Another Week of Losses, Prince and ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’

Last week I wrote about how our neighbours, who were also good friends, had moved on to pastures new. I was sad, as they will largely now be lost to us.

This week we lost Peanut, the hamster DD bought as a pandemic pick-me-up last year. I didn’t think we’d ever have another small rodent in the house (by choice), but he came along at just the right time, when things were still looking pretty grim. Of late we’ve just been needed for pet-sitting duties, so we didn’t see him as often, but his health had deteriorated fast over the last few weeks. Mercifully he went to sleep on Monday night and just didn’t wake up, thus avoiding that distressing final trip to the vet’s.

Peanut the hamster in his heyday

Another big change this week came about when I went to see my mum at the care home. I am allowed in once a week but our visits are still heavily policed in order to keep the residents safe. Far from ideal, but she seems content which is about as good as it gets. When the carer who supervises visits came to collect me, my mum told her I was an “old friend”. Once your mum no longer recognises you as her daughter, do you still have a mum, or is she now lost to you? It’s all very weird and distressing but we’re on an Alzheimer’s journey with her and have no idea how it will end.

Something I can no longer do, as the 2m rule is still firmly in place

Finally (long-term followers will probably remember my trilogy of posts), this was the weekend two years ago that my best friend lost her daughter to suicide, so a really tough one for her and her family. She not only lost her daughter, who is missed more with each year that passes, but she also lost her way of life, which now bears no resemblance to how it used to be. I miss my friend and all the fun times we used to have together.

Holly’s memorial bench

A bit of a sad post this, for several reasons, and for once I don’t think it would be appropriate to balance it out with some jokey happening from the week. Instead, here is Nothing Compares 2 U, a very sad song that has been shared around here before, but one that still wins the prize for featuring in my least visited post, a full five years on from when it was written. I have always found this unusual as the song, written by the genius that was Prince, was a massive world-wide hit in 1990 for Sinéad O’Connor. The lyrics are not particularly appropriate to any of the sad situations mentioned above but they do evoke that feeling of loss we experience, when things we take for granted are no longer in our lives. Here is that iconic video clip of Sinéad singing the song and an audio clip of the song performed by the man himself, Prince, this time featuring Rosie Gaines.

Nothing Compares 2 U by Prince and The New Power Generation (feat. Rosie Gaines)


I’m hoping to get back on track by next time but just not the week for a jaunty upbeat post. The COP26 conference on climate change starts in Glasgow today so young people around the world will be hoping for a firm commitment from world leaders that their futures are not being jeopardised. I hope to return with positive news on that front. Early days yet but we might even have a new hamster in the family by then too. Amazing how a small desert rodent originating from Syria can bring such joy to both children and adults, but he did. RIP Peanut.

Until next time…

Nothing Compares 2 U Lyrics
(Song by Nelson Prince Rogers)

It’s been seven hours and fifteen days
Since you took your love away
I go out every night and sleep all day

Since you took your love away

Since you’ve been gone I can do whatever I want
I can see whomever I choose
I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant
But nothing
I said nothing can take away these blues

‘Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares to you

It’s been so lonely without you here
Like a bird without a song
Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling
Tell me, baby, where did I go wrong

I could put my arms around every boy I see
But they’d only remind me of you
I went to the doctor and guess what he told me?
Guess what he told me?
He said, “Girl, you better try to have fun no matter what you do,”
But he’s a fool

‘Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares to you

All the flowers that you planted, mama, in the back yard
All died when you went away
I know that living with you, baby, was sometimes hard
But I’m willing to give it another try

Nothing compares
Nothing compares to you
Nothing compares
Nothing compares to you
Nothing compares
Nothing compares to you

Prince, Sinead O’Connor and “Nothing Compares 2 U”

I was struggling for inspiration this week as my last post left me with nowhere to go (it ended up featuring a porn star turned disco diva!), but as has often happened this year, events of the week take over. On Wednesday we heard the sad news that Victoria Wood had died aged only 62, again from cancer. This was devastating news as she has been performing stand-up, singing her wonderfully observant comic songs and writing great sketches and sit-coms for as long as I can remember – Another premature death in 2016 from the world of entertainment. It was Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday this week and celebrations have taken place all round the country but Victoria Wood was a different kind of Queen, a Queen of British Comedy. She was honoured in 2008 with a CBE and had she lived, I’m sure it would only have been a matter of time before she became a Dame.

vic

The great thing about Victoria’s comedy was that it centred around very down to earth, ordinary people and the mundane, but often deeply amusing, aspects of their lives. She was a great observer of the human condition, which shone through in her writing. Julie Walters, her long-term friend and “double-act” partner must feel as if she has lost a limb.

