The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #143621 Message #3315744
Posted By: Kit Griffiths
01-Mar-12 - 02:39 PM
Thread Name: Obit: Maria Cunningham 2012 (UK)
Subject: RE: Obit: Maria Cunningham 2012
I am so sorry. Maria had 'phoned me up out of the blue a few weeks ago (after Sussex Carole had passed on my address). We chatted for a long time -there was a lot to catch up on after 30 years -and she sent me copies of her 2 CDs. I had meant to write back earlier, but put it off until yesterday. As she will not read it, I hope no-one minds if I post a copy here, as a tribute and with my love.
First, my apologies that this is typerotten –my handwriting is so bad these days that even I can't read it sometimes.
It really was great to talk to you the other week; spoilt only by the news of your illness. However, I have the utmost confidence that you will beat the bugger, and as I'm sure that you must be fed up hearing platitudes, however well-meant, I will offer no more, except to say that you are in my prayers. (Before you wince, my prayers are strictly non-formal, and consist of a running conversation between me and my aspect of God. I say conversation, but it's really a monologue: if you talk to God you're religious: if s/he talks to you, you're psychotic!)
Thanks also for the CDs –I loved them both in different ways. The first was a well-rounded overall showcase, but the second was absolutely dominated by the quality of your songwriting. I think that the songs are amongst the finest "modern traditional" I have ever come across, and, I am sure, will become part of the oral tradition. They are REAL folk music –but then, you have always been a real folksinger, right from the start.
It's very hard to catch up on what must be over 30 years worth of news in a 'phone-call and a letter, so I won't even attempt it. On the other hand, most of it has been pretty uneventful –I was tax manager with Auker Hutton in Sevenoaks for 25 years or so, Jill and I have been married for coming up to 31 years, my sons from my first marriage (whom I still call "the boys"!) are 39 this year, my grand-daughter will be 18 this August, and we've lived in this house for just under 25 years. Retirement is wonderful, and because of my heart attack my pension is merely small instead of derisory. (State pension doesn't kick in for another 2 and a bit years –assuming that they haven't abolished it by then.)
It has become a cliché that nostalgia isn't what it used to be, and that furthermore it never was, but I do often think back to the Man of Kent days. As is the way with these things, all negative aspects are forgotten, and the good times are distilled into an archetype: a summer evening, good music, good beer, and after closing time a few of us adjourning to your place, and carrying on singing while your parents listened. Of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Life, love & peace, as we used to say in the sixties. (Well, I did, anyway).