Saturday 30 January 2010

Where's Noddy's Car?

Last Monday I went for a test drive.  This would be the first time that I had been behind the wheel of a car in just over two years.  This would be the first time since the night an ambulance crashed into my car at a roundabout.   Would I be calm?  Would I be calm at a roundabout?  Would the possible screaming siren of an emergency vehicle trigger a reaction of hysterical panic?  Heck, would I recall which side of the road to drive on?
I got into the car and took a deep breath.  The key went into the ignition and the car started up.  So far, so good.  Into gear and down the road, my nerves, my anxiety, began to flow away.  It had been more than a test drive.  This was a statement that I could challenge my fears and continue along in my own personal journey towards a better life.
I purchased the car.  Today, Friday, I drove back the few, familiar miles to my home.  I pulled up in front of my house, stopped the car, turned off the engine and tears streamed down my face.  Tears of relief.  Tears of joy.  Tears of accomplishment.  For today was such a wonderful day.  This recluse, this shy and lonely recluse; had made a major step towards regaining freedom.
Now I will go and see all those beautiful places that beckon me.  Places that are near, yet have seemed so far away.  I want to explore.  I want to smile with warm delight, as our little dog 'Penny' runs free through the hills and the dales of this 'green and pleasant land'.  The world outside is there for me.  This man who has battled his 'inner critic'; takes comfort in knowing that today was a day of personal triumph.
I sat in my car and dreamed about all the future adventures.  Suddenly, I became startled by low whispering voices.  Upon my steering wheel, were the 'beautiful fairy princess' and the 'garden gnome'.  'Where's 'Noddy's' car?  At first, we thought this might be Noddy's car', stated the beautiful fairy princess, in a voice so adorable and soothing.  'I'm very sorry.  I really have no idea where Noddy's car might be.  Besides, this car is not red and yellow.' I replied.  'However, when my driving confidence gets better; perhaps you 'wee folks' would do me the great honour of going on a journey to magical locations?   We can take the dog and my son has told me he would like to go bowling.'  I added.
They whispered softly to each other.  Then the beautiful fairy princess spoke.  'When the weather doth turn to spring and our hearts begin to sing;  we, good sir, would be pleased for such a gathering.'  Outside my car, I heard the toot of a horn.  I looked up at the steering wheel and noticed the wee folks were gone.  In the distance, down the road, I noted a red and yellow car.  Today was a magical day.

Thursday 21 January 2010

'Get A Grip'.

A number of folks have told me, 'Gary, 'get a grip', man!'   So what sort of grip should I be getting?  Then I realised that they actually meant, to relax and be more rational, indeed to come to one's senses.  So when someone says, 'get a grip of yourself'..well I wouldn't even dare tell you what I thought that might mean.
So just what am I doing that might mean I need to 'get a grip'?  Maybe it's the fact that every once in a while I am tempted to do what you would call a 'run-on' sentence, a sentence that really did not need to be as long as it was because the sentence had said what it needed to say and it really would have been much better if the sentence had been ended, but no, I have the overwhelming urge to just keep writing merrily away without even thinking that it would be a good idea to end the flippin' thing 'and' with that and, I am now going to suddenly, abruptly end this sentence.  (Re-reads preceding sentence and takes breath).  Yeah, I know, 'get a grip'.
Maybe I need to 'get a grip', because I write about a 'beautiful fairy princess', 'a garden gnome', their various friends, stuffed toys and question why a brush is called 'daft'.  Heck, I've even interviewed our Jack Russell dog named 'Penny'.  So perhaps I do need to 'get a grip'.  
I've been thinking about doing something here, right now, that may just prove that to 'get a grip', is very much, a good idea.  'Boy George' and 'Culture Club' were the inspiration for the following.  Indeed, perhaps, however, whatever, whenever, definitely, maybe.  Or as George might sing at this moment, 'comma, comma, comma, comma, comma....comedian'.  'Commacal'... hmmm.  Okay, I tried.  Yes, I know, yet again, 'get a grip'.
It has also be noted that I have been known to do a rather disjointed blog.  So in the spirit of totally random, bordering on ridiculous musings; here goes.  This guy phoned me up the other day from his mobile (cell) phone.  The phone reception was poor at both ends.  It sounded something like this, 'Gary, I'm stuck (crackle, fade) could be quite some time before I arrive'.  'What was that?', I asked.  'I'm stuck in traffic', he stated.  'Gridlock?', I inquired.  'Thanks, I'm gonna' need it', he said.  One last musing to end this paragraph.  When someone says, 'no pun intended', do they actually mean there was a pun intended?  A friend of mine told me that they work at an office of the 'Tree Surgeons Union'.  I asked, 'which branch?'  No pun intended....
Well I like the idea of 'get a grip'.  As a matter of fact, I'm heading off to Miami.  Hopefully, when I get there, I can get a 'Miami vice grip'.

