Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Monday, 28 April 2014

A Fathers Love

Saw this on twitter and just had to share it with you, beautiful, moving, touching.  An elderly father and his grown up son, sitting in a garden .....

It reminds us that patience and love are two of the core essences of our being, or at least it is for some!  Personally, I hated my father and was glad when he died and there is not a forgiving bone in my body towards him, I still do not miss him today.

For me, it is a reminder that some dads can be loving and thoughtful and still have patience when their kids get a bit grumpy, like we all do from time to time.  And I hope that my kids think of me in that way even although I recognise that at times I was not the best father in the world......

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Another Dream

Just woke up with a pounding headache it's 3:50 AM

I wonder if it was the weird dream I was having? It was about Mollie and I. Mollie our 11 year old and eldest granddaughter, you know the one, the tiny little package of beauty and intelligence with the most gorgeously sweet and arm twisting smiling eyes that it has ever been a grand dad's misfortune to look upon, purely from the perspective of that she just has to glance up at me with those almond eyes and I would walk through hell where no demon could lay a hand upon me until I reached her, standing outside on the other side of it, as she wouldn't actually be in there!

So, it's just Mollie and me. We are in Spain, no idea where in Spain, no idea where her sisters or Mom and dad are or Ishbel is for that matter. But Mollie is attending an English School and is getting ready for a great event. She has a boyfriend, not Ewan, English too, attending the same school, I don't take to him at all. During the course of the preparations we need to attend two different places in the local town and need to get the bus there. Because of the argument Mollie decides to go to one place on her own and I am told to go to the other place.

Her 'boyfriend' is also going to the other place and so he accompanies me there on the bus, he translating for me, still didn't like him. I don't know where we were supposed to be going, or for what but I'm sure it wasn't the place where we ended up.

It was an old building with many floors on it, it had once been an elegant very large home with wide stairs and many reception rooms, it was very bohemian and there was preparation under way for a large social gathering with tables being laid with all sorts of wonderful food and people arriving all the time. William Hurt was there, as was William Shatner, Martin Balsam was also there and many other famous faces too.  As you moved from one room to the other, deep discussions were going on on all sorts of subjects, and there was music and poetry.

I was on my own as Mollies 'boyfriend' had abandoned me. I was approached by a woman who sat me down on a window ledge, it was one of those deep ledges where you could comfortably sit on and gaze out of the window or back into the large room. She asked me when I was going to die, before I could reply she got up and left!

I bumped into Mr Hurt on the stairs and asked him to have a photo taken with me. I have no idea why I did this as I have met many famous people in my life and never once asked them for a photograph or an autograph! As the woman accompanying him started to take the photo I started doing back flips of the stairs, we were going down them at the time.

I kept going down the stairs and found myself in an outdoor swimming/leisure area with pools and slides and water rings and fountains and I saw Mollies 'boyfriend' here .....

I woke with a pounding headache .....  and now I'm going back to bed at 4:35 AM.

Hope you are having a better night than I xxxxxx

Saturday, 19 April 2014

I had to share - A Dream

"I just woke up from a nap about being lost in South Ockendon. You lived at a house at the top of an enormous hill which required traipsing up a bajillion steps to reach you. After being lost for hours, I'd finally reached these steps and knew I was close. I then had to battle an intricate arrangement by one of your psychotic neighbours:
In order to pass their house, you had to squeeze between a wall and a cemented-down wire fence, behind which their 2 enormous rabid hounds prowled. To make your way through the dogs you had to delicately reach (without losing your arm to aforementioned mutts) and trip a system which automatically shot hedgehog prickles at them, dropping them instantly like elephant tranquillisers. I was in the middle of manoeuvring this last task when I woke up"

One of our beautiful gorgeous nieces had this dream,  Iv'e no idea why she was finding it so hard to get to our house for gods sake ever since my impending death was announced EVERY BLOODY PERSON ON THE PLANET WE KNOW HAS BEEN VISITING AND I'M NOT BEING ALLOWED TO DIE IN GOD-DAMN PEACE ......... ;))))

And doesn't she have a fine turn of prose? In fact this was her latest Face book entry and all I will say is, if you are tempted to comment on this post, beware of the warning .....

