Tuesday, August 02, 2005


In case you have never thought this thought it is something nobody ever told me and you need to know it.

It first hit me in 1994. I went to see Crowded House at the NEC and they encored (sorry to make that a verb) 'Together Alone' complete with Maori choir. It was sensational. I was singing it for the next 24 hours and then my dog died. Alex was a remarkable labrador whose history has been regularly chronicled and the stories of whose life figure regularly in my public speaking so I won't write them all down. He had the biggest personality in our house, which is a highly competitive environment for personality disorders, and he had been ill for a while and I'm glad he died but I still miss him. I can't play Together Alone any more.

Had the same problem playing an Angelique Kidjo album in the car to cheer me up on the way over to the hospital to visit my Dad when he was ill. He died and the album had to die too. I have tried playing it but it's too hard.

Yesterday I was contemplating, with some sadness, the fact that my baby (OK he's 23 now but you get the picture) after returning from university with a good degree, is leaving home for, probably, ever. Today. In four hours time. Whilst these thoughts imposed themselves upon my mind I was half-listening to the excellent new Hard-Fi album and there is this slow track towards the end and I realised I had done it again.

Now Ickle Jonnie hasn't gone the same way as the dog or the Dad; only Exeter in fact but on May 12th 1982 I caught him on the way out of his mother while the midwife wasn't paying attention and that seems to have been my job for the last 23 years - a sort of backstop.

The best track on the Hard-Fi album is Tied up too Tight. Will play that really loud later. It's a thing children shouldn't be. Let go those ropes.

So if you anticipate a family trauma watch out for the soundtrack.

Now what shall we play when Jon's older brother leaves?

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