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Saturday 2 November 2013


He sees only the image of her face, now outside his time and space and lost to him in a dimension unknown to him – far beyond his universe. Yet this face remains so real to him, so treasured, so captivating and so fresh in his memory – but now so absent from his life and his lonely heart.

He sheds a tear or two as all his unbridled emotions choose to wound him, to hurt him and to deny him of all his wishes and his yearnings, now closed irrevocably to any further conversation or communication.  They haunt him unceasingly and flow endlessly from deep within his troubled heart and soul.

Immersed in grief he sits in agonizing solitude, dead to his world and unfocused totally on a myriad of omnipresent treasures, gifted so freely by creation, and surrounding him from every corner of his existence.  Each persistent miracle strives to speak to him of its endless wonders, each one vies competitively for his full attention, yet somehow all remain totally inconspicuous to him.

He simply ignores their carefully crafted tapestry, dripping so salubriously with its every interwoven colour, sketched and painted in exquisite detail by the artistic finger of creation, whilst orchestrated and directed by the might of heaven.

In unison, each of his sleeping senses fails utterly to imbibe any message of their presence, or their glory, for all their wasted conversation is excommunicated from those sad elusive windows of his troubled soul, and every enchanted melody, together with its delightful harmony, is refused any recognition by his tightly closed and muted ears.

He does not smell either the sweet fragrance of the countryside around him.  Neither does he feel the warmth, gifted freely by his sun, or savour the gentle breeze caressing his doleful face, etched so painfully with lines of recent sorrow.  

Instead, again he sees only her face and every ounce of him remains stubbornly transfixed upon the sole object of his tribulation, like an impossible burden pressing upon him far too heavily and weighing down his overloaded shoulders – thus smothering the very life from him.

The gently flowing stream beside him conveys nothing of its true beauty, majesty and cheerfulness, as its waters meander effortlessly in unending procession past the place where he is seated – he remains as if inanimate and in total ignorance of its presence.

Its enchantment fails utterly to impress any part of him as it shimmers, glistens and twinkles over the rocks, as if orchestrated by its every collision with whatever obstacle may interrupt its course – it just continues its journey and waves him goodbye, unheeded.  He does not hear either the comforting and therapeutic sounds of this persistent percolating watercourse, which should console him, even if just a little. 

He ignores also the accompanying sounds from a nearby weir as it breaks each fall of water into a million glistening fragments, in sharp contrast against the fluffy, slowly moving clouds and bright blue sky and their interwoven dancing shimmering rays of light – all commanded into view by their intricate reflections and all engineered by the dawning of a delightful day.  

Neither does he feel the warm and comforting sunshine kiss and caress his furrowed and crestfallen brow, nor does he hear the birds in discordant chorus debating the virtues of their lofty habitats. All these treasures, although well known to him, are but a distant memory and today they no longer exist in his world, for his mind has no room for them and he can stare only ahead, motionless and with vacant eyes.  He sees, hears and feels nothing of his external world, for all its grandeur and fascination are as dead to him.

Instead, from deep within his troubled being, he sees only treasured memories and pictures emerging from the darkness of his grief – these alone are permitted any stimulation to any facet of his consciousness.  He sees once more a flood of precious moments, punctuated by the sweet laughter of happier days, when torrents of cascading water, welling from within him, smiled and satisfied life’s thirst and provided the promise of everything he could ever wish for, as long as life remained his servant.

Yet now, appearing through the utter inward grief of his present, he sees again only her haunting face from his recent past and he knows this lady, hand-picked by God for him, is exiled so cruelly from his earthly future.  Yet all he sees in his awareness is her alluring smile and her beautiful eyes pouring out their love for him, and he remains transfixed just with the thought of her, with the memory of her, and with the loss of his dearest companion with whom he shared his life.  

He knows if he remained seated by that stream for a million years he could never, in his present state of mind, see it, or hear it, or touch it, just as he knows also the sheer impossibility of him ever erasing that gorgeous lady of his life from his wounded heart and mind – a lady whom he adores with all his being, and with whom he is totally captivated.

He cries himself to sleep, as he has done so many times – for he knows that only whilst sleeping may he ever hope to meet her, to be with her and to tell her how much he loves her – albeit only in his dreams, for he knows she is no longer a reality of his present life, just a sweet memory to cherish all his remaining days.

