Tide and crickets

I’m with my beautiful new bride, my wife, my wifey.

Sat here, privileged to be here, hearing this view, seeing this view.

We’re feeling this view.

The tide rolls in, washing the shore with a salty hello.

Crickets, unseen are singing their crickity endless song.

It’s a lovely second floor view of a wide open sea blanketed by a deep blue evening sky.

The sun is about to kiss the sea and bring another luscious orange glow.

Staff have worked tirelessly, making our experience something special.

Like focused bees they glide efficiently around the guests of the hotel we’re staying at for our honeymoon.

In the background and out of sight they bring a drink, clear a plate, freshen a room, ever the watchful owls.

Bees or owls?

We’re on our balcony in guest dressing gowns and looking at this beautiful view of a setting sun over a Cypriot sea.   

Dotted palm trees that stretch along the walkway that hugs the shore line become shades as day turns to night and the sky becomes a vista of stars.

Walking around today, with my deliriously happy honeymoon mind, I saw a painted picture of a multitude of human emotions.

People bored, people desperate; helpful, distant, tired, excited, happy, sad, relaxed.

Families, couples, singles.

Yet the happy workers work, they have their own turmoil yes maybe but it’s not shown.

So I’m sat feeling blessed that I’m now married, and married to a beautiful woman and person.

How many have sat in my seat, looking at this view in this dressing gown.

Did they see what I feel, did they feel as happy as me? 

The crickets keep cricketing and the tide keeps rolling.

3 weeks

Shortly I will be husband to my beautiful tee.

When I did the prickle in time blog it all seemed so far away, a wonderful vision built on thoughts of how the wedding will flow.

Those thoughts are now becoming a reality with the wedding being three weeks away.

Numbers booked and changed and booked and changed again. Life does that with the ebb and flow of commitment challenges.

All boxes now ticked and honeymoon finally booked. All inclusive relaxation and celebration in Cyprus.

My biggest challenge will be to reduce tees foot fall to a crawl fall. While the dog walking part of her business has been successful, her feet and shoulders certainly need a break from her gorgeous clients.

3 weeks now.

I’m so excited but if truthful, nervous too. Not that I’m nervous about marrying tee as that is the best decision of my life.

Aside from choosing android over apple.

Sorry apple, but like tee, android is just more open to new experiences and she doesn’t want to control.

Weddings are about two people joining together, separating individuals to join together as one.

Also, weddings are about the word ‘booked’.

The venue booked, registry booked, car booked, booked, booked, booked.

In the war for the perfect wedding, this word clashes with the evil word ‘cost’.

Mention the word wedding and cost gets greedy, it expands in its need to deplete the coffers as any married couple know.

Still, we are there having balanced the booked and cost struggle to shape what we hope to be a beautiful wedding.

I just hope tee turns up!

3 weeks, 3 weeks.

Elasticate

Something I admire about Elastic, it takes a lot to pull it apart. The stronger it is the harder to break it.

Take the elastic band. Beautiful. Perfectly cast roundness, unbreakable and together. Pull it and it stretches lovely.

I had an elastic band holding my rear head torch in place all winter. Tough bands them. Mine eventually broke, but from old age bless it.

When I think of that band and compare it to us, and our families I question our strength of solid connectivity.

For elastic, it’s science, it doesn’t have a mind it doesn’t have to think under pressure of being stretched it just does its science thing.

For us, our lifes generally elasticate around family, friends, work and other activities. Expanding and contracting in a usually ok place.

Yet sometimes we are close to snapping that beautiful elastic existence for one reason or another.

For whatever those reasons, right or wrong do we really want to break that perfect elasticitiy, sadly yes and all too often sometimes.

Yet, unlike the broken elastic band holding my rear head torch in place, as people we can mend our relations.

For us its not science but our humanity that decides on our continued connectivity.

Unlike the elastic band, it is possible.

Before online streaming, before Blockbuster, was ​The Video Shack

It was my golden ray of movie sunshine.  Endless rows of stacked video popcorn ready to delight all sensations.  This was my 80’s heaven.

The long walk to the video shack, the difficult choice of a seemingly impossible selection of movies was all worthwhile when we got home.

As a kid I always thought the name video shack was an odd mix of new and old.

This was a new world of dazzling video, Hollywood comes to our home, whereas shack was a rickety building from the dusty wild west!

I recall at the counter of the video shack a little loss of the magic when handing over a colourful movie poster embossed case, to receive back a bleak blue colourless case with an insert of paper threatening a penance should the movie be returned late.

Yet I knew inside the box was a magical journey to another place.

This addiction to home entertainment video came when our father brought home our first video player.

This was technology happening.  My eyes were lit, my feet fastened.  Watching a blockbuster at home.

Whhhaaatt?

