Tag Archives: lifetime

Striking a chord

20110807 Portable DAB Radio Smiling Double Chin 150x150 Striking a chord

I was driving home from work last week and heard the song “The end of the innocence” by Don Henley played on BBC Radio 2, which is beautifully poignant, like many of Henley’s songs.

Whilst it feels a bit like it never really gets going – almost like a 5 minutes 13 seconds long intro – it’s a good listen once you get into it.  Musically it has a similar vibe to “The Way it is” by Bruce Hornsby, with heavy chords played on a bright piano, albeit a little bit less upbeat.

When I got home I fired up Grooveshark and listened to some of Don Henley’s other songs that I love but had forgotten existed, a notable one being “The Heart of the Matter”, which is also a song with melancholic undertones.

There following three lines struck a chord (pun not intended):

There are people in your life who’ve come and gone

They let you down; you know they hurt your pride

You’d better put it all behind you baby, ‘cause life goes on

Apart from the obvious and somewhat apt theme of this song, these words are applicable to relationships in a broader sense, namely friendships.  It reminds me of something someone (I forget who) said recently: some friends are for a reason, some for a season and some for a lifetime – or words to that effect.  This sentiment is also echoed in a song by Baz Luhrman, “Everybody’s free (to wear sunscreen)”, which comprises words by Mary Schmich set to music.  This song features the equally pithy line:

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on.


The above statement is undeniably true and in a thought experiment I did quickly I categorised some the people I know and have known, both in Bristol and in other places I have lived over the years, into different metaphorical boxes (I call them figmentholes), hypothesising what their response would be in a time of needI call it assistocranioreflexpothesis.

Surprisingly there were a few people in a box with seemingly incompatible characteristics, namely those that I rarely see yet could rely on to help me and for general support.  That’s not to say that the people I see regularly wouldn’t help – I am merely drawing your attention to this peculiar subset of friends and acquaintances.

The obvious question is, how can someone I rarely see be categorised as someone I would call a true friend?  K T Tunstall echoes this sentiment in her song “Other side of the world” with the words: Can you still love me if you can’t see me anymore?  I think the answer could be yes.

I have heard it said that the human brain has only evolved to such a level that it can only handle a certain number of friends.  But as a Vaxian (or vacuum cleaner as you humans refer to my species) I wouldn’t really know. 

Austerity and Community 

I believe I have written about this before – I really can’t remember, as I have written quite a few articles – but in an age of plenty (pre-2008) and a heavily services-biased economy where people are used to paying for services, it’s easy to see how people can feel more independent.  Who needs a good neighbour when you can buy a ladder in the closing down sale at the now defunct Focus DIY?  Who needs a friend to help you carry boxes when you can pay a man with a van to do it for you?  True, but there is something very unsatisfying about that.

In a recent series by Andrew Marr (I’ve lost respect for him after revelations not only that he cheated on his wife, but also that he took out a super injunction to gag journalists – his own colleagues) entitled “Andrew Marr’s Megacities” I learned that you can hire a friend in Tokyo now.  It’s true that cities can be lonely places and it makes me wonder whether in this “age of austerity”, as David Cameron keeps calling it, society will change.  I suspect it won’t; independence is ingrained in our present culture and I reckon it would take at least a generation to change.

Full circle

This image shows the underside of a portable DAB (digital radio) player owned by a former colleague.  We come full circle with a reference to radio and music.  The device has a double chin and appears to be smiling as it pumps out music extracted from the invisible vibrations in the ether by Fourier transforms and other clever mathematics that no-one really gives a toss about.  It’s just a bloody radio, ok?

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Chew on this!

20101127 Scary Tin Opener 225x300 Chew on this!Ever tried opening a tin can with your teeth? No, nor me. Never had to, thanks to this little thing called a tin opener. Ever used your teeth to open a bottle? Again, never had to. But this cheeky little chappy has. It’s a combined tin and bottle opener with massive front teeth. He has opened many a bottle for me in the past: bottles of ale, cider and fruit juice to name but a few. He has a slightly psychopathic look in his eyes, either from a lifetime of opening bottles with his teeth, or maybe that’s the reason he opens bottles in this manner.

What would I do without a bottle opener… Why, I’d use a sword, of course!

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