Big day; I am certain everyone in New Zealand has got themselves in front of the TV or other Medias to listen to Jacinda and Dr Bloomfield. This has been one soap opera I have taken to. The degree of information and openness; and the willingness to give that information has been very refreshing. In my opinion both have been excellent leaders in this unique situation.
It’s very clear we wouldn’t be in the situation we are in without some very big and brave decisions. Making the call to put us all into lock-down was massive but ultimately proven the right one. I am certain the conclusion to keep us at level 4 for a few more days was equally as difficult a choice.
We as a nation have been asked to make some massive sacrifices and done so without complaint. We have done this not so much for ourselves and not just for friends, neighbours and colleagues; but all New Zealanders as a whole. We love our country and we love our people, now more than ever is the time to go that extra mile. In the great scheme of things we have sacrificed so little to save so much, one last push New Zealand; one last push.
Off my soap box now, I have no political agenda for my work and certainly don’t want my utterings to take on that form. So I thought I would tell you about my great love of music and how one piece of music I have carried throughout my life.
When it comes to music I will listen to anything; classical, blues, funk, punk, ska, grunge, I will listen to it all. I even like a bit of acid jazz from time to time. That being said I won’t be fobbed off, if its rubbish it gets turned off. My big loves are rock, grunge, brit-pop, indie, basically if it has a guitar in I am happy. But my one piece of music I carry with me is quite different, but you need the whole story to understand.
In my late teens I worked in The Victoria Hotel in Sidmouth, only washing up. Or a plate technician as I put on my early CV; but here I made a great many friends, close friends that I still have to this day. When I look back, the times I had at the Vic were some of the most fun times of my life. We were all young, not really thinking about our futures. Enjoying the present and having a great laugh doing it. The weekend was our time, I was at college doing an engineering diploma at the time so only working weekends. But every Friday and Saturday night without fail we were out in the hot bed of sin that was Sidmouth.
Going out with hotel staff is always fun, you sort of take over a pub on mass and wherever the hotel staff were doing their drinking was the place to be. Within this group was a core of us, the Ken squad. Five blokes that for reasons barely explainable would call each other Ken. The best bit was we always knew who we were talking to or about. Those on the outside looking in would get very confused about it all but we would be having great fun. We even had our own drink, Ken or Heineken to the uninitiated. At that time in the UK we had Heineken Export or Ken Sport to us.
Most evenings would start the same, we would nip into town to check out the local off-license for bargains. Pick up a takeaway and back to the hotel.
The Vic had its own staff accommodation block, lovingly referred to as the Annex where most of us lived. I say most of us, not me I was still a boy and living at home with my folks. But Friday and Saturday was our time, so out would come my sleeping bag and a night on Ken Lee’s sofa was ahead of me.
Every evening would start in much the same vein, munch whatever food we had. Drink the bargain beers we had foraged and play Mario Kart. Myself, Ken Lee and Ken Andy all in the same room. Lee had a bed, it was his room after all; and as Andy paid something towards it he had the other bed. Only he had to put up with a leaking water pipe and me throwing myself through the window at the end of the night. I didn’t get a key as I didn’t pay anything towards the lodgings so if I hadn’t come back after the others I would have to climb through the window and launch myself into the middle of the room, finishing with a sort of parachute roll and a bang into Kens bed if I got it wrong.
Each evening as we headed into town we would sing/hum this same tune and to this day I still associate it with all the great times I had with my friends. Only now I have another reason to remember this tune.
Before I tell you about that I need to recognise the two other original members of the Ken Squad. Ken Si and Flash. Flash sadly was taken from this earth too soon, so I will take a moment to remember friends laughed and lost. Next time you see a lone black sock, it will probably be his.
So we move forward a good few years, I can’t work it out exactly but its best part of twenty years and I am still carrying this silly little tune with me.
We move forward to the proudest and happiest day of my life. Our wedding day. I have always said I never wanted to get married and I never wanted kids. So I get a ring and inherit a child! I am proud of both in equal measures. I always felt I would make a terrible Dad but I got my girl at about the right time for me. She was around 12, all the screaming and poohing years well behind her and articulate enough to explain her problems. The perfect daughter for me. Every time I talk to her she amazes me with something else, bright, intelligent, good looking. All the things I’m not. She has forged her own way in the world and I could not be prouder.
The wife on the other had! I jest. As you might have gathered by now we have a very fun loving relationship. I absolutely adore my wife. Now is not the time to go through the list of troubles and tribulations she has gone through. But every time without fail she has triumphed. There is absolutely nothing this woman can’t do if she puts her mind to it. For that I will always be in awe of her.
She is also easily led by silly people like me to do silly things on big occasions. This is how I got the most beautiful, intelligent and wonderful woman in the world to walk down the aisle to this silly tune that reminds me of all the fun times I have had. Only now it reminds me of all the fun and all the love.
Oh and the tune, well what did you expect?