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numbers, fucking numbers

any wonder so many jumpers?

runners lumber, unencumbered

thunder covers all the colours

lovers, rubber, seeking comfort

from the numbers all the fucking numbers


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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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Splishy, splashy

White wine
So fine
Drinking in the sunshine
By the Tyne
All part of life’s great design
& what’s more …all mine!

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He’ll be missed

I saw a friend last week
Someone I haven’t met in almost 10 years came to visit me at my office
He knew that I had recently suffered with depression and that my thoughts had turned to suicide & he was clearly suffering himself so I told him to come straight over
We talked for a couple of hours, shook hands and man-hugged and off he went

His father rang me today to say that his suicide note had thanked me for listening

He jumped from a viaduct on Friday & I hope that those last few fleeting moments were free as a bird in flight

35, full of humour and now …gone


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The Oracle

Some say it would be a miracle
If I became an oracle
So wise, astute & ultimately shrewd
Some say it would be terrible
That I should remain in clerical
Staying silly, dumb, so infantile & rude

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Ifs buts & what could have beens

I could have been a contender
You better listen-up mister
If I’d really made an effort
I could have been an Andrews Sister
I could have been neat
My technique complete
If I’d really put the training in
I could have been a top athlete
I could have been witty
I could have been cocky
With bland RP on the BBC
I could have been the next disk jockey
I could have been Audrey Hepburn
With my neck so sleek
The fact that I’m a bloke
Wouldn’t stop me from being so chic
Things my mother has said to me
Over the years
The shame of an accountant in the family
It appears!

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Unpolished thoughts

I am naive

I have come to the conclusion that I lack sufficient sophistication to survive in the modern world because …I think the best of people

Sad to say that, though I wish it would be so, people are not always what they might seem!

I have been burnt quite severely by employers where – I have given my all with the best of intentions only to suffer from their insensitivities, their ignorance and their (on occasion) malice.

I have also suffered when at my most vulnerable from those who, though they may have assured me that I would grow to dislike them, nevertheless purported to be likeable and so, insinuated themselves into my life only to spit me out when most needed.

Perhaps it is paranoia but mutual aquaintances have turned away from me in sufficient numbers to suggest that untruths may have been spread about me and my behaviour during the period of my lowest point – my most challenging hour.

The last two years have seen me sink to lows including severe depression brought on mostly by work related stress. At the nadir, I sought solace and friendship where I could and, somewhat manically embraced social media as a source of that friendship.

I have learnt from that mistake and, regrettably have developed a healthy scepticism for some who frequent the social media universe.

Some are true, innocent and openly loving and supportive – others are confused, mixed up & mistaken. I stop short of malicious because I am pretty sure that most are simply misguided.

As for me, I have moved on – I have joined the ranks of the self-employed and as a result, the unemployable – there is no going back now.

As a result I am now in a much healthier state of mind – my home relationships are much improved and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

But I am chastened and I am cautious in cyber space – reaching out for friendship can get your hands scolded or worse can get your reputation tarnished.


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