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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

MY WIFE'S 5th ANNIVERSAY

This Thursday, 26 April, is the 5th anniversary of my darling wife, Maria's passing.

I am told that the 5th anniversary of widowhood and widower hood is a significant milestone ~ it is indeed a long time and a lot of adjustment to the survivor's life is necessary. It has been very hard at times.  

I have missed her very much, as my friends know ~ we were together for over 40 years and there is still an empty space in my life, even though she is in my heart still.

I purchased a lovely headstone for her and there is even a small space for a few words for me later, after my son and daughter arrange something, but we shall reserve some space for the addition of these words, near the base:


Reunited for Ever


I am well over the worse now ~ I have cherished memories of our life together ~ such a wonderful book we shared and lived out. But there is now a new book which I have to live and although I am sad she is not sharing this with me, I am enjoying life once again. I am blessed with my wonderful children, their spouses and two adorable grandchildren, soon to be three in July. Maria certainly sprinkled stardust on the first two, Peter and Rosa, and I am sure she will do so again. 

Looking back over this period there has been a mixture of sadness, happiness and humour, which you will all know is never far from me. I have always found that humour helps to deal with anything life can throw at us, which it does, often cruelly, from time to time.

At Maria's funeral we played my daughter's recording of Schubert's Ave Maria from her CD, played regularly on local radio. Maria requested this to be played as centre point for her own funeral, so I arranged for David, the church warden to play it. The night before I made David laugh by asking him to make sure he played the correct track, remarking that it would be in very poor taste if he played the first track, "It's Raining Men" during one of the most serious sections of the service, and I did not wish to receive Maria's wrath with a hail of thunder and lightning.

In fact when Selina's version of Ave Maria was played there was not a dry eye in that very large congregation and I still marvel even now that as soon as Selina started singing, a ray of sunlight shone brilliantly through a stain glass window overhead, illuminating Maria's coffin, and shortly after the singing ended this ceased too, almost as quickly as it had begun, reverting to quite ordinary lighting. Read into that what you may, but it tells me in strong terms that Maria was looking down that day and was very pleased and happy and probably very moved.

There is a short story about the headstone itself. I found a local stone mason and one day arrived at his site in an empty bus, after delivering my last dial a ride passenger. I was wearing my old Ambulance Fleece with the name of my company, Wings Ambulance Services, sadly no longer operating. When he saw the fleece his eyes lit up, remarking that he worked there too some years before me and we proceeded to talk about the good old days for at least 45 minutes before he looked at me with a smile and asked me what I wanted. I told him about the demise and loss of Maria and said I wanted something special for her, so I looked through his collection and quickly chose the headstone you see. I was quite pleased with the price but knew also that the proprietor of the care home in which Maria worked, also wanted a headstone for her husband who had died three years previously.

A flash of humour came to mind and I asked him if his organisation ran a Buy One Get One Free Scheme (BOGOF). We both roared with laughter before he politely told me to BOGOF . . . . lol, but then he proceeded to say he would give us both a 10% discount.

"What!!!", I said, "do you realise that this lady runs a nursing home ~ she could put loads of business your way?"

"Oh! OK, then, 15% each . . . and that's your lot!"

We laugh to this day when we see one another.

The lady's husband is buried in the grave next door but one to Maria, and her choice of headstone complements mine very nicely, with the heel being on the opposite side, and with the picture on the other side and being being Catholics she has chosen Mary, not Jesus. The stones look great together and between them lies a young man struck down in his prime. We would like to think we might in some way look after him a little when the time comes for us to rest.

Pat, the lady mentioned, is a very good friend and jokingly one day she said we would not be far from one another for eternity and wondered who might reside there first. I said I was in no hurry.  My great grandfather, James, is about 40 yards away to the right just behind us, so when the last trump sounds I guess we shall all go up together ~ I shall certainly look out for him.  James was only 57 when he died in tragic circumstances and although he was born 100 years before me in a way I regard him like a son and wish to be there for him, and to make sure he is ok. I have grown to love that man over the years during my researches into his life.

Rest in peace, Maria, until we meet again. I must visit you more often but I am sure you understand I am working hard at the kids' houses with various and seemingly never ending projects. I know you are not there, darling, for you now reside in Heaven with the angels, in a much preferred dimension.

