About Me

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Worcester, Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Born in the year of the Coronation, I'm a Baby Boomer. In April of this year I decided I too would have a Diamond Jubilee celebration and completely change my life and that of my Husband's in the process

Friday, 29 September 2006

Autumn Show & Memories

I’m late with this entry and I know why, I’ve been putting it off because I find part of it hard to write.

My Journal is a true record of the events of my life that have caused some sort of emotion, be it happy or sad, during the week. I don’t write about everything but the bits that stick in my mind.


Last Sunday I went to the Malvern Autumn Show at the Three Counties Showground. In my opinion the best of their three Big Shows. It’s mostly about what people have produced during the year and is like a giant Harvest Festival.


I met friends Sue & John there and had a pleasant time wandering around with them, drinking some delicious Wood’s ‘Shopshire Lad’ Bitter. We Ohh’d & Ahh’d and laughed at some of the exhibits in the Harvest Marquee.


Mike was working all day in the Food Theatre and did two cooking sessions with Anthony Worrall Thompson. I watched the first session and was surprised (or not) how little he actually did, his Home Economist did most of it. It was an entertaining hour and he did well to not lose his temper, as the microphone kept cutting out for the first 20 minutes, due to a lightning strike earlier in the morning. I’ve met and dined with celebrities and VIP’s over the years, many of whomhave been much nicer than I expected, having now met Mr WT all I’m prepared to say is, I haven’t changed my opinion of him.



        Mike waiting to be of assistance .




The lovely Lisa does all the work. AWT keeps his hands clean.



         Mike doing a bit of fiddling with AWT's

        rear end, hence the surprised look, Mike   

         was trying to sort out the microphone.


         AWT beats a hasty retreat when he adds

         too much Calvados to the Pears.


        Mike's just been told he gets to take 

        some of this home!!



After I left Sue and John to do their own thing I went to see the son of friends of ours.

I knew he was working on one of the stands and that he wanted to see me.


I hadn’t seen him for four years, the last time was at his 21st Birthday. His parents were still together then.


Rewind 20 years. We became great friends with this couple who had two sons, one James, the same age as my Simon and Richard, who was two years younger. We spent so many weekends with them and even met up on holiday. The children played together and Catherine learnt to ride on one of their ponies. They were known as James the First and Richard the Second because Mike always got their names muddled, although they were like chalk & cheese. James, tall, blonde, cautious and dreamy, while Richard was short, dark, cheeky and dare devil.


Then the family moved to a farm in Devon and we moved to Cardiff. But we still went to stay with them in Devon. Then they moved to Eire to another farm where they wanted to breed horses and continue their horse transport business. We moved back to Worcester.


One February morning I was just making the toast for breakfast, when the phone rang. It was James’s grandmother to say that James hadbeen killed the day before ,when a car hit him as he crossed the road from behind the school bus. He was 14 years old. His body was hit 70 metres up the road. His dad ran out from the farm and cradled him in his arms but knew from his injuries that if he weren’t already, he very soon would be dead.


I’d like to say our friendship stood up through this difficult time and I suppose it did through the early days but then there was brittleness to the relationship. James would be mentioned but not really talked about and that wonderful, easy, friendship was gone. I think there were too many memories of the four children together, we just couldn’t work through there being three and of course my Simon was there constantly being the age that James would have been. Richard felt he had to try to be both sons to his parents and the toll on a 12-year-old boy was terrible. We all grew apart.


Eventually their marriage became another casualty to that fateful day.


And now Richard wanted me to go and see him, which I would but I didn’t want us to be seeing James in the back of each other’s eyes, in a look, the acknowledgement of the pain, the guilt that he is the survivor, and I still have my son, I just didn’t want it to be like that.


I approached a group of salesmen on his stand andone asked if he could help. I said, “Yes, I’m looking for a young man” and the one nearest turned round and said “Hello Beautiful”. We kissed and then it turned into a rib-breaking hug, it was as if those seconds of contact put it all to rest. There was no awkwardness now, in that hug was the silent agreement that there was no need for sadness, we’d put that behind us. We then laughed and chatted and caught up with all the family gossip, James slipped in and out of our conversation just as easily as all the other family names. I’m so glad I saw Richard but dear god, how like his father he looks and he always used to call me Beautiful.