Opening that thick plastic cover back at shelone road, slotting that beautiful brick of videoness into the top loader was a delight of wonderful trepidation.

It closed with 80’s efficiency, and then the magic happened on the big blocky tv with low definition and dolbyless sound.

To these eyes and ears at that age, things couldn’t get any better.

I was introduced to Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris,  E.T. and Indy.   Some films I didn’t understand, but liked for some reason.   I laughed at funny films like blazing saddles, only to watch in later years to understand the true adult meaning of the humour.

So many memories, once my brother and I hired 9 videos and watched in one sitting!

Theatre lost crowds when the cinema gained popularity, which lost to video then to TV.

Thankfully there’s a resurgence in both theatre and cinema but with online streaming the likes of the video shack are becoming the dusty wild west shack, an empty rickety past.

Whatever choice and outlets available, we live for a medium to stir our senses, long may the video shack and it’s many lost brother’s rest in peace for the magic they  brought us, and to the remainder of those who exist we salute you!

An enlightening conversation

Funny the things strangers say to each other to avoid an awkward silence. I kind of like it as sometimes with people we know our choice of subject or certain words need to be carefully chosen.

Yet with a stranger we have the freedom to say anything. Now and then that freedom does lead to unusual conversations.

I was leaving a pet shop in neath and in a rush found access to my car was blocked by an open door of the car next to mine. Someones rear was greeting me which i politely ignored.

The rears owner was attempting a pilates type stretch across the passenger seat to open the door for a nice older lady holding a fluorescent tube. We smiled politely at each other.

The rear was having some difficulty with the door, I considered offering help but the only thing I could talk to was the rear and thats not something I felt comfortable to do.

So the lady, her fluorescent tube and I remained quiet, we smiled again.

She, and for the sake of sense i’ll call the fluorescent holding lady flora and the faceless rear, rhian.

Flora appeared quite proud of her fluorescent tube, she was holding it like a jedi holds their lightsabre.

We smiled again.

With time getting on I considered what conversation to start. Classic one would be the weather, for us Brits theres no better back pocket silence saver as the topic of the weather.

I did wonder on something funny to say about rhians failing pilates.

Flora beat me to it.

Do you know where I can recycle this tube, says flora, we tried the pet store but they wouldnt take it

Ok i thought we have crazy on a saturday morning. Without a morning coffee to sharpen my mind I was feeling off guard. I should have jumped in with the weather.

Talking of which it started to rain, but thats a different blog.

Rhian was not giving up with her car pilates. Oh sorry, flora was still staring at me. It seemed a genuine question.

You could try the recycling centre, they wouldn’t recycle that at the pet store.

Yes thats what they said.

Best to recycle properly if they smash they explode.

I know dangerous.

Theres a recycling centre in briton ferry, do you know where that is. Do you want me to show rhian.

Whos rhian?

Sorry the lady in the car, the driver?

No its ok I’m from up the valleys.

Finally rhian completed her pilates move. The door was open and the seat was ready to be sat on by flora and her flipping fluorescent tube.

Flora continued

My friend is meeting me here he’s local so he can take me.

While rhian finally sat in the front seat, door closed I had access to my car and to my freedom.

One thing puzzled me after I said good byes and was driving away. Why was rhian taking ages to clear the front seat if floras friend was picking her up.

I hope the fluorescent tube finds a good home, and flora gets back to the valleys ok, she seemed very nice

Leave a gap, maybe indicate an intention too

It’s that time of season, nights are drawing in, coolness from the threats of autumn over the last few weeks are now reality.

I cycled home tonight and heard the crispy crunch of the leaves as my tyres ran over them.  I saw a carpet of dying leaves on the cycle track ahead of me.

Luckily most of my journey to work and home is on a cycle track, but not all.

There’s always a bit of poignancy to see these dead leaves, as from our bedroom window we’d wake every morning in early spring to see buds forming, to eventually watch each individual Leaf forming, eventually those leaves were lost amongst the masses of a fully covered tree in the hight of summer.

Then eventually autumn would rob the tree of its beautiful leaves.

Tonight I had flashbacks to this time last year when I felt and noticed a change in the behaviours of road users.

More aggressive short tempered attitudes and displays of sheer stupidity.

There was one near death instance where a car flew out from a roundabout, luckily I sensed their intention and started to slow.

He was too busy in his world to have properly looked.  Yet what really scared me was, as he pulled out, he eventually saw me and instead of realising what he could have done he was instead non perplexed, still in his own world.  I’m in a rush state of mind

I promised in the about me page of my site that I’d have a moan now and then.  This is that time.

You may not still be reading this, but if you are then I’d beg any motorised drivers (like me when I’m not cycling myself) to take care and watch out for cyclists and pedestrians.

