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After loss comes recluse, or does it?

I met the mother of my future bride in 2008, a lovely warm and generous person.

The only person she wasn’t generous to, was herself.  Tony was her husband, I liked him he was likeable, he loved Denise in his own way, he wasn’t one to shout his love from the rooftop.

Unfortunately he fell to dementia.

Before I knew him I was told of the sharpness of his mind, he memorised detail, enjoyed a good debate.

Certainly he had that when I met him, he still had that for a couple of years after but slowly quickly he went downhill.  I can’t imagine the terribleness that Tony suffered but also the dreadfullness that Denise had to cope with, and she coped with it long after others gave up.

She refused until the last, to give what she knew in his lucid moments he wanted, to be with her in their home.

In the end she was at physical breaking point and he went to a care home.  She was there every day.

The horribleness of dementia finally took him.

She retreated into herself, retiring any romantic notions of ever feeling for another again.  Denise had her children yes, but in her mind that was all.

After a few years a friend introduced her to Richard, a kind hearted true gentleman.

She was ready to run, believing well, in a way she had already retired any romantic notion so this was folly.

Could her heart be saved, could a light long blown cold be relit.

We all wanted it, her family, her friends and if there is one person deserving of happiness it is Denise.

I experienced a special day last Saturday, in fact the whole weekend was a moment in time that will stretch long into the future of my memories.

So thankfully, after a few ups and downs that he asked the question and she accepted.

My beautiful Tina, whos mother got married will be a special moment for both myself and all those close enough who know what Denise has suffered through the last number of years.
After a beautiful, intimate wedding they’re  sailing north to Norway, to see the lights.

I’m elevated to feel there can be a happy ending to what has been a terrible number of years for a woman who’s done no harm to the world.

I wish them all the happiness.

First day back

What feels like a lifetime ago, it was on this day that I and most of my classmates, and those who came before and after us dreaded..the first day back at school, after a long lazy summer.

In a time when age was important, by confirming our age in quarters.

“No I’m not 12, I’m 12 and 1/4

Six weeks of rope swings and roaming, of hide and seek, and kids tv, it was all good.  And it was long.

It used to be a long hot lazy summer, a time when seasonal weather was guaranteed, then global warming stuck, and now gives us unpredictably barmy monsoon summers..but that’s for another blog.

New term, new uniform, new pencil case, new topics and new experiences.

We were ready, in our newness of everything (especially pencil case) to be educated.

Even if being partly distracted by the incoming neath fair that arrived two weeks after term started, we were ready to be educated.


Time to applause

I’ve worked in some places where it feels the culture is to be critical, whether it’s a colleague, a process, the boss, stationary control even.

What on earth are they saying about me when my back is turned!

I’ve had colleagues stare at me in downright condemnation for being complimentary of a colleague who’s being verbally stoned.

I don’t mind if it’s based in fact, but I’d prefer if those colleagues who see more faults than San Andreas actually first looked at themselves, maybe the issue lies within, but if not then to look to improve the fault that’s tickling their critical hot spots.

I’m a peacekeeper not a hard challenger at positive change, both have success and failure.  Yet it’s important to keep pushing to make the world a happy and productive place.


I’m not perfect mind, there’s people who simply don’t want to change and certainly they are the ones I’m critical of.

I read somewhere that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile,  so I guess it’s the same with behaviours.  Should we treat others with a negative or positive behaviour, to strive forwards with applause or backwards with criticism.

As long as either is justly deserved.


Stuff I couldn’t learn at school!

Like most, possibly I spent months ahead of exams pouring over books and past notes to hope for a good outcome, to get the marks needed.

Algebra, economics and history to name a few.  I had pretty rubbish results.

Certain private issues that I made public on another post here didn’t help, yet that’s not an excuse.

I loved wood work but didn’t have a knack, the flying propeller nose dived like my results!

Yet years later, I’m surprised by what I now remember and I suppose that’s because I’m interested and engaged.

