My world is changing...

I just received a comment from an emailer, saying he liked the blog... well that potentially makes my world wide audience up to 4! Wow... hello kind people.

My aged Dad has had some tests on his heart and will get the results today. We shall see where that takes us. On a more complicated issue, the care home that M & D were hoping to ‘holiday in’ is now full. I had no Plan-B. Time to create one.

It was my birthday on 1st March and I received a ‘phone call from Dad who having said “Happy Birthday” passed the ‘phone to Mum with a background heard voice saying “It’s Chris”. Mum sang happy birthday down the ‘phone, even getting my name tucked in without hesitation, so it sounded like she was really enjoying herself (she used to be in a choir and had a very good but not strong voice and an amazing ear. Hated Sir Harry Secombe as “he always sings flat”) and as she finished, I could hear the rustle of the ‘phone being handed back and Mum asking Dad “Who is it?”, Dad’s voice in the background saying “It’s Chris”, then a long pause... “Chris who?”. It is enough to bring tears to the eyes. What a life. Where has the strong determined woman that was my Mum, gone to? I’m left with the stranger who cannot string complete sentences together and on occasions says she wishes she was dead. Bringing up your children, you learn as you go and do the best you can. My life lessons continue with learning how to help my parents be happy in their dotage. Material gain and dominance fade away with us all as old age come creeping along. “Look for the fun and make it happen.” has always been one of my mottoes - but this situation is hard to find fun. Not impossible but difficult.

My eldest son and daughter-in-law have just been given the green-light from the adoption agency, so are now on some interminable waiting list for a baby/child to become part of our family... we shall see.

I made the not inconsiderable journey from York to London to see my middle son perform in Tales of Hoffmann at the Coliseum. His first tiny singing role in an opera rather than just an acting part. I think he sings three notes, says a line, fights a fight, gets knifed and dies on stage. The romance of opera! To see all of this meant I had about 12 hours of sitting down. I sat in the car for 1 hour driving to Leeds station. I sat on the train for 2.5 hours getting to London, I sat on the underground for 15 minutes, I sat in a Thai Restaurant eating a meal, I sat in the opera house for 3.5 hours with a few breakettes, I sat in a pub having a pint with Tom (son 2), I sat on the tube train, I sat on the train back to Leeds, I sat in the car driving back to York (well Selby). I got to bed at 3 in the morning! You must suffer for your art, or in this case your children’s art. :-)

My youngest son has had the strangest of turn-rounds in his life that it is possible to imagine. He won a scholarship to Northern Ballet in Manchester, to do contemporary jazz dance not classical ballet, although that was part of the course. He invariably took the ‘acting parts’ on stage, rather than classical performance. His forte was jazz dance and he became extremely adept and was achieving good things. However, unless you are number one in performance there is no money to live on. Something I had warned him about from day one but he had to find this out for himself. Now, the big change... he decided to join the Army. He wandered into Chester Army Recruitment and asked to be considered. Pre-Assessment, formal assessment and then a two day selection process at Lichfield, all this took time. Result... he wants to be a Communications Systems Engineer and the results of his formal selection process are compared with all the other parts of the country where our brave lads and lasses turn up to try their luck. He did very well, he was not just top of the Chester office, he was the top in the country with a very high score. The expectation was he would join-up in October and do his basic training completing it in Jan or Feb next year. However, as he was the #1 slot he was fast tracked to his chosen career and will sign up and swear his pledge on Monday 19th this month! He will be doing a job that would be a good challenge for my electronics qualifications but he has never done electronics or anything vaguely like that! His tests show he is very adept at learning anything new and this is so true. He effectively taught himself every instrument he has ever come across in record time, his memory is near photographic (much like mine WAS) and he has a prodigious IQ. I think he has surpassed me now and I’m 156, measured when I was 38, many years ago. He also, as a sideline, does an impressive Gary Barlow impersonation, looks, voice and singing, as in Take That 2... well that just stopped.

I must admit my emotions will be tried when (if) he goes abroad. Probably to somewhere where IEDs are the fun tactic for the visiting forces. Mankind just repeats the errors of the past, we never collectively seem to learn. “Tit for Tat”* is an excellent life paradigm.

Formal game theory * ‘Metamagical Themas’.

And now the call of the broken TCs can be heard from the end of the house... ‘fix me... fix me...’ did you hear that? I must go.

I will do something about removing rubber mats without ripping them to shreds, honest.