He prays to his God in heaven that his heavy loss may be just a passing nightmare and that a new day will dawn when his tomorrow may reveal her once again at his side and once more they may be permitted to walk a little further through life’s journey together, as one – for they were as one before that treasured part now missing was stolen from him by the jaws of death.   

Yet somehow, perhaps guided by the hand of his guardian angel, he sees a ray of hope shining through all his darkness.  He finds strength to cast his eyes forward into a new dimension, for he knows he shall never see her, speak to her or love her until he too passes through the gates of time and space, at his appointed hour.  

And God in his mercy shows him the only route to reconciliation is by the forward arrow of his time, and he sees ahead just a distant glimmer and promise of unimaginable joy.  He realizes his earthly loneliness is but limited and insignificant in terms of his time and space against the far mightier backdrop of eternity, where these limiting dimensions are all irrelevant.  

He knows the day will come when she will live – and he knows with the passing of even half a lifetime here on Earth, a time in which he must live alone, those years are as nothing compared with all eternity, where he will live once more and be reunited with his heavenly queen, in total joy and glory. 

He knows at his allotted hour colour will return to his darkened world, manifested by the radiant light of hope – a light so pure it will transform his existence once again into true clarity and focus.  He sees before him the answer to all his prayers, all his longings, all his hopes, and all his fantasies – for they are all transformed before his eyes from mere imagination into startling reality.  

He sees her – she appears distinctly on his horizon, dressed in white as a bride and she is glorious and more beautiful than he ever remembered her.  She draws closer and as she does so she continues walking slowly towards him, stepping into breathtaking reality and radiating pure light and now in total perfection. 

His pulse quickens at her charismatic presence and she smiles at him once more, a beautiful loving smile, and with outstretched arms she welcomes him into her eternity.  

He sees nothing but love emanating from within those beautiful and affectionate eyes – love expressed so profoundly for him and pouring from her very soul, locked now onto his in perfect union.  She speaks unspoken words through those gorgeous windows of her soul – words of love now more meaningful than any language he had ever known, or could ever hope to comprehend.  

For now he sees clearly into her mind and heart, and as she slips her hand gently into his she smiles again so lovingly and without reservation she returns to him those precious keys to her heart and places them tenderly into his palm, then closes his hand around them. Together they walk in utter joy and happiness along the riverbank of eternity, filled with light and living waters, peace and promise  once more in harmony with all creation and all its wonders – this time for ever. 

Until we meet again, my love 

Copyright:  Eddie Bluelights
November 2nd 2013   

Sunday 29 September 2013


He glances back at me - wistful and forlorn.  He looks again intently from within a sombre and totally unfamiliar perspective – a place where he does not want to be – a place where his preferred emotions of joy and happiness now cannot live.  These more welcome feelings are eclipsed in total by dark lingering shadows of despair, longing and sorrow, emanating and surfacing endlessly from his broken heart and orchestrated so cruelly by his tortured mind.

His face I know so well, yet somehow he is a stranger to me; for his expression now contradicts all known recognition. Our eyes meet once more and as they do so I see only a look of utter sadness and sorrow, written and etched deeply and emphatically upon his troubled face as if his very being is transfixed upon the object of his grief.

I sympathise and as I do so I realise his feelings are true and real for I know a mirror can never lie and that man’s grief is just a reflection of my own – feelings of deep loss, feelings of hopelessness and feelings of utter despair which threaten to haunt me for ever and tear the very heart from me and never leave me alone.

I look again and this time I notice a tear glisten in his eye, in sympathy with my own – a tear of love and longing for someone who is now absent from his life, yet remains the summit and focal point of his existence.  As I look again I see him pondering deep thoughts through his grief. Powerful and searching questions race across his wounded mind, as he contemplates the gravity, the magnitude and the implications of her absence and the shallow life he now has to live alone, as though part of him has been  ripped away, caused by her premature and cruel passing and stolen from him by the jaws of death.

His sad eyes look at me once more in earnest and plead for his lost identity, for that too died with her and now cannot be repaired.  His soul searches his darkened world for an unbroken but lost personality; a former self he knew long ago – a man he liked and with whom he was fully at peace, for he knows only then might he find an inner man strong enough to carry him through his sorrow.

Yet somewhere, dredged from deep within his heart, hope slowly promises a rescue mission for his troubled soul – a rescue from all those uncomfortable and sombre emotions, weighing so heavily upon his fragility.  His tear begins to fade for he knows a time will come when he and the lady of his life will be reunited - this time they will endure together in unimaginable eternal bliss, not for a mere 40 years of shared existence, here in this limited dimension.   

