but quite often I get talked over, so in the end I give up! And it’s not just some friends who can’t help themselves...it’s definitely family too!! Hoping the weather is good for you, wherever you are today, and sending big Bear hugs! xxxx

Valerie

Feb. 21, 2020, 9:10 a.m.

Oh loveliest of Bears,this has got me crying,so many lovely souls on here reaching out to each other.Sending love to all Moodscopers,hang on in there.***

Reply

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 11:14 a.m.

Ah, Valerie, you are sweet and so often you have the best replies to Moodscopers here...and as well as your replies being helpful and kind they are often very funny...almost as funny as HO's jokes!! Love is on its way back to you via a Bear hug x x x

Oli

Feb. 21, 2020, 10:31 a.m.

Thanks for the blog Bear. I've come to agree with you, it's nice to see names in the blog replies -- it's a routine I enjoy. I like being made to think and while I take the test anyway, whether I read/ write or not, I've come to appreciate the different perspectives one sees. :-) I'm blissfully unaware of Take That's entire catalogue so no chance of that becoming an earworm for me. But I've just realised that it's a bit odd that I've never had to learn a Take That song for any covers band I've played in -- they were massive so gawd knows how no one has requested one for a wedding or party. Robbie Williams, yes; TT, no. File under life's small mysteries. xx

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Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 11:25 a.m.

Ha ha ha! Oli you are a sdar of the highest order...I!! I actually laughed out loud at your reply!! I honestly cannot imagine you playing a Take That song at one of your gigs!!! I also enjoy the 'routine' of Moodscope and seeing the new blog of the day and reading everyone’s responses. I often try to get my reply down first before I respond or else I, a) forget what I felt when I read the blog, or b) I’m swayed by someone else’s response and it can skew my reply...do you get what I mean or am I just a muddied Bear??!! I do love seeing all the new names that have been appearing at the end of recent blogs (like Margaret above, who has popped her head above the parapet to reach out)...as well as seeing some 'old favourites' popping back in too - the lovely people we haven’t heard from in a while. There are days when I cannot reply due to Black Dog or just a busy life, but I catch up when I can. Thanks Oli, your deep thinking and excellent replies help so many. Bear hugs xx

Valerie

Feb. 21, 2020, 1:18 p.m.

Oli,I must ask,what is the hardest song/act you have been asked to do a cover of? I might be imagining it,but you once mentioned a luminous codpiece-or am I confusing that with your day job uniform? xx

Oli

Feb. 21, 2020, 2:11 p.m.

Ah, the flashing codpiece belongs to our singer. He nicked the idea from an act called Cameo who had a hit with "Word Up" in the 80s. Oooo, good question with difficult songs. I think it depends what one means by difficult. For example I just listened to about six Take That songs on YouTube and they are really easy. Literally picked my guitar up and played along no problem because they're written in a particular way. The construction which makes them sound professional is skilful but the Lego blocks of the song are very easy. Whereas the other week I was struggling for a bit to identify what was going on in an old Dave Clark Five song ("Because") just cos I seldom use those chords. As soon as I linked what I was hearing to another song, ("Never Walk Alone") I knew exactly what I was hearing. But technical difficulties playing would just be stuff at the limits of my skill level or beyond. There are two bars in "Sweet Child O' Mine" which took a LOT of practice to get note perfect. And "Mr Brightside" has got some horrendous stretches if you're going to play that exactly correct. I play it quite well but I ain't gonna injure myself when no one else is going to notice!

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 2:35 p.m.

See Val? You make us laugh out loud!! You and Oli with the luminous flashing cod-piece!!! Oli, I often find that there are easy songs to sing a harmony to, because the style is used so much, you can just pick it up! So I suppose the same goes for playing an instrument to accompany someone.

Oli

Feb. 21, 2020, 3:28 p.m.

https://youtu.be/NA4mOz-wqtY <-- this isn't so off-topic as it happens because the harmonies and unusual time signatures of Bulgarian folk music affect my emotions. I hadn't heard anything like this till I was in my late 20s. Wouldn't want to be without it.

Valerie

Feb. 21, 2020, 3:32 p.m.

I think I would save the tricky numbers for later when the audience have got a bit "mellow".

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 4 p.m.

I like this a lot. When I was young, at secondary school in north Wales, we learned to sing a tune, then there were harmonies and further still the harpist or pianist would play something completely different. I loved it :) I can’t remember the name of it but I’ll try!! Bear x

Ach UK

Feb. 21, 2020, 4:25 p.m.

Bear, . . Wales was a wonderful place for music, it was a good part of how I survived a difficult secondary education experience lol. I never got to learn Welsh but we sang Welsh hymns in Welsh and had a wonderful choir. The passion of the Welsh music. Wonderful.

Ach UK

Feb. 21, 2020, 4:29 p.m.

Bear, . . Wales was a wonderful place for music, it was a good part of how I survived a difficult secondary education experience lol. I never got to learn Welsh but we sang Welsh hymns in Welsh and had a wonderful choir. The passion of the Welsh music. Wonderful.- Tha k you for writing us this lovely blog.

Ach UK

Feb. 21, 2020, 4:32 p.m.

@Oli, Am intregued, will look up your Bulgarian folk music after supper. Thanks Oli. XX Ach.

Molly

Feb. 21, 2020, 7:48 p.m.

Oli, really interesting this, about different chords etc. So you can almost literally pick up your guitar and synchronise with any song? Albeit some harder than others? Molly xx

Oli

Feb. 21, 2020, 8:11 p.m.

