Have You Ever Seen The Rain ?

Wasn’t January a bitch ?

Bowie, Wogan, Rickman, Hambridge…….Obviously for most of you, the first three may ring a bell, for me the fourth was the toughest to swallow.

Jenny Hambridge, or more familiarly just ‘Jen’ – but never anything less than ‘Auntie Jen’ for me. The stylish, well dressed, good looking Aunt that you always wanted.  Rarely a frown on her face, always a smile for me when I walked through her door, I suspect that everyone felt like they were Auntie Jens favourite, such was her warmth and enthusiasm.

In the 70’s and early 80’s a social diva, in fact it is fair to say the couple that were Auntie and Uncle were both of the same ilk.  Hard working social magnates, stylish jet setters, disco dancers and the one lady responsible for every bottle of Holsten Pils I have ever drank.

Damn it, I can’t remember if my first ever game of skittles was with Auntie Jen or Grandma – it was probably both, most likely in the Abbey St Club.  Live music in the Radea Club with all the family. Bedworth Social Club with bands playing Rod Stewart and Creedence Clearwater covers, bingo nights in the Brownsover Social Club, sandwiched between Mum & Auntie Jen.  Shopping in Northampton, riding in a big blue SD1, mirrored aviator sunglasses two sizes too big, balancing on my little nose.

Early morning trips to an emerging Luton Airport as the pair globe trotted across Europe in an age when it was the new thing to do, amazed at the foreign goods that would return with them, but not fully understanding what a red and green channel was about.

From Howkins Road there was usually the sound of music at weekends, Fleetwood Mac, Bread and Abba although the real groovers were most likely moving to Abba or Fleetwood. Truth be told, my first nightclub experience in Hinkley as a school boy, Auntie Jen was there.

Always interested in where I was, what I was doing, how my love life was, how happy I was.  Sometimes telling me stories more than once would earn her a rather cheeky ‘You’ve told me that already’ but as she got wise to me, she would start off with a ‘Have I told you this already?’ always with a quizzical but cheeky wry smile.

In January, the book turned another page and the chapter closed.   A cruel cancer put an end to that, while there was still  ample space for more pages.  The cold harsh truth about death is that life goes on.  People continue with their lives  seemingly unaware that your world has fallen apart, unlikely to have any clue about the pain of people left to cope with the new chapter that has been thrust upon them.  Few of us can even comprehend the feeling that comes with loosing a buddy, wife, friend, lover, partner in crime, business partner.  Especially one of 50 years or more.

For me, the simplest thing I will miss.  Walking in that door, seeing a sparkle in her eye as she very spritely walks her walk to greet me half way across the kitchen, cupping my cheeks, one in each hand and holding them firmly as she plants a kiss straight on my lips.  There was no dodging to the side for a quick one on the cheek – you got it on the lips and that was that!!!

To see if you have left a good mark on this earth you really need to count the mourners at your funeral.  It’s always a comfort to have a full house.

Stay Glam ..


With every death comes a stark reminder to live life.  Make of it what you will but make something.  One thing I have been wanting to do for a few months now was to make a ‘cover’ of a recent TV advert in the UK, by a very well known holiday company. Well, last weekend, I finally did it, spurred on by recent events.  It might seem a little inappropriate to post it on the same page – indeed it was something I have debated all week as I have tried in vain to get the video to upload.  Tonight, it finally worked, so please turn up your volume feel free to join in.  The original is 2 posts further down the page so you can see where I got my inspiration from.  I will also post it over in the video section for you to find whenever you see fit

3 responses to “Have You Ever Seen The Rain ?

  • jellyandcustard

    Hi Wayne,

    Keep Auntie Jen’s phone number in your contacts list for as long as you wish Bud.

    All the best.

  • j.cooper

    Hiya Wayne,

    Good post mate, we’ve all had an ‘Auntie Jen’ (or Uncle Jen) in our lives and have been enriched by the experience. I shall toast another star in heaven with a glass of the red stuff, in conjunction with celebrating my birthday. No, please don’t feel guilty that it’s another year without a card from you, my family have rallied around me for comfort.

    Your video shows that you are in good health and sanity, or should that be sanitation, any road up keep smiling mate and take care.

    Regards from the old country John & Monica (who sends her love by the way)


Have a moan - the beers are on me !!

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