Sunday, 29 September 2013

Sunday, Tears & An Unexpected Story

I'm working this Sunday, and missing out on a local Vintage Fair that I've had scrawled in my diary for some months now. This doesn't make me happy. To add insult to injury, work called me out to a fire alarm last night, and I had to drive past all the hand painted signs, advertising said Fair and all it's treasure possibilities. I suppose I should take comfort in the earning rather than the spending. 
So instead, I've decided to make a trip to the Peterborough Fair next Saturday. I hadn't wanted to go alone, as man was working, but a lovely friend called in yesterday, and it just so happens she loves a good hunt, and as luck would have it, her husband is going to Spain that weekend, leaving her free to join me on an excursion of the utmost importance! Peterborough, here we come! 
She brought me a gift when she stopped by for tea. Apparently, whilst on a minor charity shop hunt, she came across something that spoke my name. The something was wrapped in tissue, tied up in a yellow bow, and presented to me with strict instruction that reciprocation was not necessary. Of course, she is.

This pinny was made for a goddess with a 22inch waist! This matters not. The apron strings do indeed reach around the whole circumference of my more contemporary figure, and will be donned at my next opportunity to cook a roast dinner. This may be at Christmas. Until then, I think it will do nicely hanging in the kitchen. (Just need a hook)

Let me tell you a little story about this lady, and how our friendship came to be.....

I saw her husband in a band one night when I was 17 (1997)... He played an arrangement of a song called "Livin' On A Prayer".... and I thought it was beautiful. I never forgot, nor heard it done quite the same again. Her husband M, became friends with my Dad on this night, in a dark club called O'Neill's. I recall a late night lock in, and several drunken renditions of "American Pie". I remember that I had a great night, and drank Brandy with my Dad and the band until the morning came. As time went on, M and my Dad  started to play in a band together. By this time, I had had babies, and no longer followed my Dad around on his rock n roll the Brandy and the song carried on without me. M and his wife S were good friends of my Dad for many many more years. Many more nights of guitars and spirits were shared, and music was made. 
And then, my Dad was gone. Too quickly. 

Gosh I didn't plan on going this way when I started writing, the bloody tears are falling now! 
I had never known the world without my Dad in it. He was with me when I came in to the world, and I was with him when he left. We had given each other all that we needed to. More time in his presence, together, with more brandy and more song, would have been a gift, but we had done what we needed. Just not what we wanted. 

His last request, in true rock hero style, was that we all have a bloody good piss up. And that we did. Old band mates came out of the woodwork, and with the help of M, got together and played at the wake for hours, in honour of my beautiful father. 

I shan't get this close to a microphone again.

Me and my brother.

A wonderful man, who I still haven't met, a bass guitarist, emailed me a recording of himself and M and my Dad singing the very same acoustic arrangement of "Livin' On A Prayer" from years before. Can you believe that? 
The recording didn't turn out the way they'd hoped. It had been a long day in the studio apparently, and the three of them had hung on to do this track, not realising that one of the microphones wasn't working properly, which actually meant my Dads voice was much more prominent than they ever intended. It's beautiful. When I need him, I play it, and his voice rings in my ears.

I'm sorry for the melancholy. Or am I? Maybe I should just know that I must have needed to get this out. So no apologies. It's actually a happy story! 

Going back to S. S contacted me after Dad died, to say that I might have something that she was interested in buying. The story goes that one drunken, musical night, she admired the coat tails my Dad was wearing, and he had said she could have them for £20. They had a laugh and a joke, a few Brandy's most probably, and coat tails were given to S for the princely sum of 20 Great British Pounds. Some moons later, my Dad met up with S, and enquired after the tails, saying he'd quite like them back! She graciously agreed, and gave him the coat tails, and he promptly paid the £20 price tag. S said that if I came across these coat tails, she would like to buy them off me.
I did find coat tails. And I did meet S.

The coat had come full circle, and a brand new friendship began. This lady is so incredibly supportive, selfless and thoughtful, and never fails to raise a toast to the man who brought us, the coat,and the £20 together.

The end.


