Sit down sit down. Make yourself comfortable. This is episode 10 of the West Park. Park Bench podcast. Just been for a swim. What about you?
It's hurtling to the end of the summer? It's crawling to the end of the summer? I'm not quite sure how time is passing right now. It's either geared by the weather and whether I'm too hot, or whether we're experiencing some kind of unprecedented rise in temperature in history or whether it's the cost of living crisis and thinking about how others are suffering separately to yourself, knowing that your own experience isn't unique, that everybody's experienced to themselves is unique. Then there's the political mire that's happening right now. And trying to think about how you might affect change with the one collective power we all have which is the democratic vote. But does that even mean anything you might live in an area that is staunchly one side or the other. You either live somewhere that is traditionally conservative or traditionally labour. You may live in an independent location. But whatever it is, the period of five years between general elections all the time between the chaotic elections that fire up and down at one point we seem to be constantly going to the polls for no change whatsoever, with the only overriding output of a remembered election being Brexit for the very first time. I actually had a local Labour candidate knock on my door and I have to confess that the seven years I've lived here, we've had leaflets through the post but we have never actually had a member of any political party actually knock on the door. And this was really welcomed.
My political stance and this is interesting, because who knows who's listening to this? It's episode 10. It's at the beginning of a series. Partly I do these to have a routine of of making myself have this dialogue with myself and hopefully have the similar dialogues with other people and have a place in my time to shedule that and capture that. Oral history is is really powerful. And if you don't listen to it now. It's something that has a legacy will just give a glimpse into the way things were. This is not going to be saying anything profound. But today, I'm sat in West Park. It's a beautiful space. It's very well used. There are families walking around, it's August, so it's mid holiday mid summer.
There's a memorial garden, the term is probably the 60s 70s. Very sort of traditional municipal park with a plinth in the middle that may have one time had a statue on it but doesn't have anything on it now, but it's surrounded by probably begonias. I'm not a plenty person, but, but it's really pretty. And there's two locations where I record this podcast
one is on a bench directly outside the swimming baths, the West Park pool and occasionally that has somebody sat on it when I come to record so I have to have a fallback, and that fallback is a park bench, in the middle of the park further down towards the church and cemetery and the end that gets very flooded, and that tends to be free. And coming out today. I was wondering where I should record that. Should I sit in place one or place two and there two spaces that have a different perspective? It's just time when I can just just be with my own thoughts. They're not particularly though they are not scripted thoughts. They are not bulleted thoughts. They all thought sort of come together as I've been walking to the pool I had the pool I tend not think about anything when I'm swimming apart from how I can stretch and be mindfull of the physicality of the mechanics of my body.
And then that is the podcast itself. People walking past it's also I guess, a way for me to just feel a little bit comfortable talking into this thing. I do have a black foam pod on the end of it. So that keeps some of the wind back.
But today's podcast, reflection it's easy to fall into that routine of just recounting what the previous week has been about. And yes, Edinburgh Fringe is very much in my mind at the moment. So this will be labelled an EdFringe podcast. I did a couple of streams last week one with Fiona Woof who's working with me. And one with Pat Akoli who was on my creative producers course. And catching up on and hearing what Edinburgh is not what it means to them. Because they don't they're not particularly deeply embroiled in it, but just the consciousness that it is and then just trying to get through a week.
But I think the sense of looking at social media and having social media to be able to get a glimpse into other people's lives. One thing that I do see, and I'm really not very good at countering is I have an empathy when I'm reading the things but I'm not very good at coming forward in terms of commenting publicly in social media. So I think one of the things that has been running through my head is there's been disappointment and disappointment, that just things don't always go the way you plan. I have weeks where I have planned things to do and if I look at the things I plan to do, the week is an utter failure. And that disappoints me. However when I look at what I achieved I can find a sense of achievement. The the thing that recently has been coming upon occasions is revisiting projects that I have sheduled in the past or I have pitched for in the past I'm talking 10 years ago in terms of social technology, and people are asking me for things that are still related. I'm still walking the same path and walking that same path A gives me a sense of disappointment and B it gives me a sense of longevity. But it also gives me that sense of disappointment that I haven't achieved anything but then I have achieved something because I'm still here.
And I think I want to I want to I want to take down to the line of grief and and what those projects not happening. And yet going back and seeing these vibrant projects. Which had so much potential that were rejected, that when I come back to them, because someone's asked for that thing. There's this overwhelming sense of well, it didn't work the first time why would I want to do it again, but then if it's been asked for now do I just regurgitate it and pretend that it's new?
It's sort of life and rebirth and death and in tarot cards and also with runes, I have a set of runes, which really got me through some dark times. And those runes don't tell the future. They're supposed to be a way of tuning into your subconscious and that's why I really liked them because it wasn't sort of mystical woowoo it was a way of tapping into me of extending that internal dialogue. And those runes have life rebirth and ending and an ending is is not the end the ending is the beginning of something new.
So several people in my social networks at the moment have had bereavements in their life, and I really want to share this with them. So if you were listening to this, and it's because I said I'm not very good at social media responding personally. But if I was with them, or I bumped into them or I had a sit down or there was a quiet moment, there's things that that I would share from my life. And those things are consistency and continuation the cycle of life.
Everything that is born into this world does inevitably leave this world and the impact that you leave on this world, even on just a few people is the legacy. It's the only thing that you have that you can leave behind. You might be able to leave some wealth behind but very few of us have that. But what you can leave behind is a sense of who you were and especially in the short term. The person who has gone would never have wanted you to stop existing. They would have wanted you to continue to be the best that you can be in this new landscape where that person is not.
Do you carry something around with you so that person's close? Do you have a relationship with a perception of the afterlife?
That's a really deep one. I'd a friend, two friends who through poetic tragedy have both left this world neither of which had any sense of spiritual religion. So as far as they concerned the end was the end and we always knew in conversations when you are talking about I suppose it's a nihilist perception of this is the world science perspective, a lot of sort of in that science community that we are on this planet for a short and precious time. Is there anything beyond it? If there is you don't know about it? So you can't assume that there is so you've just got to live your life here as best as you can. And you have to go on you have to continue in this particular scenario. One friend died of cancer and their partner, another close friend, just could not live with them not in the world and six months after, took her own life. And life to me is so powerful that if my partner left I know I would think about that but it is not the world that he would want me to finish in having children which I don't must give you a sense of future.
And I don't know.
I'm always afraid of pauses on podcasts. But I think it's important sometimes to just be in space. So these podcasts are really important to me. I don't I don't know that I care if anybody listens to them. Maybe they'll only be listened to when I'm gone.
So suppose this is an opportunity that if you're listening to this, and I have gone I want people to carry on I want the world to be a better place. I want there to be a world for children to be born into. And that can only happen if there's someone there to pass the baton on to you
Not sure how I'm gonna end this podcast is kind of descended into a metaphysical reflection of existence. So bringing to an end for another another episode and let's see what happens next episode.
Thank you so much for listening. If I am still here, please do get in touch with me and talk to me because I don't really do public exchanges. But I do like to have conversations and I do like to record things if you want to record a conversation but you don't want it to go on social media. That's fine too. If you just want something to share with your family or to keep on file I think that's perfectly okay.
But yeah, I'm here and I want to talk to people and at times I can be quite isolated. So it's important for me to know that people listen, that people know I'm here because I won't be here forever.