One Year On

My Dad, Sunray, passed away died exactly one year ago today, suddenly at 14:00 GMT, while walking back from his local shop.

How time flies.

How was my grieving process?  Actually, IMHO, there wasn’t really one.  I was very matter-of-fact the moment I found out via a Facebook Messenger message from my younger brother.  I was in the office, collating an Excel spreadsheet.  I told my colleague, “My Dad has just died,” in the same way and tone that we would tell a colleague, “Our boss popped in, looking for you.”  I then carried on with my spreadsheet to meet a deadline for our rather unfriendly product owner.

I did pause to send out a Whatsapp round-robin message to Schatz and to church friends to ask for their prayers for Sunray’s soul.  Replies came in from single “prayer” emojis to long, warm messages from members of my house group.  I wasn’t in shock, but I think I was stunned.

I did not cry until I got home.  By then the posts and kinds words and funny stories about him flooded in on his regimental old comrades Facebook page.  Tears of grief ran out of my left eye, and of laughter from the right eye.  It’s what Sunray would have wanted.

That was then.  This is now.

I still feel relieved.  I still do not regret deciding to stay away from his funeral.  In any case I was still not well enough to travel at that time.  Even walking to my local shops and back was a major physical exertion.  I am glad that I visited his grave two months later, said a prayer or two over his grave and placed three daffodils on the broken earth, marking his relatively fresh grave.

I have prayed daily that his is indeed resting in peace and that God will let his infinite mercy shine on Sunray’s face.  Since he died one year ago, several more of his regimental brothers have died.  I pray that they will join him in the Senior Squadron bar to exchange “Do you remember when…?” stories.

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Sunray in November 1998

Have a poignant day, won’t you!

 

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I love Masham

I love the Yorkshire Dales.  One of my favourite places is Masham.  (Note: pronounced “Mass ‘em,” not “Mash ‘em.”)  Here’s where it is in North Yorkshire.

So what’s there to see at Masham?

  • September sheep fair, where you can actually stroke a sheep on its head, when it’s in a sheep pen and wants to be stroked like a dog.
  • Bi-weekly market, to be found on the Market Square (funny, that). That’s Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Bargains and banter always guaranteed.  Masham market was where I first ate a delicious, crunchy Pink Lady apple.
  • Bordar House Café on the market square. I can heartily recommend their all-day breakfasts and omelettes.  Food p0rn par excellence!
  • St Mary’s church, a most impressive and fascinating building which has been there for years.
  • Two breweries (yes – two), namely Theakstons and Black Sheep breweries. Depending on wind direction, you can smell the malt up to seven (7) miles away, a treat for the olfactory nerves.

(For more information, click on www.visitmasham.com .)

Masham was regarded as The Bustling Metropolis in the mid-70’s, when our family used to fly over from our German garrison town and spend the summer in our Grandma’s Yorkshire Dales hamlet.  Wednesday mornings saw the once-weekly bus arrive at the village to take you to Masham market, the premier shopping experience.  Life was very quiet in the mid-70’s compared to nowadays.  In fact, the highlight of the day for us three pads brats was to sit by the village postbox and watch the postman open said object and throw the contents thereof into his sack.  This was pre-smartphone days.

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As for the postboxes in Masham, there are, I regret to say, no exciting ones there – just normal E II R ones.  Finally, Masham post office is where I bought my first scrapbook (hardback A4 writing book, back in November 2013.) How time flies, eh?

Have a “massive” day, won’t you!

The inspiration behind Misterley Manor- Grey Towers.

In one word: wow!

Such a fascinating history. Many thanks to the author!

Liz Taylorson

Misterley Manor, the setting for “The Manor on the Moors” was partly inspired by Grey Towers, a mansion to the south of Middlesbrough. My imaginary house is larger and built fifty years later, and it sits on the edge of the moors, rather than the edge a town, but it shares a heritage with Grey Towers, both historically and in the landscape of my imagination.

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Grey Towers seen through the branches of the old orchard.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Middlesbrough was an expanding town with a bright future. “The Infant Hercules” of iron and steel production run by ironmasters with solid, resonant names. Bolckow and Vaughan. The Bells. Dorman and Long. Swann. And these ironmasters had the wealth to build themselves impressive new homes around Middlesbrough, just as Sir Edward Lattimore does in  “The Manor on the Moors”.

image1 (18) Grey Towers, front

One of these ironmasters’ houses…

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Pet Hate 97: The Copper Chopper Question

What are your pet hates?

  • Squeezing the toothpaste tube in the middle?
  • Men not putting the toilet seat down for the ladies to use?
  • Being called a “translator” when you are, in fact, an interpreter?
  • Back-seat drivers telling you how to do your job because their third cousin twice removed showed them how to do it?

Here’s my latest pet hate.  To give you some context, I’m a member of several local affairs pages on Facebook thanks to my nomadic life.  Most of the posts are along the lines of:

  • Can anyone recommend a plumber/cleaning lady/oven cleaning firm round Jonesville?
  • What time does … shop close on Sundays?

But you can guarantee that at least once a week some nosey parker/rubbernecker will ask this classic, curtain-twitcher question:

What was the police helicopter doing over Bracknell/Redcar/Crowthorne/Scumbagsville yesterday evening?

Unless it directly affects you, why bother asking on FB?  Why not phone up the police public relations office if you are desperate to know?

This morning I saw this excellent tweet by Thames Valley Police in Bracknell in response to the latest “What is the police helicopter doing over Bracknell?” query on Facebook.

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Good skills, Thames Valley Police, good skills!

Have an inquisitive day, won’t you!