Thursday, 22 November 2012

Peregrine Falcon & Wild Flowers

I wanted to give something to the sport in Brian's memory and also to pay back some of all they gave him in enjoyment and me in support since he passed.

So l settled on 2 very different plans, one will be ongoing for many years. Every year in September l do a seeding of wildflowers around the peritrack at Langar it covers about 3.5miles. l also seed along the runways.  I figure that it will add life for insects, birds and improve the area.
When we used to go for drives we always got excited to see wild flowers like poppies and a couple of fields we would drive past off the beaten track were always full of colour and we used to get all excited at how lovely they looked.
I get the seeds from the wild flower farm next door to Langar and the owner also Brian has been great, if l dont have tools handy l am able to borrow them from him and he is full of advice  Nature Scape This will be a slow ongoing project for a few years while they slowly take hold.

The second idea l asked the British parachute Association if l could donate a trophy but this was turned down so l approached Langar and asked them if l could donate one. They agreed and so l hunted round for an acceptable one.

I finally found Andrew Glasby and amazing bronze artist. He had many bronzes l fell in love with but l settled on one l loved but also more importantly l could afford Andrew Glasby Bronzes

It is a Peregrine Falcon's head, Brian always loved watching Birds of Prey Andrew mounted it on a block of wood for me and l then had that mounted on a specially commissioned Oak plinth. It looks amazing and is now used for the 6 Way  annual competition. The words Dream, Believe, Achieve are also on as it has become his mantra.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The story of "The Unknown Soldier"

On September 7th 1920, in strictest secrecy four unidentified British bodies were exhumed from temporary battlefield cemeteries at Ypres, Arras, the Asine and the Somme. None of the soldiers involved were told why. The bodies were taken by field ambulance to GHQ at St-Pol-sur-Ternoise, where their bodies were draped wi
th the Union Flag and sentries were posted. Brigadier-General Wyatt and a Colonel Gell selected one body at random and a French honour guard stood by the coffin overnight.
On the morning of the 8th the body was laid in a specially designed coffin made of oak from the grounds of Hampton Court. On top was placed a Crusaders Sword and a shield on which was inscribed 'A British Warrior who fell in the Great War 1914-1918 For King and Country'.
On the 9th of November the Unknown Warrior was taken by horse drawn carriage through Guards of Honour, with the sound of tolling bells and bugle calls, to the Quayside. There it was saluted by Marechal Foche and loaded onto HMS Verdun bound for Dover. The coffin stood on the deck covered in wreaths and surrounded by the French Honour Guard.
On arrival at Dover the the Unknown Warrior was greeted with a 19 gun salute, normally only reserved for field marshals. He then traveled by special train to Victoria Station, London. He stayed there overnight and on the morning of the 11th of November was taken to Westminster Abbey.

The Idea of the Unknown Soldier was thought of by Padre, David Railton who had served at the front during the Great War and it was the Union Flag he had used as an altar cloth at the front, that had been draped over the coffin. The intention was that all relatives of the 517,773 combatants whose bodies had not been identified could believe that the Unknown Warrior could very well be their lost Husband, Father, Brother or Son.
On the morning of 11 November 1920, being the second anniversary of the armistice that ended World War One, the body of the Unknown Warrior was drawn in a procession to the Cenotaph. The new war memorial on Whitehall, designed by Edwin Lutyens, was then unveiled by George V.

At 11 o'clock there was a two-minute silence, and the body was then taken to Westminster Abbey where it was buried at the west end of the nave. To the surprise of the organisers, in the week after the burial an estimated 1,250,000 people visited the abbey, and the site is now one of the most visited war graves in the world.

The text inscribed on the tomb is taken from the bible (2 Chronicles 24:16):
'They buried him among the kings, because he had done good toward God and toward his house'.

Today whilst we remember those who have given their lives for Queen and Country, please also spare a thought for those whose battle never ends, those suffering from both lifelong mental and physical trauma.

Hounds for Heroes thanks all those who have given their life or part of their life so that we may be free.

"At the going down of the sun, and in the morning. We Will Remember Them..."

