Friday, 7 August 2015

Where is John McEnroe?

I lost John McEnroe on Wednesday evening. Just to be clear, he hadn't been abducted by me and subsequently been left on a national express bus to Bournemouth. Neither had I been stalking him and in a moment of kitkat related weakness had he escaped my watchful eye.Sometimes my attention wanders, I have been known to day dream from time to time and I guess to my shame it happened only this time poor John McEnroe has suffered too.
 
The evening was going so well to that point. H had succeeded in winning an eBay auction for a vintage bicycle and we had nipped out to pick it up. The bike itself  had been wonderfully looked after by a gentleman who bought it in the 1950s. It was made in H's home town which was an obvious draw to my loved one. I am yet to seek clarification to the question - How many bicycles can one own before there are too many?
 
I could see a sadness in the eyes of the seller and we made the short journey to pick up the cycle. It must have been especially difficult to part with a possession that he has kept with him for over 50 years. The obvious enthusiasm that H demonstrated for the bike and all of its wonderful details was clearly a comfort that alleviated the sale. I assured the gentleman that H would look after it better with as much love and attention as I would for a personal kitkat making machine.
 
Anyway, John McEnroe is still missing and I remain distressed. You see, we went to the Tavern Company on Smithdown Road in Liverpool for a relaxing and stress free meal. It's a super place with lots of character and I admit to my shame that it is the first time that I have visited.
 
To keep simple minds like mine active each table had a small selection of vintage trivial pursuit cards from the 1980s. H and I traded questions and to my pride I even got an Art and Literature question correct and a few others in my specialist subject of kitkats and their contribution to the post war society of the United Kingdom. Look out for me on mastermind. I fear my general knowledge goes no further that General Montgomery so I will not get too far.
 
GEOGRAPHY - In what European country was John McEnroe was born? What? America's John McEnroe? Well I guess he might be Irish but I would know about that. Perhaps he was born in West Germany as I know there were and possibly still are foreign military bases in the country. "Bod, you are correct" H stated as I beamed with pride. Geography is my specialist subject and sport comes a close second so I was confident of my success.
 
Food arrived and my brain disengaged from any other independent thought and as marvel over my intelligent choice of jacket potato. It allows me to feel superior knowing that on this one single occasion I had the will power not to order chips. Spurred on by my success in question one and my moral superiority in food choices I asked H to give me the second question on John's card (we were on first name terms by this point). Entertainment, something nice and simple and we would be two out of two.
 
Avoiding the obvious McEnroe inspired yell of dissatisfaction, I reacted calmly to the fact that John had simply disappeared from the small selection of cards at our disposal. He can't have been offended at the inclusion in the geography section. The waitress wasn't jealous of my geographical and sporting knowledge and secretly pinched the card while I was chomping on corn on the cob. He simply vanished and I will never learn if my knowledge extended to the world of entertainment. If you do happen to come across him, please return him to the Tavern Company as I am sure he will be sorely missed.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Anton Flettner

History can sometimes be cruel. Not necessarily remembered for the creation for the first mass produced helicopter,  Anton Flettner will still go down in history.

H periodically sets me homework and identifies Wikipedia articles that I really should read. I am afraid not to read then for fear they come up on the test.

Now, what can be more impressive than the helicopter? Sorry to disappoint but he did not create the kitkat. That honour as we all know is reserved for Dave Kitkat.  Did you know only had four fingers on his left hand?

Anyway, Mr Flettner (H for all her knowledge didn't know if he was a doctor) is responsible for the Flettner vent. You know what that is, it's the little thing on the top of police vans that stops the dogs from sufficating. See, sometimes I can be educational.

In no way I be so childish to point out that early helicopters used the chassis of a focke  wulf. Ofcourse being recycled, it was often necessary to clean them before re use. Hence the first recorded use of the term dirty focke.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Sitting with my ancestors

It's 2-20 am and the wind is howling outside. I can hear the wind battering against the window of the bedroom. To be awake at this time of the morning is exceptional for me and by writing these simple words I am hoping to remain focused.

I am in the bedroom of my great aunt who died less than 24 hours ago. The irish funeral machine has swung into action and I am keeping her company. It's just me and the mortal remains of a woman who helped shape my life.

Already her features betray the fact that I know was inevitable. I will keep her company until the sun rises. In the irish tradition, I am at her wake.

This old house has hosted many of these events in the past. I wonder if the spirits of those who went before me and sharing my vigil. Perhaps they are helping me stay awake. I hope they are with me and that I have not disappointed them. An era has ended and I am sad.

Suddenly a generation has vanished. It happened so quick that the enormity is only just touching me. Those memories of people who died long ago have died too in a way. Sure I can tell you about my great great grandfather but I can't describe the sounds of his boots as he entered the kitchen downstairs. I don't know if he intended to die in this house on the day he said he would.

I don't doubt that they are here and whispering the answers in my ear.its late though and no matter how open my mind is, my ears are closed

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Berber man at Ait Ben Haddou

Few words needed. This man was sitting in traditional Berber dress on a hill overlooking Ait Ben Haddou in Morocco. We all know the place from Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven and Lawrence of Arabia among many others. It was this man's face that attracted H so I upload her wonderful photograph.