Where is the love?


… sang the Black Eyed Peas in 2003. (and Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway in 1972)

Is there love on the ranch? In all those plants and little buildings. In a well-laid hedge. In every bottle wall. In a million memories of barbecues and parties. In the rugged beauty of ice-baked Midwinter. Of sultry summer secrets in the suntrap where no one can see. In excess produce on the staff room table.

What about all those thousands of people deprived of seeing their loved ones in their darkest hours? All those deaths. All that fear and misery. All those lost livelihoods and all those horrible people profiting from it. Where is the love?

In this magical room of music that has heard a thousand recordings, a giant record collection, countless rehearsals, the best New Year’s Eve parties on earth. Where ten years ago four teenagers banged out their spiky blistering post-punk infused magic then yesterday the four of them playing the same songs in the same positions in the room and me sitting on the settee feeling overwhelmingly grateful that we’re still doing it and we’re all OK.

Burnley boys win the undemonstrative emotionally paralysed annual competition for the tenth year running, then they look after their mams when they’re poorly. Where is the love?

All those dogs and cats curled on cushions and settees. All those babies and children. Safe and warm with their mummies and daddies.

We don’t do Valentines day here. A red biro last minute card in the tea bag tin is an afterthought before going to bed. ‘You’re lucky I didn’t have loose tea’ she says, otherwise I wouldn’t have found it.’ Which of us farts the loudest? Meanwhile she takes her babies shopping and buys stuff for them and she looked after her mummy with endless gentle patience until the very end. Where is the love?