Inspiration from The Ukelele Orchestra Of Great Britain

I went to the Wickham festival last night. It wasn’t my idea, but I’m not complaining because I got to go with the people that I love being with most.

I found something out about myself. I’m not sure I’d call it an epiphany because it’s hard to spell but it was really interesting.

I should add that the main reason we were there was James Blunt and he really was good. It’s a rare thing to see somebody so driven, he really packs in a lot. There was a bit where he asked us to listen to the words and I became a therapist for a few minutes and what I heard is another tale completely….

I saw the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain. I play a guitar badly, I play a ukelele even worse and my rendition of jailhouse rock on ukelele has made me a legend in my own lunchtime in my mind at least! And that’s not a bad thing, finding a way to take you mind of things, to get engrossed to experience thoughts and feelings you don’t normally explore. I digress again….

The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain were brilliant. They appeal to something inside me that had got lost in a corner. OK so when you think of a Ukelele you naturally think of George Formby cleaning windows and standing on the corner of the street and there’s no denying he was good at it. Just below here is the lamp post song done by UOGB.

It might not be your cup of tea, I hope it was. You might like this better:

What’s the point I’m making?

They defy convention, you expect one thing and get something entirely different. They have taken something that many people see as a bit of a joke (the ukelele) and used it in a different way. Yes they still play them, but the styles that they use give another viewpoint on the music they play, the lamp post song in the style of a balalaika orchestra with the red army choir is inspired.

They took something that has become ordinary and applied a bit of lateral thought and made it shine.

When we look at our lives we often see a rut that we’re stuck in. Stuck!

Try this:

Take a brief look at your heroes or the people that you would listen to for advice. You can even do this with imaginary characters from books like James Bond, Alice (of wonderland fame) Charlie Croker from the Italian Job (Michael Caine or Mark Wahlberg). Even the penguins from Madagascar, or maybe not!

Now pick one who you think has the answer to your Stuckness and close your eyes. Imagine being in a location of your choice. Picture them sat next to you. Look into their eyes, hear them humming a tune, you know what tune they would hum. Get a real feel for them, what they’re about, what they like doing. Take a few moments and let them in to your head.

Now introduce yourself to your chosen person and ask them what you need to ask them, say it like you mean it, not a grovelling plea, not a roar but a question phrased like a question and not an apology:

Hello Mr Bond. I’m Peter and I’m stuck in a rut and I really think that you can help me. What do you think I should do.

Now listen to your hero’s reply. Inside your head you know what they would say, that’s why you chose them. With your eyes closed you’re in the place you want to be to talk to them. Now listen and hear what their take on your life is.

And James Bond’s reply to me:

Well it’s clearly not being orchestrated by external forces. You think you have a mundane existence because you’ve been lulled in to a false sense of security, everything new seems so extreme to you and everything that you believe in tells you of the dangers of stepping outside your normality. If you think back to a part of your life, before rent, mortgages, washing your own clothes and making a living. You just did things and it felt good. Try it out now, give it a go! It doesn’t have to be big or expensive just do something, go somewhere you don’t normally go. Or indeed go somewhere familiar and see it with different eyes. Feel the exciting familiarity of newness and the thrill of the ordinary. Birds, water, stones, traffic, people, voices. How could you have forgotten all that. Feel the life Mr French Feel the Life and Live the Life!

If you prefer a more guided audio approach then try the soundlink below.

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