Friday, 29 June 2012


Today we received a letter from the local Council, addressed to Ms S.Fretwell. We assumed it was for our daughter, who shares the same initial. When she came home from College & opened it, she discovered that it was an invite to a Memorial Service, in September. It didn't say whom it was for. It had the Crem's Tel No. , so I gave them a ring. Turns out it is a 'general' memorial service that they hold once a year. Anyone who has arranged a funeral in the last 12 months gets an invite. Wife, Sandra's, name was on file, cos we arranged her Aunt's funeral, on behalf of her absent Oz cousin', in March. They don't send to 'Mrs', so that's why it was just to 'Ms' I said that it was a nice idea, but I expressed the thought that maybe it should say on the invite, just 'who' the memorial was for - to avoid confusion. " We can't do that ! " replied the Crem' guy, quite impatiently, " It's not for ANYONE, in particular " Is it just me?

Thursday, 7 June 2012


I don't know about you, but I reflect on my life a lot nowadays and I just think: " Wasn't that interesting " So many surprising and unusual things happen to all of us as we live-out our allotted term. When I was 10 or 11. . . we made friends with an A.A.F. family from Alconbury. Just 'that' was completely intriguing. The difference in the way they lived was extraordinary ! They took us on-base from time to time. The N.C.O.s club was like something from Vegas! Some crooner sang - " I left My Heart In San Fransisco", there were people playing on 'slots', mum drank 'sloe-gin fizz' in a tall glass. We had baked potato, steaks cooked over charcoal and corn on the cob. I'd never eaten corn-on-the-cob before. I burnt my mouth. There was also a gun-club . .with another bar . . and a huge PX stuffed-full of strange American food-stuffs. It was as if I'd walked into the world inhabited by Superman and the other weird characters in the comics I read. Unlike my experience of life up-until that point, it seemed that Americans were actually allowed to ENJOY themselves - NOT something which seemed to be allowed in the U.K. until the mid 60's ! Back home, they had microwave ovens . . way back then . . . and cars with fins on, like spaceships, with RED upholstery ! Wow! Heady days, indeed :]

Friday, 1 June 2012


As I get older, I sometimes think of the newly qualified female French teacher I had when I was 17/18. There was a history of eye-cancer in her family and she seemed to me ( as a callow youth) to be totally obsessed by doom & gloom! I remember her saying to us, " You all see life as a long road, who's end is not even in sight. I see it as a tightrope, from which I could fall to my death at any time " Happily, so far as I know, she had no serious eye problems . . . she had a long and successful teaching career . . . and is now happily retired. For our own peace of mind, we all choose to forget that life IS a 'tightrope' and that any one of us might lose our footing, at any moment. As we get older we may sometimes experience this, first hand, when we are challenged by unexpected health problems. I'm confident and hopeful that - like my teacher - most of us will 'live long & prosper '. When we're ill, it's not a time to 'give-up' . . . but just to take a breather & regain our strength. Our interests, passions and beliefs, our partners, friends and contacts will, I'm sure, give us the focus we all need to quickly regain our 'balance' if we should occasionally lose our footing.