There is a strange and even worse twist to this tale and I can’t think of James without remembering Mike.


Almost a year to the day after James’s death a party of friends went from Wales to watch a Rugby International in Ireland. They were returning to the Rosslare Ferry in the early hours of the morning when their minibus skidded on ice and overturned. No one was hurt except Mike who was killed, instantly, on the same stretch of road where James had been killed a year earlier. Mike had been a very dear friend, who I worked with in Cardiff. He was a loveable clown and his claim to fame was once being on the Krypton Factor. I couldn’t go to his funeral, as my father was taken ill and died the day before.


All of this was a very difficult time to get through and I think it does me good from time to time, to open up the wound and have a good poke around. Sorry if there is anyone reading this and they’ve been depressed by it. Don’t be,I had enough depression for everyone.


But, back to the Autumn Show.I had a lovely day and I think the photos capture some of the colour.


During the day you can buy displays in the Flower Tent, which you can collect at 5pm. I saw this lovely Michaelmas Daisy display that I wanted, it was  £10. Unfortunately it had already been sold and they only had the £15 size left. Only by now I had my heart set on some flowers. So I paid for a £15 one.


At 5pm I realised just how many flowers it contained and there was no way I’d get the display in the car. So I, along with others, had to have it dismantled and put into bunches. The stallholders were so busy that I offered to break down my own. A couple of ladies walked up and mistaking me for the stallholder asked if they could buy some. The stallholder heard and said, “Sorry, they were all sold earlier”.They were obviously disappointed and walked away saying they had wanted some for some graves. Well, I now realised I have neither the house nor number of vases to accommodate all these flowers, So I quickly wrapped a huge bunch and ran after them and said it was a present. They were so pleased they came back a few minutes later to thank me again.


Then I decided we would call in on Sue on the way home and give her a bunch ,as a memento of the Show. Then we got home and my next thought was Rachel, who lives nearby and was widowed earlier in the summer. She was out, so I pushed a note through her door saying to come round when she got home. I then set too getting the rest into vases.


After I’d finished Rachel called round, saying she was intrigued as to what I had got for her. She was thrilled with the flowers but the really nice thing was, she stayed and shared a bottle of wine with us and didn’t go home until 10.30. We had a lovely chat and I’m sure it did her good as she is finding life very lonely without her beloved John.


So how much happiness can £15 buy? Well, as it turns out……lots.


School has been manic and we had the official opening of our new school. A conjoined Primary rather than separate Infant & Junior. The Mayor came to plant a tree, it rained, we got wet, but what the hell.


A Year 5 boy went and asked the Mayor for his autograph and handed him a sheet of paper and a pencil. The boy had just been picking his nose and the paper was attractively decorated with a green bogey!!!!!


I was marking some Reading tests yesterday, in which the children have to select a word from a list and put it into a sentence. This shows their understanding of similar looking words, or ones you would connect with the subject of the sentence. I don’t laugh AT the children but I really can’t help laughing at some of the sentences they make.


The children were asked not to trinket in their seats.

Michael got a job dealing newspapers.

He had dinner left after his wallet was stolen.

She played the medal on the flute.

The shop sold vicious flavours of ice cream.

Another word for a time of rest and play is childhood.

A partly rounded shape like the new moon is called a convalescent.

The puppets were laminated with great skill.

The fancy dress pencil drew a large crowd. (I think this is my favourite.)

The shop sold varicose flavours of ice cream.

People who think only of themselves are said to be shellfish.


And on that happy note………….









jeadie05 said...

Yes I can understand why this entry would be hard to do,but bravely you have manged to shape your feelings into words ,so pleased that hug put things in perspective and you must have felt so much better seeing Richard again ,and what a lovely gesture ,the flowers ....you are so lovelyBless you ,.,.,.,Jan xx

midwestvintage said...

 What wonderful pictures.  I would have been in heaven going to the fair.  And what a lovely bittersweet entry.  You write beautifully and I had a tear or two.  Some times time is such a friend.


debbiewebb4465 said...

