Last night was a trip down memory lane – a gig by a music artist of a similar age to myself who played a mixture of his latest material and stuff from back-in-the-day.

I’ve followed Ben Watt from his days as a solo artist in the early ’80’s through his time with Tracey Thorn in Everything But The Girl and now full-circle with a new album in collaboration with Bernard Butler.

All this has seemed as though Ben & Tracey in particular were almost friends – their development and evolution matched mine as we aged and experienced life at the same time.

I don’t mean this to sound as though I am a stalker but merely that their life experience (illustrated in published material) reminds me of the times that have passed over the intervening years.

Last night, Ben Watt visited Newcastle with Bernard Butler for a very small and intimate gig ably supported by a much younger artist called David Broad and the whole night just …worked.

I was accompanied by my wife and two friends (one ten years younger and one twenty years younger) and we all really enjoyed ourselves – it was emotional and enjoyable all at the same time.

Elements of the evening were particularly poignant to me when Ben referred in song to revisiting his boyhood home or scattering his fathers ashes – a small lump formed in the throat and… was gone.

Tonight, perhaps reinforced by the previous evening’s experience, I saw a short clip on TV previewing a documentary wherein an elderly lady states quite clearly that she does not want to go into care, a learned doctor engages within the couple with the need to consider their future rationally and the husband states that they do not want to be parted…poignancy returns.

I am reminded of the time where I and my siblings intervened to convince my mother and father that Dad had to go into care to protect Mum’s health as he was becoming too much to cope with.

Even though I know that the advice and decision was right, it gets no easier with the passing years.

A shitty decision taken, with the best of intentions but still a shitty outcome and regrets that linger on.


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