I know you never liked cut flowers that much since they do not last,  much preferring a nice potted plant. I'll make sure you get another soon. 


God bless

                                                                  

Monday, 19 March 2018

HOPING ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER

Well, I wanted to let you know I am still alive - I have not posted since well before Christmas and maybe you were thinking I got stranded in Lapland.

I hope some of you have been rivetted to your screens in wild anticipation of a new post from Eddie, or more probably regressing to "screen saver mode" status and falling asleep awaiting the event, rather like watching for an elusive Super Nova or Quasar. lol

  
Sorry, folks I have not disappeared into a black hole but I been so busy with various projects it's either a wait or having to clone myself and I don't think you'd want two of me around would you . . . haha!

Hope you are all well and hope to post something soon and visit my Bloggy Buddies.

Au Revoir for now but I shall return, rather like a "thief in the night!"

Sunday, 3 December 2017

FATHER CHRISTMAS COMES TO TOWN

It was a first for me and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

A local school had been let down by their regular Santa after all the grotto tickets had been sold and they were frantically looking round for someone to rescue the day.  I was asked to step in and immediately said, "Ho Ho Ho! ~ I would love to, provided you have a Santa outfit because I have left mine in Lapland! . . . but it is a little short notice for me to grow a beard, have you got one of those too?" . . lol

I tried on the outfit at my daughter's house, quite near the school, and little Rosa, my two year old granddaughter, was amused and not frightened at Grampa, dressed in this apparel. 



She seemed quite entertained by it but we think whenever she sees a Santa she will think it is Grampa.

The young lady who asked me to do it was so over the moon she gave me a kiss and a hug and came with me to the school to introduce me to the PTA who organised the event.  Now that alone was worth it . . . lol



Thank goodness the outfit fitted but the beard was a little tricky and it was rather difficult to find my mouth to eat a mince pie.

The children came into the grotto in groups of 8-10 for a 15 minute slot and I was busy for about 3 hours. I asked them all the usual Santa questions like naming all my reindeer which some managed to do, and whether they had all written their Christmas present letters to me.



The elves said there was a sack full of letters, written by the children that morning.  I asked them what they wanted and hands shot up and one by one they told me. I asked the elves whether their presents were ready at the elf factory and the kids were relieved to hear they were or were being made.

I suppose I was a rather unusual Santa because I asked them whether on Christmas Eve they would cut carrots for the reindeer in 9 pieces so Rudolph does not hog them all, like he usually does. Also I asked them to leave only half a glass of sherry for me because that night I would be driving a sleigh.

I asked the boys and girls if they had been good and do you know what? They all said yes ~ fancy that! . . lol

I saw a present addressed to Eddie and pretended it was mine, which got a laugh before I handed it to the correct recipient.

One of the boys asked me why Rudolph's nose was red and the others were black and I said it was because he is the lead reindeer and we travel so fast his nose gets very hot but the others are shielded so theirs' stay black.

At times the boys and girls were in hysterics, along with the parents and elves, and I invited the kids to have their photos taken with me. I asked them to say, "Ho Ho Ho!" with me as their Mums and Dads took the photos, remarking that it was much better than saying, "Cheese!"

I handed them their presents and remarked that I had never seen presents being unwrapped so quickly and are they as quick wrapping them!

A good time was had by all and they have invited me back again next year. The young lady saw me later and said there had been loads of favourable comments about this year's Santa and he is the best they had ever had. Something to put on my CV I suppose.

Since then my daughter informs me that two other schools may approach me to be their Santa. Gosh, what have I started? 

I wonder if the real Santa got the job so easily . . . ha ha ha . . . or should I say ho ho ho.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

THINKING HAT, ELIZABETH THE FIRST AND SHAKESPEARE


Let’s see, what can I post today? "Errr ! . . Umm ! . . Errr !"


At times such as these I seek my thinking hat, my friend and inspiration.

Do I remind you of a deep thinking Plato? . . . . or perhaps a Socrates?  Definitely so, and certainly from the same stable, do you not think?

