This life

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - IN THIS ISSUE - By Aileen Cox Blun­dell

We bumped into each other again. It was only then I knew this had to be fate – 15,000 peo­ple and I bump into the love of my life for the sec­ond time

SINCE I WAS A CHILD I have al­ways had a love af­fair with mu­sic. I know that is a very broad state­ment, but so much of my life’s mem­o­ries come pack­aged with their own lit­tle sound­track. From the births of my own chil­dren to stand­ing on my mother’s toes as she twirled me around the sit­ting room to the sound of Roy Or­bi­son, mu­sic has al­ways had a mag­i­cal way of seep­ing in and is so powerful it can, in a split sec­ond, drag me back to times of tears, love and child­hood in­no­cence.

I am the girl (or wo­man now) who dances, hands in the air, shout­ing, ‘I love this song’, re­gard­less of how empty a dance­floor is, or who sings at the top her voice while driv­ing the chil­dren to school. Mu­sic makes me happy – it calms me down, it winds me up and it makes me clean my house faster. My idea of heaven is a Satur­day night, glass of wine in hand, a good Smiths al­bum in the back­ground, and chat­ting away with my hus­band.

My life with him has also been en­cased in mu­sic and our story is a ro­man­tic, mu­si­cal one. I met him at Elec­tric Pic­nic while dressed as a fairy with a full set of wings. And, yes, there was lots of glitter.

We were queu­ing for veg­e­tar­ian food and giv­ing out about our dis­taste for the main act who were cur­rently play­ing on the main stage. Af­ter eat­ing our bur­ri­tos un­der the Septem­ber sun­shine, we agreed to meet a few hours later (for Nick Cave) in a place we thought was a safe bet, in front of the sound stage. But we never men­tioned which side. I re­mem­ber ex­cit­edly look­ing around for him and then that feel­ing of dis­ap­point­ment when I didn’t see his face.

My friend and I stayed to watch the first half of the gig but I was so dis­ap­pointed that we de­cided to leave. It just so hap­pened that the guy from the queue (my now hus­band) thought the same thing at the very same time and as we walked away from the crowds of jump­ing fans we bumped into each other again. It was only then I knew this had to be fate – 15,000 peo­ple and I bump into the love of my life for the sec­ond time.

We fell in love to the sounds of Ryan Adams, Mer­cury Rev and Bob Dylan, and within a month he had made me a mix CD. I hon­estly must have lis­tened to it 100 times over a week­end, read­ing things into the lyrics of every sin­gle song. They were songs of love and, even now as I write this, I am lis­ten­ing to it in the back­ground. He was in love, and so was I. Things moved pretty fast af­ter that. Six months later, we had moved in to­gether. Pretty soon af­ter that we found out we were hav­ing a baby.

We still went to a fes­ti­val the next sea­son and danced around to The Who while my lit­tle squish kicked away to the beat of the mu­sic. A very dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence, but truly mag­i­cal in its own way too. Our lit­tle boy was born in 2006 and was aptly named Dylan af­ter the singer we had fallen in love over – the very great Bob – and we promised from the very start to give him the best ed­u­ca­tion in mu­sic.

Like most cou­ples with young chil­dren it be­came harder and harder for us to find the time to go to fes­ti­vals. Life with our fam­ily be­came more im­por­tant than danc­ing our socks off. And chil­dren are ex­pen­sive!

For a few years we barely man­aged to get out to­gether, let alone go to a fes­ti­val for a week­end but nat­u­rally, over time, ba­bies sleep longer and sud­denly you feel more hu­man again and are ready to get back out into the world.

Most years now the en­tire fam­ily heads to Elec­tric Pic­nic on a Fri­day, we dance and play with the lit­tle ones for the day, then camp at night which is magic.

Then my lovely par­ents, who un­der­stand our need to feed our chil­dren amaz­ing mu­sic, col­lect them bright and early on the Satur­day morn­ing, leav­ing me and my hus­band free for an en­tire week­end. It’s heaven!

In those mo­ments when I’m with my man, at a fes­ti­val and lis­ten­ing to our songs, I feel so much joy in my heart that age is sim­ply ir­rel­e­vant. Danc­ing and singing along keeps me young and my mind alive, it makes me re­mem­ber why I fell in love with my hus­band and what re­ally mat­ters in my life.

Mu­sic makes me smile, makes me laugh and cry, and some­times all at the same time.

Those mo­ments of hug­ging my hus­band and danc­ing to our new ‘favourite song’ keep me go­ing – un­til the next year when, if we’re re­ally lucky, we get to do it all over again.

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