He holds on tightly to his lifeline of new-found embryonic hope which speaks and convinces that his former happiness is not lost for an eternity – just frozen for a while in time.  He realizes a new dawn will arise, this time filled with light, joy, laughter and colour and he himself at his appointed hour will pass through the gate of time and space to meet an angelic figure who will appear to him and greet him and welcome him into eternity with a smile so radiant his heart will burst with happiness. She will be young again and perfect in every way - no longer defiled by that vile and evil disease emanating straight from the pit of hell. Nothing and no-one will ever hurt her again and her laughter and joy will sing across the universe to the sound of running water, welling from the spring of life.   

copyright:  Eddie Bluelights September 2013

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

I'm slowly emerging from the tunnel
Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers

Monday 20 May 2013


It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Maria, my darling wife, who left this life for a much better one on 26 April 2013.  We had just celebrated our Ruby Wedding Anniversary in March, so I am very thankful that we spent 40 wonderful years together.

I remember clearly writing on her card, "To my darling Maria, my ruby, the finest and most loved gem in the whole jewel box."

You may have wondered why I have been absent from BlogLand for several months - the reason being that Maria's health issues gradually worsened over the last 2-3 months following her last course of chemotherapy, combating that dreadful disease, breast cancer, originally diagnosed 16 years ago.  Maria sensed two months ago that her health was failing and said she considered that this time it was the beginning of the end for her.  Of course I went into complete denial because Maria had bounced back so many times and we thought she might be with us for perhaps a couple of years.  I say this because the last CT scan revealed that the cancer had just spread to her liver, hence the need for more chemotherapy.  Unfortunately the four oral hormone therapy drugs had all become ineffective so she was beginning to run out of options and this greatly disturbed her.  We knew that a spread to liver usually means about 2 years to live, although no-one gave us a prognosis.

I looked after Maria with gradually greater intensity for about 3 months and this I was so pleased to do because on our wedding day I promised for better, for worse, in sickness and in health - and I meant every word. About 3 weeks before she died Maria developed an extended and very hard abdomen which was extremely uncomfortable for her. Our GP diagnosed that there was a problem with her liver, although she considered it unlikely that the cancer had got out of hand so quickly and there must be some other cause. While she was alive they never did discover the cause and Maria gradually became weaker and weaker, which was heartbreaking to watch.  She knew she was dying, and I too accepted this, albeit reluctantly.  Maria told me she wanted to stay at home as long as she could and be with me.  She also said she was so pleased to be my wife and laughed when I said she might have needed the services of SpecSavers and that that  Polish Vodka was so strong it encouraged me to propose and encouraged her to accept.  We have been through so much together, sharing the good times and the bad times. I feel she is part of me and I am part if her . . . . . still.

She was eating less and less and could not keep a meal down and hence her appetite for food was almost non existent during her last week.  Also she was not drinking nearly enough causing me to worry that she was beginning to dehydrate.  So the time had arrived to get her into hospital and an ambulance took her to A&E. I stayed at home for half an hour and broke down in tears for a while.  I arrived there and was alarmed to see she had deteriorated further and was not able to communicate.  She was wired up to monitors and they managed to get a canular into her neck through which a saline drip provided much needed liquid and nutrients.  A doctor saw me and said she was a very sick lady and they would do everything they could for her - if they could cure her they would but he suspected the cancer had spread and for me to be prepared for any news.

The next day she was transferred to the Medical Assessment Ward and a registrar from Intensive Care saw me and said he doubted whether she would be able to recover because she had nothing in reserve for any sort of treatment they had in mind - the treatment itself would probably kill her.  They thought she might be fighting several things all at once and her body was completely overwhelmed.

I was visiting her, with various people all day, and a close Christian friend and I asked our local priest to say the last rights for her, which he did that afternoon.  Just as we arrived at the hospital we saw her sister had come over to see her from Wales.  She looked very shocked at Maria's condition.

