Sunray – Dead and (not yet) buried

Sunray – Dad – died suddenly, albeit not unanticipated, on 16 January.

  • Am I mourning?  No.
  • Has it sunk in?  Not sure?
  • Am I still relieved that he died and did so quickly, rather than painfully and unsteadily like people dying prematurely of cancer, etc?  Yes.

Sunray was a man who made a lot of mistakes in his life.  (Admittedly, who hasn’t?)  In his twilight years on particular, he had fallen out with pretty much all his siblings and two of his three children, something he had done for years and decades.

Since his death: what has happened?  Everything I had expected.

None of his siblings would organise or pay for his funeral.  Nor would his offspring.  It’s your funeral, as they say.  I could have, but I am more concerned with his soul than his body. I can only pray for God to show huge mercy on his soul.

Instead he gets a public health (pauper’s) funeral next Tuesday morning.  Not even a proper funeral.  Not even a service.  Nobody in the end would turn up.  (Maybe his former Squadron Sergeant-Major out of a sense of duty and loyalty to his men.)  Nobody would meet the local vicar to prepare a eulogy.  Instead the hearse will pull up at the grave.  The pall bearers will lower his coffin into the grave.  They may their heads to him.  They may even say a short prayer.  The wreaths from his old comrades will be placed on his grave.  That’ll be it.

I will mark his life and death with friends here in Germany with an informal, structured, mini-service.

  1. To thank God for his life.
  2. To thank God for his death.
  3. To beg God for mercy for Dad.
  4. To beg God for love and forgiveness of all our sins.

When I next head home, I will stand by his grave and say a prayer for him and his soul.  That’ll be more meaningful for me than a funeral service where kind words are said but not really meant.

Have a merciful day, won’t you!

Advertisements

Sunray Down

Sunray is down.  Sunray passed away died one week ago.  Sunray is was my Dad.

How do I feel about his passing away death?

  • 80% relieved
  • 10% “It hasn’t really sunk in yet”
  • 10%… well, I’m not sure

Thankfully when death came, it came quickly.  Heart attack on the way back from the shops.  I had feared bluebottles at the window, police having to smash down his front door and find his lifeless body on the sofa.  I am grateful that when the end came, it came relatively swiftly.

For the last three to four years Sunray had not been enjoying life.

  • Riddled with arthritis
  • Out of control diabetes
  • Personality disorder
  • Depression
  • A sad, lonely, unwashed, embittered old man, his only company – a bottle of whisky and twenty Benson & Hedges cigarettes
  • Estranged from almost all his family
  • At best, tolerated by the rest of his family

A very pitiable end of life.

Will I go to his funeral?  No.  Will there even be a funeral service?  No.  Sunray had fallen out with his family so badly over the years, that nobody was prepared to organise or pay for his funeral.  Maybe his ex-Squadron Sergeant-Major from Army days would have come.  But nobody else.

Despite his faults I did love and care for him.   Agape love.  My last contact with him had been a phone call four days before his death, a very jovial call.  Was he on the way up?

I will visit his grave later in the year, say a prayer over his grave.  That is more meaningful to me and to him than a Theaterstück of a funeral service, where kind words and cliches are said to an almost empty room.  I’m not bothered about seeing his body one last time.  I am more concerned about his soul.

Heavenly Father, I beg You, have mercy on Dad’s soul.  Amen.

Have a merciful day, won’t you!

The roots of Blake’s 7

Lion & Unicorn

To mark the 40th anniversary of the first episode of Blake’s 7 being aired on 2 January 1978, this is an extract from Alwyn W Turner’s book The Man Who Invented the Daleks


At conventions and in interviews in the last decade of his life, Terry Nation often told the story of how Blake’s 7, his last major work, came into being and of his absolute confidence in the concept. ‘I said to my wife: “I’m going to pitch this show today, and I know they’re going to do it.”’

His account of the subsequent meeting evokes an era at the BBC that has long since passed. ‘I wanted to do another science fiction show, a good, rousing adventure series in space,’ he remembered. ‘I went and pitched the idea. I said, “The Dirty Dozen in Space”, and they said, “Yeah, let’s do it!” It was just like…

View original post 1,405 more words

Bring Back Nostalgia

Thought-provoking articles on words that are going out of fashion. As long as “poinjay” doesn’t die out…

English-Language Thoughts

This is kind of a companion piece to yesterday’s post, being about obscure words none of us really use.

I’ve seen a lot of lists on social media and various websites about obscure words people need to be made aware of, or obsolete words which need to be brought back. For example, here’s a story I came across this morning on the BBC Culture website: Twenty-six words we don’t want to lose.

Here’s the full list of words from the article; see if you guess what one of my issues with the list might be:

View original post 620 more words

Sigh, let me explain…

Pet hates.  I guess we all have them.

  • Telling Irish, Scots and Welsh that they are English, it’s the same thing really.
  • Squeezing the toothpaste tube in the middle.
  • Manspreading on public transport.

I have two pet hates – among many others.

  1. Having to explain what the film we are watching is all about.
  2. Having to explain a joke.

“Billy” is a repeat offender.  You could be watching a film or DVD with tanks firing their guns, German men in uniform shouting, “Achtung!  Achtung!  Englischer Schweinhund!”  across a battlefield, with Spitfires flying across the air.  Thirty minutes into the film, and Billy will ask in all seriousness:

So, er, is this a war film?

(No, it’s Pride and Prejudice with PMT…)

To illustrate point 2, let me tell you a possibly sexist joke.

