Friday, 1 January 2016

A Review

A few minutes  have passed and 2015 is no more. It is interesting how we have come to make such an event of the transition from one year to the next. As a very young welsh family full of  traditional celebration, the New Year was quite an event.  I may have mentioned it before. At the risk of repetition I will continue.  It was the tradition to sing in the New Year by moving from house to house singing a greeting and best wishes for the new year and in return the recipient of the melodic good wishes would be greeted with a drink of hard stuff, money, or if the song was not good or indifferently sung the contents of the potty might get hurled through the window.  For us kids it was a different occasion and I recall my sister and I singing our way around the village of St Clears every New Years Day commencing at 7.30amish and ending at our Grandmothers house at Ffynon Villa, Pwlltrap at precisely 12noon.  At each house we sung we received money ranging from one penny, tuppence; threepence; sixpence; and sometimes nothing. At the end of the mornings singing we might have accumulated One or Two pounds to share.  We were frequently encouraged to return the compliment the following New Years Day.  This probably went on until we were about 9 and 11 years of age.  It was good fun.  The best was the Broth or Cawl as we call  it in Wales made by our Grandmother.  Afterwards it was not unusual to go ferreting for the dinners of the rest of the week. True. Whatever -  back to 2015.  I fell by the wayside with my blogs after about May I believe.  No particular reason other than life has started to roll past rather quick since passing the three score and ten years. At home things have not progressed very well as the onset of significant memory loss of lady of the house has been foremost on the mind.  It is a situation which has to be dealt with tenderly, with patience, and considerable understanding, and we achieve it together. Despite this unfortunate set back I have been able to undertake two voyages with the Jubilee Sailing Trust both of which brought me into contact with some amazing people and took my mind from the issues at home.  I was able to do this with the help and support of friends locally who covered my absence with visits and support for which I was most grateful.  The high point must have been the commemorative voyage coinciding with the 75 years since D Day.  Sailing along the Normandy Coast; landing on the beach at Arromanche from an inflatable; mixing with veterans; generally brushing up on the history of what had taken place, and most importantly being able to say thank you to our father in heaven for being able to do it all.  It is difficult to comprehend what the scene was like all those years age on the morning of the invasion that some 53 miles of beach head from Cherbourg to Le Havre was a battle front of unimaginable magnitude. Following our visit to Arromanch we transited the Caen Canal past Pegasus Bridge to a berth a short distance from the City of Caen. A most pleasurable task was to wheelchair a veteran Royal Marine from our berth to visit the Cafe Grondree at Pegasus Bridge.  This being the first place to be liberated shortly after midnight on the 6th June 1944.  We had the immense pleasure of meeting Arlette the surviving daughter now seventy something of the first family liberated.  An amazing lady who took time out from her daily routine to welcome Marine Williams and I and tell her account of her family involvement in the liberation.  That was truly an unforgettable occasion.  The voyage back to the UK was also quite interesting as it was done through a very rough sea with waves washing the decks and having to be firmly secured in bunks when sleeping.  The summer spent at home pottering around was not the most pleasant part of the year. Granted there were a few days suitable for a barbie or two but not much else. So to while away the lack of a holiday with my good lady I took another voyage aboard Tenacious and took part in a race with Lord Nelson (sister ship).  We should have gone to France and back but never made it due to unfavourable winds. We made up for that by sailing close to home for a few days which was most exhilarating heeling over 35 degrees at 10 knots for a great deal of the time.  We even had the pleasure of a flyby from a Spitfire the pilot of which gave a huge victory roll. Spectacular, especially over the sea in a cloudless sky. So it was that summer passed very quickly into the deluge laden winter. Some measure of the volume of rain is the fact that I have not ventured onto the local golf course since September.  I suppose I could go in the rain but I am a comfort golfer who does not enjoy getting wet.  I experienced too much of that prowling the beat years ago.  The serious events of the year have to be the proliferation of terror throughout Europe.  The influx of migrating peoples from Asia and the Middle East.  The situation in Calais camps of thousands wanting to come to the UK.  Isn't it sad that they can not get into their reasoning the fact that the UK is living in austerity and we can hardly look after our own. Isn't it sad that people who have been welcomed into our country are turning against the comforts they already have here and cause so much hostility to the extent that there is a growing sense of resentment to their presence.  What a travesty that so many of iconic and historical preserved buildings have been destroyed in the pursuit of a so called religious campaign. Crazy. The annual celebration of welcoming a New Year was curtailed in so many countries due to the activity and threat of activity of minority 'terror" groups. Isn't it sad that the terror being inflicted in practically every region of the world is being propagated by so called religious leaders of a certain faith.  As a christian with faith I feel marginalised, not so much by the threat of terror against my way of living, as by the so called secular society apparently void of faith yet make their annual visits to their local places of worship at Easter and Christmas.  Something wrong!  God bless her Majesty for being a champion of our Christianity.  I won't bang a drum on this but it is food for thought.  In the coming year I very much hope that I will achieve some essential goals.  Taking care of lady of the house; continuing my weekly contribution to my christian faith; attaining a good level of dexterity on my guitar; becoming a better golfer; painting and decorating; attending a few rugby Internationals; sailing aboard SV Lord Nelson (twice), and then fitting in a bit of gardening. Apart from the first two the remainder not in any particular order.  My so called music room is in dire need of decoration, and I have promised to do it for some time.  I have a tropical fish tank in the room which is quite big and is also in need of an overhaul.  To do both will take some time. But! there is an obstacle.  There is one fish in the tank the survivor of many. He/she been there for some years and enjoys swimming around in 80 litres on it's own.  I cannot kill it but I am worried about how long it will live for. Which one of us goes first, and who will do the decorating.