Tag Archives: Florence and the Machine

“Never Let Me Go.” In Memoriam K

Yesterday I spoke for the first time ever about something that happened some years ago. About something that happened to a very dear friend. Something awful, beyond awful; carried out by people I can only describe as evil personified. For lots of reason I’m not going to go into detail here. I was involved in the immediate aftermath of this awful event and spent several days shut up with my friend. That was awful too. It has been suggested that I have vicarious trauma because of this.

Talking about it was hard. To do so for the first time after these years, I suppose it was always going to be. To talk about brings up the emotions from that time but also images of it all in my head. Some of the are too upsetting to contemplate for too long. There were only three people who knew exactly what happened to my friend in all the detail. My friend of course; she’s no longer with us. Life became too hard for hr and she left us. Her sister knew too and she left us through illness a couple of years ago. And me. Whilst her sister was alive, in some ways it felt like a burden shared even through we never discussed the actual event in detail. It now feels like a burden that is all mine and it has become time to deal with it.

Right now I feel emotionally and physically exhausted. It was a hard thing to do, to talk about it.

Very much in my mind at the moment is “Never let me go” a song by Florence and the Machine. Video and lyrics below.

Looking up from underneath
Fractured moonlight on the sea
Reflections still look the same to me
As before I went under

And it’s peaceful in the deep
Cathedral where you cannot breathe
No need to pray, no need to speak
Now I am under all

And it’s breaking over me
A thousand miles down to the sea bed
Found the place to rest my head
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go

And the arms of the ocean are carrying me
And all this devotion was rushing out of me
In the crushes of heaven for a sinner like me
But the arms of the ocean delivered me

Though the pressure’s hard to take
It’s the only way I can escape
It seems a heavy choice to make
And now I am under all

And it’s breaking over me
A thousand miles down to the sea bed
Found the place to rest my head
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go

And the arms of the ocean are carrying me
And all this devotion was rushing out of me
In the crushes of heaven for a sinner like me
But the arms of the ocean delivered me

And it’s over
And I’m going under
But I’m not giving up
I’m just giving in

I’m slipping underneath
So cold and so sweet

And the arms of the ocean so sweet and so cold
And all this devotion I never knew at all
In the crushes of heaven for a sinner released
And the arms of the ocean delivered me
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Deliver me
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Deliver me
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Deliver me
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go

And it’s over
(Never let me go, Never let me go)
And I’m going under
(Never let me go, Never let me go)
But I’m not giving up
(Never let me go, Never let me go)
I’m just giving in
(Never let me go, Never let me go)

I’m slipping underneath
(Never let me go, Never let me go)
So cold and so sweet
(Never let me go, Never let me go)

And I’m going under (amended)

During one of the low spells of my illness in 2010 I forced myself to go shopping in my local shopping centre. As pathetic as it may sound this was a big deal and not easy. At one point I had to leave and go home. Because a song that was playing in a shop so overwhelmed me with emotion I just couldn’t stay.

Today I was shopping. I had to leave a shop because I couldn’t handle the emotion when a song started playing. The song in question was Never Let Me Go by Florence and the Machine. This isn’t one of her better known songs and certainly not one that is often played as background in shops. So it took me by suprise. I think I have linked this song and video before but linking again below. Please watch it!

I know part of the problem. The exact emotions this song evokes are very much at the forefront of my mind because of a recent anniversary. The scale of my reaction still disconcerts me.

I am angry at myself because of this. I am more angry at another person. The one person I know with a connection that could talk to me about this situation. That may help, it may not. I can’t possibly know without trying. That talk doesn’t take place because of a ridiculous and unreasonable grudge. I know that neither set of anger is particularly helpful but I feel increasingly it is an anger that will ultimately vent.

The world is a dark place at times. There are times I feel my beautiful friend had the right answer.

What The Water Gave Me

Another old photograph. Something a bit different but fits in with recent posts
(click picture for larger.)

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Another One About Death Mum!

Saw Florence and the Machine in London as well. Even better than the Paris show. Absolutely brilliant.

Introducing one song Florence mentioned that her parents and family were in the audience. She said that she always felt that she needed to apologise to her parents because of the lyrics as they must worry there is something wrong with her. “So, here’s another one about death Mum” she said! So it was. This made me smile. When I was younger and writing lots of poetry I wouldn’t let my parents read them as I felt they were too revealing and they wouldn’t understand anyway. There was some dark themes. After my mum died I found lots of my old draft poems that I had discarded in amongst her things. It was quite touching.

Florence conveyed even more drama in this show. What the Water Gave Me and the lyric in that “Pockets full of stones” and a gentle squeeze on the shoulder from my OH. She looks out for me all the time and I know that. Sometimes she has little subtle ways of reminding me she is looking out for me and understands what I might be thinking. I am currently working through something I have sat on for a long time and affected me more deeply than I realised. That song with all its undertones taps into that.

All of which gives me an excuse to post some pictures from the London show. They are not great quality but, oh well! (click on image for larger version)

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Going With the Flo in Paris. (amended)

Something a bit different today. A bit of a photo/travel blog with some old memories thrown in. We travelled light so I only took a baby camera with me, so the pictures are not the quality I’d like. (Please click on pictures for larger version)

Paris! It’s been far too long since I last visited. Paris is one of my happy places. I love it for a whole raft of reasons. Yet, this was the first time I have visited with my OH. We went on Eurostar, the first time I have travelled this way. So much easier than plane or ferry. And it takes you from the heart of one city to the heart of another.

Leaving St Pancras.

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And arriving at Gare Du Nord.

