Friday, January 31, 2014


The Best Laid Plans

For a start the anniversary day when I planned to watch our old cam- corder videos had to be adjusted to fit in with the electrician and the silent doorbell.  So people were requested not to phone between Sunday and Monday lunch time and the electrician would come Monday afternoon.  Monday morning the bell started working so in the end after a quick examination we decided to leave it and he didn’t charge me.

It was a relief to find I could get the videos to work in a newish TV and the first one had me wondering who on earth the people were – going back to 1997and then I realised it was my old friend Margaret’s  daughter’s wedding.

The family were concerned I would get upset but it was so delightful to see our adventures in Ireland, Canada and especially Scotland – Alastair’s most favourite place on earth – that there were more smiles than tears remembering the fun we had,  the teasing and always the comfort of knowing that even returning after the most wonderful holiday it didn’t matter because we were still together.

Mum always used to say, when I had been particularly giddy:
“There’ll be tears before bed-time,” and as usual she was right.  There was this feeling of – well I’ve done the year – that landmark is over.  Now what?  I began to feel lost and desolate.  And then the phone started ringing and hadn’t stopped by supper- time so I had to unplug it.

The night before I woke at 1.50am – about the time Alastair left me and on the day I received from his Oxford College the annual report with his obituary in which had been arranged in the summer and could have come any time during the month.  On Tuesday Joy and I had lunch at the Bistro and Kim said the day before she had had an overwhelming urge to walk up the lane to see me – not knowing what day it was -. but she didn’t as “it would have been rude”

I told her about the day and she said she felt a strange cold feeling coming over her and was obviously a bit shaken.  There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio.

Yesterday was our trip to Bristol to see West side Story and those plans went slightly awry.  Veronica discovered that she needed to have work done on her eyes so wasn’t able to drive so Chris (M), Joan and I went with Peter who is a very fast driver (my age) but I’m happy to say a very good driver.  Veronica, Elaine and James were driven by Chris (F) in her tiny red car.  We were guided by a charming lady on Peter’s Satnav and the others by Google via James.  I asked Peter what happened if he went wrong.

“She maintains her equanimity with great aplomb but I think she gets a bit sick of me at times when she has to do the re-calculating.’

In the other car it was more exciting with heated debates twixt James and his Google and Elaine- a frequent driver to Bristol.  Miraculously we converged at the designated car park to find ‘CAR PARK FULL’ although we could see cars exiting.  We had a couple of drives around and then back at the DCP a couple of us got out it the freezing cold until we found a man in a yellow jacket - apparently the machine was broken but he fiddled until at last the bar was raised and we zoomed up to the 8th floor.

On our way to the theatre Joan was so little and light I almost felt I could carry her.
And when we reached the doors the usherette said we couldn’t enter without out tickets (Veronica had the tickets) but as it was so cold she said to me “I’ll let your mother in but you have to wait outside.”  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Eventually we mustered – in the gods.  The seats were so precipitous one felt the slightest tap on ones back and one would tip over into the auditorium – about half a mile below.

As most of you know the show is excellent and this was a highly energised production with a Maria the most trilling of song birds, a young enthusiastic cast and a great orchestra conducted by a wraith of a boy who felt every note in his being – and so did we.

My only crit – it wasn’t clear enough – to me - who were the Jets and who were the Sharks- but it didn’t matter.  Was that really a gang rape?

On the way home we were separated from the other car, Peter dropped us all off and there was a frantic message from Veronica not knowing what had happened as Peter had his mobile switched off – not a rarity in this age group.

The other car ended up ‘dropping off’ out of Minehead and had a hairy drive over the moor in blinding fog and somehow got the rear end in a hole and damaged the car.   I suspect this is not going to be a regular outing and Minehead theatre is beginning to look more attractive by the hour.

I still haven’t solved the problem of posting photos.  One bit of advice said to click on the Content Selector button but I’m darned if I can find it.  As for my broken Kindle that won’t recharge, could it possibly need new batteries?















maurcheen said...

You have had a time of it as my Ma says haven't ya? And yet here you are. I hope the weekend is good to you Pat. ;-)


Ms Scarlet said...

It doesn't feel like a year, hugs to you, Pat.
Steep seating arrangements in theatres make me feel dizzy, but I usually settle once the show begins... the whole trip sounded like a grand adventure.... you have a way of picking out pertinent detail!

Anonymous said...

What a week of ups and downs .... I feel for you. Much hugs and thoughts wing their way to Minehead. xx

As to the Kindle, try this to re-boot it. As told to me by Amazon themselves. Press and hold the on/off button for a count of 30 seconds, no less. When you release it, the Kindle should show the silhouette of someone sitting under a tree reading and there will be a slider showing it starting up again.

If that doesn't work, I think it is a goner.

LL Cool Joe said...

I had no idea it was a year either, time really does rush by doesn't it? And yet at other times it seems to go on forever.

The theatre trip sounds like a real adventure. You have so many good friends and family, in that way you are truly blessed.

kenju said...

"I'll let your mother in..." Oh, Lord, what did she say to that?