I was still reeling from the loss of Victoria when the news came through on Thursday evening that Prince had been found dead at his Paisley Park mansion.

This is turning out to be a terrible year for losing our heroes. David Bowie died the day I started the blog and since then there has been a steady stream of deaths from the world of entertainment. The loss of Prince will mean more to the people of the US than it will to most of us here in the UK but since researching him for a post I wrote just the other week (link here), I now realise that he was the ultimate artist – Dare I say it, even surpassing Bowie with his breadth of talent. He wrote some of the most amazing songs that will be with us for ever, he sang, played every musical instrument on his albums, produced, could act, danced, choreographed and micro-managed every aspect of his life and the creation of his art. Looking back now, considering he worked 24-hour-days and hardly slept, I am amazed he managed to live as long as he did.

I have now accepted that the number of obituaries coming through from the world of entertainment will increase as the sheer number of artists we have been exposed to through music and television has increased exponentially during my lifetime. Many of these artists are now reaching their senior years, so age-related deaths will inevitably become more commonplace. The demon cancer can strike at any time however and sadly, like with poor Victoria, we are losing people too soon when they still have much more to give. And of course, like with Prince, those who seem to live highly artistic, abnormal lives, seem to be more prone to premature, abnormal deaths.

A very sad week for the world of entertainment and when I started the blog in January this year, I had not anticipated that every other post would be about the death of one my heroes. Nothing light about any of this tragedy but I do think that Miss Wood, if looking down at us now, would find it amusing that the timing of her demise means she is now bizarrely connected to His Royal Purpleness – I’m sure she, Terry Wogan and Ronnie Corbett will take him under their wing and regale tales of Acorn Antiques, the TOGs and Four Candles. In return they may well be rewarded with songs from one of the most exceptional artists of the last 40 years.

I will leave you with Sinéad O’Connor and her moving rendition of the Prince-penned song Nothing Compares 2 U from 1990. Thankfully I had just started “going out” with my new boyfriend (now husband) the month before it reached No. 1 in the charts and because we were all loved-up, a song about a painful breakup didn’t cause me any distress at all. Someone at the other end of the relationship spectrum would definitely have suffered however, as it received blanket coverage in the January of that year. Watching the clip again does remind me how jealous we all were of how good Sinéad looked with a shaved head as we were all slaves to our hairdressing appointments at that time – It was the era of spiral perms and highlights (think Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction) so very high maintenance by comparison.

I don’t think I realised back in 1990 that this song was written by Prince but fitting as it turns out for today’s post. Surely no more premature deaths for some time. RIP Victoria, RIP Prince.

Nothing Compares 2 U
(Song by Prince)

It’s been seven hours and fifteen days
Since u took your love away
I go out every night and sleep all day
Since u took your love away

Since u been gone I can do whatever I want
I can see whomever I choose
I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant
But nothing
I said nothing can take away these blues

`Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares 2 u

It’s been so lonely without u here
Like a bird without a song
Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling
Tell me baby where did I go wrong

I could put my arms around every boy I see
But they’d only remind me of you
I went to the doctor and guess what he told me
Guess what he told me
He said, “Girl, you better try to have fun no matter what you do.”
But he’s a fool

`Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares 2 u

All the flowers that u planted, mama
In the back yard
All died when u went away
I know that living with u baby was sometimes hard
But I’m willing to give it another try

Nothing compares
Nothing compares 2 u
Nothing compares
Nothing compares 2 u
Nothing compares
Nothing compares 2 u