Please. Everyone. Just...learn to fucking spell.

Friday, 18 April 2014

TGI Fridays - it was pretty average

Having already had our 'main' anniversary present to ourselves, dinner and the ballet we decided to just pop into TGI Fridays for a meal on our 'special day' but only because we couldn't get across the Dartford Bridge as we were heading to a French restaurant at Blue Water, best laid plans and all that...

It's been a while since we were in this restaurant, 11 years, as our eldest grandchild Mollie, hadn't arrived, so we thought not getting where we wanted to go, it was time to re-visit.

As it was just pre evening getting a table was easy enough and we had a very attentive waitress, apologies as her name has slipped my mind! After 11 years I had forgotten just how loud the music is in a TGI's!  I do like my music and I do like it loud, but really in a bar/ restaurant it really does need to be turned down a tad.  Again, after 11 years it looks as if the restaurant hasn't seen a deep clean or a paintbrush since our last visit, possibly since it was built, very tired and shabby looking as were the gent's toilets with the walls full of holes where the hand drier had been moved around on what looked like at least 4 or 5 occasions!

The food:  We had mozzarella sticks with a chilli dip and strips of chicken with a sour cream dip, both delicious although Ishbel wasn't to keen on the sour cream dip.

For mains: Ishbel had salmon fillet, couscous and vegetables and was impressed, the salmon looked a bit dry to me.

I had the 7 oz fillet steak, medium rare with Jack Daniels glaze, crispy fries and an apple coleslaw.

The steak was cooked to perfection tasted delicious and it melted in the mouth.  The fries were limp and the apple coleslaw was absolutely rank and should not even be fed to the the inhabitants of the local piggery, it really was the quality of the steak that saved it for me.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

It's only been 38 years .......

38 years ago today, it was a Saturday and it was a sunny warm day in Aldershot and I was sitting somewhere, but for the life of me I cant think where, contemplating the next few hours and what they would mean to me.

It was Christmas two years earlier in Berlin. I was having xmas dinner with a wee bird called Ishbel Scott, her parents Alex and Margaret, her brother David and Robert Mcallister the family's best friend. They lived in a top flat, top flat Ishbel, not ground, not middle, TOP, on Schmidt Knoblesdorf Strasse a two minute walk from the barracks.

We were in West Berlin, Ishbel's dad Alex, Robert and I all served in the same regiment of the British Army posted to Berlin.  I got to know the family as Ishbel's Mum Margaret worked in the NAAFI (PX) shop in barracks and me being the cheeky (read gobby) little git that I was, used to attend regularly to get me fags, cans of tango and chocolate digestive biscuits.  Anyways, one day while I was in there I happened to notice a photo pinned to the wall behind the till register of two kids, a lovely wee bird and a plooky wee guy, only kidding David, you didn't have plooks in the photo, they came later - and being the aforementioned gobby git I said to the wuman ahin the coonter, "Who's the bird in the photo?" "That's no bird" says she, "That's my daughter".

"Fine" says I, "If she's free on Friday, she can take me out!"

Well that's how it started, me an ma big gob!

Of course Ishbel was still a wee schoolgirl at the time so you can imagine the response my attention elicited from her mother and I didn't even know her father, remember a Regiment has about four companies of men and can number up to 500 hundred souls, so you tended to know everyone in the company you served in and at most were on nodding terms with the rest until you had been in for a few years and moved around a bit......

Lord it was hard work, but eventually they relented. But, instead of letting me take Ishbel out and of course Ishbel's mother also knew from my buying habits (other than the tango and biscuits) that I was a bit of a drinker back then and of course a smoker, so eventually I was allowed to visit at home for meals and whatnot.

