Sunday, 20 August 2017

Senior Moments … such is life in the fast lane!




I needed some cash … off to town I poddle – it’s not far – about half an hour each way … down going down, and up coming back … strange that – but when you live on the edge of the Downs – life can be a little topsy-turvy.

Eastbourne town from flat - where I go down
from the Downs!



Find bank, go inside, insert card and enter PIN, get statement … just to make sure and see status … ask for money – it will give it to me … and reverse the process …







… wander out of the banking hall – to get a bit of shopping for the friend who is visiting – ah! …… what did I do with the cash … oh oh …






… back into the bank I go – by my machine (NB the ‘my machine’!) there’s a man – now that’s a strange being! – he’s at right-angles to the cash machine … so I potter up and ask ‘is my money there?’





… a little bemused this equally senior man is by this question – ah ha … realisation … oh it’s her money … yes it is – 'oh good I say' … we both turn to the machine - - - oh no it’s not!  It’s been swallowed …



Swallows - but not swallowing dosh
… having set the scene I shall shorten this escapade … having thanked said senior man – who now can’t use that machine! because it’s gone into blink mode … I go to find a customer services representative …



… explain my situation to her show her my slip and she checks – but no money returned … the machine has well and truly swallowed it!

View from flat at low tide - Beachy Head is just
round the corner



I’m not worrying … and the rep says – look it should be back in your account tonight, if not tomorrow morning … I’m still not worrying – why worry?!  It’s all been recorded via video in the bank … (presumably!) …





Next morning off (down) to town I go, still poddling, to check in with the bank – slot my card in and check the statement … nothing … off to another customer relations chap – oh hello … tale retold … he says don’t worry – please go and sit down (in a little room!) and I’ll be back shortly - he then goes off to the nether regions to check things out …


… I meanwhile think … (I do think - occasionally … I promise you! - just occasionally some wires in the grey cells get a little crossed) where’s my card … not in the machine, right another more thorough look through pockets, in my bag etc etc …


… back comes my friendly man rep – oh I smile brightly ‘have you got my card’ – “no” – he smiles and off he goes back to where he’s just comes from – those nether regions …


Looking north from back of flat (my flat only faces
the English Channel) with the Downs in the background
… humbly, I apologise, smiling sweetly and thank him hugely for the returned card – but no money … he’s spoken to the manager and says they’ll check that cash machine and see if they can find the stash of cash I’d like to get my grubby little paws on … and it should be back in the account tonight.  He took my phone number to ring me to let me know …


I went off to a Memoir Writing Class … guess what the 10 minute topic was … Senior Moments – the others were unimpressed!!


After my class – here we go back to my saga – but with an interlude! … I went off to see my cousin who does a number of jobs for the tennis tournaments around the country and was down in Eastbourne for a competition. 


When I got home the bank had phoned and they’d have my money, or I could pick it up the next day.  Yes, I don’t carry my phone around with me … it can rest its little chops up here – and usually does.


Now the third day – I go back down the backside of the Downs to the bank … with a thank-you note for the reps who’d been helping – they were pleased … and I withdrew my cash – yeah it gave it to me … my brain remembered it needed to take said cash as the machine regurgitated it …


Red Arrows 2016 - view from flat


So all’s well in the grey land of sunny Eastbourne!  We have had the Red Arrows team, part of Airborne, giving us displays for 3 days – so I’ll probably need my ears tested next week!


Nope – this senior citizen is alive and well, standing and laughing happily …


… just had a friend from South Africa staying – but am slowly getting back to normal …



So tell me – what are your senior moments, middle-age moments, happy thirties moments, youthful exuberance moments or just plain childish moments?!


PS - if there's lots of eclipse posts - forgive me, but I won't comment
on many ... I can see there'll be lots and lots ... 

See you for the We are the World Blogfest next week: end of the month ... 


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Write - Edit - Publish Bloghop: Reunion ...



When you read this entry ... please look at the sculpture "The Reunion" pictured at the end of the post ... that is where my idea for this article started ...

Lost … blasted away … the love of her life denoted ‘as missing’ – how can someone be ‘missing’, yet that is the way of things in war.



Abysmal loss – desolation to the mind – the suddenness – the heart that is 
... broken … broken ……


Theirs had been a wonderful love – the brother of a school friend … a loving family to become a part of … happiness at last for her …


Her parents-in-law losing their son – her father-in-law’s practicality to know – though they knew the risks all servicemen take, they understood those times.


The wife too … the woman who had had only a few years and most of those days separated by deployment overseas.


She kept away – mostly … could not write – too overcome with grief, yet so many others in a similar situation … in times of War one continues on.


