Trigger happy season

This time of year is a time when anyone and everyone is triggered off with memories.

Good memories, bad memories, memories of people, places, events.

It’s the simple things usually that are these triggers. For me the obvious ones can be a smell of pine or the sound like music.

I had gone to the White rose centre (a shopping centre) round the corner from me on Christmas eve, mostly because work was still on my mind and I had remembered we needed something that I was thinking of going to get for them. I decided against it after a chat on the phone with my manager and decided instead to nip into Sainsburys supermarket and get a couple of bits. As I was walking in the entrance there was a brass band playing for the Salvation army in the foyer.

When I was at school I mentioned that I was a band geek, we practised at least once a week and in high season would perform a few times a week. We were pretty popular around our way especially once I had got to High school, there were a lot of us in my year and we got to a high standard (for a school band that is).

The band...we were pretty big at some points with people from 7 to 60 playing in it.
The band…we were pretty big at some points with people from 7 to 60 playing in it.

So why did this brass band trigger me?

Because every Christmas time we would play just as they did. Outside the Tesco’s in my home town, in Coppergate/Parliament street in York, the local Abbey, lights turning onย you name it we played it. It was always freezing, we would be stood outside playing, taking it in shifts to go inside and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee, surrounded by shoppers and decorations.

It’s such a mix of memories, from so many years of doing it. We had some fun, we messed around, but we froze and I have some memories of doing it that bring on anxiety and might just explain why I’m so paranoid about not having money while I’m out or being forgotten.

Every time with that band was the same a mix of good and terrible memories. I’m torn about every single trip and concert we did. They were the people I trusted most and trusted least at the same time, the experiences I enjoyed the most and hated the most.

But that band…I felt for them doing their bit. They would be cold and tired, frustrated at not really being listened to and having so many people just walk past them. For once I actually got my purse out and gave them a couple of quid though I couldn’t make myself make eye contact or stick around to listen. As I walked around the shop you could hear them when the doors opened and I found myself humming the parts I had played of that music, transitioning between the clarinet and sax parts depending on the song as I had had to do during performances depending on who was there and who needed to go and warm up.

I love Brass band music and Big Band music to this day (and at the same time hate it anyone seeing a pattern?) I’ll watch Brassed off at least once a year (that’s another experience to write about another time) and will always get those goose bumps down the back of my neck for some pieces of music that move me.

Music was my life, literally, for a very long time. It took up all of my free time and some of the time that shouldn’t be free skipping lessons to play rather than learning about things that I wasn’t interested in. I spent weekends and weeks at a time with those people and those songs.

I could still play with them if I wanted to…but I can’t stand the thought of being in that town, being around some of those people again, going through some of those experiences again.

Bless all those who have been doing those performances this year, you have my admiration and my sympathy in equal parts.


8 thoughts on “Trigger happy season

  1. Bittersweet memories, I’m sorry your joy has been marred by hurt.
    I had never really thought about this, maybe because we would have the opposite problem, people fainting from the heat! I remember being in choirs, and becoming so light headed.
    You always speak with such passion about your music, I wonder if you could join a different group near where you are now, maybe just a social group that didn’t emphasize performance?
    Go get your instrument out, and play a tune for Toby, it might do you both the world of good.
    Love to you xox

    1. Bittersweet memories seems to be the order of the day. At least I do have the sweet parts small though they may be. I did get heat stroke a couple of times in summer, those uniforms weren’t made for hot days lol. It’s an idea…I did think about it a few times, if I played brass it would be easier, being in Yorkshire there tends to be plenty of Brass bands around but woodwind…not so much. I might have a look into it when my heads a bit less muddled.
      Thank you though, I never realise the passion there until someone points it out! daft really.
      Love to you too xx

  2. So weird that brass music triggers me too. I often think I have the weirdest triggers but when I learn that someone else has something similar or even the same, it’s like a revelation to me, like “I’m not alone in this.” Hope you know what I mean.
    I love Elyn’s suggestions. It would be such a giant step for you to join a new band! What a great idea!
    But maybe I’m the wrong person to point out suggestions or stress them (I hate it when other people do that to me!) although I’m just rooting for you.
    You’re in my heart. Take care. xx

    1. I know what you mean…when you feel that a trigger is strange you feel it must just be you! But Brass music is so distinctive…it’s going to trigger people one way or another if it’s been around during those memories it brings up.
      Hehe don’t worry I don’t mind you stressing the idea…it is a good one, just not sure I can do it at the moment ๐Ÿ™‚
      You too hun, thank you xx

  3. This is something totally unrelated to this post.
    Just heard a vet talking about how to care for your pets tonight during fireworks – he said to take your dog for a walk in the evening, then take them inside and close curtains etc, put on music (preferably classical, for the rhythm apparently), and also put on a load of washing (apparently the vibrations are soothing and distracting).
    I thought of little Toby when I heard this, you may know all this already, but I thought I would pass it on. Good luck this evening. E xox

    1. Aww thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d never thought of turning on the washing machine! I hope it’s like last year and everyone at least sets them off at the same time so it doesn’t last too long. You’re so sweet to think of him and I when you heard that! xoxox

      1. I’m so glad I told you, I hope it works. We’ve had them going off since 9pm, it’s 10.30 now, and I can hear dogs barking all over the place!
        Take care

      2. Anything that can help my little boy is gladly received ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh the poor little things I hope people haven’t been stupid and left them outside. I’m crossing my fingers that the weather is so bad that people don’t set them off…this rain must have some positives to it lol. You take care too hun, my love (and Tobys’ too) winging its way to you xoxox

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