"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Monday, 11 June 2012

once upon a time when i was 31...

a very special friend said to me with a bewildered look in his eyes, "Jen, you are 31, have 3 children and you do not know Van Morrison's music?".  It was a cold winters day, a crowd of us had walked children and dogs in Newlands forest on a Sunday morning.  We headed back to his wonderful house in Newlands which had a big farmhouse kitchen with an open fireplace in it. We had wet children and dogs, and while he started a fire, a couple more friends arrived, Old Brown Sherry and wine was opened. It was a memorable day that Kathy, Dalene and I still chat about.  A day with great friends, happy children making boats and rafts on the stream that ran through his property, a roaring fire, one of the longest lunches ever and, whenever Vaughan was involved, music.

He loved of all kinds of music and had an incredible collection.  With the fire roaring, sherry starting to warm us from the inside, along came this song:-

It instantly became my favourite song.  Vaughan tried to educate me that wet afternoon around the fire about Van Morrison, his music and, in particular Astral Weeks (his favourite) but being me, everytime he slipped out, I replayed Moondance (not Vaughan's style to play a song to death, but if I like a song I can have it on replay for a whole afternoon).  I also remember Vaughan telling me to listen to Brand New Day but I was so into Moondance, Old Brown Sherry and dancing around his kitchen that I was not fully concentrating his lesson.

Some things stay in your subconscious (and a part of my brain must have been digesting this information).  Yesterday I was making Nicky's Ginger and Sweet Potato Soup (for the second time, in one weekend) in my kitchen, with Alan Barnard playing "golden oldies" on Cape Talk (my childrens' all time worst).  The kitchen was warm, the smells delicious and what did the DJ do?  He played Brand New Day:-

"Brand New Day"

When all the dark clouds roll away
And the sun begins to shine
I see my freedom from across the way
And it comes right in on time
Well it shines so bright and it gives so much light
And it comes from the sky above
Makes me feel so free makes me feel like me
And lights my life with love

And it seems like and it feels like
And it seems like yes it feels like
A brand new day, yeah
A brand new day oh

I was lost and double crossed
With my hands behind my back
I was longtime hurt and thrown in the dirt
Shoved out on the railroad track
I've been used, abused and so confused
And I had nowhere to run
But I stood and looked
And my eyes got hooked
On that beautiful morning sun


And the sun shines down all on the ground
Yeah and the grass is oh so green
And my heart is still and I've got the will
And I don't really feel so mean
Here it comes, here it comes
0 here it comes right now
And it comes right in on time
Well it eases me and it pleases me
And it satisfies my mind

I was suddenly 31 again, feeling warm in a cosy kitchen with the volume on full. Unfortunately no Old Brown (it was only 11 o'clock in the morning).   Music does that - it transports you back to where you first heard the song, who you were with and what you were doing.  Vaughan died nearly 13 years ago, it is now 22 years later, there are no little boys with Ninja Turtles and boats made of paper and sticks, no wet dogs, no Vaughan and no John but I could have been back in his kitchen on that winters day pushing the replay button everytime he turned his back to help a little boy build another boat.

Nicky's famous soup completed the circle.  

Somethings can never be taken away from you.

Well it shines so bright and it gives so much light
And it comes from the sky above
Makes me feel so free makes me feel like me
And lights my life with love


  1. Lovely post Jenny. Evoked a lot of special memories. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Thanks Dusty Muffin. A very special compliment ;)