In this evening’s listening, the youtubes don’t exactly correspond to the text because it is near impossible to get exactly the right one. For example there’s a vid from New Zealand which is meant to be Australia and so on. Also, if you’re from Hull or you’re a bit sensitive, you don’t want to be watching one particular clip [chuckle].
This is the tale of a man who began slowly, hit the good times and then slowly, bit by bit, faded away.
When this man found himself [as a boy] in Australia, he didn’t understand then that that country is a country for young people and it almost goes without saying that you’ll be outdoors, usually at the beach, sometimes at the barbecue.
The Australians used to have an expression “no worries” and that was what it was about. My life was working then sailing, going to the football and playing cricket and rugby. This was the sort of thing:
This is an actual picture near our yacht club:
If it wasn’t having fun, it was seeing the wildlife on the other side of the country:
But all good things must end, including two errors on the matrimonial front and we came back over here although for me, it was also the start of my North American adventure:
That west coast had your humble blogger zooming up and down it in his Pontiac Sunbird convertible and the territory was from Tijuana to Whistler. JJ Cale was the perfect accompaniment to the mindset of the time [and don’t forget there were California girls everywhere]:
I went back and forth to North America every year for a decade and when that was not possible, it was Europe:
Then something happened and I found myself in Russia for a year, which became twelve. That’s where I discovered the female of the species, thousands of them everywhere and everyone trying to look like a model. The Russians sure know how to do overkill. The men are spoiled rotten over there:
It all came to a crashing halt when the Russian authorities didn’t see eye to eye with the British and apart from a sojourn in Sicily with a special person:
… it was an otherwise worrying time. That’s where my stalker struck [remotely] for the first time. I’ll always remember the last concert before I left, not unlike this:
… and it was like the closing of the door on my life. All the way home on the plane, I was thinking of the pub culture and a foaming pint of real ale in good surroundings:
And so came the winter, the first back in these isles and it was a sharp reminder, punctuated with worry over certain people back in Russia:
Was there ever a winter so cold and so sad
The river too weary to flood
The storming wind cut through to my skin
But she cut through to my blood
I would not be asking, I would not be seen
A-beggin’ on mountain or hill
But I’m ready and blind with my hands tied behind
I’ve neither a mind nor a will
It’s hard to describe this time now and yet it is like coming to the rise in the pic above, seeing the welcoming lights in the distance but then realizing that all those from your past have passed on, gone, you’ve lost contact. They’re great people I’m close to at the moment but they’d be the first to admit it’s not the meeting of long lost friends. It’s new friendships or maybe the start of new old friendships.
A girl asked me where my parents were. Gone. Brothers? Sisters? Nope. Wife? Don’t know where they are now. Old friends? Down south or moved on. It was having a life and now suddenly being removed from it. Like Peer Gynt or Rip Van Winkle with the thing being compounded by approaching age and a couple of health issues.
You can keep moving, you can walk to the end of the pier with purpose:
… but then you must inevitably walk back again. So you stand, looking:
… and then slip back into the shadows:
Everybody’s got a secret, Sonny,
Something that they just can’t face,
Some folks spend their whole lives trying to keep it,
They carry it with them every step that they take.
Till some day they just cut it loose
Cut it loose or let it drag ’em down,
Where no one asks any questions,
or looks too long in your face,
In the darkness on the edge of town.
This was a life.