PHONIC SONG

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Yesterday morning I was woken up post gig to the familiar sound of the Phonic song via my phones youtube. If you’ve young children i’m sure you’re familiar with this lovely child friendly ditty. If not do go check it out, your kids will love it plus it’s a great learning tool.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BELlZKpi1Zs – Phonic song 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saF3-f0XWAY – Phonic song

After being lulled into a strange bliss like state whilst singing f.f.f fish I started to wonder about the guy behind the song. His name is A.J. Jenkins and he’s been described as ‘The Jack Johnson of childrens music’. His music is simple, melodic and lovely. His voice and lyrics have honesty and meaning and seem to have a calming effect on my children.
Try as I might, I can’t find anything on this guy which is strange, because these days via Google and various online channels I can usually access intimate details of anybody from my postman to the local cornershop lady.

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A.J. Jenkins is like the J.R Hartley of the phonic world, all secretive and hard to track down, an international man of mystery. Maybe the phonic scene is strictly underground. Word of mouth, under the counter, secret handshakes.
I’m surprised that someone with all this phonic goodness on offer is lying so low especially in a world were everyone is trying their up most to have profile. You wouldn’t catch Mr Tumble with no online visibility.

There’s a very simple website http://www.kidstv123.com/ where you can buy songs by A.J. Jenkins. But he certainly doesn’t seem to be cashing in on the huge popularity of his phonic goodness. I think that’s what makes this guy even more special. Not only does he compose lovely educational songs for our children, he’s got enough integrity not to try to squeeze every ounce of cash out of the phonic phenomenon. It’s really quite a lovely thing in a world of over promoted everything. Where are children are usually bombarded with the message ‘buy, buy, buy!’

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I imagine A.J. Jenkins as a 60’s counter-culture hippy living in San-Fransico in an eco-friendly house in the hills. Spending his days strumming guitar in search of the perfect riff to accompany new Phonic themed songs.

Perhaps he’s a retired pop star, a real hell razor during his day. His wild nights of trashing hotel rooms and a different groupie in every city are over. He’s now a stay at home dad getting personal satisfaction from his anonymous phonic work.

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Or maybe he’s a corporate banker trapped in the cycle of money and materialism. He only stays in his stressful, uninspiring city job to give his family the sort of life that they’ve become accustomed to. His wife has an expensive addiction to Jimmy Choos and kids at top private schools. His only escape is his double life as the Phonic master. Late at night when everyone’s asleep, he creeps into his office and secretly pens phonic melodys. It’s his only form of escapism and he doesn’t know what he would do without it.

Of course I’m having a little joke here (my partner didn’t realise this when I just read the last few sentences, ‘you don’t really think his wife has a Jimmy Choo addiction do you?, I think you’re missing the essence of A.J. Jenkins’.

But I do love the fact that this guy keeps a low profile and lets his music do the talking and wow, think how many kids throughout the world he’s touched (phonic song 1 has over 65 million hits on youtube and phonic song 2 over 157 million.  People would kill for that many hits and most would cash in.  What an amazing guy!). I’ve gotta take my hat off to him. Respect is due sir.

Just after finishing this piece i’ve discovered a Wikipedia entry on the legend that is A.J. Jenkins
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.J._Jenkins_(Singer/Songwriter) there goes my theories on him!

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MOVING HOUSE

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In one of my earlier posts ‘I’ve got 99 problems but a city ain’t one’ I wrote about whether our family should leave London or not.  I concluded that the pros far outweighed the cons and I talked like we’d never leave.  How things quickly change.

Since my last post we put our East London place up for sale, sold it and have brought a house in Essex (subject to all the legal stuff going through nicely).  So am I a hypocrite? Perhaps, but alas when you have children your decisions change as much as they do.

The decision to leave was a difficult one, different ideas bounced around  like a wandering soul lost in a maze of confusion.
We initially viewed larger properties in our existing area but soon realised that to buy anywhere with enough room for the four of us would require either a win on the Euro lottery or me donning a balaclava and ‘reclaiming’ some of Sir Fred Goodwin’s pension pot from RBS.
There was also the extremely important matter of schools.  In Tower Hamlets like many other London boroughs getting your child into a good school is very hit or miss.  There are more children than schools.  You see new apartments being built all over the borough but no new schools to accompany the influx.  We weren’t prepared to chance Rose’s choice of school being an unsatisfactory one.

We did consider a few areas in South London that were a bit more affordable, but after weighing things up we decided on Brentwood in Essex.  The area of Brentwood that we’ve decided on has great schools which aren’t over subscribed (a major selling point), is surrounded by miles of beautiful woodland and parks, is nearer to the children’s grandparents and is an easy commute into London.  Vicki will be commuting each day and I’ll drive in for my DJ gigs (there goes the drinking) 2 or 3 times a week so it’s not going to be that much of a change.

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Going from an apartment to a house with garden is going to be amazing.  I’ll be able to hide away to read my Sunday newspaper and cook up a storm on my new Aga.  The children are really excited about the move especially the promise of bunk beds.  There’s also talk of a cat, but let’s take this suburban dream / nightmare 😉 ? one step at a time.  Vicki’s already talking about a summer garden party complete with soundsystem so i’m sure the neighbours will love us.

The downside is that it isn’t London, it’s been many years since I’ve lived in a town so will I go out of my mind with boredom? I suppose the last time I lived in a town there was no internet and I didn’t have children.  But let’s be honest, if we were millionaires and could guarantee good schools we wouldn’t be moving from London (it’s the best city in the world!).
The kids might end up with funny accents and it’s where TOWIE is based.  The day that they come home with fake tans is the day we move!

It was an extremely difficult decision to make but we do think it’s in the best interests of the children.  We are near enough to London to be able to take the kids to shows, theatre, exhibitions etc and have the beautiful Essex countryside on our doorstep (as well as the coast not too far away).  So hopefully it’ll be the best of both worlds.  If it all goes pear-shaped we can always move back with our tails between our legs!