My Role As Millie’s Chief Tormentor

Two conversations, within five minutes, with my eleven-year-old daughter Millie:

1

When seeing Amanda Holden on television.

Millie: “My friend Sienna has met Amanda Holden.”

Me: “So have I.”

Millie: “Really? You’ve met her?”

“Me: “Yes.”

Millie: “Once?”

Me: “More than once.”

Millie: “Really?”

Me: “Yes, I’ve met Sienna lots of times.”

😂😂

Followed by:

2

Feeling the gap caused by a recently lost tooth:

Millie: “You know like I’ve lost a tooth? This girl in America was on YouTube and she put a tooth under her pillow and got a hundred pounds off the Tooth Fairy.”

Me: “No she didn’t.”

“Millie: “Err yes she did!!”

Me: “I bet you she didn’t.”

Millie: “Okay-shake on it then.”

Me: “Alright. If that girl in America got a hundred pounds I’ll give you fifty quid. If she didn’t you have got to do every job I give you for a week.”

Millie: “Deal!”

We shook hands on the wager.

Me: “In America they don’t have pounds they have dollars.”

😂😂

Yes goodnight Millie! Sleep well!

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(He)art of the City

In the wake of the Arena bomb, the city drew the creatives to itself, as though, in some act of self-healing catharsis, beauty was brought to counter the ghastly.

Along the city’s highways, and especially in St Anne’s Square which was fast becoming the focus for the people’s outpouring of grief and defiance, artists could be seen hunched over easels and pavement flagstones, etching hearts, bees and other symbols of resilience onto the bones of her wounded body.

Even now, on the eve of the anniversary, we turn to art to express our deepest responses.

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In the wake of the Arena bomb, musicians could be found playing the music of their fellow Mancunians; recognisable core DNA transmuted through classical, reggae and ballads of bleeding. Mourners broke vigils with spontaneous outpourings of adopted anthems.

Even now, on the eve of the anniversary, we quote the words of some of her favourite sons.

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Tomorrow is twelve months. The healing goes on.

 

 

 

The conception of ‘(He)art’ was created by my fellow blogger Laura Bruno Lilly. http://laurabrunolilly.com/blog/

A Random Conversation In The Library

(Background information: this took place in my local library. I sometimes take part in clinical trials, and if a book I’ve ordered comes in while I’m away my wife picks it up for me.)

 

I called into Middleton Library today. Two librarians were stood at the desk, one greeting me in surprise:

L: “Hello! I’ve not seen you for a while! I was only thinking about you the other day.”

Me:”You thought I’d died, didn’t you? On a trial. Never came out again alive.”

L:“No! I saw that comedian on the tv . . .

Me:”Don’t tell me-Jason Manford.”

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L:”No but . . . yes! You are like him!”

Me:”You’re the fourth person now to tell me that. Who was it you was watching?

L:”Peter Kay.”

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Me:”Well thanks a bunch!”  I did that thing with my double chin.

L: ““I mean the way he tells his stories!”

The other librarian now joined in, thinking it an opportune moment to extricate her colleague from a conversation running amok.

L#2: “Didn’t I see your wife in here? While you were away?

Me: “With another man?”

L#2: No! With the kids.”

Me: “To be honest I’m more worried about her being with the kids than with the other man. She’s not supposed to have access.”

 

My book was overdue. They waived the fine.

The Oldest Stories; Take A Bow Storyteller

I’ve read before that the oldest surviving work of literature is the  Epic of Gilgamesh, engraved on ancient Babylonian tablets 4,000 years ago. But no doubt our need to tell stories goes back beyond this, oral storytelling and art, for example in the form of the ancient cave paintings, both fulfilling this ancient, human desire.

In one of those moments of serendipity, as I was wondering what the oldest stories could be, beyond known written narratives such as Gilgamesh, I came upon a BBC article,  Fiction Addiction: Why Humans Need Stories (link below) with this interesting sidebar:

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Much in the way that local folklore gives definition to landscape and the world that surrounds us, did ancient man also make sense of his world with such creations?

The examples in the sidebar image are clues passed down to us that survive in written form, but what about before these? If only we could trace the lineage back, the evolution of storytelling, back into those obscuring mists of pre-history to rediscover the very first story, and pay homage to that very first storyteller, maybe sat around a fire or in a flame-illuminated cave, speaking into being the first myths and tribal histories.

Explaining events that gave fuel to a people evolving to wonder at origin and meaning, weaving a magic that still enchants today.

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20180503-our-fiction-addiction-why-humans-need-stories?ocid=ww.social.link.facebook

 

Morning Theft.

I’ve been having one of those nights.

I love Buckley, his voice; his playing.

And it’s all such a damn waste isn’t it? Such a tragic, pointless death that could have been easily avoided.

He left us without reaching anything like his potential, but that is just my own selfish lament.

After that acclaimed debut album, Grace, he was finally ready to record the follow up. He sent cassette demo recordings of the new songs he’d been working on to his band so they could familiarise themselves with them on their way over.

While his friends were in the air Jeff was already drowning in the Wolf River. Following his father Tim Buckley into an early grave.

Those songs, destined for an album named My Sweetheart The Drunk were eventually released posthumously on Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk. 

Further hints of what could have been.

This is one of those songs, one I’ve been playing over tonight. Beautiful, and poignant with the opening lines

Time takes care of the wound
So I can believe
You had so much to give
You thought I couldn’t see

R.I.P Jeff. Keep singing.