Thursday, 30 April 2015

A-Z Final Day 26

Copyright ©2015 Mark Kelly.
Z is for Zenyatta Mondatta.

Released in 1980, Zenyatta Mondatta was the third studio album produced by The Police. The reason I mention this particular album is threefold:

1) Its title begins with the letter Z - how amazing!

2) They are possibly my all-time favourite band.

3) I bought it during one of my happiest summers - the summer of 1981.

So why is the summer of 1981 significant? Well, first off I was in love for the very first time in a big way, and second, it was the summer of the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. The date in question was 29th July 1981.

I remember it well; the girl of my dreams had gone to stay with her mother and step-father in the US for a whole month shortly after we met, and I had left the swimming club after 5 years of dedicated training. So what does a love struck teen do when pining for the girl of his dreams? He trains twice-a-day, every day, running and weights. My body was so conditioned to swimming up and down a pool six days-a-week, often twice-a-day that it craved physical exercise, and at 17 it chewed up everything I threw at it.

The only photo I have of me and the Summer of July 1981 - a reflection in our kitchen window.Copyright ©2015 Mark Kelly

On the day of the royal wedding I was out for my 3 mile run, a route that would take me past Llandaff Fields, a large recreational area of playing fields, walks and playgrounds. Perched at the top of a crossroads at a main set of traffic lights stands an impressive villa-styled house. On the afternoon of 29th July 1981, as I ran past, the musical tones of The Police drifted out over the still, hot summer air. The song playing was 'De-do-do-do, de-da-da-da'. It made me smile. The roads were devoid of traffic. The streets virtually empty. I could have been the only living person in the world out running the pavements that day.

As for my mad training schedule? After a month I had totally exhausted myself and couldn't lift a single weight. Oh, what a silly, young thing I was - but I'd give anything to go back in time and do it all over again.

But to this day that particular Police track transports me back to that time in my life where I had no worries, no responsibilities and everything was still an adventure.


  1. Oh the workout... I did it in the 80's and got fit... then over the years not so much... hey, we made it the challenge is over... it's a good over. I am beat, I want to still chat about the letters... we will talk!

    "Z" we made it... thank you!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

    1. Sir, looking forward to our chat - if you'd prefer I could send you my Skype details and we could do it that way if you preferred? Email, Skype, Oujia Board - I'm easy, my friend :)

  2. I have fond memories of when I was 17 too. I wish I was as fit now as I was back then that's for sure. Glad the challenge is finally over, it was difficult for me to participate in it this year. I missed out on a lot of great posts. I need to go back and re read some of the ones I missed, and I like your alphabet sketches, too.

    1. Elise,

      Did not wish to say anything, but I sort of got the vibe that things seemed a little 'rushed' for your A-Z, compared to your previous, in-depth A-Zs. But what the heck, it's called a challenge for a reason, and I think finishing it is often challenge enough, so don't beat yourself up over it - what you did was a fun A-Z which folks appreciated :)

      As for being as fit as we were back when we were 17? I look at it this way: same body, different mindset. And I also have to remind myself, where the mind goes, the body will follow. And where folks go wrong is that they only decide to 'get fit' when it's two weeks before their holidays or a wedding. Seriously! Two weeks?

      My advice to anyone wishing to improve their physical and mental health, because let's face it both are intrinsically linked, is to look at it as a life style choice - it has to be for life, not two weeks. Man, that line of thinking really makes me laugh hard, but also pisses me off greatly. Ignorance can be bliss, but when coupled with stupidity, I've no time for it.

    2. I agree Mark. Trouble is on paper I'm fine. I fall under the norm and health wise I have nothing to complain about--for now. I'm a healthy person and live healthy and consider myself lucky. But, what I see in my reflection isn't ok by my standards. Now, it's not to the point that I need a psych evaluation, but still, I'm not where I want to be personally. The human condition is never happy with what it has/been given. Maybe I need to do some yoga. ;)

  3. Funny how a song can take us back to a moment. Marillion's Easter always takes me back to when I was in London for the second time.
    Congratulations on completing the Challenge!

    1. Thank you, Alex. It was an actual pleasure doing it, and I don't feel washed out as I did the first time I completed the A-Z.

      Many thanks for doing a sterling job with the A-Z as usual.