Sometimes Always Never. Memories from a film.

Posted on 21/07/2019 By

Sometimes Always Never.

Picture of a beach on a grey day. Several loan people standing dotted around in the distance. In the foreground, a man in a coat, satchel over his left shoulder, holding an umbrella in his left hand.

There is a “box” at Laurel Cottage. It has a lid. On the lid is the inscription…

“Bereavement”.

The box is quite large sometimes. Placed in full view on the dining room table. Quite often it is at the foot of the bed when you wake up. At other times it is small at the back of the sideboard or even inside the sideboard hidden from view . But never forgotten.

It is full of wonderful things. Happy, smiling faces. Fun. Laughter. Grandchildren, a few years ago. Holidays, lovers, contentment. But it is also full of sadness. What might have been – Why us? Full of Cabinet Sauvignon and Glenfiddich. “Standard or large, Madam?” “LARGE!” Full of creativity. Posters, cards, rudeness and disdain for authority. Full of thoughts, like how proud the grandchildren would make you. How much they had grown, but how you were missing them growing up.

Sometimes always never…

The lid is loose. At times, it is nice to take it off and sift through the happy memories and put the lid back on. But at other times – and this is a warning – the lid comes off by accident and all the sad things come piling out. Not so often as the years go by, but usually as a result of emotional “triggers”. It’s really important then to accept that they will always be there, but their place is in the box. Relax and let them return of their own volition. And put the lid firmly back on. Go for a walk in the sunshine. Listen to beautiful music. Seek serenity. Maybe at Kingston-upon-Thames, or whatever suits you. The sea can be great for serenity.

It seems that the cinema can be a “trigger”. Last year, we wrote about it following watching The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society film. This year it happened again. At Dorking Halls, watching a most excellent film. “Sometimes Always Never“. Multiple triggers. “Words”, “Family upsets”, “Merseyside”, “Crosby Beach”, “Another Place”, “Bill Nighy”.

Poster for the film "Sometimes always never" Starring Bill Nighy.

Just a week’s holiday in 2014. Senior railcard. Free bus pass. Staying in Southport. Getting the bus into Liverpool as OAPs. Stopping one day at Crosby. Laughing, cuddling, kissing. Could life really be this good in old age? An Italian family restaurant most nights in Southport. Arm in arm on the pier. Billy Fury. Paddy’s Wigwam. “The Phil”. An open top bus ride. Afternoon tea at the Maritime Museum, Cunard style. Tate Liverpool, Port Sunlight. Ferry Cross the Mersey.

“Love you, Bobby. xxx”

“Love you, Diddley. xxx”

Southport

Lord Street, Southport.

Lord Street.

Wonderful Bank building. Now HSBC. Once Preston Bank, who must have blimmin' rich!

Wonderful Bank building. Once Preston Bank, who must have flippin’ rich!

Inside the former Preston Bank (now HSBC), Southport.

Inside the bank.

Southport Pier.

Noddy train on Southport Pier, with the rails for the normal train alongside.

Historic images of coastal resorts above old slot machines on Southport Pier.

Laughing Sailor Machine, Southport Pier.

A “Laughing Sailor” slot machine, probably dating back to the 1950s.

Crosby.

Gormley statue on Crosby beach - "Another Place".

“Another Place”.

Anthony Gormley. (Angel of the North). 100 naked iron men looking out to sea. Strangely mesmeric in the right light. All casts of himself. And yet humorous as well. Some had socks that people had made with velcro. Some attracted the local dog. Some the space cadet on holiday. Bobby preferred the “contre-jour” effect against the setting sun.

Space Cadet. Diddley standing alongside, holding his privates.

Space Cadet.

A Gormley statue on Crosby Beach with a large dog sniffing between its feet.

I don’t think so.

Looking at the back of a Gormley statue on Crosby Beach "Another Place" against the setting sun. The sky is a deep orange colour and the setting sun is reflecting on the water between the statue's legs.

“Another Place”.

Liverpool.

Liverpool. The waterfront. New and old. The Mersey. The Three Graces. Royal Liver Building (with the clock tower and the Liver birds). Next to the right. The Cunard Building. Next right again the Port of Liverpool Building.

Liverpool. The waterfront. New and old. The Mersey. The Three Graces. Royal Liver Building (with the clock tower and the Liver birds). Next to the right. The Cunard Building. Next right again the Port of Liverpool Building.

How about a bit of Gerry and the Pacemakers? “I like it”. Number one, 1963.

Paddy’s Wigwam. Roman Catholic Cathedral, Liverpool.

Paddy’s Wigwam. Roman Catholic Cathedral.

Inside Paddy’s Wigwam, Liverpool.

Inside Paddy’s Wigwam.

Statue and windows in "Paddy's Wigwam", Liverpool.

Statue and windows in “Paddy’s Wigwam”.

Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral. Largest in the UK. Fifth largest in the world.

Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral. Largest in the UK. Fifth largest in the world.