The necessary information was gleaned … but suppressed until there was a need to know and understand … though it appears he had been taken with a direct hit.


A search was made … very little found – desperately a pair of black ammunition boots … badly charred … no identity discs … blown to smithereens – literally.


Words on paper, details in the records, a note of where the attack happened, with map co-ordinates.


A life - gone in a trice … a courageous man, a man who commanded respect and love of his men – this recorded by his subordinate … the whole unit genuinely grieved.


She could do nothing … a few visits to her in-laws to be able to find out more information – if she wanted it … but for now she didn’t – she needed to continue to serve and to be there for other service men, as well as her own unit.

The Reunion - as it was originally called by the sculptress -
Josefina de Vasconcellos (Coventry Cathedral)


They had all agreed that his remains would be buried on site – this they felt was the only place for him to be – later she could go to find the place …


… and kneel in the dirt as she remembered him, had always remembered him … she could feel him kneeling with her, his arms half out welcoming her own, the lie of his head taking her now still grieving bones … she remembered back when they were together in life …


Her time is near … now she will be reunited with her love … kneel on, kneel on in grasping grief as her life ticks away … not long now before the dust and soil of our earth has her too.


Kneel on … kneel on … in the Reunion that surely follows our earthly existence.

Thank you for considering the  "The Reunion" sculpture as you read this post.


Write, Edit, Publish Challenge - here is the link


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Bran Tub # 13 : In a Pickle …



Should you have gone down to Soho in the 1800s you would be in for a big surprise … I’m not sure if the Teddy Bears frequented here for their picnic … but the right ingredients – pickles and fields - were very close at hand …

 
Crosse + Blackwell's Piccalilli
… most of what we know today as central London back in the 1500s  was wooded common agricultural land, on the edge of the city … until it was purloined by a King or a Queen for hunting and royal park usage …


… then the Georgians came along (1714 – 1830) … including the emergence of the Industrial Revolution ... factories were built, new products manufactured … spices brought in from British territories and colonies …


British Condiments in 21st century




… thereafter for about 100 years you’d be in a pickle!  Crosse and Blackwell set up their factory – creating condiments and recipes establishing the brand as a firm family favourite.


In 1923 a journalist noted that following closure of the Crosse and Blackwell factory …


‘driving blind-fold through London there are some places that I could always recognise by their distinctive smell …

… one is the Oxford Street end of Charing-cross-road, where for generations Crosse and Blackwell’s pickle factory has given a very distinctive pungency to the surrounding atmosphere.’


A small selection of the finds from the archaeological
dig at Tottenham Court Road tube station - when excavations
needed to be made for the new Crossrail 'Elizabeth' line
Who can resist not writing about pickles being found under Oxford Street in the middle of the London we know today …


I visited the Museum of London Archaeology Corporation’s exhibition in Docklands … to see the various finds – both archaeological (auroch bones – if you remember my A for Auroch, in the A-Z this year) and finds from the pickling factory in the heart of Soho …


London Astoria - just before demolition




Originally demolished to make way for the new entertainment venue of the day – a cinema in the 1920s – then in the late 1960s it was redeveloped to become the London Astoria: that iconic music establishment …





an early advertising plaque -
c/o  Printed British Pottery and
Porcelain company
… now times have changed once again – with London Crossrail rising from the ashes in the form of a new tube station at Tottenham Court Road/ Oxford Street, together with retail, residential and office space …

Archaeologists in the 21st century working on the Crossrail site once again found the whiff of pickle in the air … all quietly forgotten for the last 90 years.  The Crosse and Blackwell factory that had been demolished was newly excavated, this time to a deeper depth …




Showing remains of Crosse + Blackwell's
Preserved Ginger Pots 


… the finds illustrating the ambitions of  one of Victorian Britain’s most prolific and enduring enterprises, as well as evidencing the development of British tastes.


-        Crosse and Blackwell Pickles
-        Mushroom Catsup
-        Mustard
-        Piccalilli
-        Preserved Ginger
-        Pure Orange Marmalade
-        Household Raspberry or Plum jam




History of tastes through the 13,000 items unearthed … from the buried rubble of our industrial past in the middle of London town …


-        Crosse and Blackwell were one of the first companies to receive a Royal Warrant from the newly crowned Queen Victoria in 1837


-       Crosse and Blackwell even sent a representative with the East India Company to the East Indies to bring home new recipes … pickles, curry powders and chutney …


Ploughman's style lunch - with Branston pickle,
Piccalilli and all the accoutrements!
Who thought 21st century Londoners would be commuting over, or perhaps through, an early 18th/19th century pickle factory – by the way: what’s under your feet?




The Crossrail exhibition can be seen at the Museum of London’s  Archaeology site in Docklands



Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories