An Experience to Remember

There are moments in life that define who you are. Whether its childhood memories of playing in the garden, family holidays, moments with loved ones or even a life changing event that leaves ripples in an otherwise fleeting moment, forever lost in the passage of time.  It’s these moments that can’t be forgotten, like someone took a photograph and pinned it to the corners of your mind, catalogued forever in your heart. Memories you’re able to return to for comfort or remembrance, a memory still as vivid as the moment it occurred.

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Me and my Aunty Leigh flipping pancakes in the late 1990’s – look at that fringe!

Those moments come in different forms; they can arrive in the form of a family summer holiday, all sunbathing, squabbles and driving to Spain in a van that your father is convinced he’s turned into a chic Winnebago. I adored the travelling together, despite the van. We stopped on our way to our campsite at various little towns and villages, such as medieval Besalu and scenic Banyoles. It’s those memories together that are treasured now that my parents have parted ways, it’s these memories that remind you of a time less complicated, of sun, sea and stupidity, all mixed together into the shape of a family vacation, savouring the time together in a jam-packed van which for some reason contained a George Foreman Grill. Now our holidays are different, with a stepfather and step sister, sans le van but still memorable, and still somehow involving a George Foreman Grill…a must pack item for sure!

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My Mum in front of one of the infamous vans in Spain

Other moments are the trip to Paris my Aunty Leigh took me on at 11, where I flew unbeknownst into the land of berets, Parisian chic fashion and baguettes. Where we watched Madonna in concert and visited the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and ate croissants. Beautiful buildings and chic little bistros lining the streets, gripping Leigh’s hand and feeling so grown up. It’s this beautiful moment given as a gift to someone so young, that made me fall in love with fashion, seeing the French women sashaying through Boulevard Saint Germain all Audrey Hepburn-esque and full of joie de vivre. It defined a lifelong obsession with fashion, art, culture and beauty. After Leigh’s death in 2009, it’s that memory in distant France that I hold onto. The image of a young woman who had been through so much already in life, taking her young niece for a trip of a lifetime at the young age of eleven and smiling through it all. I prefer this memory to the latter ones of her life, ones in sickness and sadness. Her beautiful face was always smiling and we all have wonderful memories of her, but this was just ours, our little indulgence, two girls wandering around Paris, and for that short time, without a care in the world.

IMG_0002Standing in front of the Eiffel Tower with my Aunty Leigh and her husband Graeme, 2001.

IMG_0001 Me and my Aunty Leigh at the Madonna Concert in Paris 2001. It was a surprise and I love her smile in this picture.

Memories can occur at the strangest times in life and can emerge anywhere. In 2010, my family decided to move to Malta, away from all we knew, our family and friends. We packed up our home and flew away to an island surrounded by ocean. The moment I realised this wasn’t the right fit for me was a defining one. At 20 I knew I had to leave this beautiful place and spread my wings in literal flight to England, to go to university, to everything familiar, the place I grew up. Leaving my family one day in November has to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, leaving a safe environment and carving a path for myself but i knew it was the right thing for me in that moment. Three years later I look back at my time in Malta as great adventure into the unknown, the correct move for my family, just not for me. Presently, I’m the happiest I’ve even been. I’ve finished my degree, I have friends I adore, a boyfriend I love, my family are still just a plane ride away and all of this has strengthened family bonds. Now we appreciate the time we see each other, rather than taking that time for granted. It teaches us that often it’s the hardest decisions that can often be the most important to make.  Sometimes life’s rollercoaster ride isn’t just with ups and downs; it’s with loop-de-loops that sometimes mean you end up exactly where you started, not creeping backwards but leaping forwards.

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Comino – Island off Malta

Photographs capture these memories, but in the mind they form something all the more unique, a beautiful imprint on the heart, a memory that doesn’t last for a solitary moment but for a lifetime. It’s like Doctor Seuss once said, “Sometimes you will never know the value of something, until it becomes a memory” and it’s these memories that define who we become, it’s these experiences that we remember.

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Me in Gozo

A little bit about the blog

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Hi everyone, thank you for visiting my blog.

I’ve been planning to start my own blog for a while now and since I’ve just graduated from university, summer is over and I turn 24 in 2 days so I thought that now was a good time to start. So a little about me then, my name is Kelsey Maxwell, I’ll be 24 on the 21st of September and I live in a town called St. Helens which is near Liverpool.

After 3 years studying Journalism and English Literature I thought that starting a blog would be a great and give me a chance to write and post about things such as what I’ve been up to, fashion, travels, favorite things, perhaps a bit of cooking and just generally talking about anything that interests me.

I’m excited to get started at last

I hope you like it

xo Kelsey York - Kelsey in the rain

We need to talk about Kevin….Kevin McGowan that is

Kevin McGowanWe need to talk about Kevin….Kevin McGowan of course!

 

Scottish Musician Kevin McGowan speaks to me about his life, love of music and what he thinks about the future of music in this technological age…

If you love the sound of The Beatles, 1960’s influences or just great music then you’ve probably come across Scottish singer and songwriter, Kevin Patrick McGowan. Kevin, who was born and raised in Stirling near Glasgow, has had a long career in the music industry with his definitive sound that many a Beatles fan would enjoy. His musical journey started as part of former band The Coloured Dreams with fellow Scot band mate Tam Cassidy back in 1989. The duo gigged across Europe for four years in some really cool venues such as The Classic Grand in Glasgow and La Amalgame in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 1996 Kevin went home to Scotland and settled down having a daughter – Jade. In 2006, Coloured Dreams came second in the Pringles Unsung Competition in London (Judges included Echo and the Bunny Men’s Ian McCulloch) and since 2007, Kevin has been a solo artist who’s established a name for himself by playing in iconic venues such as The Knitting Factory in Los Angeles and the famous Cavern Club in Matthew Street, Liverpool (an obvious dream for any Beatles fan!) for the International Pop Overthrow and played in other places across the world.

                                                      Kevin McGowan

There’s no doubt that being in the music industry as a solo artist must be incredibly difficult, however Kevin has managed to overcome these hurdles and set himself apart from other artists by showing a continued determination and enthusiasm for music. Even through his band breaking up and battling through alcoholism and becoming sober for 10 years now, Kevin has taken his love of music to a whole new level with powerful lyrics and a bit of Scottish charm too. In 2008 he moved to Liverpool with his “soul mate” Beverley before they then moved to the small island of Gozo, the sister island of Malta, in 2010 where he has been busy setting up his own recording studio and record label, Imagine and Believe Records as well as playing music. 

Kevin playing solo

The artist, whose sound is influenced by not only “the Beatles, 1960’s and the band that plays in my head!”  said: “I’ve gigged as a solo artist and with Coloured Dreams, I’d say that the best gig was in a little rough and ready bar in Glasgow with a rough and ready audience but that night it just clicked, it went really well and was just a fantastic night.

Check out Kevin’s official music video – Give and Take!

“Playing in Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles for the International Pop Overthrow Festival it was great fun and then the next moment has to be being signed obviously as an artist it’s great to be recognised and the thrill of playing to a crowd in LA is obviously hard to top!”

Listen to Kevin discuss the future of music here.

You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kevinmcgowan67, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube and buy his single Give and Take on iTunes!

Picture of Kevin McGowans timeline

Click here to view the full

 Timeline of Kevin Patrick McGowan, Musician on Dipity.

Click on the link below to view where Kevin has gigged worldwide as a solo artist and in The Coloured Dreams!