While 2020 is arguably the most horrific year globally in decades for Jimmy Barnes it has given him time to reflect and find comfort staying a home.
“I am constantly running from myself. Over the past four of five since writing the first book I have come to be more comfortable with myself,” Jimmy tells Noise11.com.
Jimmy has found new meaning to that old saying “there’s no place like home”. “The world is falling apart but Covid gave me the opportunity to find comfort in my own home and my own skin. Finishing my book here I got the opportunity to look back without fear and look forward. The six months Jane and I have been in Berrima in our house is the longest we have ever stayed still we’ve know each other. It’s the longest stable period of my whole life. I’m really thankful I got the opportunity to do it”.
Jimmy Barnes had just had a couple of full on years hopping from tour to tour and project to project. “I had the ‘Criminal Record’ tour and the Cold Chisel tour back to back,” he says. “I needed a holiday, I needed to get away, I needed a break. I didn’t want to stay home. I wanted to be somewhere else. We planned a 10-week tour. Jane and I were going to Asia, catch a train from Singapore to Thailand, stay on a beach in Thailand for a couple of weeks. Then, Istanbul. I had never been there. Then sail around to Italy. Stay in Italy for a couple of weeks and visit friends. Go to the south of France and visit friends there. Then go to Scotland. There was going to be lots of train travel. I just wanted to be moving all the time”.
Jimmy’s new book ‘Killing Time’ was going to be done during the downtime. “The plan was, I had started writing a couple of stories,” he says. “I’ve got a mono brain. I can’t think of two things at once. I can be in touring mode or I can be in writing mode. I haven’t really mastered the art of doing both. I had finished touring and was getting away from everything to travel. When I travel, I relax”.
Then everything changed. Covid hit. “Covid started on the day we were due to leave,” says Jimmy. “I remember being in the airport lounge and hearing about cases outside China and it being in Bangkok and I was thinking “shit we are going to Thailand’. I thought if we could get to the beach in Thailand there won’t be any there because it’s a small town. We managed to get on a train and everyone was dressed in tuxedos and it was all nice. Then someone coughed and you could see the whole look. The hysteria was slowly building up in the world because of Covid. It was unfolding. People were dying.
“Once we got to the beach in Thailand, Italy locked down. It started to take off in the States, France, Istanbul … all the places we were going to go. We got to Thailand and thought we’d just have to stay there and see what happens. We were there for a couple of weeks and part of my writing was this diary. Everyday something new was happening with Covid and I was keeping a record of it. It was not just hysteria, it was becoming reality. It was closing in all around the world. We knew then we had two choices. Stay here for six months or go home quick because if we didn’t do it quick we won’t get home. Jane and I got on a flight before they locked down. We quarantined at home. I always feel I need to get away to relax but after a week I was thinking ‘its so nice to be here’. After a month it was so good to be here and I’m getting relaxed. Jane and I were thinking about it. Its been six months and we are just having the best time”.
The downtime has worked for the Barnes’. “As much as Covid has caused pain around the world, for me it has given me the opportunity to sit and live with myself. I think I’m going to be a better person because of it”.
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