Sunday, 23 January 2011

Thanks for the memory........

It's official, it's over, the game is up....... I'm going to have to carry an official disclaimer, a government health warning....... I can no longer remember. Anything. I'd give in and call it a day if I could remember what day it is. Over the last year there's been a few double booked moments, a bit of lost and not found and the name section of the brain is definitely showing up 'error' . But now the hard drive appears to be full and there's no room left on the memory stick. And I don't like it. I have an ex who's made a career out of losing things, now the son is turning the forgotten into an art form, a cousin who loses phones, keys, clothes, buggies.....fortunately the child wasn't in it at the time...... on a regular basis. But for me this is new territory, a foreign land.

This time it was the Patti Smith tickets. I couldn't remember what I'd done with them. I'd been delighted to discover she was doing a talk at the Royal Geographical Society so called a friend and arranged to go. We'd discussed it, made plans so I knew I'd got them. I racked my brains, searched through the emails. Nothing. And then the awful realisation began to dawn: I'd booked the friend to come with but had I actually booked the tickets to go see? I rang the booking office and tried to explain to the lovely Laura that I couldn't remember if I'd booked or not but I didn't know which card I'd booked with if I had.... or hadn't...... or any other vital information. She was concerned, patient and helpful. Perhaps the Patti Smith fan club demographic is full of the old and insane. Perhaps she's been inundated with calls from the bewildered, unable to remember where they're going......or why. Eventually I discovered I hadn't booked the tickets. I'd asked my friend to as I'd been working. I had in fact been really efficient. I just hadn't remember how efficient.

And Patti? Well I have to declare I'm a fan so my views may not be everyone's but frankly they she should be because she was brilliant. As she rocks through her 65th year she just seems to get younger. She exuded energy and inspiration as she corrected and contradicted her host, Geoff Dyer, who was, at best, disappointing. Professing to be a huge fan, he'd apparently failed to do his homework as he rambled through supposed anecdotes that turned out to be wrong, untrue or misquoted. Not that any of that put Patti off her stride as she regaled us with tales of Robert, Bob and Alan. And then there was the song. An unexpected and delightful coda to an event billed as a conversation, Patti Smith unzipped her guitar and with a voice that just gets better as we all grow older, she sang My Blakean Year. Spellbinding.

'So throw off your stupid cloak embrace all that you fear
For joy shall conquer all despair in my blakean year'

Top tip: I said it before but it's worth saying again now it's out in paperback, treat yourself to Patti Smith's Just Kids.


  1. I hear you sister! I found tickets in a drawer for a play I'd booked to see - then forgot all about! My memory was so good in my 20's that I never even needed a diary and I had a lot more going on then too! It must be great to still be considered a rock chic in your 60's. I'm sure by then I'll be having the perm and set! x

  2. Reading that gave me a familiar feeling,I seem to be forgetting lots of stuff lately not sure if its too much on the mind or early onset Alzheimers.Patti Smith sounds great,I bet she forgets things too though.

  3. I have had a similar moment this very day. Had booked tix for Seth Lakeman for tomorrow and realised that with this hideous toothache, I didn't want to sit listing to fiddle-playing, so offered them to my friend's parents who were delighted to accept.

    The are at the box office, so I phoned the nice young man and explained - did they need anything obscure like my credit card when they picked up the tix.

    Nope - just my full name and address, 'oh and just one other thing Hestia, the Seth Lakeman concert is TONIGHT!!!'Fortunately friends parents can still go.

    I am starting to use my handbag diary in earnest as from NOW!


  4. My memory's going too - on two separate occasions recently I've left appointments (physio & acupuncture: bad back) without paying. And not because I'm skint and dodging the cash till, I just completely forgot! It's getting embarrassing.

    Sounds like you had a fantastic evening, eventually.

  5. I saw her on the Charlie Rose show and I agree with you, she was very good. She sang this same song also. Would have been nice to see her like you had. Hard to tell she was 65, I didn't know that was her age.

  6. I'm 44 and my mind is going to hell too. It's all the booze killing my brain cells over the years. Whatever.

    I adore Patti Smith. Her book is a treasure.

    Love you,


  7. Envious of you seeing Patti Smith - glad you got there!! Just finished 'Out of Shadows' - excellent, a good read - I'm sure he'll do well.

  8. I wrote about the early onset test, just today. My memory is dreadful. But I'm not giving up hope. I bet there will be a cure. Or else just drink a lot of green tea.

  9. Dear Jo, annoyingly your posts don't always seem to show up on my blog list!!

    I love Patti. I have Kids on my bedside table. I must make the time to read the bloody thing.

    My memory's so bad sometimes I cut something out to paste it and have forgotten what I've just cut out!! There's drink and drug induced brain damage for you xx

  10. As you well know, mine went walk about some time ago. Welcome to the club. I have a little string left from my mitten enhancement if you ever need it