First, I wish a happy birthday to Lynne Ford, the wife of my cousin John who lives in Wales. John’s father (Billy) and my dad were brothers. Their relationship was so close that when I was born, (being their firstborn of seven children) the obvious name for me to be Christened that my parents chose was ‘William’ (after my maternal grandfather, William Fanning). This name allowed me to be called ‘Billy’ (after my father’s closest brother) for the rest of my life by all Forde family members. Only my family and friends who have known me since childhood ever called me Billy. To the rest of the world, from adulthood, I have been known as Bill or given my Sunday name William, in a professional capacity.
The other three birthday celebrants today who we wish happy birthday to are (1) Lyn Munton who lives in Oakworth, West Yorkshire (2) Marion Donnerley who lives in Hastings, East Sussex (3) John Paxman who lives in Brightlingsea( a coastal town in Essex). Enjoy your special day. Bill xxx
My song today is ‘For the Good Times’. This song was written by Kris Kristofferson and was first recorded by singer Bill Nash in 1968 before appearing on Kristofferson's own debut album in April 1970. After a recording by Ray Price became a Number-1 hit single in June of that year, the song established Kristofferson as one of country and popular music's top songwriters while giving Ray Price his first chart-topping country and western song in 11 years.
This song went on to win a Grammy for Kristofferson as the composer. Ray Price’s recording of it was also awarded a Grammy. ‘For the Good Times’ was placed in the ’40 saddest songs of all time’.
For some of us, the good times of today can become the sad thoughts of tomorrow. I wonder how many of us have ever come to bitterly regret what we once had but have since lost; particularly when the loss referred to is the love of another through bereavement and the happiness that you shared with them in the best of times?
All lovers who have a soulmate who dies before them will naturally grieve the loss of their loved one, and for many, their lives will never be the same again. Indeed, how could it possibly be? When half of one whole is missing, the remainder can never amount to what it was before the absence. And yet, the death of a beloved spouse awaits all who are fortunate to have shared a long and happy life with a loving partner. For those happy few, their pleasure will evermore be like the faded flower, and their fond remembrance will become the fragrant and lasting perfume stored in their memory bank. Such lucky people will be sad that it is over until they meet their loved ones again in another life but will rejoice until the day they die that it happened!
The older one grows in age, the more often we engage in subtle ways to avoid its advancement by making ourselves feel and look younger. Occasionally, we will witness such vanity parades strutting our public sidewalks with ‘mutton dressed up as lamb’. How often have we seen a woman in her fifties dress in the fashion and cut of a woman in her twenties, but instead of the hour-glass body shape she once possessed, she now resembles an overfilled sack of spuds? We watch her walk in heels that nobody wanting a sound footing would ever place on their feet, and wearing a short skirt that begs forgiveness that it cannot disguise the generous girth and the flabby folds of flesh within its waistband, or the cellulite legs which underpin its ‘show all’ high-cut hemline. As for male vanity, does anyone believe that the 77-year-old Paul McCartney or the 80-year-old Cliff Richard doesn’t wash out their grey hair weekly with the aid of ‘Grecian 2000’? Far better and more gracious in old age to go bald and grey and to look one’s natural age, I say. After all, whether one is called Elton or Alma, having hair implanted into a bald scalp is no less artificial a cosmetic makeup operation than enlarging the size of female boobs from a size A-cup to a 38D is.
Whoever we are, it is only natural to cling on to our happiest moments and times in life and to try and forget our unhappier experiences. Our only aide memoir after the event is our internal diary. Our long-term memory is often the only account we may keep of our past lives; of keeping track of who we were, where we were, what we did, who with, and how much we enjoyed the experience. The value of our better moments only become evident when the happy moment becomes the memory of good times gone. Many people could not accurately remember in their older lives how many people they had made love with, but I’d bet a pound to a penny, you never forget the first person you made love with or the first person you truly loved (whether or not they were one and the same).
There have been times when I have been asked to go to a party or somewhere else that I wasn’t particularly looking forward to with pleasurable anticipation, and yet, by the end of the night I was highly surprised to have had a great time. Pleasure is seldom found where it is sought, and our brightest fires are often kindled by unexpected sparks. And, so it is with people, I have found. There have been many a person (upon first meeting) that turned out to be the opposite of what they appeared to be once one got to know them better and they let down their guard in your presence.
One of the things I have always endeavoured to do is to never leave any relationship behind without having learnt one significant thing from it that I can take away, adopt within my own behaviour pattern, and positively use within my next relationship. I have also learned from my past experiences one specific emotionally irony that presents itself in human behaviour. Isn’t it strange how we often cry at the best of times in our lives and shed tears of joy because we are truly happy, and then on other occasions, we may laugh during our worst moments to disguise our fear or embarrassment? The former illustrates emotional celebration and cheer, while the latter behaviour illustrates human detraction and avoidance behaviour at play.
So, let us celebrate the good times we have had, the good relationships we have experienced, the good people we have known in our lives, and all the good experiences we have encountered on our travels through life. There is no way that any of us will ever forget the bad times, but if we are wise men and women, we will make our happiness a pleasure never regretted or repented. As mere mortals of the flesh and fragile fragments of humanity, at our worst of times, especially at the end or the loss of a beautiful relationship with a loved one, the only thing we have to hang onto is the fond memory of the happiness and good times we once had.
‘For the good times’ is an excellent toast to one’s past, present and future.
Love and peace Bill xxx