Wednesday, October 18, 2006

One Day In History

It was an onthefaceofit ordinary day at the office, housed in a mid-Victorian former Vicarage next to the imperturbable structure of St Mary's in the midst of the once bomb-strewn city, save for one factor. I was desperate not to receive an email or any other form of communication from a very dear friend.

I would usually delight in receiving a welcome salve from the onslaught of dreary, work-related, and largely estate-agent-generated virtual correspondence but any communication from this friend would likely result in all my plans for the forthcoming evening dissipating into smoke through the large settlement gaps in the first floor windows.

5.30pm. I'd made it without hiccup, all to do now was to drive about 10 miles West, pick up my companion and head back into town along the new super-fast, recently-decongested-after-a-shaming-from-Peter-Levy dual-carriageway. The doors opened at 6.30pm. I had no intentions of being unfashionably, and completely uncharacteristically, early so that left ample time to deconstruct, pick over and attentively analyse what had caused her idyllic, healthy, secure 3-year relationship to disintegrate less than 60 hours previous. We had it summarised in less than 45 minutes. He was mad!

That done, we jumped into my super-duper Saga-assisted Rover and soon found ourselves at the oddly-quiet oak doors of the City Hall. A brief chat with the amused attendants informed us that the Keane gig was at the Ice Arena. We almost tripped over ourselves to get away lest anyone should think we'd been serious about getting into the Jane MacDonald concert.

We'd missed the support groups but quickly found ourselves a cushty spot near the sound engineers, the best place for acoustics in any gig according to a former roadie that I once frequented. Suddenly the lights went out and a tangible thrill spread around the arena, heightened by the prolonged notes eminating from the stage. We'd made it, Tom Chaplin had made it out of rehab for his first gig of the band's tour after cancelling all their US dates earlier in the year and all was well. I hadn't anticipated they would open with 'Put It Behind You'. My heart was in my mouth and it had nothing to do with the emotive sounds emanating from the stage.

Have you ever listened, properly listened, to Keane lyrics? They are far too miserable for the elegant, melodic and occasionally funky tunes this bunch of twenty-something barely-shaving prodigies churn out and certainly not the fodder that a self-respecting bereavement counsellor would prescribe as therapeutic for a grieving client, let alone a close friend.

I thought I might be able to relax when Tom announced he was about to sing a cover. Scott Walker's ' The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Any More' promptly struck up. I was all for throwing myself off the Humber Bridge on the way home. I could hardly bring myself to look at my mate, but I did, and she was swaying and bopping, and displaying the staunchest of cute, perfectly-formed chins one could ever wish to behold. Sure, she got the references in the songs, who couldn't, sad songs blast at you from every angle when you least want them, but they were glancing off her much as rabid bats bother Lara Croft.

My city has it's historic and iconic buildings, it attracts contemporary culture but the most timeless, beautiful and enduring thing I encountered today was my slight, bruised friend's leviathan spirit.

This post has been submitted to the One Day In History project at www.historymatters.org.uk

15 Comments:

Blogger Dave said...

This isn't written so posh/poetically because of the place to which you have submitted it, perchance?

7:47 am  
Blogger Stegbeetle said...

C.P. that's beautiful. Well worth preserving for posterity.

8:21 am  
Blogger Tiger Nation said...

Tell your fiend to On A Day Like Today, Put It Behind You, he is just a Frog Prince, its Bad Dream, Everybody's Changing.
But if she had listened to the lyrics she might already know that.

9:27 am  
Blogger tom909 said...

Cherry baby you are a sweet sweet girl and your friend is lucky to be your friend.
And there is nothing more beautiful than the human spirit babe, you are so right. if i had to take a guess I'd say it's what life is all about.

11:34 am  
Blogger ziggi said...

I hope your friend will be OK - as Tom says she is lucky to have you as a friend.

11:37 am  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Dave - ok, so you recognised my neatest handwriting and the fact that I didn't use 'f*ck' in the post. I'm not sure whether this is a compliment or not

Steg - thankyou, I can always rely on you to be a gentleman of discernment. At least there's one of you in Norfolk.

Mr. T. Nation-welcome to Blogland. I've already checked out your first posts and I'm sure plenty more will soon enough. With corny comments like that, you'll fit in nicely. ( thanks for the tickets, btw x)


Tom- mwah mwah mwah - considered yourself covered in sloppy kisses

Ziggi - she'll be fine. She's already doing far better than I would in her shoes. She hasn't done anything worthy of an ASBO for a start.

2:12 pm  
Blogger Mise said...

I keep saying to myself, 'She's a good writer' ... now I'll say you're a good friend to have too, Cherry. :D

5:37 pm  
Anonymous Sharon J said...

You managed to get all that into the little box over at the day in history thing? I managed about five lines before my cursor stood still and would move no more. Same with the keywords - I managed about five of those, too. Needless to say, I was deeply disappointed because I had sooooo much to say.

At least you managed to say something wonderful :-)

10:21 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Sharon - I had that problem with the keywords and it took me a couple of attempts to post initially. I'm still not sure it worked as I haven't been able to find it on the site yet.

11:29 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

Oh, yeah. I meant to say all the nice things that everyone else said. I'm just such a warm person that you can take that sort of thing as read from me, without me having to say it, OK?

9:26 am  
Blogger Joyce said...

wow! what a terrific collection of words-- I had to read slowly so that my brain could sort of keep up...

2:39 pm  
Blogger Joyce said...

and because I'm pretty slow, I just re-read it, and its just lovely.
3 years?! Bastard!!

2:43 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Dave - everyone knows you're a complete softie gushy bloke underneath all that cricket nonsense

Joyce - I sometimes forget to breath even when I write

8:35 pm  
Blogger Frontier Editor said...

You and I have to trade jobs - you write far better than I do at times like these, and I'd make a better lawyer based on lack of personality alone >;^D>

9:34 pm  
Blogger Carmenzta said...

Cherry,
Your friend is indestructible because she doesn't feel sorry for herself! I admire that so much. And what everyone else said: You are a great friend.

8:25 pm  

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