There’s loads of non important, non world breaking, no newspaper front page stories of the things I memorise but it’s what makes me who I am and what makes us all a little unique.

We all have talents and passions, not all of them can fit into the conformity of a curriculum, so while as a child I felt I couldn’t learn Stuff, I guess the passion of my teachers  (not always in the right 70’s context) helped me in later life to seek a passion and follow it, to memorise a belief!

Rope swings

I was walking with tee and one of her clients, a beautiful husky called Boris.



Finally we have a lovely warm sunny day, so the three of us are making the most of the weather when I came across this.

Ok it’s not the best but the memories of proper rope swings was a nostalgic trip!


Instant memories of a childhood spent swinging on a rope came flooding back.

Who cares about health and safety, as a kid if you came across a rope and stick there was fun to be had.  Who cares whether the stranger who setup the rope was competent, I didn’t care and risked unknown injuries to swing as far or as high as possible!

There was one swing down near giants grave  (love that name but could never find the grave of the giants).  The swing hung over the canal.  Long summer days were spent swinging out and diving into the cool water.

Now that sounds idyllic but if you saw the canal with adult eyes you’d be concerned.  But we didn’t care we had a swing and cool water to dive into!

Another fine swing was in the ferry woods, it was atop of a deep drop so when we swung out it was like you were at the top of the empire state building!

I went back a few years ago and it was more like six foot tall!

Funny how time alters memory.  Yet the memories of the fun to be had with rope swings is a priceless memory, who doesn’t love a good rope swing!

Happy memories.

My balloon fell on the moon

I can’t recall where, but as a seven year old I’d been somewhere that earnt me a balloon.

I was walking home with my mum, one hand in her hand and my other holding this balloon.  Best balloon in the world, its smooth silky like bobbing in the wind captivated me.  She danced as dusk touched our day.

We were nearly home, I must have got distracted, maybe mum was asking a question or the magic of my balloon temporarily escaped me.

One minute my balloon was safe in the guardian grip of my hand, holding the string that kept my balloon close.

Yet then she was gone, floating away into the air, higher and higher, gone lost.

I had this such clear vivid memory of hopelessly chasing my balloon, shouts and tears as she floated higher to the moon.

Without Rhyme or reason I was crushed.  Years later as an adult, that memory confused me, why did the loss of this balloon upset me.

At that age the little things that are so important, so crucial seem miniscule as an adult.  Yet they signpost to who we are.

I made that balloon a part of me and with it’s loss it felt I was losing something close.  Like a close friend that becomes a distant contact.

Not sure this makes sense, no rhyme or reason i guess, but I do hope that balloon, made it to the moon.

Dedication to a passion

People who avoid pubs, avoid late nights, eat the right foods, who get up ridiculously early to go and do their thing.


Like most I’m in awe of these amazing people who dedicate their lives to their passion, to their sport.

I’ve watched the last couple of Olympics with tee and we’re glued to the screen, to sports we don’t normally watch but to see the achievement and the success of gold coming to these athletes has been a beautiful experience.

Equally for the losers and the really closers the emotion displayed is magnified by all those years of dedication of training. It’s something that leaves us speechless.

These people give their all for years, the early mornings and late nights, literally hours and hours of unseen dedication for a moment of potential.

I feel honoured to witness this dedication to watch the eyes and focus these people have to grab their dreams. Just a moment.

I pay Homage to all athletes, you inspire me to do more.

Bleak without broadband

Life without broadband sucks!

Don’t get me wrong there are way more important concerns in this world with hunger, homeless, terrorism, crazy presidents, the list goes on.

Yet life without broadband sucks.

I grew up in the seventies where learning came from libraries, ceefax and talking to people!

Then along came this wonderful resource.


Then came high speed broadband and intelligent phones, chuck out the table greedy PC and get relaxed on the sofa with the world at the finger tips!

Our lives were changed!

