Sad Music, Dark Literature and Positive Thoughts 2

The new blog hang out for Harry…the Man.

Tag Archives: Mum

(Sittin’ on) the dock of a bay, or running the London Marathon

I mentioned in my post last week that my nephew Otis would be running the London Marathon that Sunday for Charity.  Hence the title of this blog as his father named him after the singer Otis Redding – a singer who, sadly, passed away in his twenties.

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The London Marathon progress tracking map during the event

On Friday evening, Otis set off from my Mum’s bungalow to London as he has a friend who lives in London.

Saturday was St George’s Day which means a number of fish and chips themed promotions in England.  On Saturday evening, Gloria and I joined my Mum at a Fish and Chips supper with accompanying quiz night at Mum’s local Church.

We were on team nine which included a seventeen year old boy coincidentally named George along his mother.  Being a typical teenager, he was a little short with his mother.  Those two took over round one which was deciphering the names of phobias.  George mentioned a few times that he was sure of the definition of this phobia and of that phobia although he had failed Latin.  That highlighted the difference in the education that he and I had both received.  It was good to have him on the team or round one would have been very embarrassing for team nine.  He was useless with the songs lyrics round, however, and embarrassedly watched his older team mates right down answers even to songs that were released within the last two years.  I say songs in the last two years but I really mean ‘song’ as I recognised the lyric from “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.

George was good company, as were the whole team.  I’d happily go for a drink with any of my team members from that evening.  But we finished fourth – we were cheated! (Joking)

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Otis’s progress page on the London Marathon website

Anyway, Sunday was the London Marathon.  I didn’t see Otis on television as the BBC seemed interested in following the professional athletes.  I was able to follow his progress online so my excitement remained high.  Otis slowed down dramatically after the first fifteen kilometres which is not too surprising.  From the photos on the London Marathon website, I can see that the pain started to hit him half-way through the course.

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Otis after successfully raising over £500!

He completed the London Marathon at 3:30pm having set off at 10:09am.  I had been texting updates to his mother all through the afternoon and then I telephoned my Mum at 3:45pm with the news that he had completed the course.

He stayed dans chez friend in London with his friend after the race and is due back at my Mum’s bungalow tomorrow.

You’ll notice that I wrote ‘dans chez friend’ – mixing French and English.  ‘Franglais’ is the nearest most British people come to speaking a foreign language!  As last weekend was St George’s Day I’m showing off my national heritage. (lol!)

Otis inspired me with his efforts on Sunday.  He raised more money offline than he did on his page on the London Marathon website.  Several hundred pounds for charity for five and a half hours of pushing his body through a big pain barrier.  Wow!

Otis, you’re “the man” this week.  For now, I’m relegated to “Harry…a man”!

And so, to the weekend…

The next few days will prove eventful, although I cannot thank myself for any of this action.

Tomorrow afternoon is the funeral of my half-sister’s mother.  She was a Polish lady who married my late father soon after the Second World War.

I don’t know the story, so I cannot share it with you.  I’ll tell you what I know.

After War was declared, Britain internally evacuated school children away from city centres as there was uncertainty how soon Germans would start bombing British towns.

My father was at school when the Second World War broke out and was evacuated to a place called Liss.  He loved to preach at the United Reformed Church in Liss as he had fond childhood memories of the village.  I remember driving him there on several Sunday mornings.  At that time I drove a white Proton Persona.

On D-Day plus three, my father’s best friend was killed in action.  My father ended up in Germany at the end of the War and, so I was told, spoke German in the accent of one of the nearby villages so well that some German residents thought that he was a native of this nearby village.  He also remained a pen friend of one of the German POWs for life.

Soon after returning to England, he married a Polish woman that he had met.  Tomorrow, this lady will be laid to rest.  She was a pleasant woman with whom to speak, which Gloria will testify to.

On Friday night I am on driving-Yasmin-and-her-friends-to-town-on-their-night-out duty.  I haven’t done that for a few months.

And on Sunday, my nephew Otis is running in the London Marathon for charity.

