I’ll be gone, In a day or two

Ever notice how a house can be like an accordion? When there’s a holiday and the kids and their friends are back it feels compact and noisy, but when the festivities are over and it’s just you and your mate, it’s as if the old place has miraculously billowed out and become very spacious indeed.

Now even our driveway is about to seem bigger. After much dinner-table deliberation a beloved family member that has been with us for 14 years will soon be leaving for good.

When we bought a Volvo wagon (quickly christened “Tyroam” by our then-five-year-old) in 1998, it was a big step-up from the cranberry ‘91 Jeep Cherokee that preceded it. Strong believers in preventive maintenance, we like to hang onto our cars, and while Tyroam’s original garage-mate, a 1990 Honda Accord, remained in good nick right up until it was sold in ‘04 to make room for a new Sienna (that has also aged well) the leaky, problematic Jeep that suited our family when it was very young was surprisingly not built to last.

We were in the market for something different and after a nephew had flipped his father’s Volvo and walked away, we decided to take the safety route. Tyroam was an excellent choice, with leather interior and technology (it even had rear seat warmers) that never seemed outdated. When, at the age of 9, its garage space was usurped by a sturdy ’07 Audi, Tyroam became the perfect third car for the kids.

Driven to far off music-fests, and who knows where else, in the days when it was packed with high school football players and referred to as “the man car,” it conversely came to resemble a spritely closet on wheels, with spirit-day slogans written across its windows in its later, high school cheerleader phase.

Then there was the time that Tyroam took one for the team, displaying those “cage-within-a car” safety chops after another driver cut off our newly licensed daughter on the Concord Rotary and plowed away the front bumper and grill.  Like our nephew, she walked away…and the other driver even received the citation.

Having just missed being totaled, Tyroam served us for another three years after a rejuvenating trip to the body shop. But of course even our most beloved automobiles show their age in the end.  With slipping reliability it’s time for the ‘ol Nordic-built machine to go, and so we await a scheduled collection visit from “Sally Ann” (The Salvation Army), for whom Tyroam will become a heart-felt donation.

Time for something upbeat, and where better to turn than a New Wave group with Nordic (albeit Norwegian) origins. Formed in Oslo in 1982, A-ha took its name from a song their guitarist wrote (“terrible song but a great name”) just prior to leaving for London in search of a producer.  Famously they were able to land one, despite the fact that they had gone to him because his studio had a Space Invaders machine.

Credited to the entire group (with English-as-a-Second-Language lyrics), a version of “Take on Me” was first released as a single in 1984 before being re-worked for the group’s 1985 debut album, “Hunting High and Low”.


It’s the second version that reached Number 2 in the UK and, in conjunction with its MTV-Award winning sketch-animation video, topped the US Billboard Charts. Still fun to watch to this day it just goes to show that along with well-engineered function, Scandinavian form is designed to last.

Take on Me

We’re talking away

I don’t know what I’m to say

I’ll say it anyway

Today’s another day to find you

Shying away

I’ll be coming for your love, OK?

Take on me, take me on

I’ll be gone

In a day or two

 So needless to say

I’m odds and ends

But I’ll be stumbling away

Slowly learning that life is OK

Say after me

It’s no better to be safe than sorry

Take on me, take me on

I’ll be gone

In a day or two

 Oh the things that you say

Is it life or

Just a play my worries away

You’re all the things I’ve got to

You’re shying away

I’ll be coming for you anyway

Take on me, take me on

I’ll be gone

In a day or two

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