There’s very little to be thankful for when it comes to the shitshow that has been 2020 but there has been some silver linings to avoiding office life. One of my favourites is not being subjected to the dashed hopes of the Secret Santa.
I think my problems lie in that I’m a girl who likes to put both effort and thought into my gifts. I consider the recipients hobbies and tastes. I try to get the best and most original gift I can for the budget. Yet, many see it as a chore that can be solved in your local supermarket with a bottle of wine or a fluffy hot water bottle. Invariably these are the people I get paired with.
However, if you’re like me, and love to show some thought with your gifting and have to buy a gift for a music fan that’s £10 or less, let me give you a helping hand.
All of these items come within budget and some even leave room for a nice card or bar of chocolate (let’s face it, calories don’t count at Xmas). If you need to buy for a scottish music fan then there’s even more on offer:
The last time I sat at my computer and wrote a blog post it was to try and work through my grief at the loss of Scott Weiland. (I’m planning on making blogging a regular thing so let’s not make death a necessary reminder!). Of course, it wasn’t the first or the last time one of my grunge heroes would take their own lives, yet, their lyrics and the emotion that they stirred inside me somehow made it less of a shock – people don’t generalise it as depressing music for nothing.
The same however can’t be said for the loss of Keith Flint. Keith wasn’t the poster boy for sadness, emotion and angst – Keith was different. I can still vividly recall the first time I saw the Prodigy live. It was at T In The Park in 1995 and when asked by friends to go along to watch them, I made some joke about having forgotten to pack my white gloves. As far as I was concerned I was a moody grunger, what possible interest could I have in that rave shit? Still, I had nothing better to do and nobody better to see so headed along.
I have no clue at what point during their set it happened, but by the end I was a sweaty euphoric mess, all the while encouraged and led by the firestarting firecracker himself. During those songs I had discarded my anxiety and incessant cares of what people thought and instead danced like no one was watching.
Like all good converts I became obsessed with the band, seeing them all over the world, from the infamous Barras to festivals in Australia, watching backstage footage and reading every interview I could get my hands on. In these I soon discovered a kindred spirit in Keith Flint. Eloquent, intelligent, funny and cheeky, with a kindness and softness that contradicted the fierce exterior he so expertly applied. Perhaps that’s why I am so shocked? How little does it take to go from OK to gone? It’s all too easy to cling to attitude as a shield but at what cost?
The loss of Keith has made me take a step back and consider my own actions. To consider if, perhaps, I’m too invested in the strong independent woman act. It also made me want to do something, anything, to soften the blow, ease the hurt and find something positive out of something so negative. I already had my Poison design in my shop and felt uncomfortable making any money from what I knew people would now be buying in memory of Keith so I pledged all profits to a mens mental health charity (Brothers In Arms).
Little did I know how it would take off or how much of a toll it would have on my own mental health. Pretty much daily since the loss of Keith I have sat and written to fans and sent out items, not once getting a chance to step back from the grief and loss, a little respite.
I promised myself I’d stop at £500 raised. The total is currently at currently at over £1150 and all stock has sold out. I think that’s good enough and I’m going to go back to my business, family and friends knowing I’ve honoured my hero and promise I will forever dance like no one is watching.