Don't be fooled by that rather gormless and vacant external expression, for inside that hat there is a positive powerhouse of activity and imagination, awaiting just a flicker of inspiration to spark and unleash my next literary tsunami.

Can you detect those powerful electrical impulses, jumping from dendrite to dendrite, dendron to dendron ~ and initiating the birth of creativity, with thoughts leaping from left cerebral hemisphere to right, at the speed of light? For this thinking hat has magical properties ~ it has got me out of the mire of inactivity and writer’s block on many occasions, and is powerful, rather like its cousin, the sorting hat of Harry Potter fame.

But do I feel a subject brewing? Not yet!! But wait!! Tarry a while ~ something is stirring, and fast!!!  I see a vision, not of this age, but very clear and real, as if it was.

We are being transported back in time, I can feel it ~ time is rushing backwards ever so quickly ~ 400 years to an age we studied whilst at school ~ the age of Elizabeth and Shakespeare, where language was more picturesque and words flowed as if by the pen of the mighty Bard himself, if a tad less so by Francis Bacon.

I imagined what life and everyday conversation might be like, thinking and speaking in pseudo-Shakespearean. So tarry a while good friends for all will be clear as thought cometh at this very hour, nay at this very minute! Nay, I am not bonkers for I relive a scene experienced in my present, but relived as if in yesteryear. It was the funeral reception of my good friend Nora, wife of Denis, when I met their charming grand daughter.
"Good morrow, fine Lady Leanne, ye are a maiden of such beauty, the like I have not set eyes upon this very week, nay not even this very year. Tell me good Lady I pray, how can it be that one so fair as ye can spring from the loins of that plain and ordinary father I know so well. It is a puzzle to exercise a mind indeed?"

I was amazed when she replied, "I thank ye good Sir for your words so generous and for those compliments so rare to my person - my eyelashes so long and finely manicured do but flutter in the wind - come sup with me fine Sir and together we shall have a merry conversation with words so free and plenty. Come, you may embrace me on my cheek but naught else methinks, and then perchance, let us sit and sup ale together and converse of joyful things!"

Wonderful . . .  If any young lad is looking in and wondering how to talk to ladies, try it in Shakespearean, they like something a little different. They get so bored being hit on all day long with the same old crap, time and time again!! So be different and you can say anything in this lingo and will not get your face slapped, I promise. She will see in you a man of class and you will pass all her tests.

I did wonder how on Earth William kept it up, writing glorious verses, line after line, play after play, year after year? Obviously it is a measure of his genius and we know there now is an enormous following. Yet he was popular even during his own day, wasn't he?

I wondered whether they all talked like that in the Elizabethan era, 400 years ago, or was it just William who did?  Surely not!  OK he may have been a little more verbose than the others and obviously knew how to hatch and develop a plot or two, and to craft a canny story, but he would hardly go home from work and say to Anne Hathaway, "Thank goodness I'm home, luv, where’s me tea, and now I can relax and let me hair down and talk proper for a change".

Nay, it must have been the language of the day, so I wondered how Queen Elizabeth might have spoken to someone with whom she was most displeased. Perhaps, "Pray good Sir, thou hast grieved me to the very core and before this very day is gone I shalt have thy head! Come, guards, escort this vile and evil man to my Tower and let the rack regurgitate his secrets and strip him of his bowels!"

The poor individual might plead his case by saying, “Methinks the lady doth protest too much, my liege, hell indeed hath no fury like a woman’s scorn! . . . but prithee show thy mercy upon thy lowly subject, Ma’am!”

“Enough and begone, good Sir! For I hath made my judgement and this lady’s not for turning, not on this day, nor for the morrow, nay, nor for any other day, savy!!”

Gosh, she was so intransigent, wasn't she?  No wonder no-one dared propose marriage to her. She would have eaten them alive, just like a black widow spider.

But were they not so polite with all their 'Good Sirs' and 'Good Ladies'?  Even when they were extremely annoyed, or were about to torture, kill or murder someone, or chop off their heads. We are not nearly as polite today - shame on us.

The executioner might have spoken, "Good Sir! My sharpened axe is thirsty for thy blood and at that appointed hour it will fall like falcon from the sky and sever that vile receptacle which houseth thy brains and thoughts from thy lifeless body. Aloft shall thy head be held and dripping blood, whilst from thy body jets of blood will spurt into the very air to drench us."

