If she’d been a boy we were going to call her Jake, after him, Jake Thackeray.
He introduced me to his work. He had a few LPs of his performances and songs. He’d been put onto him by his bohemian friends. I loved his voice from the start. Matthew Parris on Great Lives described him as beautiful. Did he really say that? Why not? He was. He was like a more beautiful Ted Hughes, just as brooding but less cruel and sardonic looking. Some have said that his songs were misogynistic. Perhaps, a little, but no less so than Les Dawson’s and everyone took his jests in good part. Parris said he was a chansonnier. Yes, good word. A troubadour. He was modest, describing himself as a mediocre teacher and a mediocre singer (I paraphrase). It all went a little bleak at the end, for him. Sad. He was on the edges, the margins, something precious, I think.
The night before last I woke from a dream where he and I were standing by the bar just in front of Alexandra Hall and there was a fight going on in one of the student rooms on the top floor and suddenly we were being rained down on by great shards of glass. I hid in his chest, his coat to protect myself. It felt terrifying. Huge pieces of furniture were flying out of the window and crashing down onto the prom. And now Storm Dennis is predicted for this weekend. More mayhem. There is already sand and stones littering the prom and the road. A wildness.
My laptop is semi mended. A new hard drive but still the screen fizzes and flickers. A new LED cable is needed, apparently, but it is coming from ‘abroad’. He has put some tape around the tear and advises that I keep the screen upright. I shall get a cricked neck. So be it. Yesterday was a waiting game. He was marvellous. Today the stress lingers but I have work to do. Much work. That is good.