Sunday’s Inspiration: Is It Because I Lied When I Was Seventeen?

“Sunny days, oh where have you gone? I get the strangest feeling you belong” – Fran Healy.

I couldn’t quite believe it this week when somehow through my Facebook or Twitter feeds, I came across a 20 year old song by Scottish band Travis. The song, Why Does It Always Rain On Me? was released in August 1999. I remember it so vividly at the time. I just cannot believe it was twenty years ago. It’s unfathomable for me. I was 19 then. Yes that song was TWENTY years ago.

Cousin Gary and I, 20 years ago…

I feel so old, and older still when I clicked on the link to find that teenage looking Fran Healy, the lead singer of Travis has aged remarkably. I thought he’d be the sort of guy who looked 16 forever, sadly not. Grey hair, a beard and it just made me sad and made me feel so old. I’m 39 now. I was a teenager partying in Belfast City back in 1999 when that song was released. I dug out some old photos, not before seen on the blogs.

With my brothers Marko and Daniel in 1999

At the time I didn’t like the song by Travis, I actually hated it. I was driving through the Cregagh in Belfast with cousin Gary when he remarked about it on the radio and we headed to HMV (Or Graham’s in Connswater) to buy said single on CD. I’ve spent the last 24 hours reminiscing about that and being completely in disbelief that I got so old. How did I get this old? Where did the years go??? TWENTY years ago?? It’s more than half my life ago.

Weirdly, I now love the song and it sent a shiver down my spine hearing it again…

In fact, I watched Travis live in 1997 at the Point in Dublin supporting Oasis. In those days we didn’t have digital cameras, or mobile phones. I got my first brick sized mobile phone in December 1998 but none of my mates had a phone at the time so I couldn’t even call them! I dug up some rare photos from an old disposable camera from 1997-2000. My first camera phone incidentally was in October 2003.

Back in 1997 – Belfast student heading to an Oasis concert

A rare photo of me from Belvoir Tech Times, 1997.

My ticket for Oasis in 1997 at the Point in Dublin

windsor

Saturday night in the Windsor, Bangor. When I was young.

Northern Ireland v. Germany (March 1999)

At the Oval, home of my team Glentoran FC, late 90s.

On the rip with then Northern Ireland captain Steve Lomas

Toronto, Canada (2001)

With the lads at Windsor Park in Belfast. Northern Ireland 1-0 Malta (2000)

Daniel and I on holiday in Spain (this was 2003 however)

Gavin, Gary and I at Oasis, Dublin, July 2000

I then started to think really deeply if I really changed that much. I found that I still own four of the same shirts from those photos, and one jacket. I still go to watch Glentoran and Northern Ireland (been to see each team in the last 3 months). But the journey since then has been unpredictable and not what I dreamt up when I first heard the song “Why does it always rain on me?” It’s a great song which has stood the text of time. Intervening years, I managed to visit 178 recognised countries, republics, wacaday states or cults. It hasn’t really changed me. Really.

“People don’t change that much” – Scott Callen.

Working Wednesdays: Teaching English in Hong Kong Kindergartens

Teaching English in Hong Kong, 2011

Flag flying in Foyn Harbour, Antarctica.

Starring in the Lock In, Bournemouth University’s “Big Brother”, 2004.

The day my team (AFC Bournemouth) got relegated at Brunton Park, Carlisle

Bikepacking In Gdańsk: Touring Gdańsk with Poland By Locals and Baja Bikes

Bikepacking In Gdańsk: Touring Gdańsk with Poland By Locals and Baja Bikes

Playing football again with cousin Gary in 2017

Backpacking in Kiribati: Top 13 Sights in Betio

Backpacking in Kiribati in 2019

Recife, Brazil, 2011

I guess it’s just sad that time moves so fast with no chance to dwell on where those years went. I didn’t really lie when I was 17 like in the song, I was too busy failing in my chase of East Belfast girl Vicky Everitt, and by 1999 I was too busy being the same guy I am today. I believe in karma though, and I got what I deserved in life I guess. I’ve been in depression for a hat-trick of years. Because we lied when we were FOURTEEN. Paddy Campbell and I. .We stole the exam paper. The Great Exam Heist…but the karma that came back to me came from a person who must also get the karma back somehow surely otherwise, I’m lost again. In the circle of unfair life.

Why does it always rain on me? Is it because I lied when I was 14???

Again – 20 years ago since:

Travis – Why Does It Always Rain On Me?

I can’t sleep tonight
Everybody’s saying everything is alright
Still I can’t close my eyes
I’m seeing a tunnel at the end of all of these lights
Sunny days, where have you gone?
I get the strangest feeling you belong
Why does it always rain on me?
Is it because I lied when I was seventeen?
Why does it always rain on me?
Even when the sun is shining I can’t avoid the lightning
I can’t stand myself
I’m being held up by invisible men
Still life on a shelf when
I’ve got my mind on something else
Sunny days, oh where have you gone
I get the strangest feeling you belong
Why does it always rain on me?
Is it because I lied when I was seventeen?
Why does it always rain on me?
Even when the sun is shining I can’t avoid the lightning
And finally in 1999 and in the photos I dug out, Northern Ireland lost 3-0 to Germany. We’re due one over them and we play them tomorrow night. I’ll be supporting Northern Ireland as ever. LET’S BATE THEM.
jonny blair night train

Norn Iron to bate Germany please.

Best wishes for the next 20 years…

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