I managed to get my son over from Cardiff and together, with my daughter, we visited Maria again that day and left her bedside at 10.30.  She had not regained consciousness since A&E, nor did she ever again. We were asked if we wished to be contacted if her condition changed and at 4 am we received a call asking us to come in.  The three of us arrived at her bedside and by that time all her drips and monitors were disconnected and she was transferred to a private room.  We stayed with her until the end.  I managed to find the strength to say to her, "It is a privilege and an honour to be your husband, darling.  God gave me the perfect life long partner and our children, both hand picked by God, would not have been quite as wonderful if you had not been their mother.  I am not saying goodbye but just au revoir because I know we will be together again one day and this time no-one and nothing will ever hurt you again and keep us apart."

I also prayed that she would be taken to heaven very quickly and be spared any more suffering.  Now this is quite remarkable because at 8.15am no fewer than 15 of my daughter's devout teaching colleagues from her last school, were praying the very same thing and at 8.20am Maria breathed her last breath.

I felt, and still feel, as though part of me has been ripped apart because when we married we became one flesh for ever.  I was in a state of shock and disbelief for a couple of weeks but I am gradually coming to terms with this huge loss. I take her nightdress to bed and cuddle it.  Perhaps the hardest part is awaking each morning . . . . alone.

The cause of death was still not known and therefore a post mortem was necessary before they could issue a death certificate.  The cause of death was a Gastro Intestinal Haemorrhage caused by the spread of breast cancer.  So this was not detected on her last CT scan and it explained a lot of exactly what she experienced and her symptoms.  There was nothing they could have done for her.

In conclusion I know that lots of people all over the world were praying for her, including many Blogging Buddies, and I thank you so much for your prayers and good wishes.  We needn't have had those 16 years (it is a long time after all) and it might be that prayer kept Maria going for so long.  Another reason is that she focused on her work at a local Care Home, where she helped many people. She worked right until a month before she died and I was privileged to go in and help her lay the tables and mop the floors.  I did so for 6 months.

Next time I shall tell you a little about Maria's wonderful funeral and I shall show you the tribute I wrote for her which was beautifully read and introduced by my cousin, with whom I am very close.

Friday 8 February 2013


You may be thinking, "This sounds nasty!!"

Well, you are absolutely correct - it was, and very scary too.

This story continues from the events contained in my post last week where I gave you a preview of coming attractions, or otherwise, and where I got the shock of my life in the shower.

No, I did not see myself starkers in the mirror either, although I did wonder at one stage whether I was experiencing a reenactment of Alfred Hitchcock's famous film, Psycho, without the screeching violins.

The night before Mrs Bluelights' discharge from hospital I indeed had nasty shock. I was taking a shower quite late at night. I had visited Mrs Bluelights at the hospital everyday for a week and by the time I had dealt with all the telephone calls from anxious relatives I was, as we say here, 'dead bushed' and ready to turn in, but before doing so I had my customary shower which I always enjoy.

All week the weather had been very cold outside, having snowed heavily for a few days, and was now well and truly iced up. The shower was nice and warm and I had just washed my hair when I noticed some blood in the bath - you see we have a shower which drains into the bath and not a separate unit. I was somewhat puzzled as to from where this was coming and I could not see properly because my glasses were parked across the room.

There was more blood - soon much more, and I began to get really concerned. I thought it may be from a leg but I didn't know from which one, so I quickly shut off the shower, hopped out of the bath and got my glasses. By now I was getting cold, I was very wet and a lot of me was covered in blood. I then looked down and saw a fine jet of blood squirting from my leg, projecting 3 feet at least. It might just as well have been an artery and to make matters worse only a few days before I had donated my 97th unit of blood so I was a little low before this started.

Put it this way, a Company Man on an oil rig would describe me as a real gusher - thank God I managed to cap it eventually. I was horrified.

I noticed also that I had squirted over the top of the bath all over the carpet which was no longer brown but in many places blood red. I judged I must have lost over half a pint of blood.

I began to get really concerned and knew I must stop the bleeding and fast and at all costs. I knew I must have caught a vein in my leg somehow, maybe by rubbing too hard with a rough towel or even by scratching it. The big problem was there was no-one else in the house who could help me and the phone might as well have been on another planet. For all I knew by the time I got to it, dialed for Emergency Services and waited for them to come I might have bled to death.

As an ex ambulanceman I knew it is possible to die from blood loss through leg veins or hemorrhoids - thank God it was not the latter. I knew had to stop the bleeding quickly and fortunately there were three white towels to hand. I got my injured leg as dry as I could and tied the towel, now blood red, as tightly as I dared round it. I drained the bath and by now there were blood clots all over the place - strong stuff is Eddie's blood.

