Wednesday, 16 February
My Darling Girl
It was Valentine's Day on Monday.
Know that we hadn't made a big deal of it for quite some time.
Too commercialised we both felt agreed.
And we didn't need to be carried along on the flood of 'hype' that it has now become, to confirm what we knew was there between us from the start and always would be.
This year I was very aware for the first time that we were not together to even make a token nod in its direction.
Don't know what happened last year. Think it just got lost in the sea of raw emotion that immediately followed you leaving us.
Well on Sunday morning I was listening to John Pizzarelli's programme from my favourite Toronto jazz station in the background.
Naturally, being so close to Valentine's Day, he was playing a nice mix of tracks around that particular theme.
Just as he was coming to the end of the programme, he played a super Tony Bennett track.
It was called 'Moments like This' and came from his album 'The Art of Excellence'.
It was a track and an album I was unfamiliar with.
Not unsurprising really because, when I went looking for it on Amazon, I discovered it was one he had released way back in 1987.
Don't know how we missed it at the time, but as a reviewer on Amazon says
'This is hands down, one of the most beautiful, artful albums ever recorded by any artist in the world, EVER!!! From first track to last, I have rarely heard more effortless, emotional singing from Mr B.'
When I listened to a few sample tracks I knew I had to have it.
So I downloaded it immediately.
(No more CDs cluttering up the place you'll be pleased to know.)
The reviewer on Amazon got it absolutely right.
No-one does this type of gently-swinging love songs better than Bennett.
It has those soft 'dancing' arrangements that encourage a dimming of the lights and a gentle smooth around the floor.
My regret is that we missed it the first time around and that you are not here now to do that with me.
This is what Valentine's Day should really be all about.
Have to say that when I listened to it in full for the first time there was more than a little moisture at the corner of my eyes.
There was even more reason for this than just the lovely music and you not being here for us to share it together.
Track three is a song called 'Come a Little Closer' and it immediately brought to mind that first warm summer evening we met and I was saying 'Good Night' to you on the front doorstep at 74.
Mind you I wasn't quite sure enough of myself to put it quite as confidently like that, after we had shared our first gentle kiss.
If I remember, I said 'You could come a little closer' giving you a little room for to decline the invitation if you wished.
Which I sincerely hoped you wouldn't.
And you did come closer - a lot closer.
And that's how it stayed for virtually the next fifty years, my lovely Valentine.
That's what you always were and always will be.
Love and miss you so much.