Pearl said...

So much held in a year...

I love how you write. I think I can actually hear you.


Granny Annie said...

My Kindle would not take a charge. It seems I was using the wrong charger. I was using my phone charger instead of a charger for Kindle. At that point it was too late to get the right charger and I had to replace my Kindle which they did at no charge to me. All of my apps, etc. were in the cloud and it was all saved and easily moved to my replacement Kindle. There were some things they had me try first and I can't remember what they were. Have you called Kindle/Amazon to find out what might be wrong? They are very nice to help. Or try google to see if you can find an answer there.

God Bless you for the anniversary day you spent with Alastair.

angryparsnip said...

I think your theater group might like your local one better. What a trip !
It doesn't feel like a year, sending hugs to you.

cheers, parsnip

Kim Ayres said...

Such anniversaries feel even harder in the heart of winter. I'm glad you got the videos working with little trouble.

"I’ll let your mother in but..." - that doesn't surprise me in the least - you look at least 25 years younger than you are :)

Nea said...

Who needs pictures when the description is as good as this. I wish I had your way with words, I'd happily swap it for my drawing skills.

Exile on Pain Street said...

I think your family was right to be concerned about viewing the videos. Those sorts of things can go horribly wrong in a blink.

A nice little theater write-up. Did you ever do it professionally?

Re: Your last comment. Yes, it was St. Patrick's and, yes, I lit a candle. I should have sent a photo. Next year.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

It sounds like you got through the Anniversary in a pretty good way....It's great the Videos worked. Hard later, I know.
The Theatre Trip sounds like it was a bit difficult---I'm glad the Production was wonderful....! Though sitting up so high with that kind of "pitch" makes me very nervous....
Had you seen this show before? Hard to believe it was hard to tell who were the Sharks and who were The Jets....
This sounds like such a wonderful group of people, dear Pat. maybe the next outing will be closer to!
Sending Hugs, My Dear...

Mage said...

Goodness, what an adventure.

Mike and Ann said...

The theatre seats with the worst pitch I know are the upper ones at the Albert Hall. They make you feel like tying yourself in - just in case. It's like sitting on a notch in the face of a precipice.

SDC said...

I'm glad they brought back good memories as well as tears. I do get from your blog that you feel so fortunate to have had him as the love of your life, but I just have to say that he was a very lucky man to have had you too. You are pretty awesome yourself.

Pat said...

Maurcheen: the week-end was great thank you and I am having a day or two doing very little.

Scarlet: it was an adventure as was the week-end so now I'm lying low and having the first cold I've had for years.

Roseneath: I've had the picture - with my step- daughter's advice am trying to get Kindle to help and maybe get a discount. My new tablet won't replace it because it is too heavy for bed. I just want my old original kindle.

Joey: yes you are right - I am blessed in many ways. Lovely to see you:)

Pat said...

Judy: it all went over her her - literally.

Pearl: that is such a compliment from a lovely writer.

Granny Annie: I'm doing all that - see above. I'm hampered with throwing off a chill/cold but even if I have to buy one I'll get another kindle.

Parsnip: yes you are exactly right.
As one of our earlier Royals would have said'B----r Bristol!'

Kim: yes it is quite surprising for me to get anything working. I'm slowly dabbling with my new tablet.

Nea: it is kind of you to say that but a few snaps breaks up the monotony:)

Exile: it was kind of you to do that.
No I haven't critted professionally but have always loved the theatre and just about done every chore connected with it.

Naomi; yes I think we have learned our lesson as regards trips to Bristol. I am one of the fit ones and I was jolly glad to get home again. Then this week-end battling through wind and rain in Taunton.
I'm hunkering down today and probably tomorrow.

Mage: you can say that again:)

Mike and Ann: that must have been really terrifying.

SDC: believe me I was the lucky one.

lom said...

You know you could get another book out of this :D

About Last Weekend said...

Yes think you need to bring the photos into a file onto your computer then bring them in not sure if that helps at all for you. Lovely that you have such good friends near you who are thinking of you and you can do things with. Are these GPS voices all the same the world around do you think?: All the ones I come across have the same relaxed British woman's voice. “She maintains her equanimity with great aplomb but I think she gets a bit sick of me at times when she has to do the re-calculating.’

rashbre said...

A whole year. I's good you were able to do what you di.

As for the trip to Bristol - this could be on a tv show! I used to work in Bristol from tint to time and I can remember the tricky traffic jams and full car parks. I used to park down by the docks most times. It looked like it had once been a kind of railway yard.

West Side Story - a great show, of course - although it sounds a s if some of your production was -er - different.

And our red car has Stephen Fry as the satnav voice. I'm usually the passenger in that one.

Kindle. Try another charger. or unplug the wire from the plug charger thing and plug it into a PC and see if that works.

Pat said...

Rashbre: I tried everything with the kindle and although I have kindle on my new tablet it's too heavy to hold in bed. After long telephone conversations with kindle's help line - at their expense - I have bought a replacement at a discount. Now I have to work out how to transfer the books I had onto the new one.