Thursday, 6 September 2012

New Motorhome! l must be nuts.

I am going to give another go at blogging, over the last 2 years l have changed a lot as has my life, when l work out how l will probably change the name of the blog.
l will update you where l can but may ramble over old ground on the way there. I have a lot of blank spots from the last couple of years sometimes things occur to me. I have found out what my dentist warned me when he said my "time perception" would go. Unless you have lost someone who meant the world to you it is hard to explain, l don't know if parents who loose kids get it or kids who loose family but loosing a husband l did. Trying to put things into a time line is almost impossible so some things over my various stories may not fit where l think they do, the following one however does. I know it does as l have checked paperwork.

Just after Brian died around July 2010 it has to be there for all to be in place by September 2010, l had this wild idea that there was a lot of work out there but not much accommodation so l wanted my own motorhome. Had l been thinking clearly this wouldn’t have come about but l decided l wanted one also as Brian and l enjoyed MH when we used it together so l set about getting one, l am not sure but l think it was also a sort of distraction to me something to fixate on.

Geoff from Brownhills said no problem when l went and spoke to him, followed by "l have just put you clear for 45k". That was way outside what l was thinking of but was a loan in place.

I found the perfect motorhome but a bit more than l wanted to pay but l thought well sod it go for it so l did. I took Milko and Sian along with me to help with details. They did try and talk me out of it but l was not in a good place brain wise and l am also stubborn so Milko and l went to negotiate while Sian left us alone she and Brian don’t do negotiating so he in spirit and her in person wandered off to look round.  

After signing for it we headed home and Milko froze my blood… “you are going to remortgage”
“No way l just paid it off the house is safe”
“Listen to me with those rates it will cripple you”
“Nope, no way”
“Give me your mortgage guys phone number he can talk sense into you”
So once back at Langar Milko headed off on his mission
“It is a no brainer” he announced on return, “Take a loan for 37k and pay back 496/month for 10 years, Remotgage 37k and pay back about +/- 370/month over 10 years and will save about 16k that doesn’t include if you can do 10% payments off/year will drop it by a fortune”.(amounts for remortgage are estimates as at that point the company and terms were guessed but pretty close to what l am paying)

Milko always wins thought it was us women who were meant to use devastating logic. So l remortgaged the house and in September 2010 the new family member came home. 
Well home after a couple of alterations, l had to knock the garage down, l realised that a 7.5mtr motorhome wouldn't fit in our drive. So down came the garage up went a shed and a skip took away the unwanted. 
Next was that l wasn't able to park him, in fact l realised when l got CB home l wasn't sure if he would fit across the road to reverse in, thank goodness for Ray our neighbour, he has since been the one to park CB although even he was sweating buckets the first time.
I called him (motorhome) CB, it stands for Cafe Brian. When he was alive Brian was open and friendly to everyone he used to make teas and coffees offer snacks to all comers when he was parked up, we have offered tea to car drivers or truckers when we have been having some ourselves in lay bys and others were there and he even did it at least once in a terrible traffic jam that lasted for over an hour some place.

I felt that calling the motorhome Café Brian (CB for short) would
1) Keep Brian's memory alive to those that knew him and
2) Remind me that you don't have to be perfect to help and be friendly to people even if they themselves are miserable and unfriendly.

2) Can be hard but l do try

Sadly l have not used CB as much as l wanted due to other life problems, but am slowly building up to using him more.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Motorhome & Mint Update

I just realised l hadn't updated anyone about the motorhome saga.

Since the motor home was collected by l assumed barclays -clydesdale barclays partner finance l have had 2 late evening phone calls when l caught them driving (yes l was on bluetooth) saying sorry we haven't been in touch. I told them l wasn't interested in sorry l wanted in writing confirmed it was barclays collected the motor home & all debts were wiped out. I was promised but nothing arrived.

Finally l blew my stack & for the first time called in my MP, never used one of these strange creatures before but felt if they are any use l may as well test mine. I sent her an explanation of what had happened and that all l wanted was confirmation it was barclays that had collected the vehicle & all debts were wiped.

