So yesterday I heard a rendition of some old hymn on the radio and it took me back to my school days when we had to sing those dreary old dirges during the morning assembly. I usually quite liked the tune but the words always left me a bit cold. All that Onward Christian soldiers! Marching as to war…and on to victory! stuff kinda felt a bit like after the Crusades to me. Either that or it was all I would go on the pilgrim’s journey, onward to the promised land. I’m not trying to be provocative but what exactly was a pilgrim anyway and how did it relate to me as a 12 year old who had a daunting maths lesson next? The reality was these songs meant something to a fearful congregation some 150 years beforehand but they were pretty uninspiring to pubescent lads from Poulton-le-Fylde.
Monthly Archives: May 2020
So here’s a picture our little hometown of Brackley taken by a funky company called Access All Aerials, Bicester who use the latest drone technology to deliver high-quality aerial photography/videography, surveying and 3-D mapping. Their cool owner lets me use the image if I reciprocate with accreditation. It’s a happy arrangement and I was able to share it with one of my local clients who was building a local town-based information platform. Anyway here’s the image taken just as dusk is falling and I really like it…
You can see how the town is bounded like a red wine glass by the A422 heading west towards Banbury and the M40, and by the A43 to Northampton and the M1 on the east side. At the bottom of the town you can see the Tesco complex to the left and all that to the right of the little black mini roundabout is the home of the mighty Mercedes F1 team. Our lovely local lake which we walk around a lot is to the left hand side and you can just about make out the 1000 or so new houses which have been added at the top end of the town extending into the distance. There’s a discernible business district on the eastern boundary. It’s a neatly-balanced little town I think. The old bit, where we live, is naturally the bit at the heart of the picture with the illuminated market square area. And it’s there that this posting is focused.
I seem to be in a reflective mood at the moment. Now I think about it, it may not be such a bad idea actually to log some memories down before I lose many more marbles. Certain things I see on tv are triggering memories from when I was young, especially about my mum and dad. I’ve done postings about each of them recently and here’s another about my mum which I’m certain you’ll find slightly intriguing…
Well my last posting on the subject of surprise endings took a while to get going. To be honest I was scratching around for inspiration until Mr Josh happily popped into my mind. I was actually going to write about two quite separate subjects before that and I might still get round to them later. But the surprise thing seemed to resonate with me and it might have been a little intuitive because lo and behold we were delighted by some more surprises which are worth sharing I hope.
Now the majority of blog/vlog sites are single subject affairs. People talk about the one thing that really interests them be it fashion, celebrity, make-up, football, politics, animals, cooking…whatever. And from what I can see, the more focused you are the more likely you are to become a billionaire by the age of 25. But all you really know about is lipstick. I do wonder if Jamie Oliver ever wants to talk about his interest in, say, Southend United or tortoises or Northern Soul music instead of fucking food recipes. Do you ever think he gets bored out of his box whilst counting his £millions? You’re probably right – nah. Continue reading
Let’s face it recent postings have been a bit of a snore-fest with me droning on about my emotions, favourite scraps of culture (who cares really?) or about my antagonism with Government Ministers over their handling of the coronavirus situation. Now I know people care intensely about the situation but my opinion? People couldn’t give a monkey’s and rightly so. But one thing always seems to provoke a nice reaction from my little band of readers; any story where I expose my foibles, shortcomings, or highly embarrassing life experiences. And having compiled 3 volumes of the moments by now (which I’m seriously thinking of publishing) you’d think there’d be nothing left to lay bear. But you’d be wrong…
Now regular readers will know we’re a close family. I have 3 beautiful grown up daughters, 2 fine sons-in-law, 4 wonderful grandsons and, of course, my wife Caz who I love more than anything. I’m biased and this must sound cheesily gushing I know, but they really are decent and fun people and I like to be near them as much as possible. So this lockdown has been tough on us, emotionally.
Aged 11, I passed my exams for a very good Grammar school and my folks were absolutely chuffed to bits. They always believed in the importance of education, home ownership, a strong work ethic and personal development. So for their eldest child to make it to Baines GS was a proud moment, not least because for the previous few years I’d shown no great aptitude for learning and was placed in the bottom quartile in every exam. So in the final year at primary school they paid for me to be privately tutored – it must have been a stretch for them – and it was enough to get me through the 11 plus. Hurrah!