Picture the scene; one minute I’m fast asleep in bed, the next I’m shocked awake having landed elbow first on the floor with my face smashed into a basket of toiletries. Bang. I hadn’t just rolled out mistakenly; there’s a sixth sense that stops you doing that. I think I’d been dreaming and had leapt out. I have this recurring dream that I’m being attacked by a gang of people armed to the gills with axes, machetes, knives, hammers etc and I have to fight them off night after night. And I always just about do that but often I have to leap out of the way of a slashing blade. I’m sure that’s what was going on when I leapt subconsciously from my bed. There’s probably some deep psychological issue waiting to be explored but it can wait. Anyway I didn’t die of shock, obviously, but I did give myself quite a start plus a scratch or two to the face and one pretty sore elbow.
Well I’ve been doing a lot of writing for other people recently which is very rewarding but it leaves me with so little time to do my blogging. And to be honest after crashing away at a hot desktop all day, you kind of lose the creative impetus. But sometimes things happen that make you want to get some words down and express just how you’re feeling. And right now I’m feeling saddened.
I suppose it’s one of the things about getting old that makes you appreciate that time is precious and you just do not want to treat it wastefully. Well today was one of those slightly frustrating days when I was using it unproductively, sigh…
Well yesterday was a great day really. I headed in to London to see my old friend J who runs a very funky graphics design agency. We had a great meeting on how I might be able to help build awareness for him and his creative work now that I’ve sharpened up his online presence. All very exciting. En route to meeting up with him near Waterloo, I drove in to north London and parked up my car very close to where we used to live on Muswell Hill Rd. It was lovely to walk through Highgate Woods again on the way to Highgate underground station. Now you may not know it but because of the hilly terrain, the station was built in a deep cutting excavated beneath Highgate Hill. During the war, the deep-level platforms at Highgate were used by many as a shelter from the bombing of London by the Luftwaffe, and, later, V-1 and V-2 missiles. The entrance is a long way down. You can in fact get an up escalator to the surface from the booking hall but there’s only one way down via a steepish path. I’m not sure these pictures do it justice….
Now readers of a certain vintage will know that we used to live in Buckingham before moving out to Italy. Seems like a long time ago and yet here we are living back in the Parish (well nearby). Now one of our neighbours then was one of the guys out of the band Mud (I think the drummer) who is sadly no longer tapping out a beat. Nor is lead singer Les Gray, equally sadly, who I can still see now on ToTP crooning along to how lonely he was at this time of year. Must have been those tiger feet of his. Continue reading
Hello again blogosphere….it’s been quite a while since I last did a posting. I kind of lost my writing mojo after my youngest brother passed away. Trying to produce some amusing and opinionated pieces just didn’t seem important for a while. But time heals as they say, my brother’s children are getting on with life brilliantly and several kind folks have asked me to get back on the ranting horse. So here I am back in the saddle with some fantastic news for a change….
So yesterday we finally got to say goodbye to my youngest brother Mark. It’s been a long wait but he was laid to rest not so far from my mum and sister. And despite a couple of glitches it was a lovely service and committal. I was especially proud to see so many people turn up for the service and to talk to so many folk who knew him and just loved his kind gentle character. It was great to catch up with so many old friends and family, some of whom I haven’t seen in absolute years. Several family members had travelled half the length of the country (and I mean Britain) to say goodbye to the most decent chap I’ve ever known. But on a day which started out thoroughly miserable but brightened up beautifully for the interment, my fondest memory will be of my father Bob who delivered a stunning few closing words at the service. He chided those of us who had criticised Mark over the years for his ‘softness’ by declaring his utter pride for a son who had demonstrated nothing but goodness and selflessness to all throughout his life. He wanted nothing more than to be in that bloody heavy coffin rather than his beautiful boy. Poor Bob. We all felt wretched at losing a brother but heaven knows how he must have felt yesterday and these last few weeks. I can’t imagine his hurt and never want to experience it.
But life moves on. His kids were sad, of course, but full of life and his grandson, who we saw for the first time, was just beautiful. And you could see Mark’s lovely features in him. Here’s one of the shots of Mark selected for the service sheet. He was around 2 years old at the time and I must have been about 9 and my younger brother Dave around 5/6. I remember the day the photographer came round like it was yesterday and he must have taken 100 pictures of us. But this was the one and only shot that everyone remembers…
‘Bye Mark. Love you bro.
It’s been an interesting last few days for my family. My lovely daughter E started her new course at Oxford University as a mature student which made us all very proud. On Thursday my super grandson G had to have some important tests on a little condition he’s developed. Whilst concerning, the outcome was reassuringly very manageable, which was a huge relief. Then I had my 6 month review with my lovely oncologist which despite some recent niggles (see later posting!) went very well and, thankfully, I got another 6 month pass.