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A screen grab of my nephew’s fundraising page

He hasn’t yet hit his fundraising target, unfortunately, but he is still raring to run and raise what money he can for a charity that has grabbed a place in his heart.

He has run a marathon before so knows what to expect.

At the moment, Otis is sleeping on a camp bed in my mother’s bungalow.  It wasn’t the best idea for him to stay on where he had been lodging.  My Mum wanted to put him up to help him save for a deposit on a better place hence his address for a couple of weeks has been the same as his grandmother’s.

She worries about him a lot although I am certain that he’s more capable than she thinks.  She probably worries about him because he never raises his voice or show any upset or anger with anyone, no matter what happens.  I think that she in concerned that he’s too easily bullied.

He will be moving to his new place in the next few days.

So, an active weekend without me doing too much effort myself.

Thinking of Mothers’ Day…on #InternationalWomensDay

Hello all.  Later this week, I’ll address why I didn’t upload this post about Mothers’ Day at the weekend and instead waited until today.

Anyway, with it being International Women’s Day, it is probably right that this post is about the main women in my life.20160305_MothersDayMeal_195759

I was working at the weekend, and so I arranged a meal on Saturday evening as Sunday was a non-starter.  At the meal were my Mum, Yasmin and Yasmin’s Mum who is…er…Gloria!20160305_MothersDayMeal_195720

I arranged the times and booked the table earlier in the week as I wanted the evening to be as smooth as possible.  Thankfully, it proved that I can get this organisation thing right!

At three minutes past 6 in the evening, or 18:00 by the twenty four hour clock, I signed off from work and took Gloria to the car.  At 18:20, I picked up my Mum and gave her some flowers and a pot plant which she was overwhelmed by.  At 18:50, I collected Yasmin from her flat.  My Google Maps timeline shows that we arrived at the Harvester at 19:29.  We sat straight away as I had pre-booked the table.

As a thank you for booking the table online, I even got one drink free.  That made my large orange juice taste better!

Yasmin enjoyed her usual drink – Rose wine – while Gloria had a coffee and my mother a hot chocolate.  Yasmin was the only one to have more than one drink!  20160305_MothersDayMeal_220436

Yasmin had also been eating all day.  This might sound bad that she also wolfed down a starter and main meal but she has been off work with illness and had not been eating for several days.  Before the weekend, she had been living on a diet mainly of cups of tea and glasses of cordial.

We finished up by going back to Yasmin’s flat.  Gloria photo-bombed the photos that she took of Yasmin and I as she was reflected in the mirror above our heads.  I’ve cropped her out of the photo on this upload.20160305_MothersDayMeal_220413_cropped

Anyway, that was a great weekend which was rounded off with a couple of great women following me on Twitter.  You may know about Sarah Brown, the wife of the most recent socialist Prime Minister in the UK Gordon Brown.  I’ve highlighted Elena Hagopyan’s profile as you are possibly unfamiliar with her.Followers

Have a great #InternationalWomensDay everyone.

Remember, guys, even just changing the way that you and your friends speak about women behind their backs makes a great difference to equality.  Before you make a crude comment about a woman that you know, ask yourself if that’s how you would like people to speak about your mother/ neice/ daughter/ girlfriend/ wife.

Yasmin’s birthday…Valentine’s Day…

I have been flitting briefly onto social media in February thus far.  I type this in explanation of the erratic days that I am posting and visiting everyone’s blogs.

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Yasmin’s outfit for her 24th birthday outing

And why these odd habits these two weeks?  Well, you can blame the two ladies who refer to me as ‘my husband’ or ‘my Dad’ for this.

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Chocolate fudge cake and lager shandy…a good afternoon out!

Yasmin has celebrated her 24th birthday this month.  I’d given Yasmin some money to buy a birthday outfit and it happened that the money was enough for two dresses, perfume and even a little something else.

