Learning to Fly

It was a time, when Nectar points meant fun! Nectar points for the uninitiated, are store card points as a Thank you for shopping, whilst your spending habits are dissected. But at the time the possibilities were endless. You could save them up indefinitely and use them for experiences, instead of falling back on them to cover the emergency shop when you are broke, or being sent vouchers with an expiry date, which you would find weeks after they had run out and your rewards would be useless.

We had been saving them for a couple of years, to do something fun together and not knowing at that point that my partner had a fear of flying, I had booked the surprise for both of us to have a flying lesson as an anniversary present.

The day came and we checked the weather report, jumped in my car, a Saab convertible put the roof down and headed to the countryside I had selected a different airfield to our local one, so that we could see different scenery and explore it. It turned out that my partner had other plans, he would collar the instructor and see if time would allow and they would swap his part of the deal so that I could extend the experience. He would have his feet planted firmly upon the floor watching from the club house whilst I took off and he would enjoy a pint or two of Guinness and a cigar, it was a beautiful sunny day in the countryside and a pleasant place to pass the time. He succeeded in his plan, and since I had only ever travelled by air once for a holiday, I was excited, I knew that this was going to be different and I was looking forward to it, but slightly disappointed that he would not get to enjoy it with me. However I was going to get a long lesson, which was great.

I was introduced to the Pilot, a man who shared the same name as my father, but thankfully had a much more relaxed manner about him. He was friendly and informative and showed me all of the controls in the Piper 125 which we were going to take out. I clambered in, full of excitement and hoping that I would remember it all. I asked what happened if the engine failed. He told me not to worry since this type of plane could still be landed safely if the engine cut out, it basically glides. As we took off, he took us up over the countryside, I was in awe, I knew it would be beautiful. But it was so calm up there, I took a couple of photos in the cockpit. I seem to recall that we travelled at around 2700 feet, but may have that wrong.

As we climbed everything grew smaller, people disappeared into dots, cars and lorries, into matchbox figures disappearing completely and trees and green spaces turned into a blanket of fields as we floated through the bumpy clouds. Colin allowed me to take the controls and told me how to move the rudder to change direction and the pedals to keep it steady. He could see my interest and excitement in the process and when I asked him to show me how to loop the loop, he obliged. We travelled quite some distance and talked along the way, I was able to see my home town, fly over my parents and our house. Along the Estuary past the pier and up to the docks, where I could see small cranes and brightly coloured containers being unloaded from the ships, It looked so much better there from that height. I was on top of the world. I loved every minute of that flight and decided that I would love to do that again as soon as possible. As someone who was claustrophobic in certain environments, I was not sure how I would feel up there, but to my relief it was wonderful. We had the small window open in that plane and the thermal breeze floated through.

I remember saying to him that I had to resist the urge to put my foot on the accelerator like in a car, since it would upset the balance of the plane and there seemed to be no sense of speed up there, but you were still travelling, it took some getting used to, but I think I mastered it.

As we headed back, Colin explained that it was a wonderful job, that he could fly over to France in less than an hour, have a nice lunch and a bit of sightseeing and be back in time for tea. I was hooked on the idea, that one day I would learn to fly and when I got that lottery win, there would be a small plane in there somewhere to do just that.

He asked me if I was sure that I hadn’t flown before as I seemed to be so at ease up there, I must admit that I felt no tension, it had all just floated away whilst I was up there. Flying back, Colin told me I was going to land the plane. I asked if he was sure, he told me that he was confident in my ability, we came in to a lovely smooth landing and I couldn’t help but be pleased. As I taxied the plane back to it’s parking spot, past the bar, my beloved was standing there, waving and with an ear to ear smile.
I jumped out and he ran over to me, he’d been worried since we were only supposed to be an hour, an hour and a half had passed and we hoped that I had not got him into trouble. He asked Colin “how did she do?” “An absolute Natural she should learn to fly”…. he replied.

I had to tell him all about it as we drove home around Sunset, he decided that if we ever could afford it, then we should make it happen. Six months later we returned for another lesson.

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Thirty Years, Just Think!

