50 Years and Still Going Strong

Or at least she hasn’t killed me yet Winking smile

At 12:30 on Saturday the 12th September 1970, I married Mary, the love of my life; although at the time we had only known each other for 6 months.

A couple of weeks before, I told my mum that we were going to find a flat to live in. I was told in no uncertain terms that there was no way that was going to happen unless Mary had a ring on her finger – note that this is my Mum Smile – at 22 years of age I was a little miffed so, trying to call her bluff, I turned round and said ‘OK make the arrangements then’. I should have known better – that wedding was arranged so fast it was like a fairy godmother had come to visit.

When I think back I realise that I never actually asked Mary to marry me – must have been meant for each other though as we made it to here.

I don’t give advice but I think the ‘secrets’ of a successful marriage are:

  1. Make sure you never go to sleep on an argument;
      1. if you do, beware the frying pan whilst you are asleep;
  2. Always say ‘I love you’ at least first and last thing each day – and mean it;
  3. Always remember who the boss is; – and believe me, any bloke who thinks it’s him is either an idiot or not likely to last 50 years Smile. (refer to 1i above Smile)

Be Safe All

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Common Sense Is Not So Common

I really do not believe the mentality of some people; There was an article in the News (Daily Mirror I think) with a lady saying, along the lines of, ‘I was forced to leave my husband and two children behind in France so I wouldn’t have to isolate for 14 days’, along with stories of chaos as holiday makers rush to beat the deadline to avoid the 14 day quarantine imposed on returning from France as of 04:00 Saturday 15th August. 

I know it is important for, most, people to work to earn a living, but what has happened to logical, sensible and common sense thinking?

The reason for the quarantine is to prevent the spread of the Corvid-19 virus from a country that is showing signs of a resurgence of transmissions.

The lady who was ‘forced’ to leave her children in France is prioritising her job over her children – WHY? and 100,000 people, according to the papers, were cutting short holidays to avoid having to quarantine – again WHY?

If any of those people were exposed to the virus, they are now a danger to their families, friends, co-workers  and anyone else they come in to contact with – and all because they didn’t want to go in to lockdown for a couple of days.

Now they are not, of course, to blame for doing this because they believe it is the fault of the Government for imposing the restriction shortly after they were told they could go on holiday; and the Government is always to blame.

They are making the same arguments as those affected when Spain was taken off the safe list a couple of weeks ago – to them it is irrelevant that the Government was proved right as Spain’s infection numbers have overtaken those in the UK .

As it happens, in this particular case I agree that the Government is to blame – not because they imposed the quarantine – but because they didn’t do it with immediate effect.

On the whole I think the Government has handled the pandemic as well as anybody could, given the limited knowledge in the early stages. In large they seem to have learnt from mistakes made, but they still seem reticent to act decisively once the evidence is strong enough to make a decision.

As I have said before, hindsight is always 20-20; they are dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t; but the economy – and therefore job security – isn’t going to improve if we get hit by a second wave which, history tells us, is generally worse than the first outbreak.

Stay Safe Folks

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A Birthday and End Of Shielding

Those in the Governments Shielding category can now play outside – hurrah; the trouble is that the risk should a shielded person contract Corvid-19 hasn’t gone away. All my life I have taken risks; mostly calculated but sometimes just stupid; but this time it’s my better half that is at risk so I’m not inclined to play outside at the moment – I’ll get back to normal once we have a viable vaccine.

On the good side the removal of the shielding restrictions allowed my Granddaughter to visit me on my 72nd Birthday for the first time since the lookdown began – that made my (our) day.

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Back to Normal – Not Quite

You would think that the PM said ‘it’s all over you can go back to being the same morons as before’ rather than ‘maintain social distancing and be sensible’. Judging by the pictures on the news, even allowing for the fact that journalists will always take the worst case film they can find, it will not surprise me if the infection rate goes up in the near future.

As for me – we will remain in lockdown for a bit longer and ponder why history has a habit of repeating itself:

image

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Escape!!!

After two and a half months of lockdown we are told that we can now go out for a walk provided we maintain social distancing; those who have read my earlier posts will know that the boss is in the ‘At Risk’ category so neither of us has been out of the house, except for a naughty 5 minute drive up the road and back to give the car a little exercise.

So we put on our outdoor clothes and off we went for a walk around the block. Mary yelled out ‘I’m free; I’ve been released from prison’ when we saw a man and child walking a dog; for some reason he gave us a funny look.

I also took the opportunity to take the bike for a run out for a short ride. For one reason or another I haven’t been out on it since before Christmas, so I wrote this Facebook post when I got back; “Just took the old girl for a ride after changing her battery; first time for quite a few months. It reminded me just why I keep her around even though she is getting a bit old – I had a smile on my face all the way ”; Got a few strange comments about that one.

Anyway, on a slightly more serious note, I’m not so sure we are ready to face the wider world yet; there are too many idiots out there taking any excuse to gather on beaches and open spaces and, judging from the photos, ignoring the rules. The ‘me, me’ society is still alive and, in this case, risking spreading the virus in a second wave.