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We stayed in the Latin Quarter. Just down the road from the Sorbonne. The Latin Quarter has so many memories for me. Some of them go back to childhood; but on through into adulthood. Memories of being cheered and made happy during a very unhappy and depressed period of my life. Knowing the area well is good as it means you can get off the beaten track and find restaurants etc that are not part of the tourist trap. I love all of Paris but the Latin Quarter is one of my favourite areas.

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And of course a view of Notre Dame from Rive Gauche

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When in Paris it would simply be rude not to sample the bars, cafes and bistros. So this is where we found ourselves early in the evening. I tried a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau. Somewhat late with the first glass this year. It is never a great wine. However, it used to be a bit of a tradition with some of my friends. So it was good to toast present and absent friends with a glass of it in Paris. I thought it was better than usual. In any case, it’s a good wine for just knocking back!

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Then onto the main event of the trip. Florence and the Machine in concert. They were magnificent. If you’re not sure if you like Florence go and see a concert. I guarantee you will love her. She had the audience in the palm of her hand. So much energy, drama and charisma. And she looks so good. Especially when she let her hair down (literally) for the second half of the show. My OH is nowhere near as keen on her as I am but she loved the show, especially the drama of it. As we left the venue you could really feel the audience were buzzing. Another nice thing; the audience was such a cross section of people.

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We had enough time the following day to do a whistle stop visit to some of the sites. Not enough time but we’ll remedy that in the near future. Following a a lovely breakfast a short walk through the Quarter, a little way along Rive Gauche and over the river to the Louvre. The bridge we crossed was Pont des Arts. So many memories associated with this bridge. This prompted an emotional chat with OH on the train on the way home.

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The afternoon was spent largely in Montmatre. Whilst there the sun burst through what had been rather dark and threatening clouds and the sunshine added to the fantastic panorama of the city. It’s a breath-taking view of this beautiful city. Another old memory sparked by this area. We walked past a bar; a bar where some years ago one Sunday lunch time I over indulged in Ricard. Then staggered down some of the very steep steps you find in Montmatre. I ended up in Pere Lachaise drinking red wine from the bottle. I say I remember. I do remember it happened. I don’t remember all the details.

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Then a walk through Pigalle and back to Gare du Nord for a much needed beer. Here we experienced the british tourist at the very best (irony alert!). Man in front of us at the bar to woman serving at the bar. “Hello love. I want a beer and one of those cheese things like my mate had” Woman at bar looks blankly back. Man then calls to his friend. “Hey, I’m having trouble with my French give us a hand.” His friend then says to the woman at the bar (loudly, of course, and as if talking to an idiot) “He wants a pint and a sandwich”. This is not a joke; it actually happened.

Then onto the train to rest out very weary legs. The train started to run late once it got to the English side of the channel. Obviously!

A few more general pictures below.

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In Memorias. K and S (mes belles rousses)

Memories that have been stirred up recently. I don’t need or want to say much more than the lyrics or the video. Except to say that the imagery in the video is extremely hard in places for reasons I won’t detail. First viewing was extremely difficult but like many things it gets easier with subsequent viewing. Also I don’t think the lyrics just mean what they say at face value.

Looking out from underneath,
Fractured moonlight on the sea
Reflections still look the same to me,
As before I went under.

And it’s peaceful in the deep,
Cathedral, where you cannot breathe,
No need to pray, no need to speak
Now I am under, Oh.

And it’s breaking over me,
A thousand miles onto the sea bed,
Found the place to rest my head.

Never let me go, never let me go.
Never let me go, never let me go.

And the arms of the ocean are carrying me,
And all this devotion was rushing out of me,
And the crashes are heaven, for a sinner like me,
The arms of the ocean deliver me.

Though the pressure’s hard to take,
It’s the only way I can escape,
It seems a heavy choice to make,
But now I am under, Oh.

And it’s breaking over me,
A thousand miles down to the sea bed,
Found the place to rest my head.

Never let me go, never let me go.
Never let me go, never let me go.

And the arms of the ocean are carrying me,
And all this devotion was rushing out of me,
And the crashes are heaven, for a sinner like me,
The arms of the ocean deliver me.

And it’s over,
And I’m going under,
But I’m not giving up!
I’m just giving in.

Oh, slipping underneath.
Oh, so cold, but so sweet.

In the arms of the ocean, so sweet and so cold,
And all this devotion I never knew at all,
And the crashes are Heaven, for a sinner released,
And the arms of the ocean,
Deliver me.

Never let me go, never let me go.
Never let me go, never let me go.

Deliver me.

Never let me go, never let me go.
Never let me go, never let me go.

Deliver me.

Never let me go, never let me go.
Never let me go, never let me go.

Never let me go, never let me go.
Never let me go, never let me go.

And it’s over,
And I’m goin’ under,
But I’m not givin’ up!
I’m just givin’ in.

Oh, slipping underneath.
Oh, so cold, but so sweet

New Toys

This is a bit off topic but I need to engage in something today or I’m in danger of zoning out.

Coincidentally today both a new turntable and Florence and the Machine “Ceremonials” on vinyl arrived. So Flo is currently spinning.

One of the bonuses when watching Florence is her bright red hair. I’ve always had a soft spot for redheads anyway. Sorry ex and current girlfriends who don’t have red hair; you were always just a compromise! That’s ironically funny because the two long term girlfriends I did have with red hair were very difficult indeed. One of them was ginger anyway which, according to an old friend, is an altogether different thing.

Over the past couple of days I have been looking through some old photographs of two beautiful old friends who were also both redheads. Neither of them are still with us. Very bitter sweet.