Saturday 29 September 2018

Another year, another time and another place....

Yesterday, the 28th of September, was my 58th birthday and first of all I would like extend my thanks to all for the good wishes - as ever they were much appreciated.

The Clock Tower in the centre of Sheerness. When I lived on the island there was no red in the paint job - just sky blue and light green. It was also the tradition that on New Year’s Eve that revellers should climb to the top although the local police put a stop to that!

It was not a significant birthday in the accepted sense but circumstances this year have given me much food for thought about myself and my place in the grand scheme of things. The three deaths I have experienced this year have affected me hugely and those, together with the reminder from HMRC that I can retire in a mere eight years, have given me much food for thought. I kept thinking about the years and where they had gone and so I resolved to reconnect with my youth so as to capture once again that sense of wonder and optimism before life had eroded it all away. As I had taken the day off work I decided to revisit my childhood home and so Laurel and I went to Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey for a wander about. Time has not been good to the place and the town itself seemed incredibly shabby. It also seemed a lot smaller than I remembered. For all that though I was delighted to tread once again the pavements of my youth and to immerse myself in a time when everything seemed a lot simpler and the sky was the limit. It is difficult to describe the whys and wherefores of my needing to do this but I only know that I feel a whole lot better for having done so. In many ways it was acknowledging an ending or, to borrow from Churchill, it was the ‘end of the beginning’ and so I feel I have finally closed that particular chapter of my life. My world has evolved, as they tend to do, into a very different animal from way back then with different priorities and responsibilities and with a life far removed from my childhood.

At last! A complete copy of the Kurz and Allison prints.

The list of battles the prints cover - note the two names of the authors of the Forewards.

I did rather well for my birthday and the family have surpassed themselves. My son financed my new copy of the Kurz and Allison print collection as well as the 1:4800th WW2 ships (and a couple of other bits) which are on order. He also provided the wherewithal for Laurel and I to enjoy a very nice meal out. My daughter presented me with an ITunes gift card which will be used to good effect - there are a couple of albums I am after as well as some films for the collection. Laurel presented me with some aftershave and also a couple of tickets to go with her to see Caro Emerald (the Dutch jazz singer) next month which I am really pleased about as I have managed to miss her the last three times she has appeared at Southend. It has been a good birthday and no mistake - with friends and family of today and yesterday making it so.


The Angry Lurker said...

Glad you had a good birthday!

The Good Soldier Svjek said...

Belated Happy Returns !

Ray Rousell said...

Sounds like a grand birthday Dave!

Jim Jackaman said...

A belated happy birthday indeed!

David Crook said...


Many thanks for your birthday wishes - they are much appreciated.

All the best and here is to the next 58!


Ed M said...

Just stumbled across your blog and this post. Having just turned 59 myself (in August) in a year when there were three deaths in my family (coincidentally), I found myself relating very strongly to your observations and ruminations. Thanks for sharing and Many Happy Returns!

Best, Ed M

David Crook said...

Hi Ed M,

Many thanks old chap. It is comforting to know that I am not the only one feeling like this and I hope you have found a kind of peace with it all. I found myself questioning many things and it was quite unsettling to begin with but I feel a whole lot more grounded now.

Welcome to the blog and I hope you find some things of interest.

All th best and thanks once again,