Category Archives: Travels
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
After a dank and miserable journey north through horrendous rain and road spray we had arrived at the camp. It’s facade gave an early indication of what to expect during our following week of incarceration. It was late afternoon as we made our way up the drive, my thoughts drifted (worryingly) to questions without answers. Was this our final destination, or merely a transit camp prior to a transfer to something even more austere? Would we even fit in and/or be accepted by the remaining inmates?
As we crouched in cold and cramped anticipation among the damp rocks below the lighthouse awaiting some maritime salvation from our turmoil. In the half-light of the cold evening mist the outline of HMS Lusty could be seen breaking through the evening fret and spray. Could it be that our frantic and hastily sent signal had actually been received, despite the passing of so many years since my morse test at the Cullercoates Radio Station?
The prospect of rescue was finally at hand and escape from a week of purgatory in a caravan at Whitley Bay was imminent…
To be fair, various ’day release’ trips from the camp had at least provided some solace and escape from the camp conditions. Better rations at the Gibraltar Rock in Tynemouth, more good food at Sambuca on the quayside in North Shields and a trip to the clothing store at the Royal Quays.
At Alnwick we had observed around 50 riders on Harley Davidson motorbikes in the town square. Apparently they were part way through the A-B-C ride from the Albermarle barracks, in Tynedale, to RAF Boulmer, then down to HMS Calliope on Newcastle’s quayside. All in aid of raising funds on behalf of the Help-4-Heroes charity.
If nothing else, the scenery and Northumbria coastline is some of the best in the UK and to be highly recommended however; I just find some of the orange coloured booze fuelled yocals in their designer label sports clothing a little difficult to comprehend and associate with sometimes. Strange how so many, judging by their size and despite their attire, appear to have done very little of anything remotely active since childhood?
This morning whilst sitting in the yard reading the morning paper and listening to birds twittering away in a nearby bush, I sipped my hot coffee in the warm sun and thought; hot coffee and hot sun might have been better but hey, what the hell.
Any reasonable weather is good, you can’t expect too much better when you live in the temperate climate of northern England. My mind drifted off to those mornings where the morning repast had been taken in somewhat sunnier latitudes and locations. Various places and thoughts flooded to the forefront of my mind, mysteriously dragged out of the archives for one of their regular airings…
Sat on the apartment terrace with a morning meal of bread, fruit and cheese, observing the boats heading out into the turquoise sea of Kalkan Bay in Turkey. Fishing from the bows of a narrowboat in the warm early morning mist on the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal, waiting for the materialisation of grilled bacon, the smell of which had been tormenting me for what seamed like an age.
Often, when undisturbed and relaxing my mind drifts from one bazar issue to another or from place to place and between different times. Some call it day dreaming, I prefer to call it grey matter browsing. I liken it to using the internet; you’re on one particular site and then you click a few different links and before you know it, you’ve been to numerous others covering all manner of information and topics, many of them originating in different areas of the world.
Another aspect and impact upon my ‘dream world’ is so often musical. Thoughts that remind me of a song or a song which recalls some far off place or set of circumstances. Music is something that probably has similar impacts on others, hence the popularity of radio programs like Desert Island Discs or items such as ‘Tracks of My Years’ on the BBC Radio 2 Ken Bruce show.
I drifted off again into past golfing trips to Myrtle Beach SC, or emerging from the RV to my ’pool boy duties’ for my great friends in Tonkawa, before heading off to Ponca Lake for a spot of fishing in Oklahoma. I concluded this browsing session by recalling the experience of airboat rides and alligators at the Everglades Safari Park in Miami. As the coffee continued to cool I recalled eating breakfast in America…
My love of music (and the actual lyrics of songs) has been with me for as long as I can remember. I would much sooner listen to music and the radio than watch TV. It started with listening to pirate radio stations on a portable radio as a schoolboy.
When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful, a miracle, it was beautiful, magical And…
The thing that I like about my particular dream world is that, in general, it’s all born out of experience and reality. There’s no ‘what ifs’ and desires for mass fortune and possessions, unlike many who base their thoughts and understanding of life on material desires or things often virtual. Trash TV shows, computer games and electronic communications abound and often, people tend to gain a warped sense of understanding about life and unrealistic expectations. They have very little experience of tangible things and experiences. Many lack the ability to interact with others in real-time and when they do, it’s all about them and their needs. Funny old world?
And now, true to form (and the forecast for a change) we see the return of the more typical British weather… Back to my own reality I suppose, it was nice whilst it lasted… I wonder what music and memories will appear tomorrow? :-)