Beatles songs have been on my radar this week with Ron Howard’s documentary of the Touring Years shown on Friday reminding me of the brilliance of their work, as if to confirm what moved Bruno Tonioli to tears on Desert Island Discs over “There are Places I Remember”.
The lyrics came to mind for me when I was refurbishing one of my mobile phones for The Old Man and I was diverted by the photos on the memory card. They dated from 2011 through to 2013. Times when Fudgey dog had a black muzzle, VB was celebrating her 16th and a herd of heifers destroyed the Old Man’s Brussels.
It was in 2012 that we started to take on the Old Man’s garden. But it is not pics of the lavender that we planted that evoke the strong memories: it is the pictures of VB on sports day and JB Jr being dropped off at Liverpool uni for his first year. And most significantly the photos of Mrs B in chemotherapy, being treated for nutropenia, and undergoing autologous stem cell transplant: these are the images that drag up the strongest feelings. But in between the bad times there was the hope that 2012 engendered when we welcomed the world to London for the olympics and Barack Obama was president of the USA. There was a sense that the world could become a better place.
Upheavals in the past year for me could have challenged any lingering positivity, with changes of jobs, moving house and ailing parents, not to mention the idiocy of our political systems and world leaders. But strangely the memories from 2012 of spending our silver wedding anniversary in an isolation ward in Musgrove Park, as Mrs B’s stem cells worked to re-colonise her system, remind me (if I need it) that I am a lucky man. We have our health, and we have happiness in our new home while our two little ‘uns start out on professional careers as teacher and (in a few months’ time) doctor.
2018 promises more challenges, but we will take them in our stride, Mrs B and I, and we know there will be plenty of good times and laughs. It will all be OK.
“And I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about themIn my life I loved you more”