I don't think that Ishbel was too impressed to begin with but I soon discovered the way to win her affections was to buy her every Osmond Album , see this post (particularly the last four paragraphs), and knock me down with a feather, it worked, and she is still so easily bought ;)

And then of course there was that fateful xmas dinner, 1973 if memory serves, and we pulled a cracker and a little glass ring fell out, I got down on one knee and proposed I WAS DRUNK  what can I say .........

I don't recall too much more of that day and I don't think we set a date but eventually one was set for 1976.  In between Ishbel returned to stay with her Gran in Edinburgh to attend school (but I think it was her parents trying to put some distance between us.... ) and I got on with being a drunk and volunteering for all sorts of things, canoeing down the length of the not so blue Danube , that is one BIG river and having my canoe sink on me, crashing an Army 3 tonne lorry into a tree , oh! and making a drunken phone call to Ishbel in Edinburgh, from a call box in the middle of a bridge when in the middle of the call I fell backwards and disappeared into the river , true story Ishbel will confirm, but as usual I survived and then of course there was the wee parachuting incident in the middle of 74 when it was thought I may not walk again, but hey, I survived that too....

This is a photo of the Waldhaus restaurant on the Heerstrasse.  It was the first restaurant I took Ishbel to for a meal and we revisited it and had another celebratory meal in 2004, 30 years after our first visit.  Ishbel was still under age and so I blame myself for her addiction to red wine as I ordered a bottle of Spanish Torres Red, the bottles came with a little black plastic bull hanging from the bottle, I wonder if she still has it somewhere........

And then in 75 Ishbel's parents had organised an engagement party in Berlin.  Only problem was I was on posting away from the regiment and true to form spent most of my time in a drunken stupor as a fully paid up member of the Boozy Army on The Rhine.  The party was scheduled for the Friday night and I turned into work on the Friday morning when I should have been heading North to Berlin.  My bosses were more than a little bemused but fully understood my confusion as this was a normal state of affairs for me back then.  As luck, for me maybe not for Ishbel there was a visiting detachment from Berlin scouting out the area I was working in ahead of a major planned exercise, and they agreed to take me with them. To cut a long story short, I travelled the 11 hours in the back of a soft top land rover in a snow storm and made the party, frozen and shivering, with a sorry looking bunch of flowers in hand.

Fast forward to 1976 and we eventually got married in the Garrison church at Aldershot, had three brilliant kids, I stopped drinking when Marie was born in 1978, and THAT WAS AFTER I WAS SHOT AND SURVIVED and then Brian came along in 1980 followed by Jennifer in 1984.

Fast forward to 2014 and we have now been together, 38 years married and every day ISHBEL DRIVES ME NUTS, there is a proper way to load the dishwasher you know, I don't need your jim jams in the ironing basket THEY DON'T NEED TO BE IRONED NOR DO YOUR JEANS, PLASTIC DOES NOT GO IN THE BLUE BIN EEEEEVVVVVVEEEEERRRRR..... and the list goes on, Socks, don't get me started on my socks me I never do anything that annoys, cos I'm perfect anyway (apart from continually and regularly locking us both out of the house ....)

And then of course, there was last year when the doctors gave me a year to live but out of spite and because of all HER annoying habits, I refuse to die and I am going to hang around for years getting my own back on her and  to make sure she starts to get things right, even if it kills me doing it.

Hey, Ishbel thanks for 40 years of friendship and love I know I can be a right pain in the **** at times but at least I'm still cuddly........


Oh and by the way HAPPY ANNIVERSARY ALSO to Jules and Oscar our Besties in California who also married on 17th April and have 2 gorgeous girls and a son just like us, Hope you two are having a great day too.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Guest Post: Sir Charlie Stinky Socks .... by Charlie Kennedy (aged 8 &2 days)

Sir Charlie stinky socks
And the really spooky    adventure

One cold day at the tall tall tower with a pointy roof sir Charlie decided to go on an adventure. He brought his sword, his trusty grey mare and his cat called bow. So he set of then Charlie stepped in some quick mud so he yelled to his grey mare “ quick grab that vine so I can get out” so his grey mare ran to the vine grabbed it and threw it at sir Charlie but it was not a vine it was a poisonous snake they were really in trouble Charlie tried to get out and grab his sword. Then Charlie was free and grabbed his sword and sliced it in half and they ran. But he could not go anywhere because there was a  deep lake. So he built a raft rowed it to the other side of the lake on the other side of the lake was home. So he went home and had a very very long sleep.

