THE REALISATION THAT IT’S HARD TO MAKE THE GOOD THINGS LAST

(JC writes….I gave this post its title and picked out the image…..the words are those of a dear friend)

Ok….Its time….

It’s February 13th 2019, and I am sat in Tim’s office waiting for him to come back from Ashburton, he is late but this was usual for Tim – he messaged me about four hours ago telling me he would be running late and told me to be in his office for 4pm.

An hour after that I phone him and he tells me that he is leaving Ashburton in five minutes. As I sit and wait for him I draw rude things on his notepad and write ‘Your Mum’ underneath them.

There is a knock on the door. I put the notepad under a large book and get up and open the door. It is his boss. Her eyes are red and she has clearly been crying. I look at her and she starts crying again.

“There’s been an incident”. She takes a deep breath, it doesn’t work, there are more tears. “Tim…” she says. Somewhere my phone is ringing. I let it ring.

“He’s had a heart attack, in the car park at Ashburton”, (now on reflection I’m not sure why she added that bit). The phone rings again, it beeps to tell me there is a message. “They did everything they could, but it wasn’t enough, he couldn’t be saved. Oh, God, it’s awful”.

I look at her, numb, it’s like I don’t even know who this lady is or even what language she is speaking. I shake my head and instinctively rub my forehead. “Lorna…” I just about say

“I’ve just phoned his wife…” the lady continues “but I think your wife is with her…” That explains the phone calls….

And then the boss hugs me and I can’t hold it anymore. She tells me to go home, both of us are a mess to be fair, and she has to tell an entire office the news, I offer to do it and she shakes her head and says “Absolutely Not. Go.”

I phone my wife first. We don’t say much. We can’t. I sit in the car at work for what seems like forever but in reality is about four minutes and then I drive home.

The next few weeks are a blur. I spend most of it diverting calls to my voice mail and trying to come to terms with the (unexpectedly fucking early) death of my best friend. Whichever way I look at it, I can’t fathom it out. One evening in late February I remember sitting in my lounge and just feeling utterly useless. I keep looking at my phone just in case it’s been a mistake or some sort of miracle. But of course there hasn’t been one. Tim’s gone and nothing will change that.

Tim was 51 years of age. It is no age at all. I can’t work this out. He was one of the fittest blokes I knew.

Sometimes life is just unexplainable, rubbish and plain wrong.

We buried Tim in the second week of March, the weather was glorious, and he now lies in the church graveyard in the village where he lived in Devon. He has a view over rolling Dartmoor hills down to Becky Falls.

I was ok at the funeral until Lorna stood up and spoke. She told the story of how she and Tim met, a story which very few people know. Tim saved her sister’s life. He sat with her sister for four hours, on the top of a cold freezing pile of rocks, not far from the very church that we were all sat in at that moment. He persuaded Lorna’s sister not to jump off those rocks.

Tim was a hero. This may be a cliché and I apologise if it is, but I’ve never seen a couple so utterly devoted to each other as the Badgers.

After Lorna had finished her story she told everyone that she was going to sit down and a song was going to come on and from seemingly nowhere, this filled the room.

Sunshine on Leith

You all know this song. I had no idea Tim loved it, he probably thought I would have taken the piss out of him. I probably would have done. In reality I love this song.

Around a minute or so into that song, it goes “…Thank You, Thank You…” and people start clapping. There are a few cheers and then…well Tim Badger is the probably the only person who has ever had a standing ovation at his funeral. It was a tear jerking, spine chilling, amazing moment. .

Ok. It’s taken me two months to write this, I’m sorry if seems an impersonal way of doing it but that’s the way it has to be. I know that there will be people out there who would have wanted to pay their respects, I’m sorry about that too. Tim wouldn’t have wanted a fuss, he would have been embarrassed at the thought of it. If its ok with you, please pay your respects through this page, Lorna will read them all, I promise. I was going to post this over at the TSOBO place, but I can’t, I can’t continue our blog, not yet. I have tried.