Molly, sure, it's second nature and it's what musicians do. I don't have perfect pitch but because I've played typical pop and rock songs for donkey's years I have really good relative pitch in those genres. First song on the Take That play list was "Patience" and someone with perfect pitch could tell you the key, I couldn't, but I could hear the intervals. So I know it's a vi, I, IV, V (Roman numerals) straight off the bat... (I can also hear the 9 on the IV chord because they're carrying that note into the V), and it's cos I know *dozens* of songs with that structure. And knowing that structure I could actually play it in *any* key -- which is really handy for singers because they've all got specific ranges they like to work in. The harder stuff is like that Bulgarian stuff -- it has really strong easy harmonies, so you hear the thirds, fourths, fifths and sevenths easily but there's some unusual dissonance going on too which is much harder for me to hear. A classically trained musician would not have that problem because they're used to hearing those intervals. x

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 9:34 p.m.

Oh Oli, I’ve remembered the singing we did, it was Cerdd Dant. If you google it you’ll probably see YouTube videos of duets or choirs singing. I absolutely loved singing that way! I used to sing with a woman who had perfect pitch. It was amazing. However, she only needed it give me the first note and I could soar away! As soon as you mentioned TT's Patience, I’d already got it in my head! Baby Bear is the same...we often used to compete to get the first note correct!! I’m always amazed at people who can just 'play' anything. I used to sing in a small Welsh folk club with my parents' neighbour, she could play anything on the piano! I’m envious of that - and she used to say she was envious of my ability to sing almost anything. Each to his own. Bear xxxx

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 23, 2020, 8:01 a.m.

How interesting Ach that you were in Welsh schools, growing up! Not knowing the language would have made life difficult, but depending on where you were in Wales, most children would have learnt English too. Welsh was my second language. Welsh was Mr. Bear's first language and they hardly spoke English at home until years later! Bear x

The Gardener

Feb. 21, 2020, 11:31 a.m.

i HAVE TOTAL COMPUTER CHAOS - stopped all electricity yesterday yesterday. Just want to thank Ach for her kind words yesterday. Have 3 more computers and a tablet, all different stqges of Windows. Thany you alll who replied yesterday. looks a goody, Bear, will try to read if I CAn get script large enough. Just had my French lesson - war years in registers this p.m.

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Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 11:46 a.m.

Dearest TG...I just don’t know how you manage! Three more posters and a tablet? You are as mad as a mad thing on a mad day! I can just about cope with my iPad and phone!! Well done on the French lessons! Bear hugs xx

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 2:36 p.m.

Oops, gremlin wrote that above!! Should have been three more computers!

Ach UK

Feb. 21, 2020, 5:03 p.m.

Dear TG, with a wave and lol to Bear also, If I weren't laughing I would be crying at the way we are all scrambling to cope with the explosion in IT equipment --- such a plethora and multitude of software and Apps they're reproducing so fast, . . . .contraception for computers ?? Of course age is a factor . . . 10 year old computers are definitely past it. Yes it's the computers that are failing . . Not my ancient brain I'm Learning some thing new every day . . . Unfortunately I've forgotten what it was. Lol. XX Ach.

Molly

Feb. 21, 2020, 7:55 p.m.

Lol Ach xx

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 9:38 p.m.

Ah lolilol Ach...you are such a love! Contraception for pooters!!!! Tee hee! But there does seem to be an explosion of new stuff all the time...I cannot keep up. It’s good that I have Mr. Bear who knows more about it than I. There are new systems and new software updates all the time. I just cannot keep updating my brain in the same way! You’re a doll, Ach. :) ***

Orangeblossom

Feb. 21, 2020, 2:13 p.m.

Thanks for your lovely blog Bear! I loved it. Wishing you a star filled life! A big hug.

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Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 21, 2020, 2:38 p.m.

Thank you OB, and wishing the same for you and wow on having your dear mum coming up to the age of 90!! That’s amazing! Hope her health is good and the life is worth living at that age...fabulous!. Are you aoo having a party for her or an afternoon tea, with jams, jellies and cakes? Bear hugs :)* xxxx

The Gardener

Feb. 21, 2020, 4:07 p.m.

I made a cake for my Mum's 90th birthday and put 90 candles on it. By the time you get to 80+ lighting them the first ones have gone out. Whole family blew them out. On no 4 computer, won't explain, boring but Windows 10 won't talk to old programmes. Moodscope technicians have suggested a solution, but I need a genius to help. You've got a busy day here, Bear xx

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Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 23, 2020, 7:58 a.m.

Thank you TG...wish I could help with computers but my brain says NO!!! Bear hugs ***

The librarian

Feb. 23, 2020, 7:35 a.m.

Thank you for this lovely blog, Bear xx

Reply

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 23, 2020, 7:57 a.m.

You are more than welcome, Librarian. I do hope you are keeping well. Are the students back tomorrow? Look after yourself....Bear ***

The librarian

Feb. 23, 2020, 9:36 a.m.

I am well, thank you. We don’t have half term, so they haven’t been away! One of them is turning his exam stress into cakes, and I am benefitting hugely from his skill :-) Treatment on Thursday, so I’ll have a bit of a breather at the end of the week. How are you? xx

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Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 23, 2020, 9:57 a.m.

Excellent :). Loving the sound of exam stress cake!!! Trouble is I’d eat them all and be an even bigger Bear!! Lol! Oh yes,I forgot universities don’t have half term! Soz pet! I hope treatment goes well Thursday. I’m very well thank you, just the usual fibro pains but that’s normal! Sleep is getting better which is a huge bonus!! Bear hugs xx

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