I got a letter back she had sent a letter off to barclays & would notify me as soon as she heard back. I was counting on the fact the banks are under a lot of heavy dodo and the behaviour towards a widow is not going to go down well in the media which was my next step. I avoided them though till last as after their behaviour to me when Brian and Emma passed l am not overly keen on them.

The week before l was due to go away about 18th May l contacted the mp again & spoke to l guess her secretary. He apologised about the time taken but was just sending me a letter on from barclays but not to worry all was sorted.
I wasn't so much worried but l was fed up & pissed off & angry never a good combination for me as l then turn to instinct & someone gets hurt, l may get hurt as well but l never mind about that to much l make sure the target is though.
The letter arrived the next day have to say l was impressed my MP had well delivered the goods. This is a first given my normal feelings of loathing towards them.

It was from the MD of clydesdale -barclays partner finance my MP had contacted bob diamond as you know the boss tosser at barclays who had contacted him (MD) to get it sorted fast. All was cleared, they were at fault sincerest apoliges (l dismissed sincere as we are talking bankers of great & lofty heights not local bank folks) but the matter was now closed & he hoped l could feel that l was able to move on from a bad chapter in my life.

This left me one more mountain to climb. Mint & the creature from the black lagoon there aka bitch from hell who made it her life's work to be unpleasant despite or because of the circumstances.
I got untold numbers of letters threatening bailiffs & court for non payment, despite my letters & phone calls in return saying Brian was dead no more deceased and gone. Death certificates were sent 2 of them the initial & official post coroners inquest one & finally the estates department (who had been very helpful & pleasant) managed to get it into the bitches head & l was told by her that they would accept my letters but check up with me in 6 months to see if l had any money come in they could get their greasy hands on.

As 6 months were now up l rang up to speak to whoever l could as the woman who signed the letters was a ghost. The lady l spoke to was very pleasant but confused. She read out everything on the computer to me & said the account had been closed 6 months before they had no reason to contact me. She could find no record of the letter sent threatening me with a check up "in 6 months" & apologised for whatever had gone on & said they didn't usually check up like l was saying.

So result is as far as l am concerned the will is now closed all companies dealt with & l can get on with my happy little life which l feel no happiness for & people keep telling me l will. Yes l get small pleasures with some things but there is no everlasting joy.
I know Brian is with me & that does help a lot, l can not feel or see him although so many strange things have happened l have no doubt he is with me.

What hurts is l can't throw my arms round him, smell his stinky jerseys or t-shirts too sweaty to use that needs a wash but he doesn't want to dirty other things till he has ended doing whatever.
I don't hear his cheerful greeting to me when l amble up to give him a hug after he has been jumping or whatever & l have a coffee prepared for him or drop the hint l am hungry is he going to come & cook for me.
I deal with my mum thinking l would love a hug from him l can feel not just imagine as she gets up to ever more stupid things l have to deal with. To check letters l send off to make sure l am not overly honest about incompetent psychiatrists .
All the mirryiad of things that 2 people who still loved each other deeply feel & do have changed & l have a lot to learn about how to adjust which given the state of my mum it will be a long time before l have my own time to do that.

So life goes on but not with the joy l used to feel so l will see what the future brings & although l will do nothing stupid l carry a do not resuscitate card only give pain relief & sedation & have a "living will" drawn up on tight parameters by a lawyer & state it & who has copies of it is on the wallet card.
I have vague plans as in sorting work, wanting to buy a hardshell canoe & wanting to do a skydive & jump Brian's kit, the ring with Brian's ashes in is on the cards for the week after next but l have no big plans.
My 50th birthday next year l used to look forward to as l would have lived half a century it seemed a good reason to celebrate but not now.

On a positive when note when l do get positives l promise to post them not just the negatives in life. In the mean time life..............................

Monday, 19 September 2011

Gods Candles

I wrote this to explain to a special friend David C who has been a tower of spiritual strength how l feel about the night, it still needs tweaking but with me that can take years, it explains a bit how l feel about the night & why l love walking & kayaking in the dark, a very special time when you have just your thoughts & not the distractions of daylight:

God’s Candles

They assume the night is black, as black as Satan’s darkest sin
Inside they huddle, curtains tight, across the cold clear glass
Inside the rooms all lights are lit, to bring back their precious day.