A successful gynaecologist decides to fulfil his life’s dream: give up medical practice and become a motorcycle mechanic.  So he gets out of the medical business and enrolls at a mechanic’s seminar with Harley Davidson.

After many weeks of training comes the final examination, taking apart and then re-assembling a randomly chosen Harley engine, he grabs his tools and sets to work, but soon he gets worried: while he is still working on the valve-covers, everybody else is already busy with removing the cylinder heads.
He falls more and more behind, and as he is just starting to put it all back together, everybody else is already finished.  He manages to put the engine back together, barely in time before the exam ends.

Because it took him so much longer than everybody else, he goes straight to the teacher to ask how he performed.  “Well,” the teacher says, “out of one hundred possible points you scored 150.” “But how is that possible?” the ex-gynecologist asks.

“Well, it breaks down to this: You get fifty points for correctly taking the engine apart. And you get another fifty points for putting it back together perfectly.” “And what did I get those additional fifty points for?”

“For doing it all through the exhaust.”

Billy’s reaction:

But why would a doctor want to take such a huge drop in salary?  I don’t understand.  Why was his job satisfaction so poor?  Did he work in the British NHS?  Did he speak to his line manager?

Billy wants to come with me to next week’s English Language Comedy Night in the Altstadt.

You must be joking…

img_0133-copy1

Have an explanatory day, won’t you!

 

 

It just occurred to me…

This morning I was at my GP’s for a routine appointment.  Nothing spectacular.

The waiting room was full.  Most of the people were using their smartphones.

  • WhatsApp
  • YouTube
  • Texting
  • Emails

etc…

Nobody was reading any of the magazines in the waiting room.  That can only mean one thing.  Men’s knowledge of woman’s health issues will soon be zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  We men used to gain 90% of our knowledge of women’s health from sitting for hours in doctors’ and dentists’ waiting rooms, reading the problem pages in Women’s Own, Cosmopolitan, etc.  There will be a serious knowledge gap.  Beware!

Have a knowledgeable day, won’t you!

Pads Brat Life

42 signs you were a Pads Brat … fellow Brats leave the number of the one which made you smile the most. 😃

1. People ask you where you’re from and you don’t even try to explain as your not entirely sure!
2. Your Doctor, Dentist and Chaplain wore combat boots.
3. You’ve taken a few flights that involved sitting in jump seats, wearing your winter jacket the entire flight and taken off and landing at military airports.
4. You’ve eaten more than one really posh Christmas meal in the “mess” and been told to be on your best behaviour to then watch the adults get hopelessly drunk and misbehave.
5. You always have emergency ration packs around the house and can make a meal out of anything tinned.
6. You’ve never had to explain to your Military friends that you just found out you’re moving … again!
7. You’re the most efficient packer you know and actually enjoy it.
8. You’ve known from a young age Life is not always easy or fair but your job is to make the most of it and smile regardless.
9. You are tough, adaptable and good at making friends.
10. You wouldn’t trade your childhood and upbringing for anything in the world.
11. You know you shouldn’t but you judge people who don’t know the phonetic alphabet.
12. Turning up 10 minutes early for an appointment means you’re late.
13. You were soooo proud you had a British military ID.
14. Anyone older than you is Sir or Ma’am, “No exceptions.”
15. Your chores were mandatory and were always inspected military style.
16. You are born with a immediate respect for anyone in uniform.
17. Santa always turned up in a military helicopter to the Mess and wore combat boots and DPM trousers underneath his red jacket.
18. You were never alone, and even when you were, you were always pretty content and happy.
19. You’ve stood for the National Anthem in a cinema.
20. You have an instant connection with other brats no matter what sex or age.
21. You have friends all over the world.
22. You can “go with the flow” better than your civilian counterpart, even if you’re not comfy, you always fit in and hold yourself well in any group.
23. No one or nothing was more scary than your father’s commanding officer.
24. You’ve not got the toys you grew up with and can’t remember where they went.
25. You never ever questioned your lifestyle, things were just as they were and it was accepted, now you look back in affectionate amazement.
26. You know it’s really 17:00 not 5pm.
27. You get excited when you meet someone who has been to the same base or country as you and have an instant bond and shed loads to talk about.
28. Going back to your own country was a complete cultural shock.
29. You never thought it was weird that you grew up inside a armed guarded cage, you just knew you were safe.
30. Your only source of communication with your Dad when he was away were “blueys”.
31. In school, you had fire drills but you also had nuclear war drill and prepared for terrorist attacks.
32. You put German curry sauce on everything and love trying new foods and flavours.
33. You feel somewhat sorry for civilian children and feel like they have missed out.
34. Having the amount of different schools attended as you did is a kind of badge of honour but you cant remember more than two teachers names, what school they taught you in or what year!
35. You’ve worn military green thermal socks that doubled up every Christmas as your Christmas stocking.
36. You’ve looked under your car for bombs or devices, also had your school bus searched twice a day by armed soldiers considered normal.
37. You never bothered to memorize your home telephone number, it changed too frequently.
38. You refer to non-school clothes as “civvies.”
39. It wasn’t alarming or nothing new to see guys jump out of airplanes or dangle from speeding helicopters.
40. You can’t keep track of how many houses you’ve lived in but can remember the view from your bedroom windows.
41. You are probably one of a few people that have actually fully read this whole post and liked and shared it.
42. You can’t stop finding reasons why being a Military brat is great.

Have a padded day, won’t you!