Its so easy to get wrapped up in our own world but what world would a person have serving a manslaughter sentence, lost their job, their self respect, their friends, their future and for what?

Mowing down another as easy as my tyres did to those fallen leaves just to send that text, just because they had a bad day, just because it’s getting dark, just, just, just..

Don’t forget the responsibility of what driving a vehicle brings.  Please share if you think this message is important.

Tentatively tangible

I’m certainly uncertain of this blog being a success, I thought of an idea but that went on hold, due to vagueness and sort of lacking a commitment to a plan.

At work I get infuriated with the tentative response to meetings, surely a yes or no is straightforward.  What’s so difficult, accept or decline!

It’s a simple thing.

Then, it struck.  It’s all relative, inviting someone to a meeting, to dinner, to conversation, to reading a blog is all down to time and their inclination to want.

I’m Tentative…a hold backer, a thought thinker.

I guess there’s a multitude of reasons for remaining tentative, but I guess it boils down to

What’s in it for me

For me, I’m the guy who hesitates at the deal, decides against the trip to the sale, over thinks the thought.  Yet like all thinkers at some point, we need to put the thinking into action otherwise thoughts are..thoughts..

I’m a dreamer, I have been since a child, but as I grow I realise dreaming can be disruptive to achieving something tangible.

So for this blog, I’ve achieved the challenge of creating something tangible with the word tentative, yet my dreams to do something more is intangible unlikely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mmm, chips from lilywhites

Those were thoughts that got my saliva going and my tummy grumbling with a desire for chips from lillywhites.

As a kid those were the best most amazing bag of chips.  Crunchy golden chip wonderness.

The bag of beautifulness was, well, epic.

Chips from lillywhites made an evening, the best take away treat surely anyone within walking distance of lillywhites chip shop.

Which happened to be located, thankfully where I grew up in sunny Briton Ferry, Wales.

It’s an odd, dangerous experience to revisit such an amazing memory from our youth, whether it’s food, a film, a place.

Those halcyon memories, should they be preserved or risked with ruin to find our adult taste buds, our adult minds or adult eyes have simply moved on, from halcyon to horror or humour at the thought of..

Why did I love that!!!

I passed the lillywhites today and it was sad to see it closed, it’s been closed for a few years, which I knew but sad all the same.

It was a house at the end of a terrace which they made into a chip shop. Proper cute and none of the modern fancy setups.  Just pure love of the deep fried chip!

Thankfully for my risk of ruin, before they closed I did revisit when I first came home and those chips changed a 36 year old man to a child of 8, crunching on the best chips in the world.

So whilst the halcyon memory of my youth remained intact, it was my adult memory that felt the bitter sweet memory of knowing the chips were still amazing but the place is now closed, more so as I walked past today to see the quietness of the house where once queues of people were ready to pleasure their stomachs with flavorful taste of your offerings.

Whatever happened to the owners, thank you for making a boy and man happy, as I’m sure you did to the thousands of people who crossed your doorstep.

Botanically speaking..

​Thorns are hard, rigid extensions of leaves, roots, stems, etc and their soul aim is to serve physically protect animals from eating the plant material.

I’ve met plenty of thorny people through my life, what gives, why do people need to be akin to a game of twister!

A slightly awkward positioning of body through movement to stay clear of those sharp thorns!

In nature’s world, the thorn is a positive, it protects the plant from harm.  

Maybe there’s a lesson to us, in how some people protect their inner self from harm.

Thankfully not everyone I’ve met has had a thorny protective barrier, but for those we will meet, then the natural reaction to those thorns is the wrong course. 

For me I switch of to the thorny people, can’t bear to deal with them and would prefer the warm and welcoming people.

Yet..

Taking a leaf from nature, spending time to part those thorns, to see the being of what those thorns are protecting should be the right course.

Maybe that’s a must consideration of how we deal with thorny people.

While not everything revealed is worth protecting, isn’t it a still worth a try.

Just a thought. 

A word we all dread to utter

Sympathy, not a word I used much in my younger years.  Unfortunately a word I’m starting to get accustomed to.

It’s a horrible simple word that gestures the knowledge and offering that someone or something has come to an end.

So much pain and loss this word has caused.  It’s a dreaded word.

Thankfully there are also words that bring light to darkness.

Joy, happiness, togetherness, family, friends, love.

Long may these words and the memories they bring distance that word we dread to utter.

It’s a cliche to say time is short, for me this weighs heavy when I’m giving my sympathy at a wake or learning of a terrible catastrophy or horrible terrorist atrocity.

Yet when back in work, faced with problems or the everyday hum drum of life, the realisation of how special and important life has to offer distances itself.

Still, it’s all life, time is inevitable but I hope the word sympathy stays a stranger for as long as possible.