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 knows....it 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 adventures....so 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.