hantsbear: (Life)
I always find bequests bittersweet.  On the one hand, the financial aspect is appreciated, but it comes with a heavy finality that the person is no longer with us, and all the money in the world will not bring them back.  Even if you tried...
hantsbear: (In The Park)

Noel first met Lucy when he was 12, she would have been 13 and they were both at school.  They both lived in a market town in Staffordshire on the edge of Cannock Chase.  It was another 3 years, when Noel was 16 and went to pump air into the local church organ, that he met Lucy again.  She was the church organist.  He asked her to take a walk along the canal with him but, initially, she declined.  Her parents were strict and always wanted her home by a certain time.  Eventually, she agreed but she told her parents that she was visiting neighbours.  As they walked along the canal, a man greeted Lucy as they walked and after they passed, Lucy confided in Noel that she thought she would be in trouble, as he was the neighbour she was supposed to have been visiting.  Later, when Noel and Lucy were officially "an item" (or what ever you would call it in 1930's Britain), the neighbours wife commented on the couple.  The husband mentioned that he had seen them along the canal some months previously.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"You would have gone straight round and told her parents!"
They married in 1942 and had five children - David, Christine (my mother), Elizabeth, Noel and Philip.  From them came eight grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.
Last year, one evening Lucy said to Noel "I have always loved you."  They had been married for 73 years.  Lucy died last August and Noel passed just over a week ago.
And a chapter of our family's lives closed.  More chapters will be written.
hantsbear: (Marsupial Pride)
Haven't written anything of any consequence in the Journal in what seems like an age.  So, I suppose this is a bit of a where-I-am-now post.  Geographically, I'm still stuck in a village with one bus an hour except on Sundays where there is nothing.  One shop; one pub.  Tried to learn to drive about 2 years ago and came up against a brick wall, despite the fact that this time I was learning in an automatic rather than a stick shift.  Bought a (old) bike which I hadn't realised (due to my complete absence of nouse and mechanical skills) had a dodgy clutch and ended up selling it at a loss to someone who did have the requisite mechanical skills.  That and His Lordship worried every time I went out on it put the kybosh on that.

Mentally, been going through the wringer.  Went back on Venlafaxine again for 6 months, then found a local sexual health charity that was offering  inexpensive counselling, so have been working through with that for a few months now, which seems to be working fine. especially since my councellor works to the Person Centred methodology, with which I have a degree of familiarisation.  It is a minimal amount they charge, but I have volunteered to help them man their tent at Leicester Pride next month.

Healthwise, now have a formal diagnosis of Sleep Apnea (which many have suspected for years) and now the proud posessor of an "Inflate-A-Steve" as I call it.  Still trying to get used to it; it will take time, but given the potential health benefits, I am determined to make it work.  Noticed today that I managed to swim further than I could before starting the treatment, so the snatches of sleep I am catching with the device on seem to be having some effect.  However, I am feeling particularly fat at the moment - my mental health has meant that my comfort eating has been worse than usual.  My consultant at the Sleep Clinic at Leicester General tells me that one of the benefits of the CPAP treatment is that I should start producing more of a hormone that stops these cravings, so here's hoping.  His Lordship not really helping here as he tends to take the p--- out of any attempt to undertake any form of exercise, from his well-worn seat on the sofa.

Work - oy vey.  Where do I start?  I can't really go into much detail as we have a social media policy which prevents me from identifying who I work for online, but I am being micro-managed out of my head.  Not by local management who, for the main part, are supportive but those above, including one manager who I refer to as The Smiling Assasin as she pretends everything is nicey-nice and wonderful, whilst stabbing people in the back at any opportunity.  Paranoia levels high!  Took a test last weekend for another department which I felt I did well in but of course my self doubt kicked in.  Should hear before the end of the month on that one.

Musically, seem to be listening to a lot of Joni Mitchell of late, thanks to a local chanteuse by the name of Sally Barker who achieved a degree of fame a couple of years ago by getting to the finals of the UK version of The Voice, being coached by Sir Tom Jones.  She has managed to return to her roots, playing local venues and touring, despite being offered a recording contract which, frankly, would not have shown the British public how truly versatile she is.

On the travel front, apart from our road trip from Oakland to Seattle last year, spent a few days in the northern Netherlands based in Zwolle, which I throroughly enjoyed.  A bit of winter sun in the Algarve too, which is just what the doctor ordered.  And, of course, the few days by the Loire last month.  Got a trip to see little sis in Sweden in October, along with Florida in December as a Fiftieth birthday treat from His Lordship.

