Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Is that all there is...

Last week, I was tinkering about here, reading something on the PC, when Mrs Scrobs called through to say that she'd just read that Robert Hardy had died. We're great fans of his TV stuff, and although I knew he was getting on, it was still a saddening event to record.

Just a few seconds later, she added that ''someone" Bennett had also died. I didn't hear who, and I thought she'd said 'Jill Bennett', so I Googled the lady, only to find that she died by her own hand ages ago.

So, reading the Wiki entry even further, it mentioned that Alan Price (a favourite musician here), sang a special song 'Is that all there is', while the assembled friends cast her ashes on The River Thames, together with those of Rachel Roberts, another lovely lady from the same time. Lindsay Anderson made his last film here.

The video is here. (it may need a rewind to the beginning).

It's a poignant piece, and so very thoughtful.  The slow brass piece at just over half-way (3:14) with the flowers floating on the water is heart-breaking and I fill up everytime I see it.

Bessie Smith recorded the first version, and of course, she was 'The Mistress' of such fabulous music. Her rendition is here. She was just magnificent!

A few weeks ago, I met an old friend whom I hadn't seen for forty or so years. We swapped all the old yarns, laughed a lot, had several beers, and agreed that we'd do the same again soon. I had been saddened though, to learn of one particular lovely friend from the seventies, who was losing a battle against a terminal condition. We'd been good friends, and she'd been to our wedding, and we went to hers years ago.

Just more recently, there was a big funeral for a famous old local chap, whom everyone knew and admired, because he'd overcome all sorts of physical indignities all his life, and had beaten them all. It was a huge wake, with several hundred people in a marquee the size of a small village. The drinks flowed like water, and the chat was outstanding. I'd only heard about the funeral that morning, and was determined to go - even making a collar-button extension for the only shirt that fits me at the moment...

My friend was too ill to attend, but I learned that her battle was getting harder and that made me feel a bit mortal to be honest. Her husband - another old chum from the past - was there, and must have been feeling pretty rotten too.

Getting back to the Jill Bennett story, Mrs Scrobs explained that it was indeed 'Hywel' Bennett who'd joined the 'Virgin Soldiers' on high, and that was also a sobering thought, as 'The Family Way' came out at the same time as I was wondering what to do if or when I eventually got a girlfriend...

So, as the title says, 'Is that all there is'?


Thud said...

It's hard not to reflect sometimes but easy to get caught up....onwards and upwards scrobs.

Michael said...

Oh, you're quite right, Thud; it's really not a problem!

There's far to much to do, and nearly all of it includes laughter, tinctures, good chums and a lot of happy banter!

rvi said...

Alan Price is also one of my favourite musicians - and just by the by, Lindsay Anderson also did this .

It is alwayas hard to lose close friends. Two years ago I lost 3 of my lifelong friends in the space of 6 months. We were all much of an age. But time heals and while I often think of them I now do so remembering many of the hilarious and happy times we had together over the past 60 odd years.

As Thud said "Onwards and upwards - per ardua ad astra".

Michael said...

Marvellous, Reevers!

Nice to see Rachel Roberts was there as well!

All fine here now, thank you Guys. Bit of sob doesn't really last long as there's so much more to do yet, but isn't Alan Price just a great performer!

Mrs Scrobs has a pewter tankard from her Dad's big day on the golf course, and it's from 'The Adastrians' Club - very fitting!