I then got my foot dry and stood on another white towel outside the bath, but the rest of me was still soaking wet and I was shivering by now with the cold. I then carefully unwrapped the towel from my leg and was very relieved to see the bleeding had stopped - I must have quite a lot of the clotting agent Fibrinogen in my system. So I used the third towel, clean, as a tourniquet and used the towel I was standing on to get the rest of me dry.

Then I managed to carefully put on my pyjamas and a sweater and carefully walked downstairs and would you believe it made myself a cup of coffee. You see I always get my priorities right. I kept checking to see if there was any more bleeding and was very relieved to see the pin hole in my vein was completely repaired - quite amazing.

I then phoned Emergency Services and said I wanted some advice not necessarily an ambulance but they insisted on sending one and withing five minutes I heard a knock on the door and two lovely lady paramedics attended to me saying I had indeed nicked a vein and they recommended I went with them to Accident and Emergency. I said I could not because my wife was already in hospital and the next day I was scheduled to take her to an Oncology appointment. They stayed for a while and we talked about the ambulance service, having told them I used to belong to a private ambulance company which they knew. They were more relaxed about me not going to Accident and Emergency and then bandaged my leg properly and left me with some barrier sheets.

By now it was 4am and I was nervous about actually going to bed in case I sprung another leak but eventually I did and managed to get some shut-eye at about 5am for 3 hours and awoke, much to my relief without any more mishaps.

Mrs Bluelights was amazed to hear my news the next day and we did manage to keep our appointment with the Oncologist. Fortunately she was discharged that day so it was nice not to have to travel to the hospital again for a while and believe me, I was very careful showering that next evening - and since.

My GP said it is just one of those things - it just happens now and then and there is no need for alarm. She gave me some moisturizing cream to massage gently in, since the winter weather sometimes dries the skin too much.

Sorry about all the blood and gore for those with a delicate disposition but this was truly amazing because on the one hand the hospital medics could not access Mrs Bluelights' veins yet here I was squirting blood here, there and everywhere. Since all this Mrs Bluelights has had all her IV treatment and is well on the mend but remains very tired. Our main concern is that Oncology say that all the available oral hormone therapy drugs are now ineffective and there remains just one IV type plus other chemotherapy. So we are very concerned that she is running out of options.

You may be wondering, "What about the carpet?"  Well that is amazing in itself.  The carpet was fitted recently and we fully expected to have to replace it prematurely.  We had a peasant surprise because after a week the bright red turned to a bark brown as the liquid had dried and turned to powder.  It must not have penetrated too far into the carpet because I gave it a right royal vacuum and I  was amazed that ALL the stain was completely removed and as good as new.  The three towels were soaked in cold water and they too were fully restored . . . . . . along with Eddie of course.

Thursday 31 January 2013

Blood Gusher for one and PICC line to the rescue for the other

Now that's a weird post title, no doubt causing the appearance of goose pimples for the squeamish and the pricking the of ears for the inquisitive and the well wishers.

The title concerns myself on the one hand and my dear wife, Mrs Bluelights, on the other. I may not have time to deal with my harrowing experience this time on account of my covering my wife's plight, but rest assured I shall deal with it next time, so watch this space.

As many know Mrs Bluelights has the misfortune to have secondary breast cancer.  I outlined the history of this on my previous post, see HERE.  She has been undergoing chemotherapy and has completed 5 from a course of 6.  After the first four she bounced back very quickly after the unpleasant side effects of the chemo and remarkably she was able to continue working at a local residential care home for three nights a week, with the exception of the actual weeks she underwent chemo.  Everyone, including the Oncology Consultants, were amazed at her ability and strength to do this, but let me tell you this gal is a real tough cookie and so strong and resilient, and it is really her way of dealing with the problem and to carry on as long as she can as normally as possible.

However, after chemo 5 things were very different this time - she never bounced back; in fact she got worse.  Her temperature kept spiking  at over 103 degrees F and she had two falls.  It was really worrying and we knew she must have an infection somewhere.  We rang for medical assistance and were advised to take her in to Accident and Emergency at our local, large hospital.  They confirmed she was in need of medical attention and she was transferred to Medical Assessment where she was diagnosed as having some form of infection she was unable to deal with herself because the chemo had severely compromised her immune system.  Her white blood cell count was very low, as was her red blood cells and therefore she was prescribed intravenous antibiotics plus a transfusion of 2 units of blood.  She was transferred to a ward where she was barrier nursed for a week.  I visited her every day, putting on a sexy yellow overall with complimentary bright blue rubber gloves.  At first was quite heartened by her gradual improvement.