Well, I think that's everything for the moment, apart from losing my beloved maternal grandmother a couple of weeks ago - she was 94, so she'd had a fair innings, but it's still hard to let go of someone you've known for 49 years.


Mar. 18th, 2014 07:59 am
hantsbear: (Fierce eyebrows...)
Russ would have been 50 today.
hantsbear: (In The Park)
Another year passes; this time, Russ's Mother passed during the year, so she has been added to the main headstone.  Someone has cleaned up Russ's stone at the same time.  Bought some roses along this year.  I still miss the old bear.
hantsbear: (The Bear-Koala Combo...)
It would have been Beast's birthday today.  And of course, once my brain has gone down that train of thought, I think of Russ too and gave a little growl.  The world is a richer place for them having been here.  But still missed dreadfully.
hantsbear: (The End)
uncle monty
RIP Richard Griffiths
hantsbear: (The Crack)

hantsbear: (perkele)
I'd just put the picture of Russ's grave up onto my journal and found that [livejournal.com profile] beastbriskett is dead.  As the tears run down my cheeks, I remember the two occasions I met Greg.  I'd wanted to meet him for a while, having had favorable reports from Russ's visit.  I met a sweet guy and we went to see the koalas at San Francisco zoo.  And did the sightseeing thing.  Basically, spent a pleasant day finishing off with burgers with Hoody.  I saw him again last November.  Obviously, since then he'd been sick, but I was still made more than welcome chez Beast and Hoody. 
And now he's gone.  Physically, at least.  Hopefully, his web presence will keep him near to us all.

Greg, I know there was an ocean between us but I'm still going to miss you.
Hoody, If ever you're over this side of the pond, please look me up.  Steve and I woudl love to host you.

So long, Greg.  Happy trails... xxxx
hantsbear: (perkele)

January 31st. 2011.
hantsbear: (perkele)
Three years ago, I was in Tucson - I think it was a Thursday; various parties were being organised to local restaurants for the early arrivers at Fiesta de los Osos.  It must have been about 6pm - I had gone back to my hotel room for whatever reason and  I checked my computer and found a message from [livejournal.com profile] madamemish to contact her as soon as possible.  The transatlantic phone call that followed started something like this:-

"He's gone." (sob)
"What?  Who...?"
"Russ.  He's dead."  There was a pause.  Then I howled.

The circumstances have been documented elsewhere, but at that moment in time I felt disconnected; hit by the full force of the distance between here and there.  There was only one thing I could do under that circumstance; I rang my father.  I needed the familiar.

I must have been in my room quite a while; when I re-emerged, I remember the first person to see me was [livejournal.com profile] shelbycub .  I'm not sure whether I just hugged him or blurted out what had happened.

Fast forward three years; it still hurts.  Which is good in it's own way.  Have asked Steve to take me to the grave the weekend after next.  I'll be a mess, but I think I need to be a mess.
hantsbear: (that's mister cranky koala to you)
hantsbear: (that's mister cranky koala to you)
Whilst it has to be said, The Grim Reaper is always amongst us and we never know when the scythe is to swoop, this last week has made me aware of the death of two friends - Debbie Merry and Paula Hewett.

I met Debbie about 20 years ago - I was in the Sealed Knot then; just become a musketeer.  Debbie was at that time Debbie Saxty and had not long met a pikeman called Mick Merry; they both wanted to transfer from their respective regiments into my regiment, SMG James Carr's Regiment of Foot - they had encountered us having fun and tagged along.  When I left where I grew up, I moved to a town called Leighton Buzzard, which was about 40 miles or so north of London.  I shared a house for a year with Les, who was also in my regiment and, since Debbie lived in Reading, about an hour or so's drive a way Les, his then girlfriend now wife Gilly and myself socialised quite a bit with MIck and Debbie.  Soon afterwards, Mick and Debbie got married then Les and Gilly got married and I moved to Bicester in Oxfordshire.  I still saw Mick and Debbie at musters quite regularly but when I moved to Gosport on the South Coast, I could no longer get to events and my membership lapsed.  I still kept in contact albeit infrequently - I heard she had had cancer but was in remission - that was six or seven years ago.  I happened to call Gilly in the week and found out that she lost her battle a few months ago.

Paula was a keen radio buff and created Progress FM - an infrequent contributor to the airwaves around Nottingham.  But this was the radio station of Nottingham Pride and had a special licence to broadcast around the time of the city's Pride festival.  Which is how I came in contact with her since both [livejournal.com profile] madamemish and myself were due to create a broadcast in memory of [profile] rock_bear .  She helped Mish and I put together the show and it aired during Pride 2008.  She died in the place doing what she loved - she was found in the radio studio at Peak FM.


hantsbear: (Default)

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