I read one of the stupidest articles going in the Independent (no I don’t normally read it but this article was in my online news feed) it suggested that the quarantine imposed on travellers coming in to the country was not necessary and, here’s the funny bit, that the best way to cut the infection rate in the UK was to allow everyone to go abroad on holiday, and to allow those from countries, where the infection rate had dropped, to come here on holiday. I’m not sure that the other countries would like adding our infections to their totals. I’d like to think the author was trying to be funny but it’s the Independent so s/he was probably serious

Take care out there – it isn’t over yet

Oh and I’d like to welcome ‘eisev’ who, apparently, has started following this blog. As far as I know you are the only follower I have, since the last person got bored and left. Enjoy!! – correction – Just looked and I also have another, ‘whughson’ so you are joining an elite audience.

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Crew Dragon docks with ISS

Just watched the Crew Dragon docking with the ISS and managed to take some great screen captures

Crew Dragon 1             Crew Dragon 2Dragon Cab             Space station

Doug Hurley, the Crew Dragon commander, was the pilot of STS-135, the final flight of the Space Shuttle program on the orbiter Atlantis 8th – 21st July 2011 – so 9 years between visits

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NASA–Space X & Crew Dragon

Watched the launch of the Space X Demo-2 Falcon carrying NASA Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley in the Crew Dragon today.

KSC-Hurley_Behneken_large                  demo2-launch-1024x584
https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2020/05/30/nasas-spacex-demo-2-launch-a-great-day-for-america/

Back in the early 1960’s we were fortunate to read about and watch mans first exploration of space starting with Yuri Gagarin on 12th April 1961 in his Vostok 1 spacecraft:

3829076a        Gagarin_Capsule 
Picture By SiefkinDR – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12403404

and followed very quickly by Alan Shepard on 5th May 1961 on the Mercury spacecraft Freedom 7

800px-Alan_Shepard_in_capsule_aboard_Freedom_7_before_launch                            1024px-Freedom_7_U.S._Naval_Academy
Picture By HrAtsuo – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18049282

Then followed the Gemini and Apollo projects, culminating with the highlight of the Apollo 11 launch on 16th July 1969 atop a Saturn 5 rocket from Kennedy Space Center launch pad 39A; crewed by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. The Luna Module Eagle landed at Tranquillity Base at 20:17 UTC on 20st July 1969 and, at 02:56 UTC on 21st July, Neil Armstrong became the first human to step foot on another world.

Apollo_11_Crew         Apollo_11_Lunar_Module_Eagle_in_landing_configuration_in_lunar_orbit_from_the_Command_and_Service_Module_Columbia
By NASA – NASA Human Space Flight Gallery (image link), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=102412

By NASA – NASA website; description,[1] high resolution image.[2], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4934985

I watched this historic event as a 21 year old and remember feeling very emotional and proud of the achievement even though I’m not American.

I felt the same way today as I watched the Space X launch with it’s modern and sleek lined  crew module launch from that same pad, 39A.

Hopefully I’ll still be around in 2024 to see the next landings on the moon and be able to still say “I belong to a generation that has seen it twice”

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Happy Birthday Mary

Fifty years ago today (28/05/2020) I wished my future wife, Mary, Happy Birthday and gave her a box of Cadburys Milk Tray wrapped, as she is fond of reminding me, in a brown paper bag; those were in the days when a shop would automatically place goods in said bag free of charge.

Three months later we got married; It occurs to me that I never actually asked her to marry me; I had told my mother that we were going to get a flat together and she went off on one (i.e. started  telling me off in a forceful manner) with words along the lines of “she is a guest in this house and there is no way she is leaving it to live with you unless she has a ring on her finger”; I replied, somewhat heatedly, “alright make the arrangements then”.

That was on a Sunday and I disappeared for the week, back to where I was gainfully employed. By the time I returned the following Friday night, my Mum and Mary had been down the registry office and booked a date.

And before anyone askes  – our first child was born three years later.

Then and now:

Us_11-10-11_0070                    Cruise_2016-03-01_808

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Arriving Home

Had it not been for the Virus we would have arrived home from the States this morning, nice and brown and knackered because of the overnight flight.

As it happens I awoke at around 04:50 this morning, went to the loo, got back in to bed and promptly fell asleep again. I was quite shocked to see it was 09:50 when I opened my eyes; I put it down to the traveling but we must have needed the sleep I suppose.

NASA2

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VE Day 75th Anniversary

This morning we watched HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall lay a wreath and flowers on behalf of the Nation, in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary VE Day.

On a day when most of the UK expected to be out on the streets, it was kind of eerie looking at an empty street during the two minutes silence. Normally there would have been a crowd with one or two coughs and shuffling feet in the background, but today not even a bird.

There are a few houses around our way decked out in flags and bunting; We don’t have any bunting so this is our contribution:

20200507_094454

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