 

In our family we think about Birthdays wherever we are in the world, but if we are together usually on that day, If I am speaking to my father, he has what we refer to as the “Just Think” moment. It is when he reminisces about the time I was born and tells me about it. It draws me close to him for a moment and gives me the warm fuzzy feeling, it is nice that he still remembers. I had my very own “Just Think” moment for a very special lady in my life, so Happy 30th Birthday to my Little Sister.

Thirty years ago tonight
As this poem I try to write.
We were expecting to arrive,
a child who would change my life.
Was so small when I kissed her,
So pleased to have a little sister.

At twelve years old, I’d have never bet
A new sibling I would have met.
I went to sleep asked Dad to wake me.
“If she comes along I want to see!”
But with other ideas you didn’t delay,
And so very quickly you were on your way.
Arrived so quickly they had to run,
Mum there with baby by half past one.

On TV there was a big boxing fight,
We watched it at home that very night.
Between Big Frank and Tiny Tim,
I’d got you a bear and that’s what I named him.
The first little bear, but you had a few
This was the one that I gave to you.
Arrived to visit Mum and her tot.
And placed him beside you in your cot.

As time’s gone by she’s big and grown,
Things changed a bit when the nest I’d flown
But tried to be there for her as I may,
Would offer her a place to stay.
Would attend the home for a visit,
Be there when needed to baby sit.

We’d go out for Ice Cream at the “Eating Pub”
When aching and sore, my back she would rub.
She really was the sweetest kid,
The one that we all called “The Didd,”
It’s because she was the Diddie one
Smallest of three to Dad and Mum.

For a cause, she’ll stand up and fight.
Her teeth and claws may give you a fright.
Slender and swift, she’ll pounce like a cat.
Would like the last word and that is that!
Looking at her, I’m pleased to state,
She has about her the family trait.
Being there for you, when up or you’re down,
Always happy to stop for a coffee in town.

Will help you with the odd household chore,
And shopping with her is never a bore.
Don’t know what’s been decided to follow which path,
When we’re together, don’t hold back just laugh.
I love her so much, just as I ought,
Of course there’s been times when we fought.

On a few occasions I have met her friends,
But that is not where the story ends.
Going about with her long fiery hair,
Says what she means without a care.
She’s arty and clever and ever so loud,
But she’s my sister and makes me proud.
Through thick and thin this I have learned,
And to achieve her own success I’ve yearned.
With her there’s certainly no room for faking,
And her successes will be of her making.
She gets up on stage and sings her heart out,
Excitement abounding she’ll jump and shout.
So now that the baby has finally shown,
She’s a woman today, I’m pleased to have known.
Doesn’t matter how near or how far,
Travel required by train or by car.
But always know we’ll be together,
Through thick or thin, my sister forever.
So please raise a glass tonight to drink,
And as you do, say to her “Just think”

Keeping it for Best

045The tattered duvet cover was once her best one, she had purchased it after moving into the house, five years before. It was embroidered with silver and pewter and gunmetal on a white background, she would dress the bed in it, if there were people coming over who might see it as they were going past the room.

She looked at the now faded colours, the bleached marks, pulls and loose threads. There was fur where the dog had been laying on it and a small hole, where the spark from a candle had fallen. It had caught on the bedpost and formed a small tear. She suddenly realised that all of this had significance.

This is what Life can be like just after five years… With all that gets thrown at it, it can become tired, exhausted in fact. But you can still find comfort in it, however battered it may be. When others take a look, they can see clutter, old things of the past, things that should be thrown away, but yet you are inclined to take comfort in some of the past and the sentiment you hold for it.

The Tale of Boomerang.

