That’s Not Love

It’s been many months since I applied myself to the task of channeling experience into melody and words, and I’m happy to announce on this full moon that I have completed a new song, That’s Not Love.

I never know quite where I am going with music until I start, even when (as in this case) I do know what I want to write about and the manner of it. If you can spit blood with a mouthful of candy floss, that’s what I was attempting; but don’t think it’s a punk performance piece on consumerism and diabetes, it’s just a song about love gone wrong, like many of my songs, and all of my love affairs.

I say that with confidence because otherwise I would be married – or perhaps having found the the love of my life, widowed, heaven forfend – which I am neither.

So, lyrics.

As opportunities go, it was a good one
And we may never see it again
In the dark of the night windows are mirrors
And there’s nowhere to hide from the rain

You can’t do what you want, it can’t hurt me
Cuts and bruises will heal over time
But the lies that you tell are a tale of personal hell
“As long as it hurting, he’s mine…”

And you can’t tell the saints from the sinners
Gonna feed you or have you for dinner
In her mind she’s a bitch, she’s a grass, she’s a snitch
And the ice that she’s on’s getting thinner

Ooh, that’s not love, no that’s not love
That isn’t love

You shine like a light in the darkness
Grown cold and burnt out by the brightness of day
You pay for the rides on your big rollercoaster
But you secretly wish you could just walk away

There’s a place in your heart for the madness
Which you couldn’t leave if you tried
You know very well it feels safe in your personal hell
“Won’t you please join me inside?”

And just like mummy and daddy
You can’t tell the good from the baddies
Moon and stars are aligned, so she tries to be kind
But she can’t understand why she feels so sad

Ooh, that’s not love, no that’s not love
That isn’t love

© Dean Whitbread 2013 All Rights Reserved



Write, baby, write

Keeping a diary is healing for body as well as mind, says this article, and based on my experience, I agree.

This is why I have returned to the simple practise of blogging.


Maia Szalavitz at Time magazine reports on a new study suggesting that writing about traumatic experiences, and the emotions associated with them, for 20 minutes a day greatly accelerates the healing of physical injuries – in this case, tiny skin wounds administered as part of the research:

Researchers led by Elizabeth Broadbent, a senior lecturer in health psychology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, studied 49 healthy senior citizens, aged 64 to 97. For three days, half were assigned to write for 20 minutes a day about the most traumatic event they had experienced, and were encouraged to be as open and candid as they could about exactly what they felt and thought at the time…

The other participants wrote for the same duration about their plans for the next day, avoiding mentioning their feelings, opinions or beliefs. Two weeks after the first day of writing, researchers took small skin biopsies, under local anesthesia… Eleven days after the biopsy, 76% of the group that had written about trauma had fully healed while only 42% of the other group had.

I know this to be true. I started blogging five years after a life crash, and it definitely helped me heal. My wounds were mostly psychological, the results of a disastrous relationship and some bad life decisions. I more than survived, I thrived after pushing the medical establishment for answers, finding them myself, and undergoing deep psychotherapy.

I also concur with this:

…you shouldn’t view journalling as an attempt to formulate solutions to your problems; the real benefit comes from the third-person perspective that’s attained when you externalise your thoughts. It’s interesting to speculate whether the effect may be similar to that of meditation: not changing your thoughts and feelings so much as changing your relationship to them – so that you no longer take them to be an unquestionable, intractable, non-negotiable reality.

Write, baby, write.


La vie continue..

I start to write and find tidy formulations. I skip the hard stuff to be entertaining even before I have noticed. I sit down with thoughts in mind but once the words are there, the meaning is slipping away. Better not to write, than write like that.

So, I trust my nonsense, the mimbling burblage which emerges from the half-conscious, the semi-sleep state. There is uncensored truth. I am not scared of deranged and alarming words. People, yes, words, why? They are only words. We pretend we control them but of course the opposite is possibly true. Taboos are not only rendered powerless, they are usurped, made into playthings. Style is meaningless. Structure finds itself.


Pill Creek

I once stayed in this lovely Richard Rogers house in Pill Creek, Cornwall, with its rubber floors and moveable walls. I cooked for the owner, a remarkable 90-something year old lady who lived opposite. Dicky had been married to her daughter. Her more traditional house on the opposite side of the creek had a modern wing he’d built for her and her husband. It was a gallery, and full of great art, including many gifts from British artists from the 20s to the  60s – Bridget Riley, Ben Hamilton, etc. As the years went by, she said, the money situation would demand she choose which one to sell next. So the few dozen she had left were stunners.



I used to write a diary

I used to be a blogger, started in 2004. It was the most exhilarating ride. I started just rumbling along a personal diary under a pseudonym and discovered I was rather good at it. I got noticed, it lead to recognition in a small way, which I turned into work for money.

I had a cracking audience. That people cared really did matter to me. They were a funny, sharp, expressive bunch whose comments meant that most days I had contact with souls scattered far across this tiny planet.

Along the way I forgot the reason I had started writing, or maybe I didn’t. Maybe the pressure of London got to me, at last. I had a mortgage, I was buying the place I lived in. Personal expression, freedom to write openly was slowly relegated except for a few precious outlets, subsumed by the need to be diplomatic, to show a confident front to clients, to be tough enough to fend off the fierce, sly competition which arrived in the work space I had accidentally come to occupy.

Since that time I have not stopped writing, but I have stopped blogging. And, I still really miss old fashioned, shooting the breeze, as it arrives, not having to be delivered to a deadline or to anyone in particular, funny, boring, smart or stupid, wayward, flawed, whatever comes along blogging.

I knew I had made a mistake stopping, but there, I had very effectively exited. Every so often when asked I would flex my writing muscle and pretend it still worked, and technically it did, but I didn’t have the motivation any more to write several times a week. The odd song, prose pieces, a play, two little books, pieces for publication, pieces for theatre. But one of the things I liked about blogging was its mess – an unruly tangled bunch of underwater weeds which harboured life.

So I kept on thinking, from time to time, and more just recently: where can I write the stuff which deals with the everyday fable?

Then I remembered

Hello again.


One Way Journey by Dean Whitbread

As events reveal more about himself than he bargained for, an Englishman’s spontaneous midwinter break in the Egyptian Red Sea produces an unexpected Christmas gift.

Kindle: One Way Journey
PDF eBook: One Way Journey
Paperback: One Way Journey

One Way Journey Paperbacks

Funk: Smell of Sex

And here’s the link