I’ll miss him dearly, I already do. The emptiness he leaves is immeasurable. He was utterly brilliant, he was funny, he was serious and it was a privilege to have even been allowed in the same room as him.

Sometimes I’ll hear a piece of music and I’ll immediately grab the phone to tell him and then realise. Or I’ll see a gig advertised and want to go with him to that gig (Tim, Honeyblood in Exeter, 15th May, you interested….?). I’ll miss the ‘stupid boy trips’ – we were going to do one in March, to Scotland. We were going to turn up at Simply Thrilled hand a certain DJ a note with a specific song request and retreat to the bar.

Just because we could.

I’m going to leave you with a song, another favourite of Tim’s, I’m sure under the circumstances no one will mind.

Lately – British Sea Power

Because, well just because.

SWC
April 2019

 

JC adds….

I’ve had a few days to take in this news. It’s still, however, impossible to fathom.

I’m incredibly proud that I became friends with Tim in recent years.  He was –  as SWC says in that moving, eloquent and perfectly worded tribute –  brilliant, funny and serious.

He was an ideas man and most of the things that cropped up at When You Can’t Recall Anything and later at The Sound of Being OK, were hatched from something that Tim would have uttered to SWC.

It was SWC who latched on to my blog a few years ago, initially via the comments sections before offering to become a regular guest contributor.  He told me he had a mate called Tim who also fancied having a go, that is if I’d be happy to accept his contributions.  And from that small beginning, great things happened, both here and at their own places.

I have one huge regret, one that Has caused me an enormous amount of grief these past few days, namely that I never got to meet Tim.  There were a number of instances when it nearly happened, but circumstances, many of which have been well-documented in particular over the past two years, prevented this happening.  Reading that the boys had plans in hand to surprise me at the last Simply Thrilled night was gut-wrenching…..

Tim, often with the assistance and connivance of SWC, made me laugh out loud more than any other of the TVV regulars.  He also introduced me to some amazing new music and provided reminders of the magnificence of some old stuff.  I have no doubt that had we hooked up, it would have been man-love at first sight and within a matter of minutes we would have been sitting in a corner talking excitedly about music, sport, politics, society and all sorts of unimportant nonsense, delighted and thrilled that the expectation of the imaginary on-line friendship was even better in real life…..everyone who came to the gathering in Glasgow a couple of years back will know exactly what I’m getting at.

Those who were closest to this great man will be hurting badly.  They will, at times, be understandably angry at the unfairness of it all.  And, if my experience of losing my best friend over eight years ago is anything to go by, not a day will ever pass without him coming into their thoughts.  I do hope that everyone, and in particular Lorna, will be consoled by the fact that Tim was loved and admired by so many, even those of us who only knew him via words on a computer screen.  He was an incredibly special human being and he will live forever in all of our memories.

I’ve decided to refrain from making any fresh posts on TVV for a few days – at least a week – to enable folk who only drop in occasionally to learn of the sad passing of our inspirational bosom buddy.

SWC also said something of enormous significance and wisdom in the e-mail a few days ago, informing me of the tragedy:-

“Tim was a brilliant person who wouldn’t want people to be sad for him or because of him.”

I’ll try my best mate, I really will.

 

 

29 thoughts on “THE REALISATION THAT IT’S HARD TO MAKE THE GOOD THINGS LAST

  1. That was beautiful. Sounds like Tim was too. I’m sorry for your loss, all of you in this story.

    “I’ll thank him for his work, and your birth, and my birth”

  2. My deep and sincere thoughts and condolences to Lorna, SWC, family and friends. Although my connection to Tim was through his writings, it was his words that painted a picture of the man – one I felt some familiarity with through his love of music and the obvious love he had for his family and friends.