  1. shame you had to miss the vintage fair BUT great that you have another one lined up for next weekend!!! AND the extra money will come in handy perhaps ............... i am still to go to my first vintage fair - trouble is i blooming had most of the things that they sell and i resent paying the prices!!!! i'm glad you shared your thoughts about your dad - i absolutely loved your words especially the bit about you both doing all the things you needed but not all the things you wanted - blimey i'm an old softy and could cry thinking about that - it probably is the same for all of us whether the person died too young or too old!!! we must all try to tell those close to us how much we love them OFTEN!! have a great time in peterborough xx

    1. The reply below was for you Lynne xx

  2. Lynne,
    Yes I expect you do begrudge paying the high ticket prices! I don't tend to buy an awful lot at some fairs, as they are sometimes quite pricey, and after picking up bargains over the years, I too resent paying ticket price. The bigger fairs are open to traders, and are open to offers, so it's often a good chance to pick up some stuff that you'd see for triple the money in other places. I work for my dollar, and won't part with it unless I believe it's truly worth it!
    You're right about grief.....if you think about it, grief is actually quite a selfish thing. X
    I will do my best to enjoy Peterborough, thank you. Have a fantastic week Lynne x

  3. oh i wasn't saying that you were being selfish please don't think that - i think grief affects people in different ways - i remember walking out of the hospital when my dad died - i think he waited for me to get to coventry from bristol (fanciful? i don't know) - and one of my sister's tearfully said "well they are together now" and my other sister said "i bet they are having their first argument that it took him so long to get there!!!" and we fell about laughing - goodness knows what others would have thought about that BUT that is my family's sense of humour - you lost your dad when he was quite young - going by today's standards - that really is so sad - it is good that you still think and talk about him - he is a big part of your life and how lovely that you can hear his voice on the tape ...... what i am trying to say is grief is what it is to you - doesn't matter if others get it or not - perhaps that IS selfish i don't know - carrying on being you cos you sound like a good person to me!!!! xx

    1. Don't worry! I knew you didn't mean that x I think grief is selfish, because it largely about what WE miss and, what WE want, and what WE can no longer have. Selfishness isn't always a negative either. Realising that my feelings were about why I missed and that my Dad was surely much better off, helped. You're right, it's personal and different for everybody. I'm enjoying treasuring all the positives that have come since x

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  5. Sorry you are missing your fair... but sounds like Peterborough will be amazing... so all turned out for the best in the end.
    Your Dad sounds amazing and what a wonderful relationship you had... so many treasured memories... I loved reading your story which was so poignant... and tears have streamed down my face... bless your heart!! Its so nice to be able to get these emotions out in the open... all part of the healing and acceptance of losing a very precious loved one.... xx♥xx

    1. It is good to 'talk'! I'm in a great place and at peace with things....I just like to remember of course. Thanks for reading! And writing! I thought there might be a funny reception to this post, but you have let me know its ok x

  6. Lovely story Jo.. hope you find a bargain or two at Peterborough!
    I don't seem to be able to reply to you in person on my blog there's no link... and I'm still not able to follow you here ... very odd. Maybe if you add the blog lovin link to your blog I'll be able to follow through that. If you contact me via email with your address (see link and address on right border of my post) then I'll be happy to send you some seeds and possibly some baby hh plants too. Cx

  7. I've added the bloglovin widget for you, and will send you an email. Thank you very much foryour kind offer, and your perseverance in keeping up with me despite my lack of technical know how! Xx

    1. Think it is more a case of the blind attempting to help the blind Jo... I've no idea how to do half the things others seem to be able to do on their blogs BUT at least am now following you... hooray! Cx

  8. What a poignant and beautiful tale.
    Thanks for popping by to say lovely to meet you x

  9. What a lovely story about your dad ... so sad but also such wonderful memories. He looks and sounds like he was a colourful character ... and he brought you your lovely friend S.
    Have a great time in Peterborough. Treat yourself to something nice and share it with us next week!
    M x

    1. Thank you! I most certainly will share my treasure after Peterborough on Saturday! I just visited your blog and saw the gorgeous Atwell handkerchiefs! You have some beautiful treasure!
      Thank you for leaving me a note.....brought a big smile xXx

  10. Oh now you have me going too (or is the wine! after all it is friday night! )

    So sorry to hear about your Dad he sounds like a wonderful human bean! and he could sing too Fab...I love your blog off to read some more now...D x