The big problem was that because she has lymphoedema in one arm she could not have a cannula fitted there . . . . . and her other arm has had so many cannulas fitted, plus blood samples taken, plus chemotherapy injected, plus dyes injected for CT scans and a host of other things, that it was no longer possible to find another viein suitable for intravenous or IV treatment with liquid antibiotics. Honestly whenever a needle gets within a foot of her her veins run for cover and vanish, unlike me where they are very prominent.  The hospital medics did manage to fit one cannula as soon as she was admitted and this sufficed for the two transfusions and for a couple of IV treatments.  However the vein broke down and the cannula was ineffective after a few IV treatments, so her treatment stopped dead for 36 hours. Several senior nurses, a team of three doctors and an anesthetist all tried in vain to access a vein (forgive the pun) but all they managed to achieve was to cause a great deal of pain and to damage her veins even more - poor girl.  I wondered why no-one had progressed another avenue of fitting a PICC line which could be used for all purposes, except for CT scans.  Instead they eventually administered antibiotics in solid and oral form but still her temperature kept spiking and they were highly confused as to what exactly was causing the problem. In general her temperature appeared to be much lower by day but always spiked in the evening.  This situation remained until the end of the week when reluctantly they agreed to discharge her on the proviso that we would get her back to hospital if things got worse.

Well things did get worse - her temperature crept back to 102 F but early next morning (Saturday) we received a phone call from the hospital saying they had identified the culprit.  It was a nasty and very persistent UTI  (Urinary Tract Infection) which was resistant to all known antibiotics other than just one IV variety, and the solid antibiotics she had been taking were totally ineffective against it.  Fortunately she could return as a day patient for new IV treatment to Ambulatory Care. We had been very disappointed that her temperature was again high and it appeared we were back to square one so it came as a relief that for the first time light may be at the end of the tunnel.  We arrived and mercifully, after three goes, a lovely Nurse Practitioner managed to get a cannula inserted and began the treatment, returning the next day for the second. The bug is so vehement that it required 14 courses of antibiotics to knock it out and we all knew the cannula would not last that long, so it was decided to fit a PICC line after all and this was done today.

For those interested, a PICC line is a peripherally inserted central catheter and is fitted under a local anesthetic under ultrasound to enable access to deeper veins, entering near the inside of the elbow joint.  A PICC is inserted in a peripheral vein, such as the cephalic veinbasilic vein, or brachial vein and then advanced through increasingly larger veins, toward the heart until the tip rests in the distal superior vena cava orcavoatrial junction.  A cannula is attached to the lower end and easy access to it is available for all medical requirements, including blood for testing and intravenous injections.  The line can stay there for up to a year if required.  Mrs Bluelights had this fitted successfully and it was a Godsend because it was possible to have all further IV treatments at home by visiting District Nurses.  As I write we have one more IV tomorrow and then the treatment is completed.  The good news is that she feels very much better and the temperature problem is under control, being consistently normal.

We did have a slight disappointment in that because she was still having antibiotics and it was over two weeks delay from her scheduled 6th chemo treatment, the oncologist decided to cancel the last chemo because to have it so late would be completely ineffective.  So another CT scan has been arranged to see how and if the five chemo therapies have managed to deal with her cancer problem.

On the previous night before our appointment with the oncologist I had the shock of my life whilst taking a shower.  I must have nicked a vein and there was blood everywhere.  I'll explain exactly what happened next time, how it occurred  how I dealt with it alone, how I called emergency services, how I stayed up until 4.30 in the morning making sure I did not spring a leak again.  Suffice to say I am still here, alive and kicking and am pleased to say I even managed to save the carpet.  Watch this space!

But back to Mrs Bluelights, I am so grateful to all my bloggy pals who are praying with me for total and permanent remission for the cancer which is threatening her liver now.

Friday 11 January 2013

Tall Stories at Bristol Zoo

Ahh! What's all this?

Recently our zoo in Bristol ran a series of successful TV advertisements inviting visitors to see their extensive range of dinosaurs.  I'm not sure how the other more authentic animals got on with them, or even how long they survived, but the advertisement advised us to visit NOW before the dinosaurs became extinct.  I thought that this was a very clever piece of marketing which I found amusing, since it appealed greatly to my rather over-developed sense of humour.  However, I passed on the invitation, preferring to visit later when a swarm of taxidermists had time to stuff them all, rendering them harmless.  

