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Missed magic moments

By Spalding Today Columnist

John Ward (3688670)
John Ward (3688670)

There are times when you miss things and by this I don’t mean anything to do with archery, rifle ranges or forgot where you left that half-finished bowl of soup etc.

What I mean is those missed moments that might/will never happen again, as it's only afterwards that you think to yourself: if only I had my camera/mobile phone/handheld device/laptop - the important things in life as we know it today for some, but not all - or that basic notebook and pen to make a note of it.

One instance I regret missing was only by seconds not so long ago when I was going to our local medical centre as friend Terry, who with wife Millie runs a pest control service, had briefly stopped outside said medical centre to drop off a prescription/whatever but had parked close outside the building so that the side of his van said ‘Pest Control Services’ and considering where he was parked as in quite close to the centre sign, was quite apt and was not lost on another person who had just parked next to me as he chuckled as he too saw the ‘connection’ as Terry came out in our direction, waved as he said hello, and went on his way.

The simple things in life and I didn’t think to get the ‘view n click’ out in order to capture it but I remembered it hence sharing it now.

As a 'by the way', it seems more people are ill or suffering from something/whatever on a Monday or Tuesday morning, as said medical centre is usually packed out, but towards the weekend it's usually not so full, as there is a theory - mine - that people get themselves tooled up to enjoy the weekend ahead and then Monday, nip or crawl (depending on how enthusiastic they have been in their chosen pastime or endeavours) to the centre to get sorted out - but its just an observation you understand.

One moment I wish I had a camcorder (or anything) was yonks ago when friends were visiting Mum and Dad, as the following would not have been out of place as a Two Ronnies sketch, but this was for real - sadly.

Bob and Edna popped in to see them for a cuppa as they did if they were passing and I for my part in the forthcoming minor attraction was one of trying to get out as I was going wherever but the conversation rambled on as I was sorting myself out after being told I was ‘looking okay these days’ but I could not recall being ill anyway, as I think somebody would have said at the time about it - but thanks anyway, Edna.

Then Bob, between slurps of his cuppa, asked 'could or would it be possible to pick up a washing machine for them from their daughter's as she was having a new one' - but as I pointed out, it could have been slightly tricky on my motorbike at the time, even if I used strong rope to tie it on with, as he half-suggested.

During this intellectual clash of minds, the radio was playing in the background and Edna piped up: ‘'Ere - that’s that Nana Missouri - her with the glasses - singing. I like her..’ to which Mum (Of The People For The People) replied by saying: ‘No - its not - that’s the name of a big river..’, but Dad, showing signs of being in with a chance to enhance his knowledge of music, pointed out that: ‘No - the Nene is not such a big river really, as its got lots of locks along it..’. However, to be fair to Bob, he was still coming to terms with the fact, strong ropes or not, I still would not be able to get a washing machine on the pillion of my motorbike and so music was the last thing on his mind.

By this time Nana had finished warbling her song, plus it was ‘sorting things out time’, as between us it was eventually agreed that it was Nana and not Nene and the surname being Mouskouri, a Greek name and singer and not Missouri, which is and until further notice, a big river, it's true, but in America. But once all this was sorted - or so we thought - Bob then entered the mental fray by asking what was a Greek river doing in America?

Donald Trump does not know how lucky he is, give or take the odd Greek river or two regardless of any locks, had he been running the shop in those days, as the thought of importing any Greek rivers might not have gone down too well with him, depending on what side of the bed he got out of that morning.

Sadly, I had nothing to record it with, but I did scribble this meeting of minds over a cup of tea down on a piece of cardboard, hence it appearing here, although I have no idea as to who moved the washing machine or the thickness of any rope involved in the process.

Another missed cinematic moment was Frank, who had brought or traded something for a ‘real genuine 1942 WW2 inflatable rubber dinghy’ (oh yeah?) that the seller/chancer said was a ‘six-man model’, although as there were no seats or anything else for that matter resembling anything that could be called creature comforts was open to debate, but none the less, Frank - being the eternal bargain hunter - convinced himself it was as explained, although I had my doubts...real nagging ones.

So, together with a test pilot (me), we duly blew up the beast with possibly the smallest hand-operated bellows pump, as supplied with said rubber/canvas vessel, but it should be noted, he had never seen it inflated before.

It killed nearly an hour inflating it, even though we took it in turns to do the necessary during which Frank said he would thereafter ‘give up smoking’, so it had possible medicinal prospects.

It was a delightful summer’s afternoon, the birds were chirping away by the river bank as we launched ‘The Jolly Frank’ (modest or what?) into said river and we clambered aboard but once ‘aboard’ it was plain that unless Snow White and her associates had been recruited into helping us out in said WW2, space was at a premium or to put it plainly, rather on the small size.

I think it was about seven minutes into our maiden voyage that a possible 1944 bullet hole made itself known, as the puncture patch on one of the tubes (it had two separate tubes or chambers that blew up) slowly detached as Frank sort-of worked out that the bubbles coming up by the side were not from a passing asthmatic fish, but as only half the dinghy was now sinking, panic had not been ruled out - yet.

Just then, a voice was heard from the river bank: ‘In trouble, chaps?’. As we looked up, we saw a senior citizen, with his dog, who offered the end of his walking stick with dog lead attached to it and Frank gripped it and we sort of pulled our way to the bank.

So we missed the supposed voyage of discovery, but Frank did give up smoking - he said.


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