When I first connected to the Internet way back in 1998, I remember the weird sound of the dial up modem bad-ing bad-ing, never heard such noises although closest was a gerbil!

I was in awe looking at some web pages in America.

Wow America, thats crazy, I could see information from a different country right from my desk!

Even typing these words now today (on a phone in the garden), I’m at a loss to explain what was so inspiring then about what is now an unthought of activity.   Less about the delivery and more about the end goal.

Maybe the same feelings were first had when television was first seen.  What, I don’t have to go to the cinema anymore?


The Web was pretty quiet back then, way before Google and Amazon and well, pretty much anything we now use in our everyday life today.

After I shut down my heavy looking white cladded computer I walked outside and looked up at the sky, I had the strangest feeling that I’ve been to a different country right from my little house in Fairford.

It’s hard to explain, looking up at the stars and the vastness of space that sort of made the connection between people on earth closer.

So now, without broadband my world felt isolated.  That walk to the library felt a long path..

Don’t get me wrong I still carried on, but without the convenience of grabbing my phone in the evening to do stuff was a pain.  It’s a different world in my own lifetime.

Who remembers all their friends phone numbers when we used to ‘dial’.

Thats just one!

After three weeks we got broadband back and I’m unashamedly happy for it.

Particularly as I’m sending this blog using my broadband from my phone in our garden.



If words are never read, then thoughts are lost

Solitary is a good word to explain how I feel about blogging.

When i tap the publish button I feel my blog, my thought, its message is in a solitary place.

Unviewed and unloved!

Like many, I spend hours trying to craft a perfect blog.  Except Lol  it’s the ‘daily one word’ blog of course!

For me, my blogs are about personal experience, views of life and poking fun on myself!

We all need to do the last bit more often in my view!

I’m new to this experience of sharing my thoughts and views with the world, so while there are countless bloggers with thought proking views, tips, ideas I feel even more naked towards my blog and the dread of solitude.

Bloggers and their blogs have at times touched my soul, moved my core and helped me to improve as a person and also at times increase my knowledge of a subject.

Except DIY, I’m just rubbish, im a tryer but if school games were based on DIY then I’d be the last picked, literally in solitude and rightly so!!

I salute the bloggers; the tryers, the changers and the downright brilliant who make the internet a lovely place to visit.

Long may you blog and I hope not in solitude.

A prickle in time


I’m about to marry this beautiful woman Tina.

I’ve never known anyone with such compassionate love towards animals, she truly is amazing.

My first experience of this love was seeing her cross the street to pick up a worm in danger of pedestrian treading territory!

She has a love and care of family too, always keen to put on parties with the aim of wanting people to have fun.

Yet all this was unknown to me when I first did a Facebook poke to her in 2008.  I think they changed the settings since then but at the time you could choose similar parameters to yourself.  Like age location etc.

So I was single and bored and had time on my hands.  I was trawling through the parameters, pictures of people my age my location etc etc.

Then stop the press.

This beautiful picture of a woman appeared on my screen.

Remember Facebook poking?  I was close to doing it but thought maybe not, so left it.

Her face kept in my mind for a while after, couple of months maybe.  I don’t know why but her face stayed with me.

It was Christmas 2008 and she had updated something on Facebook suggesting she was in a sad place.

So I ‘poked her’!

Conversations started, they matured over two months and we agreed to meet.  Boy I was nervous at that first meeting, I mean we met online, kind of before online dating was established!

It happened we would meet at the Wales Scotland game.  My brother sussed something was up as I was smartly dressed instead of my usual rugby shirt!

I met Tina after the game, it’s still vivid the thought of standing outside the ground, I had prickes of goosebumps!

Nervously waiting.

Will she show won’t she show!  And why are all these kilt wearing Scotsman flashing their wares!

I saw more of what I didn’t want to see in a lifetime!

Thankfully Tina did show and we left the ballsy flashing Scots to start a beautiful romance.

I can’t wait to marry her, those prickes are back as I’m closing out this post!