I always love your entries Linda, and you are a lovely lady, sharing your flowers. It's amazing how much a hug can say isn't it? I'm glad you had that chat (and hug) with Richard. The show looked great fun, I love anything like that, we don't get them much round here. I'd also love to meet AWT as cooking is a real hobby of mine! Loved the photo's and pics, and the stuff that kids come out with is priceless!! Have a great weekend :-)
Hugs to you, love Debbie ~xxxxxx~

tellsg said...

Hi Linda, Helllo, I have just started reading your journal.  What a interesting entry, I was at the show with you.  I have never been keen on that MWT one either.  It is bittersweet and sad when we look back at who we have lost and the impact on our lives but how lovely that you had such a nice reunion with Richard and he used those familiar words of greeting to you. Terry

wldconnie said...

What an interesting entry. I was with you all the way with you with the accident when James was killed as I have a friend who lost one of twins in a bike accident. Every time she looks at the other twin she is reminded of the one she lost.It is hard. It was lovely that Richard and you got on so well. I love those kind of shows. It sounds like my trip to Widdecombe Fair.
I loved the kids comments. They are so funny without even realising it! Love Conniex

ally123130585918 said...

Linda what a lovely entry ~ thankyou for sharing your memories both sad and happy ones ~ Loved the pictures hope Mike enjoyed the food he got to take home ~ I am glad your reunion with Richard was such a happy one ~ Ally

susanebunn said...

Linda, this journal entry is a very sensitive, moving and insightful one.  Thank you for sharing it with us.  You honour us with your candid thoughts and sharing of your life, both the fun and the difficult.  Random acts of kindness are the best!


susanebunn said...

It's me again!  I had no idea you had a cat named Willow too!  Yours is much fluffier than mine (Siamese)!


xleeleexf said...

yea there is a strip club in tamworth. Do you know tamworth? xleex

xleeleexf said...

i know exactly what you mean. its not been open that long really, but tamworth is changing :(

artloner said...

hey Linda,

 Andi here.  Sounds like a long, tough day, but it ended so well.  I think you are a Sweetheart with a BIG S.

  I think I liked the ''vicious ice cream'' best, and the pic in my journal is in front of Anne's fireplace in Kansas.  The Staffordshire's used to be her thing...then head vases.  Those things creep me out, personally.

  Isn't this a jumble...better quit while I'm ahead.



beckiepainton said...

I have a confession, i always watch ready steady cook!!Jordan likes to watch it to and count down from 10 to 1 then shout Stop Cooking!!at the end.Im very jealous you met AWT but i also secretly fancy James Martin, you dont know him do you?!
The scary thing about those sentences at the end is that some actually make sense to me.oh dear....Beckie.xx

chunkichick said...

wish I could say that your saddness didn't affect me, but it did, because I too have not only lost someone like millions of others, but have gone through that devastating after effect of things not being said and awkward silences, people trying to cope with something so unbelievably cruel and unfair, and never truly getting over it. So sorry you went through that so profoundly x

bobandkate said...

Oh Linda,
Such sad events all mixed in with fun and happiness! This entry sums up what life is all about, the good and the bad, no rhyme or reason to it. Love what you did with the £15 worth of flowers and loved the kid's use of language at the end.

wrigleyrachey said...

Hi Linda, I am so touched by your entry, have to e~mail you. The show looked a lot of fun, I loved the pics.I am not a huge fan of AWT, but must have been interesting meeting him and sharing a laugh!

fisherkristina said...

I found your entry through CarnivAOL.  
I like "People who think only of themselves are said to be shellfish" best, LOL.  
By the way, those are beautiful vegetables and flowers at the fair.
And sorry you had to go through such a painful experience and meeting.


princesssaurora said...

I found you thru CarnivAOL....  it sounds like your visit to the Harvest Fair was lovely....  Thank you for sharing the story of your life and losses with us.

be well,

dawngepfer said...

I found you on CarnivAOL as well and am just delighted in reading your entry.  The story of James, then Mike, brought me to tears.  Loved the students' sentences.  I laughed outloud!

Dawn (the other Dawn)
journaling as "DoneJustWrite" but can't ever get the link right so I don't add it in.  :)

rosas831 said...


ourbelovedangels said...

Very moving! Found you through carnivAOL. Thank you for sharing with us.

sazzylilsmartazz said...

Found you through CarnivAOL Such a very sad story and I sincerely hope writing this has been a cathartic for you.