Can What’s Missing Be Your Strength?

I have been a fan of Q (English music magazine) for many years and in the latest issue, I was reading an interview with a band called Royal Blood. Now I’m not really a rock fan but every now and again a band comes through that I really like and Royal Blood are currently and pleasantly deafening me with both their albums. But why am I talking about this band and what has the header image of a vegetarian dish got to do with this band?

Well, when I used to visit Brighton in the past, I occasionally visited a restaurant called Terre A Terre, a rather good vegetarian restaurant in the city. In the Q magazine interview with Mike Kerr, the singer/bassist with Royal Blood, mentioned that he used to work as a chef in Terre A Terre and while there he was struck by how inventive they had been with the ingredients available to them, especially when they had a supposedly necessary ingredient to many i.e. meat taken out of the equation as it had forced them to be more creative with what they had.

Royal Blood

At that time, Matt was also putting together a new band and after being inspired by his experience at Terre A Terre in creating more interesting things with ‘less’, he realised that instead of having a traditional line-up, he decided that the band would just be his mate Ben playing drums and himself playing bass and singing. He may have made the right decision as last year Royal Blood sold out shows in Europe and the US, are now friends with rock stars including Muse and Jimmy Page (from Led Zeppelin) and have been one of the most successful bands in Europe in the last 3 years since they first came on the scene.

We don’t need to do what others have done. What many see as ‘something missing’ can in fact be a strength if we choose to see it that way. A restaurant doesn’t need meat to be successful and Royal Blood don’t need a traditional rock band line-up with a guitarist. So, my question to you is:

‘do you have something ‘missing’ in your life that is or could be your strength’?

Watch Royal Blood video for ‘Figure It Out’…


The Scent Of Nostalgia

While walking around town recently, a woman walked past me and just as she went by, a waft of perfume struck me and suddenly I was at university in a conversation class with a French teaching assistant called Nathalie who wore the same perfume by Issey Miyake. Just like that. No introduction. The last thing I was expecting as I was on my way to class and yet, the power of the scent was so strong that the connection was immediate.

Later I started to wonder what other scents/smells/aromas held an equally powerful sway over us. And then I thought about food. For example, last week I went to a restaurant for a Sunday Roast (traditional Sunday lunch in England for those who don’t know) which took me back to mum in the kitchen cooking, dad in the garage fixing things and my younger sister and I probably watching the Young Ones, TopOf The Pops or one of the Elvis films on TV. Like the perfume previously, I hadn’t thought about it in ages, but the memory was quite vivid and all because of the smell.

There is undoubtedly a lot of research to scientifically explain why our sense of smell has the power to take us back to places in our past so vividly – any scientists want to enlighten us in layman’s terms? –  however not being a scientist, I like to think that the random moment when you are reminded of the past by a smell is perhaps the universe making you aware of your surroundings, both where you are now and where you once were. It’s up to you how you take that.

On the one hand, maybe you’re happy you have moved on from where you once were or on the other hand, you may even want to momentarily revisit the past, either way, the scent of nostalgia came to visit momentarily and just as quickly disappeared leaving you with some (hopefully) sweet memories to make you smile.

Away From The Noise

The November Manifesto


There are many different reasons why we may want to get away from the noise of our daily lives and there are countless ways to help you do so. This blog is my way of doing that. I live in Granada in the south of Spain, write songs, teach English and now write this blog.

My name is Jason and although I only started this blog on 3 October 2014, it has already become an essential daily ritual to post and connect with readers and other bloggers. I have enjoyed writing it, getting positive feedback from people and generally interacting with lots of interesting people online. I’ve also enrolled on an online blogging course as you can always learn something new, can’t you?

So with this in mind, I’m committing to writing a new post every day for the next 30 days in line with the WordPress Blogging 101 series.

After living in London for 17 years, Mrs AwayFromTheNoise and I moved to Granada in the south of Spain in January 2014. It’s been a goal of ours to live somewhere warm, beautiful and interesting for a long time, so it’s been lovely having made that happen. In addition to writing this blog, I travel a lot around the south of Spain, teach English locally and write songs on my slightly battered acoustic guitar and laptop. But perhaps the question here is ‘why should you read this blog’?

On this blog, I plan to just enjoy writing about pretty much whatever inspires me, usually based on things I read, see or hear while out and about, which I’ve just realized is pretty much the same process I have for songwriting. Subjects include music, travel, minimalism, food, coffee, life as a foreigner in the south of Spain and generally escaping to a place of of tranquility because it’s a beautiful place to be – all of which I hope give people food for thought. So If you like the sound of that and you’re looking for a little inspiration or insight into life in general, then this could be the blog for you…

I have four primary objectives for this blog by 30 November 2014 :

– publish a post every day

– interact online with lots of new people

– have a total of 250 subscribers to the mailing list

– enjoy the process…

I hope this blog helps you to get you away from the noise.

Thanks for popping by…




Plums – The Inspirational Fruit

Having recently had some really nice plum jam, I was reminded of an interesting conversation I had a while ago with a friend who helped me to see the inspirational potential of plums… Yes, that’s what I said. Not a euphemism for anything else. The fruit.

I have a birthday coming up soon and to celebrate, my wife and I have arranged a weekend trip to Berlin. She has introduced me to the rather enlightening concept of celebrating birthdays as opposed to just letting them pass by as quickly as possible with as little fuss as possible, but maybe that’s a subject for a future post.

As a result of having arranged this trip, I am now really looking forward to it. It’s a place I’ve never been and there will be lots of new things to see, feel, taste, hear and experience.  Out of curiosity, I asked a few friends what they were looking forward to in the near future. Answers included a jazz festival, a trip to Wales, sunny weather, booking a holiday and going home after a hard day’s work.

Quite a mixed bunch of responses but it perhaps indicates that it’s not about a ‘big’ or ‘small’ event that you’re looking forward to but what you get from it. I sense that some people feel they don’t have anything to look forward to, but maybe it’s a matter of how you see it.

The friend I mentioned earlier follows the food seasons and as a result, after a plum-less few months, he is really looking forward to plum season and having a bite of the first ones.  Some people don’t like plums. He loves them. And that’s the important thing.

From time to time, when things are perhaps not going so well, having something to look forward to, however seemingly big or small, can be incredibly motivating and help you through challenging times.

So, what are you looking forward to? What is your plum season? And if you don’t feel there is anything? Are you sure? How could you look at things differently? Either way, what’s stopping you arranging something now?