 the end

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Book Review: Henry Wood Detective Agency: Perception (Book 3)

Look Inside Amazon UK here
Look inside Amazon US here 
Book 3 in the Henry Wood serial and both Mr Meeks and the character are maturing into their stride.  I enjoyed the first two books, I did, as evidenced from my previous reviews but this one, to use a Henry Woodism, (or as I imagine he would say) Mr Meeks has just, "knocked it out of the ballpark", he really has.

I have been watching, on and off, another one of those American TV imports recently, not an avid watcher, but tune in now an again to The Americans which is set in the 50's and 60's and has Russian spies embedded in US Society.  Last week and I wasn't paying too much attention to it but I think part of the story was about the Russians trying to get their hands on US naval submarine technology as the US were making vast strides in improving the quality of their 'pipes' and what not, allowing their submarines to go even deeper than they could at that time and of course the Russians were desperate to get their hands on this material and of course the plans......

Well, switch off the telly folks and turn to Mr Meeks cos, he tells it a whole lot better, did the script writers get a hold of  Henry Woods Perception or were they just looking at the same historical info at the same time and did a poorer job of retelling it, you decide but my money is on Mr Meeks being a better story teller.

Celine is now firmly embedded as Henry's boss, I mean secretary but is soon demoted from boss, I mean secretary when Mr Buttons turns up and takes over as head of the office.

Big Mike of the NYPD has been promoted to detective and Bobby, well he is still a bit of an anachronism, although we do learn one of his little secrets.

Francis is still a food critic and now wants to write a novel, don't we all .....

Lawrence, one of the kids from the last book is back and it looks like Henry may be getting a new sidekick .....

And Luna is still enticing Henry with goodies from the bakery, he'll need to watch his waistline in future episodes ........

The cupboard in the basement continues to spill out 'clues' from the future, in this outing a DVD and a CD,  both of Billy Joel from the 70's, but we are no nearer to discovering the provenance of this contraption, how Henry came by it, where it came from or from whom, I suspect Bobby has something to do with it but Mr Meeks is keeping us guessing and as usual the clues are pretty abstract and thank goodness Henry gets there in the end because I never figure them out on my own .....

Anyways,  Henry is engaged by the personal secretary of Daniel Kupton who has recently thrown himself out of a window of the Woolworth Building.  Amy Silverton doesn't believe that it was suicide, he had a wife, he had a mistress and the fortunes of the family business had been turned around and was again making money and would make even more through being awarded a new Naval contract.......

Henry takes the job and the cold war intrigue really begins, we even get to sit in on a meeting with Nikita Khrushchev and the chairman of the KGB, Alexander Shelepin.  The CIA are operating on US soil, oops and the FBI are sniffing around, bodies are piling up and Henry is racing to save not only himself but those close to him, who is gonna kill him first, the CIA or the KGB ......

Perception turned a corner for Mr Meeks, his writing has improved tremendously and the dialogue is much crisper although a few more contractions wouldn't go amiss and he still needs just a tiny bit little more work on editing, but nothing too much to complain about and  character development is excellent, can't wait for number 4 in the series now .....

Editing for Kindle: 4 out 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Chapters: 90
Page length: 283

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Cancer Sucks!

As you may know by now I have been diagnosed with cancer which, they tell me is terminal and apparently if I believe them, I have seven months left of the year or so left that the nice doctors gave me..... yeah, right says I; I intend to be around for a while yet 

Anyways, I saw this video and it makes me SMILE more than usual and I'm sure even if not a cancer sufferer, it will make you SMILE too.  The sheer joy of life and the beautiful smiles of these gorgeous ladies is well worth a visit and a revisit and a repost.

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