Imagine that poor chap waiting with his head on the block, time advancing so agonisingly slowly, waiting, waiting, waiting for the axe to fall. He might say, "Prithee thee, good Sir to act with haste according to the wishes of my liege to make good speed with thy act so vile, for my knees do quake and smite one other in terror, and I am all of a dither and quiver ~ kindly make my future dark and blank with utmost speed, kind Sir."

“Nay good Sir, such is thy request and I wouldst of course deny it. For  I wouldst have my practice swing to smite and sever that scrawny neck in two with just a single blow, not two, nor three, for that wouldst insult my pride and I like my task well done. Hark, the watching crowd is thirsty for their pleasure, for they wouldst have their sport and merriment, and when this deed is done all would gasp with wonder should thine eyes blink when that bloody severed head is held up high!”  Gosh the poor man.

I looked up William on google and asked, "How many children did William Shakespeare have?" The answer was, "How the heck do I know!" Yet in another place I learned, three ~ not many for those days and I wondered why. I have a suggestion. The answer might lie in the language Bill used to Anne. For perhaps when the mood of love arose between them and was amplified by their overtures he might have concentrated a little too much on his words of love, thus hindering his natural progression and action. Consequently he might have said something like, "Good day, Lady Anne, prithee tarry a while in patience for I am not yet ready for the task that lies before me! Tarry a while and in due season watch mine manhood bloom and blossom like a rose before thy very eyes, ‘As You Like It!’"

Oh Bill, you've blown it! That's a passion killer if ever I've heard one. She'll start laughing and be no longer in the mood so you'll have to start all over again. 

She might remark, "Good husband, I do not mock thee but merely show my mirth, for I grant thee (Hathaway) with words but this day thou doth amount to almost nought, and to me thou art but as a little boy. Methinks we should postpone this pleasure 'til another day when thou art more generously equipped, thus more fitting to the task before you. But hark! methinks thoughts of inspiration ~ two titles for thy plays spring forth between my ears. So, my good husband, no longer wrestle with these conundrums for these titles be clear and likened to a cloudless sky, just like this day’s experience ~ 'Much Ado About Nothing' and 'A Comedy Of Errors'”


“Anne, thou art an inspiration to behold, of former matters I shalt return this hour on the morrow, but tarry with me no longer for words spring clearly in my mind and I must make utmost haste to regurgitate this genius ~ tarry no longer dearest wife, go put the kettle on.  'A pen - a pen my Kingdom for a pen', for I have Macbeth's soliloquy germinating in my brain and I wouldst make these words immortal, "Two truths are told as happy prologues to the swelling act of the Imperial theme . . . . . . " 
____________________________________________________

I posted this a number of years ago but recently reworked it and had some fun.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

A FISH OUT OF WATER

Hi Folks!

I have joined a creative writing group here in my home town and I thought I'd post my first piece. I was given this picture and asked to write something about it. So here goes:



A Fish Out Of Water



It is the boredom; the sheer monotony of my life,
Seemingly with no purpose ~ an existence only.
My whole being is condemned to randomness and no structure,
Devoid of anything except swimming aimlessly;
Round and round, up and down, down and up, then round the other way.
All this when confined within a small round glass prison full of water,
Changed once a week; an occasion when something different relieves my sanity.
This is my entire world, a planet explored in total in just a single hour.
All routes and combinations are etched into my tiny brain,
And I am not challenged with any thought, idea or dream.
My companions are silent, non communicating and ignorant of my presence.
There is no conversation or recognition or fellowship or any stimulation of any kind.
The monotony is unbearable and I must escape into whatever lies outside my universe.
A fish just in water is not good enough for me ~ I must break free
Or I shall lose what little I have of a mind.
I'll take a chance and become a fish out of water.
I'll settle the matter once and for all, whatever the outcome.
Even if probability dictates I shall not land in a pond.


__________________________

Pleased to say I've found my thinking hat.
Thought I'd lost it for a while . . . lol





Thursday, 7 September 2017

I'M SO SORRY TO INTERRUPT YOU

A highly amusing incident occurred yesterday.

