A.J. Walker


Missing An Important Bit

Went to my mate, Ken's, funeral last week on a very dark grey and wet Wednesday in Thornton. It was my first funeral in the time of Covid restrictions - and hopefully the last. It was not the most pleasant of experiences with the restrictions. I hadn't actually thought about what they would mean. I was a pallbearer in the rain adjacent to an old buddy, Roger, who I used to play five a side football with along with Ken back in the 1990s. Only 20 people were permitted in the room, with another 10 outside. I sat with Roger; me in my spanking new Liverpool face covering (which had fortuitously arrived in the morning) and Roger in his Everton mask - that's Liverpool for you. And next to Roger was Mark, one of Ken's go to gig and festival partners. We both didn't see as much of Ken this last year because there haven't been any gigs or festivals to go to since last March. I found it difficult to recognise people on the other aisles due to the masks we were all wearing.

The music choice was nice. Procul Harum, '
Whiter Shade of Pale,' The Beatles 'In My Life,' and Black, 'It's A Wonderful Life.'

The guy doing the service was okay, mentioning Ken's love of dogs, Sue and music. Though he must have had problems reading his writing as he perplexed everyone saying Ken had enjoyed talking about football and his
Leicester: he's a Liverpool fan. Members at the service came out most perplexed by that.

The saddest thing about the Covid restrictions is not being able to have the wake. The opportunity to move on from the service to a social occasion where everyone sits or stands around with a drink reminiscing about all the good times and daft memories - and supporting those who need it. I hadn't realised how missing this part was so crucial to the day. Just moving on home direct from the service is not nice at all. Normally there are opportunities to have some uplifting conversations and moments of joyous memory, but this is gone with this damn virus. Sue is keen to have a get together later in the year when we can and I look forward to that, but it can't be the same as being on the day it should be.

We all drove off into the rain afterwards. And I had to take a diversion as the road I'd taken on the way in had become completely flooded.

We'll have our memories of Ken: good, bad, fun, daft. Mine are mainly around music, festivals, football, beers, some travel and his many vicarious texts.

But none of my memories about Ken will involve Leicester. Apart from this one.

Sad Day: Happy Memories

Awful news today about my good friend. Ken. Won't put anything into words yet, but he loved his music and here are some photos from fun times; largely from T in the Park and V festival. I'm sure I'll put some words together when I am ready. But in the meantime it is nice to recall some brilliant happy times.

Mat, me & Ken at T in the Park, 2007

Just into T in the Park

T in the Park (where else)

V Festival Style

V Festival

T in the Park queuing for Beer Tokens

T in the Park - after some Beer Tokens

Belgian Bar, Bergamo

Glastonbury 2015. I can't find a shot of Kenny, but he took this one of me.
So it is indeed me and Ken together.