They miss the softness of ev’n blackest night, no sin in it but love so bright
They miss the stars that pierce points, through a blackened velvet cloth of sky
Like untouched jewels of Angels fair, no earthly diamond pure as they
No blood, no pain, no wealth from others can be used gain them.
Their beauty and their shimmer owned by creatures of the night

Soft light falls upon the world below, spilled from the many faces of the moon,
From wide tooth grin too tight lipped smile, depending on her feeling.
Moon light paints black spans of water, with silhouettes of trees & buildings striding ‘long the waters edge,

Trees fold back to jet black groves, strange noises scare the wary.
Leaves that tremble in the gentle breeze, while light reflects from dew touched tips.
Light from heaven, not Satan’s pits.

Dusting's of mist in low patches hover, across the glinting, black still water
Untouchable by reaching hands it wraps in skeins around the body
Caused by temperature flux ‘twix land and water so scientists would say
But we know the truth, it’s breath from hidden monsters

Clouds may hurry across the sky and cover up the light
But above that cloud the light still shines, even if we can’t see it
Just watch the tides they know it too and allow the pull to guide them.

So pull back those curtains, turn off your lights and go walk in the garden.
No monsters there, just the place you know
Lit by Gods candles from heaven.
© CL VN 8/2011

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

New V Old

I remember the days you only had one or two. One tv channel, two types of loo roll soft or wax paper one type of washing up liquid, green a huge wow factor when l found a yellow opps sorry lemon flavour bottle.

Now there is a profusion of tv channels catering as they say to every taste, and trying to get you into things you never even realised existed. History to news, soap to humour, true crime to adverts, betting to health, cooking to diy so many others l am not going to even attempt to name them all. A lot are a waste of time others are brilliant and some not quite sure what side of the fence they have landed hopping between appalling and brilliant.

We have lost, l am sure it's loosing wasn't lamented the "cheap wax" paper on a roll. That stuff was deadly l don't know if anyone ever found a use for it be interesting if there was a use found as it was useless as loo roll.
Now there is thick soft, quilted soft, single skin soft, double quilted soft, recycled soft recycled quilted soft, uggs sorry the thought of recycled loo paper doesn't appeal.
Colours can match with any bathroom you care to put in, and there is some pretty awful bathrooms out there.

Washing up liquid l thought we had reached the zenith of these a couple of years ago with flavours like Lavender. Yet again l was wrong marketing men have gone positively nuts. Ginger and nutmeg, green tea, strawberry & peach, cucumber, apple blossom, summers day to name and along with the new names are new colours. Some very pretty purples or vivid blue they alternate with pale washy creams that look like badly curdled milk.
Every time l go somewhere new to work l find a different flavour and marvel at the mind that can come up with such garbage.

I am surprised they haven't brought out a "meaty flavour" to wash pet food bowls based on the myriad of pet food "flavours" for sale. Those would go off the shelf so fast the head would spin. Common sense has not been a strong point with UK pet owners in the past and it isn't looking like starting any time soon.

People seem to think that each fragrance and or colour must wash up even better than the old one they used as it has a fancy name. The fact it is just suds in a bottle seems to escape them. I just go for the cheap green at least this flurry of flavours has done us dinosaurs a favour, the "old" green has dropped down in price.

So while you wander down those long meandering isles choosing colours and flavours that some nameless suit has come up with, that will do just as good a job as the "old & discarded" think of those who have nothing in life, be it food or hope and just be thankful that you can still choose the banal and wasted even if you don't have much else.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Dog & Cat Law

1. If I like it, it’s mine.
2. If it’s in my mouth, it’s mine.
3. If it looks like mine, it’s mine.
4. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
5. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
6. If I saw it first, it’s mine.
7. If you have something and put it down, it’s mine.
8. If I chew something up, all of the pieces are mine.
9. If it used to be your’s, get over it.
10. If it’s broken, it’s your’s.