With the passing of the summer and the prospect of long months full of cold and darkness (not to mention a worrying US election), I decided enough was enough. Enough pessimism. Enough doom and gloom. My apocalyptic view was getting me nowhere and certainly not doing anyone else any good. I was reminded by a loved one that there was once a time when I was the most optimistic person in the room. I was the sunny one, and rather than allowing the world to make me feel as if my ‘sunniness’ was just silly adolescent innocence, I decided I should embrace it, innocent or not. But how to do this when there is so very much seriousness around me? There is, for me, one obvious solution – ROCK N ROLL! Yes, what I need is more rock n roll and more rhythm in my life. So I started to teach myself to play the drums.

As this picture shows, I do not (yet) have a drum kit. I do, however, have drum sticks, a portable practice snare, an unused kid’s bed, a spare heavy collection of Shakespeare, a sturdy (so far unbreakable) china beer mug, and access to a world of Youtube videos….oh, and I also have a very indulgent partner.

I am having a lot of fun, and clearly, this sort of multi-limbed coordination can only be doing my aging brain good. It is not at all easy. I’m okay coordinating my hands, but once I start trying to pound my foot on the floor on pre-determined beats chaos creeps in. But I wasn’t looking for easy. I’m looking for fun, and joy and silliness and improvisation and experimentation and access to the youthful energy the world is threatening to suck out of me. Screw the pandemic. Bring on my joyful noise! I loudly recommend it.