This all brought back lots of memories for me - not of the dinosaurs because I am not that old I hasten to add, but memories of the zoo itself with it's large collection of animals and beautiful grounds.

We are most fortunate in Bristol to have such an impressive zoo.  Although I have not visited for a number of years when I was younger I did enjoy many a warm summer's day there.  When I was but a small boy some inspirational stroke of genius possessed me to buy my mother a small wooden model of a hippopotamus.  She was not at all impressed when I handed it to her when I returned home, as you may imagine, wondering why I had chosen that particular ugly and vastly obese creature when there were lots of far more feminine and attractive wooden animals from which to choose.  I rather think she wondered whether there was some hidden message I was attempting to convey to her.  Needless to say the creature never appeared on display since it was unworthy of a place alongside her other more flattering and appealing ornaments.

On another occasional my sister, Maggie, and our cousin Sylvia had high drama in the bird house with a large red and yellow parrot.  It took one look at the bracelet Sylvia' was wearing, belonging to her mother and supposedly in her safe custody whilst on holiday with us.  It swooped from it's perch like grease lightening, taking us all by surprise, and grabbed the bracelet proceeding to roll it into a small silver ball and fighting us violently when we tried to get it back whilst shouting at it to let it go.  In reply it just imitated us in a high screech, "Let it go! Let it go!" and clawed at us until we had to give up.   We were horror struck, particularly Sylvia, who wondered what she would say to her mother about the strange demise of her cherished bracelet.  Of course I did not help matters because even in my youth my keen sense of humour prompted me to send Sylvia, now at home in Nottingham, a photograph of the parrot calling it TELECARB RETAE which spelled backwards read BRACELET EATER.  I was rather proud of this title since I thought it quite plausible as a Latin name for that species of parrot and to me this name looked entirely authentic. I do not think her mother ever cracked the code, but Sylvia did and we enjoyed the joke for many years and I continue to smile about it sometimes even to this day.  What Sylvia said to her mother about the missing bracelet remains unknown.

Well these memories exercised my chuckle muscle and actually I was inspired to write them up when I read about an article appearing in The London Times, featuring Bristol Zoo and a missing car park attendant.  No I do not think he was eaten by a dinosaur or even a lion - he just vanished.

Here is the article in full:

From The London Times: 

Outside the Bristol Zoo, in England, there is a parking lot for 150 cars and 8 coaches, or buses. 

It was manned by a very pleasant attendant with a ticket machine charging cars 1 pound (about $1.40) and coaches 5 (about $7). 

This parking attendant worked there solid for all of 25 years. Then, one day, he just didn't turn up for work. 

"Oh well", said Bristol Zoo Management - "we'd better phone up the City Council and get them to send a new parking attendant..." 

"Err ... no", said the Council, "that parking lot is your responsibility." 

"Err ... no", said Bristol Zoo Management, "the attendant was employed by the City Council, wasn't he?" 

"Err ... NO!" insisted the Council. 

Sitting in his villa somewhere on the coast of Spain, is a bloke who had been taking the parking lot fees, estimated at 400 pounds (about $560) per day at Bristol Zoo for the last 25 years. Assuming 7 days a week, this amounts to just over 3.6 million pounds ($7 million). 

And no one even knows his name.

What a clever chap!! I say, and for sheer ingenuity and cheek this chap deserves to get away with it, in my book!!  No, folks he was not me!! . . . just in case you were wondering.   Apparently, a few days after the article appeared, no less than 20 bogus car park attendants turned up at Bristol Zoo, sporting ticket machines, peaked hats and large money bags.  They proceeded to argue violently with each other as to who arrived first and who should claim the pitch when the real car park attendant arrived and sent them all packing.  Apparently the whole thing was a giant hoax.  Bristol Evening Post newspaper had made some investigations about the article and discovered some joker had sent this bogus story to The London Times - no folks, again it was not me, but boy did I laugh when I read this. Hope you enjoyed the stories - excuse me while I dash to find a suitable and promising pitch for my would be very lucrative car/bus ticket collecting operation. Now let;s see - I wonder where I should first try!! GOT IT!! NOT TELLING but don't look for me in Spain!!  BYE!  LOL.