Friday, 27 April 2018

A braw day on Castle Hill

My mind is constantly telling me to "Get running, you've rested long enough".  My body, in no uncertain terms says "Sod off, I need sunshine on my skin with healing ultra-violet, like I'll soon be getting in Menorca".
A little jog up to the Castle   (Click to enlarge)
Not that I've been completely inactive.  Every now and then I'll break into a little jog for a hundred yards or so, just to remind the old legs I'm not done yet.  Like last week on a braw day up Castle Hill when all the world, and their dogs, were taking advantage of warm Spring sunshine.
A well behaved Labradoodle playing with children
Gorse was flowering at its glorious best giving off a heavy scent of vanilla. In years gone by it was a favourite haunt of yellowhammers that bombarded us with their constant requests of 'a little bit of bread and no cheese'.  Last week I heard not one.
Blackthorn was looking good too.  At its best it often presages a cold spell of weather - the dreaded blackthorn winter.  It may have been thinking about it for days later the temperature certainly plummeted.  Each Spring when I see the wonderful blossoms I make a mental note to revisit them in September and gather their juicy sloes.  I never remember!
In Springtime next door's garden puts mine to shame when a beautiful camelia comes into flower and outshines everything else in the neighbourhood.  I really must sneak some cuttings off it when they aren't looking...
In the  gloaming, just after sunset, a strange object appeared in the sky. It resembled a comet and stayed there unmoving until light faded. It was a long way away, just above the horizon and difficult to photograph without a tripod to steady the camera when zooming.  My old hands tend to shake a little, but I did my best.
Comet?  Or what?
Lastly, after 65 years, my service medal arrived in the post.  Upon demob I was homeless, so nowhere to post a medal to at that stage.   My guardian had died while I was on active service in the Canal Zone, her house sold and all my belongings mysteriously vanished.
For services in the Canal Zone
Earlier this year I got talking to a guy on a bus who'd also served in Egypt during the Suez crisis.  "Did you get your medal?" he asked  "No" I replied, "didn't even know I was entitled to one".   At the guy's suggestion I applied to the Ministry of Defence and after a couple of months they duly obliged with my boxed souvenir.
It brought back many memories.  I was a medic at RAF Kabrit on the Great Bitter Lake.  I was also a marksman and often had to ride shotgun on ambulances driving the 22 miles to the Military Hospital at Fayid.
Thankfully, I never had to shoot anyone!


  1. Congratulations for your beautiful Canal Zone Medal , it is well deserved as well Old Runningfox . I liked your local report and the superb flowers pics , keep going Gordon . Antonio .

    1. Well deserved but a bit late. Hope you're still chugging out the miles Antonio. You'll be a bit faster than me now. See you at Burnsall....

  2. Beautiful photos of the blossoms.
    Congratulations on finally receiving your medal.

    1. There are some wonderful Spring blossoms around now Karen - but unfortunately not in my garden! Stay Happy.

  3. Well done on eventually receiving your well-deserved medal!

    Now go for a run :-)

    1. Thanks JJ, but it'll get chucked in the drawer with all the other (running) medals.
      May is the month I start running again. Well, jogging......