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This is the Tale of Boomerang,
Right from back where it began.
A story from long time ago,
Never thought would love a little car so

Thinking of the trips in this, they’ll go far,
As they made their plans for the little car.
Of a beautiful Saab she would often dream,
Not usually red, she had seen one in cream.
Planted firmly upon her wish list,
Her sights set hard, through time she wished.
For this was a dream she set out to achieve,
A possible goal made with time to breathe.
But her licence would come and a date he’d set,
When her dream would come true and that car she’d get.
They travelled the country far and wide,
A passenger then just enjoying the ride.
Emotional journey to her old car farewell,
they had moved on it was time to sell.
She thought of all the ones that had been,
Of all of the sights, she had finally seen.
Days out in the sunshine when the weather was fine.
Trips off to France to load up on wine.
The roof down the breeze and wind on their faces,
A clear stretch of road, enjoying the races.
A short while passed and he wanted to upgrade,
But with the red car she wished she’d stayed.
The first car she had from passing her test,
It was the one that she loved the best.
Driving past one the pang it sends
As they went along in their Mercedes Benz,
Don’t get me wrong although it was fun,
The Saab was much better in the long run.
Think of the joys in little red,
All of those journeys we wore some tread.

They travelled to town for a funeral,
Journeyed back talking through it all.
And in an unknown place that they passed,
Sharp intake of breath and they were aghast.
They stopped up the road, couldn’t believe their luck.
With the car at the garage, the man was stuck,
There’s been thirteen people for it, I’ve been sent.
Take it away, as for you it was meant.
She skipped out to the car to see it again,
A smile on her face, she’d get it, When?
The chance of getting her dream car back,
Excitement of driving, she’d no longer lack.
He arranged with the man and did the deal,
No comprehension of how she would feel.
Once again she’d got her red car,
He’d come right back a shining star.

Later when the time was right,
He asked her if she just might
A suggestion that they would chop him in,
Not sure about that, it would be a sin.
Looked at a car, eyes wide with awe,
To get rid of red, would leave her sore.
But sense kicked in as he was growing older,
They thought about something much, much bolder.
She drove him away shedding a tear.
He’s been there for her, for many a year.

The new car arrived and was all that she hoped,
But about little red, he often joked.
Thought it was cruel, she would never forget,
Stabbed each time with the pain of regret.
One day when they travelled out for the day.
Crossing back across country from the bay.
You’ll never guess what he took her to see.
There was her Red, as bright as can be!
Waiting for her and ready to go,
Her name on the plate he’d proudly show.
Life would surely never be the same,
They sent him away, now they’ve got him again.
Drove with the roof down, not even a care,
Windswept and laughing happy to share.
They drove him back home with wondrous smiles,
As he readily ate up the miles.
Swept up in a moment he’s back here to stay.
We never really, should have sent him away.
Should let you all know, that as I recall,
He’s not very little, there’s room for us all
The tale of Boomerang, was once little red.
You should keep him forever, That’s what he said.

George’s Hidden Treasure

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When we came and found it,
We looked here and there.
Picked a spot to sit,
but wasn’t even a chair.
I thought I’d tell what I know about George,
And the friendship that we would forge.
You see, the house it had been stripped,
Of all his worldly goods.
Or so we thought, as we tripped,
Around the sheds and woods.
But as we ventured all around,
The odd treasure still to be found.
An occasional thing had been replaced,
Or scattered about, a little defaced.
In the sheds hung his old tools,
The scavengers, were only fools.
Inside the house there was a table,
But with small minds they weren’t able.
For a moment to stop and think,
As to why it was covered in ink.
I wanted to do a little research,
In the garden, of pine and birch.
There’s bottles and baskets and old clothes,
Digging around an old treasure trove.

Picture a place with a scene of beauty,
Looking around at nature’s bounty.
A place filled with such mystery,
As I began to research his story.
There were pots that had been made by hand,
Strange things I’d found buried on the land.
Antique ladders, a walking stick
To get you about when you’re in the thick.
A painting or two hidden above the stair,
Behind the wall when I stripped it bare.
Writing was not just his legacy,
He was an artist who craved to be free.
Visiting ladies to the hilltop would clamour,
To his studio to sit, with none of the glamour.
He would sit alone and he’d paint
In the house, so cold and very quaint.
Perhaps he had some heating supply,
Upon which he could rely.
There disrobed on a couch she might lay,
Whilst the farmer was off, making hay.