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With lashings of ginger beer

I also booked her the actual day of her birthday off work to go and help her buy her outfit.  The photo shows one of the two dresses just before I took Yasmin and three of her friends to their night out on the town last Saturday.  In the early hours of Sunday morning, I picked them all back up and drove them back to Yasmin’s place to sleep.

Gloria and I spread our Valentine’s Day celebrations over both yesterday and today.  Yesterday, I took Gloria out for a meal and today she returned the favour.  After today’s food (a Sunday roast followed by chocolate fudge cake) we went to Church with my Mum.

I ended up explaining my earring to a few people at Church this evening by describing myself in terms of being a pirate.  I said that the earring would be used to pay for my burial if I fatally lost a cutlass fight on a small island.

No-one seemed to believe that I really am a pirate.  I don’t know why.

Versatile Blogger Award

I’ve been a very lucky guy in regards to blogging.  When I started seriously blogging on the now closed MyOpera platform, I quickly ran into some great blogging friends which encouraged my continued output.  versatile-blogger-award-3 After a year or two, my output became less prolific due to a few personal issues.  During this near hiatus MyOpera closed and a number of us ported our blogs to WordPress.  For nearly two years, my posts here were sporadic but during the latter half of 2015 I gave WordPress some effort and have been rewarded with a new collection of great friends again.

That’s my blog history pretty much summed up.  2016 has started with two awards from my fellow bloggers here at WordPress.  Earlier this month, I was nominated for the You Are My Sunshine Award.  And now, I have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by the wonderful Chanel Bailey at The Real Life/ Real Talk.  Do check out her blog, it is a great read.

Okay, I had better get to the rules:

  1. Thank the person that nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  2. Nominate at least 15 bloggers of your choice. When considering a fellow blogger for the Versatile Blogger Award, keep in mind the quality of their writing, the uniqueness of their subject matter and the level of love displayed on the virtual page.
  3. Link your nominees and let them know about their nomination.
  4. Share seven facts about yourself.

I’m a bit of a maverick at times (joking) so I won’t list 15+ bloggers in this post.  I would like to nominate all of the blogs in my list to the right of the screen, so please all do take this as a nomination from me.  Also, please do visit all of the blogs that I follow.

Anyway, seven facts about me:

  1. My online names ‘Harry…the man’ and ‘ChartonJeremiah’ are references to two of my favourite bands The Cure and Talking Heads.  ‘Harry…the man’ is a reference to a song by The Cure ‘Happy the man’ and Charlton and Jeremiah are the real first names of Talking Heads members Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison.
    EDIT My name actually is Harry which is why some friends originally sang Harry the man whenever Happy The Man was played
  2. Infamously, I ate tinned cat food at a party after drinking too much.  That weekend, my Mum served me up a can of cat food after hearing the story from the sisters hosting the party as they were good friends with my parents.
  3. I worked at a school for a couple of years.  Two of the then school children who I saw pretty much every day were Juno Temple and Cara Delevingne.  I didn’t speak much to Cara Delevingne but I can confirm that Juno Temple was, and I imagine still is, a wonderful girl (whenever I was about she was, anyway).
  4. At Junior School, I played hockey as a team captain in a county meeting.  I coincidentally wore the exact same shirt my brother – nine years my senior – wore when he represented the school playing soccer.
  5. With Yasmin finally calling me Dad, that is one of my two long held parenting goals achieved.  The other is to have a daughter who is legally my own child.  This will most likely be by adoption if at all.
  6. I have a few digestion issues aka lactose intolerance and IBS.  Both of these are pretty much under control nowadays, but I was tested for bowel cancer a few years back.  I was suffering badly mainly from not then knowing how to control the symptoms by taking care of what I ate.  For example, this means that I cannot eat brussels sprouts or apples without suffering later on but the juice from either has no effect on me.
  7. I have a dragonfly wing shaped scar on the inside of my right elbow joint from an accident with an iron when I was a toddler.  I was too scared to cry from the pain as I thought my Mum would be angry; and so my Mum didn’t realise about the accident until she went to bath me an hour or so later.  Needless to say, she took me straight to the hospital!

 

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