5 October 2012
I've never been particularly ambitious. In fact, I think I've demonstrated an almost total lack of drive throughout my life.
When I was a Trainee Accountant I said I'd take the exams until I failed. I didn't. Once I'd qualified I had an appraisal or performance review, or whatever it was called that week. I was asked the dreaded question 'Where do you see yourself in 5 years?'. I said what I thought my boss wanted to hear. I told him I wanted to be a Financial Director by the time I was 30. I got that job at 31. It was a rubbish job. The company asked me to falsify the accounts. I resigned.
See, ambitions are a waste of time. I hate setting goals. I'd rather just amble along in life and appreciate the good stuff, rather than constantly striving for something and being disappointed. All this 'Shoot for the Moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars' doesn't sit well with me. Besides, the moon is nearer than the stars. If you miss the moon you'll plummet back to earth and burn up on re-entry. Just saying.
As you can guess, I don't have a bucket list. There are things I'd like to do, like play the piano well or make a half-way decent Yorkshire pudding, but they can wait until I get round to it. I have a mental list of things to look out for, including orange ice cream or strawberry chocolate. One day I may see them in a shop and that's fine.
What I really love is live music, so I have email alerts set up for tour dates. One band I've loved for years is Turin Brakes. Their first album, The Optimist LP, is one of my top five albums of all time. This is my favourite Turin Brakes song, from that album, 'Feeling Oblivion':
I saw them in 2001 at Wembley, supporting James on their so-called 'farewell tour'. Turin Brakes were amazing live. A few months later they were supporting Travis in Brussels. My boyfriend and I got tickets, flights and a hotel. We turned up for the gig to find it had been cancelled. Travis couldn't be bothered to turn up. The gits. The box office was closed and would open for refunds the following morning, at the same time as the check-in desk for our flight home. We drowned our sorrows in strong lager in a dodgy bar, but that's another story. I can't listen to 'Why does it always rain on me?' without getting cross and shouting 'because you're gits' at Travis.
Fast forward ten years and I'm still on the lookout for Turin Brakes tickets. Finally I saw they were playing at Esquires in Bedford in July, that's not far from me. I bought tickets. Then I felt uneasy. What if I was holding onto an idea about something that turned out to be a bit rubbish?
I needn't have worried. Turin Brakes are still magnificent live. They played all the old stuff, new stuff and, er, stuff in between. Esquires is a small venue (I saw Evan Dando there last year with Rachael, we stood right at the front wishing we'd brought in a decent camera between us), with a great atmosphere. After a few songs I found myself smiling at Turin Brakes. I hope that didn't put them off. I was smiling because I was happy. Happy because I love their music, happy because they have the coolest looking bass player ever, happy because they've still got it, happy that I was out with my husband and happy because - just for once - having some ambition turned out to be a good thing.
If this super serendipity is not enough for you, I have another connection to Esquires. The Trainee Accountant I shared an office with twenty years ago is a face on the Bedford live music scene and I bumped into him at the Evan Dando gig. That's one for the fact fans out there, almost.
Turin Brakes are playing The Stables in Wavendon on 29th November. Do come. I'll be there, at the front, smiling at the band.