The Optimist

Monday morning I made a commitment for the summer. Green Man Festival in August J I would not normally have to think twice about going to a festival, but this year is different considering I’ve no idea what the state of my health will be in August. I decided to be positive, and it’s something to look forward to and work towards. With no Glastonbury this year, and me cancelling Leeds, it will be 14 months since my last festival. I can’t recall a gap this long for years, certainly not this century. Green Man is not a festival I have been to before, and so I’m looking forward to the new experience. Set amid the Brecon Beacons, the setting sounds idyllic, and being an independent, green and pretty laid back set up, it seems a perfect substitute for Glastonbury, and sounds like the perfect relaxing weekend I might be needing by the time August comes around. I know it’s not the Vale of Avalon, but hey, I’ll make an exception this year. I’ll be going with Debby, who happens to live not too many miles away from the festival site. I wondered why she’d been banging on about it for the last few months. Deb loves nothing more than spending her weekends in the Black Mountains, and so she’ll be killing two birds with one stone (she’s always cruel to animals). I just hope she’ll slow down so I can keep up with her.

I’m not really bothered about the line up, it’s not really about who’s performing, although the acts announced so far seem to be hitting the right buttons. Particularly ’The Slow Club’ who I have been following for a few months now since hearing them on the radio. Really looking forward to seeing them play live. Other than that, I’ve learnt over the years never to make plans when with Deb, chances are we’ll never make it to the right stage on time. We spent one day at Glastonbury a few years ago where we didn’t  managed to see one band all day. I’m still not quite sure how we managed that, but it was a great day nonetheless – I think !

Do you like the title of today’s blog? I can’t claim a moment of inspiration, it’s the title of a track on an album of the same name (Turin Brakes). Another one of my favourite songs, and another one that brings back fond memories. I was listening to it again on my walk yesterday. After booking the festival tickets I decided to go out and think of summer. Not easy when the temperature was below zero, but at least the sun was shining.  The Optimist seemed a good title, bearing in mind my commitment to the Green Man. I’ve always tried to be honest when blogging about my illness, although sometimes this can overshadow the optimistic and positive attitude I have towards cancer. I decided at an early stage, even before formal diagnosis, that there were two ways of dealing with it, glass half full or half empty. You can usually spot which camp most people fit into. Some are burdened with cancer, focusing on the negative statistics that we can all find when researching the disease. Others, most of whom have more reason to be pessimistic, choose to concentrate their efforts on what they can do with their life rather than negative thoughts. I am immediately reminded of Stuart, the guy with the brain tumour and terminal prognosis, whom I met almost daily  whilst undergoing radiotherapy. I wish I had exchanged phone numbers, I often wonder how he is now. Statistics would point to a very bleak outlook for Stuart. But then again, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. It’s more about what you choose to believe, and what to put your faith in. In the last 6 months or so I’ve come across many diagnosed with stage IV cancer, still living with the disease 9 or 10 years later. Yes there has been a lot of medical intervention during that time, but I’m pretty sure each of them will tell you that a positive attitude has a lot to do with it.

I’ll leave you with ’The Optimist’ , a beautiful song. If you don’t know Turin Brakes, check them out also, wonderful acoustic guitar songs.

Turin Brakes – The Optimist

And don’t be fooled by the ending.


If you have any concerns about bowel cancer, or just want more information or check cancer rates in your area you can find all the information advice and help you need here.


This entry was posted in Be Clear On Cancer, Bowel Cancer, Bowel Cancer UK, Cancer, Festivals, Glastonbury, Green Man, Health, Manchester, Manchester Blog Awards, Music, Oldham, Saddleworth, The Christie, The Optimist, Turin Brakes, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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