Cat Stevens’ voice hasn’t changed. His sultry tones are still emotionally raw and the audience cheered when everyone realised Tuesday’s concert was simply, as promised, a fundraiser for Syrian children and not an opportunity to talk about Islam.
He’s an incredibly engaging performer, down to earth and natural; his easy-going personality shone through his smiles. Converting to Islam in 1979 meant he stopped recording, but his return a few years ago bridged the gap over a whole generation, albeit without some of his best work. (His wife won’t let him play any of the stuff he wrote for ex-girlfriend Patti D’Arbanville, apparently.) Now known as Yusuf, this concert was billed under both names, but the playlist was mainly pre-musical-break – as the audience had hoped.
When we got the tickets I wasn’t sure how many songs I’d know – Father and Son has long since been one of my favourites, but I tended to mix him up a bit with Bob Dylan. So it was a nice surprise that I knew most of them and was able to join in, in my lovely, tone-deaf harmony that sounds pleasant to me and my cat, but sends everyone else running for cover.
The week took me back to London the following day for a members’ viewing of the new Tate Modern extension. Well, the building has an abundance of wonderful space and I’m an art lover, so of course I enjoyed the evening… The layout is interesting, the work was mostly creative and the hot chocolate in the members’ café was smooth and creamy.
The subtext here is that Martyn and I were more impressed with the building than a lot of the artworks. Some were hugely creative and impressive but others less so – however, kudos to the artists for originality in marketing their art so well that the largest gallery of modern art in London accepted it for display. Neither Martyn nor I haven’t achieved that…
I’m writing this on Fathers’ Day. Although this celebratory day is rumoured to have begun in America at the turn of the 20th century, it only became official in America in 1972. Presumably the UK copied, and my guess is that the greetings card industry pounced on an opportunity.
By contrast, Mothers’ Day dates back to ancient annual spring festivals the Greeks and Romans both dedicated to maternal goddesses. A Christian festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent honours the Virgin Mary, and in sixteenth century England the holiday was expanded to include all mothers and named Mothering Sunday. Not being Christian, Greek or Roman, I still – obviously – enjoy the attention on Mothers’ Day, without the religious connotations or dancing around naked to goddess chanting. (Although I think some of my friends might indulge…….!!)
Anyway, I’m spending this Fathers’ Day morning ploughing through my son’s washing, as he returned from university last night with a year’s worth of dirty clothes. He also came home with a huge smile and a 2:1 degree from Cambridge – so this a very proud mummy signing off and wishing all the dads, step-dads, grandads, foster dads, common-law dads, like-a-father dads, uncles and fathers-in-law a happy day and a wonderful year ahead. I’ll be thinking about my daddy in heaven, as I do most days.
I did post these lyrics on Facebook recently, but couldn’t miss them off today. ‘Take your time, think a lot, think of everything you’ve got – you will still be here tomorrow, though your dreams may not.’
Your dreams will… Make them your reality. Ask me how: @WeekendWitch.