Around these parts it was said, he’s a scribe,
The odd bottle of brandy was known to imbibe.
Walking around, you should take a look
Searched to find copies of his book.
For this is the place he chose to reside,
Next to the house where the horses will ride.
Lived there alone and up there he hunted,
With coldness of winter he was confronted.
Wrote books about writing and he had laid claim,
of stories and cooking which wasn’t so plain.
There was a short doorway, it wasn’t so tall,
But it did for him, he was decidedly small.
Some time ago I read of his travels,
But with time, the story unravels.
But over the years, the things that he crafted
Remain buried here and they’ve lasted.
Things he created, sit out the back,
There in the garden, a wonderful plaque.
His scattered remains of the man he once was,
We leave it right there, just because.
Although the scribe has temporarily vacated,
The delight to share, is unabated.
The place where he once took his pleasure,
He still resides in his time of leisure.
As guardians here now we’ve been sent,
His spirit has shown, for us it was meant.
For right up here might be where it began,
The house that belonged to a little wee man.
He visited once to bid us adieu
Now raising a glass to him, Salut.

Deliriously Deluded Ramblings. Vol 1

048Well, that might actually be a little harsh, but there are times such as now when I feel that anyone looking in on my world at this split second, might think I was. I have been feverish for a couple of days, thanks to the bugs which were passed to my beloved and having given him a week of care, antibiotics and myself a large pat on the back for being able to avoid it, as they say, pride comes before a fall. So stumble into bug filled oblivion I did, with a mighty crash over the Easter weekend. Thank fully, I had the foresight to go and do some shopping to tide us over for a few days, when I had started to feel a bit “under par”

I coped with all of the usual things and then yesterday it hit me, like the proverbial tonne of bricks. So here I am at 3am sitting with a rather fetching hat which covers my extremely painful ears, a scarf around me covering my sore throat, fluffy slippers (de rigueur) and my pyjamas, due to the temperature I am currently sporting, I have also joined him in a course of antibiotics, in the hope that if I catch it now, it will not go to my chest as well as the places it is already wreaking havoc.
All in all it’s not my best look, but he told me he loved me and that I am beautiful before he left me to sleep, but he is delirious still, I’m sure of it. I tried to sleep, but have not been able to do so, so got up again with my painkillers.

Like a short circuit. I am hauled from my deep sleep and dreams, it is as though I have walked for miles over hot coals.
As my feet touch the cold floor, there is a searing, like steak on a barbeque, the heat travels up my legs in an unexplained painful sensation.
It has happened so often, as though 3000 volts have just been switched on and I am jolted again into life. A standing start from which to let the dog out in the middle of the night. As I return to the warmth of the bed, my feet throb and the blood pulsates through my veins, surging like a faulty power supply. Or perhaps just this power surge. Releasing heat like a powerful firework, a bursting rocket upon the sky, as the sparkles fall to the floor, intense and strangely moving as they land.

The electricity dissipates, it ebbs away over time leaving restless legs again throughout the night. I take a sip of water and raise the glass to my forehead, feeling it’s coolness, and resisting the urge to pour the whole glass over my head, knowing that water and electricity don’t mix and risking it once again.

A Wildflower Garden

044I thought that I’d plant a wildflower garden,
To discourage the edges around us to harden.
Through the fields cutting a swathe.
For bugs and Bees, there to enslave.
It would have lupins’, the odd cornflower,
To brighten the way and harness it’s power.
Colours bright will form an array,
From your journey your eyes might stray.
Wander there and scatter around,
Seedlings to grow all over the ground.
Opening up before your eyes,
Turn the corner to your surprise.
Along over there by the side of the road,
There to embrace and the wildlife to goad.
A small chance of some encouragement,
From Nature to do her best it’s meant.
To entice from your face a smile to see,
As blossom and pollen fly to be free.
Floating along, up on a cloud,
A cloak over countryside to shroud.
Near pond and stream and hedgerow,
Earthworms and Beetles busy below.
Waiting through winter, for the cold to pass,
Busy creating the green and the grass.
Buds and leaves begin to sprout,
Sharing their beauty once they are out.