Inside Liverpool Cathedral.

Inside Liverpool Cathedral.

The monument to William Huskisson MP, in front of Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral. The first man killed by a steam train. In an accident at the opening by "Rocket" of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

The monument to William Huskisson MP, in front of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral. The first man killed by a steam train. In an accident at the opening by “Rocket” of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

Orphans graves. Boys. Below the cathedral. Check the ages. Most didn't even reach their teens.

Orphans graves. Boys. Below the cathedral. Check the ages.

Orphans graves. Girls. Most didn't reach their teens.

Orphans graves. Girls.

The “Phil” (Philharmonic Dining Rooms). Liverpool's most famous Victorian pub.

The “Phil” (Philharmonic Dining Rooms). Liverpool’s most famous Victorian pub.

Inside the "Phil".

Inside the "Phil".

Inside the "Phil". Three doorways named "Brahms", "Liszt" and "Grande Lounge".

Inside the “Phil”.

How about another Gerry and the Pacemakers?

“How do you do what you do to me”. No 1, 1963.

Statue of Billy Fury on Liverpool Seafront.

Here’s Billy Fury on the seafront. Born 1940 as Ronald Wycherley, in Liverpool. He was a heartthrob with the ladies. The first present Bobby ever bought a girlfriend was “A Thousand Stars” for a girl who didn’t even have a record player and had to borrow her sister’s. Sadly he died young of heart complications at just 42.

“A Thousand Stars” Billy Fury.

If you go to Liverpool, you must cross the Mersey on a Ferry and go to Port Sunlight and many other places. When the boat leaves the quayside you get this over the loud speakers:

“Welcome to the most famous ferry in the World!”

Gerry and the Pacemakers “Ferry cross the Mersey” got to No 8 in 1964. It was re-released in 1989 as a charity record, with lots of famous Liverpudlian singers, in aid of Hillsborough when it reached No 1.

“Ferry cross the Mersey”.

Diddley on the Mersey Ferry.

Diddley on the Ferry.

The Liver Building from the Mersey ferry.

The Liver Building from the ferry.

Port Sunlight.

That day the camera ran out. We will go back. Port Sunlight is a model village and was built by Lever Brothers to accommodate workers in its soap factory (now part of Unilever); work commenced in 1888. The name is derived from Lever Brothers most popular brand of cleaning agent, Sunlight soap.

A statue at Port Sunlight representing Industry Charity Education.

Just the one picture. A statue representing Industry Charity Education.

A Mersey Ferry in the evening sunlight heading back to Liverpool.

An evening trip back to Liverpool.

"You'll never walk alone" in the ironwork of the gates at Liverpool Football Club.

We passed Liverpool Football Club. And remembered when Gerry Marsden sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. He had taken it from The American Musical “Carousel”. In those days, before home games, Liverpool FC played the Top Ten of the hit parade before kick off. When it reached No 1, the crowd started singing it and have never stopped since. It is now regarded as one of the most famous football anthems of all time.

Gerry and The Pacemakers. “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

Afternoon tea, Cunard style, at the Museum.

Last day. Afternoon tea, Cunard style, at the Museum.

Cunard Line Poster advertising "Carmania" and "Caronia", both 676' long and displacing 20,000 tons. Sailing Liverpool to New York and Boston.

An afternoon at the Pictures.

Just think. An afternoon at the pictures, watching Sometimes Always Never, had brought all these memories flooding back. In bereavement, it’s nice to know you have them. At Al-Anon the next day the topic was “gratitude”. Members sharing that, despite their individual heartbreaks and struggles, they really were grateful. For Al-Anon and the love and friendship of its members. For the sunshine and the rain. For families and friends. For food on the table. For life itself.

PS.

Bobby: On 21 July 1969, at four o’Clock in the morning, I stood in the middle of Carshalton Grove, Sutton outside my first house. Everybody else was asleep, it would seem, for I was the only one there. I had watched the TV all night and here I was, looking at the moon thinking “there’s two men standing up there“. Undoubtedly, this was the most profound moment of my life. I remember now that my old friend Kate had bought me two sets of colour slides of Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 from the Daily Express. Being colour slides in boxes, they were easy to find. As was the old lightbox that hasn’t been used for years. But still works. Here they are. When downloaded later this year they will a memorable blog.

Daily Express Slides of the Moon Landing.

Daily Express Slides of the Moon Landing.

Daily Express Slide Number 1 of the Moon Landing.

 

Lighting a Candle for Diddley.

Diddley mimicking a Gormley Statue on Crosby Beach, with an image of a lit candle on the right.

Miss you…

MindfulnessPS    


  1. Avatar Baby Ball says:

    Carshalton Grove. Yup, that was where you got home and my Mum asked where the baby was. You’d left me down the road outside the local shop in my buggy. Absent-mindedness has nothing to do with age. 🙂

  2. Avatar Bertie says:

    Correction… I had left you in Sutton High Street. Ha ha ha Didnt do you any harm

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