Friday 15 January 2010

A 'Wee Folks' Winter's Day.

Over the last few weeks, the winter had cast upon us the wonders and the beauty that beckoning flakes of snow can truly provide.  Our landscape has been adorned with a dazzling, glistening array of breathtaking splendour.  The sights, the sounds, the sheer magic of these 'picture postcard' times, has been firmly ingrained into my mind.  Pleasant times, pleasant memories.
The childlike joy of the beautiful fairy princess and the garden gnome has filled my heart with thoughts of a better way, a better time for all of us who embrace the magnificence that nature offers.  I watched them play, I heard them laugh.  'The wee folks', at peace with the world, at peace with themselves.

So there they were.  The wee folks.  Such kind and caring gentle creatures.  Soon they lay down in the snow. The 'snow fairy' made a 'snow angel'.  The beautiful fairy princess, the garden gnome and their friends, played until the dark shadows of impending night, signalled the end of another perfect day.
The snow has been melting.  The hearts of the beautiful fairy princess and the garden gnome have been melting in the warm love they have for each other.

Saturday 9 January 2010

Off The Buses.

Nobody needs to 'coach' me when it comes to buses.  Yes indeed, I've had my fair share of experiences on this mode of transport.
Maybe you can relate to this.  You get on the bus.  That would be the second bus, after the first bus driver looked straight at you and continued on.  You stood there, as that first bus drove by you, with your arms waving frantically, praying for a miracle and hoping that the driver will have a change of heart and stop. But alas no, instead, you get drenched by the worst downpour known in twenty years.
When you get on the bus that kindly stopped for you, the driver decides it would be hilarious to accelerate and brake really quickly.  That way, you lose your balance, you wipe out, fall into the lap of an old lady and proceed to dump your two bags of  groceries, which were full of eggs, a variety of sticky syrups and fresh sardines, all over her fake fox fur coat.
Lets not forget the times you have been on an almost empty bus.  The guy who has had a bit too much to drink, who has plenty of seating options, sits down right beside, or should I say, on top of you.  And what does he talk about?  This guy with bad breath and body odour?  Well, of course, he goes on about the kids these days, the state of the nation, politics, religion and finishes by letting you know the true meaning of life. You smile and hopefully nod your head at the right times.  As you try desperately to get off the bus, ten miles before your destination, he gives you a big hug and promises to be your best friend forever.
It has been nearly two years since I drove a car.  I remember so clearly that night an ambulance driver decided to customise the rear end of my 'mid-life crisis' 'divorce mobile' (complete with the furry dice).  I knew that I needed more exercise, however, I considered this a rather bizarre way of the 'National Health Service', to inform me to get into better shape.
So with all my, shall I say, adventures, on the bus, I have visualised the following situation.  I am waiting patiently at the bus stop.  I'm getting soaked, yet again.  The bus drives by me, yet again.  I look across the road at the 'exotic' cars dealership.  I go over and ask to test drive one of the 'gas guzzlin' beasts.  (At this point, I think I'm having a 'Top Gear' moment).  We get into the car and go for a test drive.  Destination, my house.  I thank the guy for the test drive, tell him  I'll have to think about it and proceed towards my front door.
Okay, I'm not recommending that one should really do that.  But hmmm....  So soon I will be off the buses.  Must remember which side of the road to drive on over here in Britain.  Ah yes, I can see it now.  Police officer pulls me over and states: 'Sir, you are driving on the right side of the road'.  To which, I reply: 'Well, that's okay then, thanks for that.'

Monday 4 January 2010

Warm On A Cold Day.

I am feeling warm
On such a cold day
I look down the hill
Watch the children play
The sun is shining
The snow it doth glisten
Ah the laughter I note
I listen, I listen.

It has been another cold early January day.  The Staffordshire Moorlands were bathed in the winter sun.
What a ideal moment for a walk and appreciate the beauty of a cold, clear, crisp winter's day.
I ventured from my home and took these photographs of Brough Park, in Leek.  To see the children playing, to hear the children laughing, as they frolicked in the snow; was indeed a wonderful sight.

Yes, it was a cold day.  Yet to get out, to immerse myself if the sights and sounds of such a magical day; brought me ever closer to the realisation, that my ongoing journey towards a better, happier life, had taken another positive step forward.  A new decade, a new hope, this I embrace.  I was warm on a cold day.