Monday, 30 January 2017


“There is a point of no return, unremarked at the time, in most lives.”- Graham Greene

So, it's nearly the end of January already. Doesn't time fly when one is getting older? At the beginning of the month I met up with a couple at whose wedding some thirty years ago I was best man. The wedding was near Niagara Falls, which is where they still live, in the depths of winter, and whilst I remember it as if it was yesterday - it was very cold - it clearly wasn't; there's been a lot of water under the bridge. I see Carl from time to time - one of the few photos of me on this blog is of us standing side by side - but hadn't seen Sandra for many years. An infrequent visitor to the UK with a first degree in linguistics she was keen to see the Rosetta Stone and so we visited the Egyptian galleries at the British Museum. There's surely no better way to reflect on the passing of time and on what it means to grow old than to spend a couple of hours in the company of a civilisation obsessed with death; cheerful it wasn't. I do find it interesting however that the Rosetta Stone is the most viewed item in the museum. It has no particular intrinsic aesthetic appeal and one must assume that people are drawn to it because they understand its cultural significance and its status as a totem for the advancement of knowledge. That's quite an optimistic thought in this otherwise dumbed down world.

I've also been to see a couple of bands that I haven't mentioned yet. Paul Lamb and the King Snakes play the blues rather well, Lamb's harmonica being especially good. The man himself -  a contemporary of mine or possibly slightly older - rambled incoherently between songs, as if drunk or on drugs, but as far as one could make out he was displaying the sort of sexism that was readily accepted  when we were young, but certainly isn't now. During the interval I went to the merchandise desk to buy a CD and found him to be both charming and articulate. His stage persona would appear to be a complete act. The second band were a vocal duo called 'Waiting for Wednesday' who I mention mainly because they did a very good cover of John Prine's 'Angel from Montgomery', which is, of course, about growing older and realising that one has reached the point where life is as it is and it's never going to get any better. You may be familiar with the Bonnie Raitt version, but let's take a look at the Tedeschi Trucks Band instead, watch out for the very nice trombone solo about five minutes in:

And here's another cover of a John Prine song, also about aging:

And here's my favourite John Prine song, sung by the man himself:


  1. And actually John Prine is great as well!
    Best Iain

  2. Ach, ripe with poignancy to come across this post at this time. Sam Stone is a heartbreaker. John Prine was recommended to me a long while ago when I was a student and wannabe Jimmy Page washing dishes four shifts a week. I didn't see the appeal at the time. Do a lot more now.