I was looking after two year old Rosa, my grand daughter, as I will do so every Wednesday afternoon, in addition to a full day Tuesday. My daughter asked me to deliver a parcel to the mother of a friend for her grand daughter. The mother, a divorcee, lives closeby to me and so whilst out walking with Rosa, pushing her in her stroller, I knocked on her door.

A period of time elapsed before the mother, still looking quite young for a grand parent, opened the door, dressed in a dressing gown and bare footed, although it was 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

Recognising me she apologised for not being suitably dressed to receive me and then her eyes moved over to Rosa and her heart melted, since she loves my daughter and Rosa, but has not seen them for a while.

She said she would dearly love to invite us inside but right now she has someone with her, and looked a little flushed.

I winked at her and said, "You are entertaining a gentleman friend, aren't you?"  and she said, "Er! well, yes!"

I said, "I am so sorry to interrupt!", and we both laughed so darned hard.

I said I had a parcel for her from my daughter for her son and fiancee for their daughter.

Quite a while had passed by now and she said she would love to see Rosa and myself and when would we be available. I said we are here every Wednesday afternoon and she proceeded to ask me for my telephone number, both land and mobile. Then she said she had better go and I apologised again for the interruption, remarking that this was the first time I had ever interrupted at such a crucial moment. Oh boy, she did laugh, and even more so when I continued, "I expect he is feeling rather deflated and you're no longer in the mood now, are you!! . . . the poor chap will have to start proceedings all over again!! Please extend my apologies to the gent!"

She was in absolute hysterics. . . . lol


Tuesday, 15 August 2017

PLEASE DON'T POOH ON MY LAWN

It's by no means unusual. It is a universal problem with pets fouling lawns, invariably someone else's, away from the house where they live.

I have a real problem in my back garden where a large black and white tom cat has made my lawn his own private and exclusive toilet. He is very territorial and does not tolerate any other cat around.

Don't get me wrong, I love pets, including dogs and cats, and I do realise that they have to go somewhere. I don't mind as much if it is on the garden borders, but the lawns are a little different where the grandchildren wish to play. 

Until recently I have managed to keep it clean but a while ago there were no fewer that 10 poohs in various stages of decomposition, and I must say that the poor animal appeared, according to his results, to have an ongoing abdominal issue . . . with pooh being the operative word.

I have not been able to photograph him because he scarpers as soon as the deed is done.

I have tried various deterrents, including this lion face which I drew on an old bird table with the help of Peter. I had high hopes of it being likened to the ultimate nuclear deterrent, but no such thing. Perhaps my lion looks a little anaemic.





We placed the face on the cat's usual walkway to the garden lawn and I was highly amused, when looking out of the kitchen window on day one, at his reaction when he saw the lion face. He looked at the lion and then at me looking at him with an expression on his face as if to say, "You will have to get up much earlier than that in the morning to get one over on me!!" . . lol. Then he proceeded to go right up to it fearlessly, knock it over and then to urinate on it, looking back with what I can only describe as a triumphant cat smirk.

We have tried all sorts of things to deter him including orange peel, which they are supposed to hate, lion's pooh which was about as successful as the lion face, and these metal cats with marble eyes, plus a sound repeller,





 None of them worked and all were treated with complete contempt . . . lol

The only thing that seems to help is to keep the grass short, which I try to do regularly.

I'll try again with my camera to get a shot of him.

____________________________________________________

There is a sequel to this story. My next door neighbour knocked on my door, asking if I had seen her next door, on the othe side, neighbour's cat, a black and white one?  
I said, "Oh! that must be the one which keeps fouling my law."
She said, "Me too! but the cat is very poorly and is 14 years old. Have you seen it recently because Mike hasn't? Could you let them know if you see it again?"
I said I could tell it was ill by it's revolting deposits.
Well I did think I saw it again but it seemed smaller, much trimmer and fitter and did not use my lawn as a lavatory, and just walked on by, also ignoring the lion face and various deterrents. 
So I rang the neighbour to say I had seen it and Jill said, "It cannot be our's because our's passed away after being run over by a car a few days ago ~ it must be another one!"

Shame, poor cat . . . but it is quite a coincidence that the one I saw is almost identical, yet a bit smaller.