I’ve been thinking about my old friend Steve, from Plympton, who shared a flat with me very briefly in Aberystwyth in our first bonkers few weeks at the Uni. I so hope he’s found happiness and success. I really liked him but his Uni life hinged on his relationship with a local Welsh Uni girl. But it didn’t last and after some turbulence, including a major subject course change on Steve’s part, they split. It hit him pretty hard and I spent many, many hours listening through the walls to Leonard Cohen’s So Long, Marianne on his record player before he left Uni for good and a life back in Devon.
I got to thinking about all this recently as the lady who Cohen sang about, his muse Marianne Ihlen, who died 3 years ago, shortly followed by the poet/singer, have been in the news again of late but I can’t remember why.They met nearly six decades ago on the Greek island of Hydra. She, a beautiful Norwegian blonde, alone with a young son. He, a dark, handsome, soulful Canadian poet struggling to write a novel. These were the hippy days of drugs and free love. His love song to her featured on his debut album Songs of Leonard Cohen in 1967. That song, already 5 years old when I reached Aber, seared into my mind though I haven’t heard it much since then….
Now for something completely different. I’ve been going through some website/domain reviews recently, relinquishing a number of sites and addresses that I no longer use or can justify maintaining, which has been a bit poignant. And a particularly sad farewell was for my website itswriteforyou.co.uk – a writing service I set up when I was dealing with my cancer treatment 6 years ago. It was for people who needed some words delivering – on things like CV’s, LinkedIn profiles, promo copy for business materials, website content, speeches etc. I’d let it fall fallow in recent years to be honest but was surprised to find out how many people were still intrigued by it and how many wordy/occasionally humorous blogs I’d written on the site. Loads of them. I cannot believe how much splodge I’ve written over the years. Don’t go and have a look because the site is really cack – I never really liked the design but somebody was advising me at the time and I followed his suggestions rather than my own instincts. Lesson learned. Anyway I’ll surely be re-cycling any decent blogs on pp. Ha!
But the thing is this site was my salvation when I thought my commercial life was finished because of my illness. I was right about that as it happens – so few of my many business contacts came through with work opportunities – but hey you get on with life and I ended up re-establishing myself as a content writer and marketing/social media specialist for loads of local businesses who don’t have the dedicated resources to do any decent marketing on their own. And I help people because I want to, not necessarily for the money. Plus I get to write more words – lots of them. Right now I’m writing about impactful designs for work spaces, the joys of bee-keeping and making naturally-based skin care products, sourcing fantastic furniture, the history and heritage of Brackley, gas appliance engineering, the delights of Turkey and, oddly and quite separately, Turkish cuisine, space planning as well as dozens of profiles on people in business. And I’m an expert in absolutely none of them. No knowledge but a bit of imagination, a browser and loads of opinion. Christ I sound like a speech writer for Donald Trump.
Anyway I’ve so much writing work in fact that I don’t really need the website anymore. No more requests from women of a certain age to transform their CV’s and turn them from seeming dullards into sassy, fascinating, achieving, highly-qualified, delivering, energetic, task-challenging, focused, driven, learned, uber-tasking, imaginative, super-intelligent, brain-sexy women which any company would be foolish to reject. Ah no pressure then. I’ll miss those conversations with women discussing their foibles, tiny flaws, insecurities and vulnerabilities. Men were always so dull by comparison. So I guess you could say with the end of the website it’s…
…so long flatterman.
It’s time that we stopped our chats
and for you to try and try and write your own CV again.
From one Leonard to another, here’s to you Mr Cohen