  3. Really terrible news that arrived. Deep condolences to Lorna, SWA, family and friends. I also knew him only by writing but from many words he wrote I saw a man behind the words full of love, enthusiastic and a great story teller, that made some days brighter when I read his posts. Miss him

  4. Such sad sad news. My thoughts go out to Lorna and Tim’s family and to SWC and all Tim’s friends real and virtual

  5. Such incredibly sad and awful news. A beautiful, perfect tribute from both of you. I loved his posts and, like many here, got a great sense of a warm and witty man and a fantastic friend to those he knew, and that just from reading his words on a blog. Sending much love and heartfelt condolences to everyone close to him, especially Lorna and SWC. x

  6. Well, there isn’t pretty much to add to what has already been said further above, isn’t it? Also it’s rather hard to find appropriate words in a language which isn’t your own. The truth of the matter though, to be honest, is that I’m lost for words anyway.

    I’ve never met Tim – I only ever read his posts/comments. And, as strange as this might sound now, I’m somewhat rather glad that he and SWC couldn’t make it to The Glasgow Gathering back then. Why? Because I am sure he would have turned out to be a top bloke, one – having met him in flesh – I would miss even more today than I already do as a more or less ‘anonymous’ guy …

    My thoughts are with his family, with SWC and everyone who proudly called him a friend, but, of course, especially with Lorna …

    Take good care, mate, you’ll be missed!

  7. Thoughts and deepest sympathies are with everyone connected to Tim. I can only imagine the sense of loss you all must feel. I hope the fact that Tim managed to touch so many people who never met him provides some small comfort

  8. This community has such deep fondness and admiration for Tim, SWC and everyone connected with, and referred to in, WYCRA/TSOBO that the loss of Tim is just that much more profoundly awful. My love and support and respect to Lorna and SWC. Let’s never forget the wonderful ways that Tim brought us all together.

  9. I can’t really add anything to what has already been said. I didn’t know Tim but I know, from following the candid and genuinely inspirational blogs, that he was clearly a brilliant guy. Life is a cunt at times and so, so, so unfair. I’m gutted for Lorna, I’m gutted for SWC and I’m gutted for those who’s path he crossed and touched. Sorry for your loss.

  10. I was honoured and privileged to have been a blogging friend of Tim (and SWC) for a few years. When I heard the news I was truly shocked and upset. I regret never meeting the man, but so pleased that we enjoyed some banter and shared some great music. I’m really not eloquent enough to express anything more meaningful or comforting to Tim’s family, friends and loved ones, just know I’m thinking of you all and sending love and warmth from South Wales. Take care of each other. x

  11. I still can’t find the words. I’ve tried to type something quite a few times now but the words just don’t seem right. Like JC and the others I only knew Badger through the blogs but ever time he wrote something I warmed to him even more and would look forward to his musings and observations. Didn’t always like the.music but still.
    I have no idea how KC, SWC or Lorna are feeling but they have my deepest sympathies and condolences.
    I early February Tim left a comment on my blog that made me smile when I was extremely low and I will never forget that.
    Drew

  12. There are so many songs in my library that are only there because of Tim. As such, in my house, there will be ongoing reminders of Tim, his stories and his musical preferences for years to come. Condolences to all 😢

  13. Very sorry to read this news – you guys would have
    been so welcome at the club. All the very best to
    those closest to Tim.

  14. A beautifully written tribute. The eloquence of your words shows how much Tim meant to you and what a special man he must have been.

  15. Hi everyone.
    Thank you for your comments and thoughts. It is genuinely moving to know how much everyone thought of Tim. He would be staggered by the amount of love being shown.
    It’s been a tough few months. As Swc said in his beautiful piece there is just this gap now where Tim used to be and getting used to that is really difficult. But I am getting there.
    Thanks also to JC for posting this and just for being so understanding.
    You are all lovely people and Tim would have adored you all. Take care folks
    Lorna

  16. So, so sad to read this. Condolences to all who knew Tim, especially Lorna, SWC and KC. He made me laugh many times and introduced me to some frankly awful music. For that I am truly grateful.

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