Crying

In recent days my mood has been along those lines due to the incredible disaster that is my life right now, but it’s a pure co-incidence that yesterday I found a song of the same name by Roy Orbison which has moved me to make this post…

I have always liked the well known Roy Orbison songs. I’m also aware of his tragic life, and how it’s such a shame that a talented bloke like him would suffer in that way. So yesterday I borrowed a DVD from my gran’s house about the Big O himself, a biography filled with his music.

On there I came across the song that is the name of this post. I heard a live performance of it, just Roy on his own, and thought it was something very special indeed. His ghostly, operatic voice, soaring with falsetto, building up to the crescendo at the end… just truly magical. The theme of the song is as you’d expect from a song that has such a name, but somehow it doesn’t feel cliched or contrived, like most songs about love and loss do these days.

Once more I am left in awe about the power of music. The rest of the DVD also contained songs which I will have to investigate. Perhaps even ask for a Roy Orbison CD for Christmas. I think of myself as being very lucky to be able to like music of all types from all eras. It means I can absorb such a vast range of moods, lyrics, great riffs and melodies from a massive array of talent, and all without feeling the snobbisheness and aloofness that people who like “real music” often burden themselves with. My motto is: if it’s good music, it’s good music. 

(And, incidentally, that is also how I justify to myself watching X Factor, which always brings me a moment of embarrassment… my excuse being that a good singer is a good singer and always worth listening to! Methinks I do protest too much)

I’ve been spending more time lately playing my guitar after a fairly lengthy absence from it. The guitar has frustrated me now for seven years, simply because I have never passed an intermediate level of skill on it. But I know why, because I don’t have the discipline. I know full well that if I played it for an hour each day and tried to learn a new song or new riff at least once I week I would make definite progress. But I don’t. I’m lucky if I play it once a week, and haven’t learned a new song in months.

So I think I should put this right. And if I did get good, maybe I could find a friend and go out busking. I would love that, seriously. Whether I’d have the bottle to do it is another matter. I am often full of good intentions which are never fulfilled. This, to me, sounds like I’m building up another hostage to fortune…

But in any case, it is providing me with a useful distraction right now. That can only be a good thing, because I really could do without sliding into a depression the likes of which I’ve not been in for several years. I just need a break, a lucky one.

Perhaps I should view the returning of my Icesave money, which should be complete by next week, as a good sign…

IOU

Yesterday came accompanied by some rather startling news. Though I feared it would come, I did nothing about it. Primarily because I couldn’t.

As the Icelandic bank Icesave was put into receivership, bang went the money I had invested in their financial products. We’re not talking about very small sums here. Let’s just say I’m a pretty good saver. Plus, all those extra student loans had to go somewhere.

Yesterday things were looking pretty grim. Although there are compensation schemes which should have gave me reassurance that I would get all my money back (eventually), there was a lot of talk that the Icelandic scheme had no money to pay. And so, there was a distinct possibility that I could lose a small fortune.

This morning, the government have rode to the rescue. They didn’t have to. All of a sudden I’m feeling slightly more warm towards our politicians. I have never voted Labour (or Conservative, for that matter) and, in truth, am not likely to start now, even after this. But… (assuming all goes well) I do owe them a debt of gratitude for rescuing me and 300,000 other customers from this position.

It’s really hitting home just how much this financial crisis is impacting on everyone now. Banks disappearing left, right and centre. Money drying up for loans. Have you noticed that there seem to be far fewer of these adverts for easy credit today? That’s definitely a good thing. They were always the worst anyway. “Dad’s found yah scoo’ah!” and all that.

The age of austerity is soon to be open us. This is good. It is time that people tamed their wild and excessive spending. The problem is that people were spending what they didn’t have, thinking that they were rich because their house price was rising. When, of course, the value of your investments may go down as well as up.

And down they have gone. My parents, foolishly, have an endowment mortgage. It’s probably only going to reach about 2/3rds of the target, leaving them with a mega shortfall. They’re likely to have to borrow it off me, assuming I get my money back and still have it in five year’s time. But otherwise, they didn’t take part in the borrowing craze, and so they’re going to be just fine. In some respects, I’m equally glad that I didn’t graduate sooner, because I may have been a house owner by now, and would probably be in negative equity.

All through the system there are huge IOUs, and no one knows whether people will be able to pay them. Another one was created yesterday, and properly reinforced today. In some respects it was slightly amusing to be holding a credit note to the government of Iceland. Today’s it’s not so amusing in that it will be paid by my own government instead.

And then, in the long run, as all this economic turmoil is worked through, it will be me as a member of Generation Y, and the new members of Generation Z who will pick up the tab, through higher taxes, lower spending and the interest on all this huge borrowing. So we will, ultimately, pay the government back all the costs of the financial mismanagement that they’re picking up now.

It’s just such a shame that “we owe government” has a very unfortunate acronym, otherwise the concept might catch on.