A GUEST SERIES
Released as a single on Creation Records in August 1990 (Reached Number 26)
There were two plans for the number one and last segment of this series. The first plan was to write something about my daughter and post ‘Shake It Off’ by Taylor Swift. I was going to wax lyrical about how fantastic my daughter is and how it was because of her that I decided to scratch this particular itch that had developed inside me. Then she wrote that ICA from a few weeks ago and sort of showed everyone reading how fantastic she is.
Although I will tell you about the events of a cold December morning, which will further evidence it. On that morning, my daughter caught me crying. It was two in the morning and I couldn’t sleep. I’d had a bad day and sat up in the lounge and I was listening to something I downloaded (a podcast about the disappearance of Maddie McCann) and it made me cry. My daughter, bless her, stumbled into the lounge, needing the toilet and happened to see me.
Six hours or so later I walked my daughter to school. There is a bit on the walk where we always decided to go left past the farmhouse or right along the track. I always ask her which way she wants to go. On this morning she told me I could decide. We walked along the track and halfway along the track my daughter stops and asks me why I was crying in the night. She asks me (and remember she is seven) if I still loved mummy and if I still loved her. I stop in my tracks and kneel down, skilfully avoiding the horse poo.
I tell her that I was crying because I was listening to something sad on the computer and that, of course, I still love her and mummy. My daughter nods and tears appear in her eyes and she tells me to listen to something happy, which is devastatingly brilliant advice. We hug each other. There is not a soul around and the world just kinds of fast forwards itself around us. It’s one of those moments that should last forever and one of those moments that make you feel better instantly.
I’m going to stick a song in here, just because it needs one
Ten minutes later we are at the school gates and I stand with my daughter and tell her to have a good day and that I will see her later. She stops at the door of the school and spins round and runs back to me. She digs her hand into her coat pocket and pulls out this little pink rubber unicorn thing that goes on the end of a pencil. She hands it to me.
“I always bring a friend to school in case I get lonely” she tells me, “But you can have this one, if you get lonely, give it a squeeze”, she says and with it she spins back around and runs in the school. My hand closes around the unicorn and I have to turn around quickly, otherwise the parents will see the tears in my eyes. That unicorn remains in my pocket to this day. I’ve just squeezed it a minute ago whilst writing the paragraph above this one and every time I squeeze it makes me happy or happier. Sometimes it’s the small things that make me realise/remember that I am one of the luckiest men there is. Anyway, let’s look at the second plan.
The second plan was to end this series by posting the song that was sitting on Top of the Charts on the day I was born. Sadly that for me is ‘Whispering Grass’ by Windsor Davies and Don Estelle, for those in the dark, these two were in the old BBC comedy ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’, a tragically unfunny, possibly racist sitcom about some men in the army. The song is awful as well. So I abandoned that plan too. But if I had been born the year after that….then this would have been sat at the top of charts, and it is way better (so same time next year…?)
I was always going to say thank you to JC though, for allowing me the time and space to write this series though. This series was always supposed to be about influences, people, songs, events, places, things that have happened that influenced me over the last 45 years (although in reality 35 years). One of those things has been this very website, one of those people has been you Mr Clark, and if I was wearing a hat, I would be tipping it right now. The knowledge, the humour, the comradeship and the all-round warmth shown across this page is refreshing and a joy. The fact that you allow me to witter on, unquestioned is appreciated more than you will ever know, although I would imagine that one or two of the regulars would disagree with that.
Thanks for reading, as ever. Its been a pleasure. Stay tuned for my A to Z of ICAs….I’m joking…I think
Happy 45th birthday SWC.
Thanks for an incredible series that felt as if we were on board the most emotional of rollercoasters, with shrieks of laughter interspersed with ‘WTF!!!!????’ moments. You cannot let this be your final contribution to the blog, unless, of course, this has helped mend a few scars that have prevented you from getting things going again under your own steam.
Have a great lockdown birthday with your loved ones. Play some songs, have some dances, and eat loads of cake. I’ll certainly, at some point today, pour myself a glass of rum and toast your good health. 7pm UK time if anyone cares to join me while I’m giving this 7″ single from 2008 a spin.
7pm update: as promised. Spiced Rum from Glasgow with ice. And a 45 rotating at 45rpm. Happy birthday SWC.