A Memorable Day

Saturday 1143  1st September 2018

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Yes indeed here I am again 1 yr and 8 months since my past post, which I can barely believe!  Unfortunately the Saturdays did not stand still during my absence; they just kept on disappearing.  Of course the fact that I haven’t been writing my blog doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing anything or that nothing has been happening in the world. We’ve had Trump and the Brexit vote – least said about both of those the better!

Anyway here I am again.

This Saturday was the 1st September and that is a memorable day for me for 2 reasons and I wanted to record it in some way.

The first is that my father Albert, known as Bert, would have been 116 on this day. He was born on the 1st September 1902.  Seems amazing to me when I write that but then I remember that he was 23 years older than my mum and was already 51 when I was born. He always seemed old to me, hardly surprising as I believe he had been raised by his grandparents.

This is one of only 2 photos I have of me with him.  I don’t know who took this photo but I’m pretty sure the camera didn’t belong to us. There was no money for such luxuries in our poor , working class household.

It makes me happy that he seems so delighted.

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My father died a couple of months after my 17th birthday when he was just 68 and had only recently retired.  I went off to school as normal that morning and it was Home Economics day. I made a pineapple upside down cake which was one of my dad’s favourites.  When I got home later that afternoon he was gone.

He had died that morning of a massive heart attack whilst getting up out of his chair to get his cigarettes from the mantelpiece. He was a heavy smoker as was my mum then. In those days there were no warnings about the dangers of smoking and almost everyone seemed to smoke. I don’t remember anyone saying how young he was because 68 wasn’t considered young in the early 70’s. He’d already had a couple of minor heart attacks and I am very mindful that if that had happened today he would probably have had his coronary arteries stented ,just as I have had done, and would likely have lived much longer.

I am grateful that my mother made me go and see him, at the chapel of rest, as she wisely said if I didn’t see him I might not believe he had actually died.  Mum never married again even though she was only 44 when she was widowed. I don’t think it was a particularly happy marriage. 

It has been a sadness throughout my life that I never really knew my father and have hardly any memories of him, as he worked very long hours. Anyway I think you only really get to know your parents as you move into adulthood.  

The 2nd reason the 1st September is a memorable day for me is because 39 years ago I got married. It was a beautiful sunny day, just like it was here on this 1st September, and indeed seems to be so almost every year.  We got married in church because that was what you did then and my husband’s family were very religious. I felt pretty hypocritical because I didn’t then, and don’t now, believe in God. My mother gave me away in the absence of my dad.

Here is photo of me on my wedding day. I went from being a very chubby baby to a very slender 25 year old. Let’s not discuss where I am now 😉 

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Sadly the marriage ended after 20 years but we had 2 children that we both adored and, again sadly, my ex-husband died 10 years ago.  I am glad my children had time to get to know their father.

Life goes on.

I hope you were able to get to know and have a good relationship with your father. If you didn’t, and he’s still alive, maybe it’s not too late to change that? 

Your thoughts are very welcome as ever.

Saturday Girl signing off. I’m sure it won’t be so long before I write again ! 

You can find my photography blog Photomania here 

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Early Morning Balloon Chasing.

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Saturday 1248  –  27.08.2016

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I got up this Saturday morning at 4.15 a.m.  I know it was bonkers wasn’t it, but it was for a good reason.  The British Balloon and Airship Club (BBAC) were holding the British National Ballooning Competition over the past week and was based at the Lakeside Lodge Golf Resort in Pidley  which is 10 mins from where I live.

Unfortunately I didn’t know it was happening until I got up on Weds morning, pulled back the curtains and there was one almost landed in the field at the end of my garden.  My own fault of course, as I never read the local papers or watch local news reports.  I rushed out and got a few pics and then did some homework to find out what was happening.   No ballooning Thursday as weather not suitable.

Luckily I was able to get up early Friday Morning to watch that morning’s launch, having been given a tip-off as to where the launch was likely to be : it varies depending on the wind direction etc, and also watched again on Friday evening. I was utterly, utterly hooked and fast becoming the unofficial ballooning groupie!   The “good ” photos you see above and below are from Friday.

Back to Saturday. I got up at 4.15 a.m, as I have already said, and drove to Lakeside. There was very thick fog and I nearly went back to bed but fog is always good for photos too, so I pressed on. I knew they were having a briefing at 5 a.m to decide on where the launch would be, if it went ahead, and I followed the teams when they came out. Of course it was hoped that the fog would burn off but it was looking doubtful because there was a cold front moving in.  

The trucks, vans and other trailer pulling vehicles all arrived at the proposed site, an airfield near Chatteris, but ominously nobody started to unload their baskets and balloons, which they had done immediately the day before as this picture below shows.

laying out the balloon (3 of 1)

 and this was what it was like at Chatteris Airfield on Saturday morning.

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Some difference huh ?

I was told this is what ballooning can be all about; getting up early in the morning and often being thwarted by the weather, with no launch happening.  

I wandered about and took a few photos to show you what it was like, thankfully a few of the younger men decided to play frisbee so gave me something else to photograph. Thanks to them! 

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Click on any of the photos to increase size.

I have to say how much I admired the passion, exhibited by everyone, which enables them to get up so early, day after day, when competition is on.

For the next few days ( at least ) I will be posting more Balloon photos over on my photography blog Photomania  and you can find them by clicking this link 

A few links for anyone interested in finding out more about ballooning, but please be aware that if you do go to take photo’s, or view a launch or landing, you generally do so at your own risk unless the event states that it is open to the public with organised stewarding etc.

http://www.erbbac.com/

http://www.bbac.org/affiliated#regions

http://www.flyingadverts.co.uk/balloonevents.htm

Of course there are always other photos to be taken and when the black flag was raised to indicate there would be no flight that day, everyone left, but I captured a few more photos on my way home.

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With this one below being my favourite of the day! 

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Your thoughts are very welcome as ever. 

Saturday Girl signing off..