Dreams and memories are a vital part of life. After my partner died memories became my essential comfort blanket – something which kept me going. Three years later they are just as important to my soul. The occasional forgotten photograph find rekindle long forgotten life snapshots.
Dreams come in three forms for me. Those dreams of a future life, memories and those dreams which come during those all too brief periods of sleep. My future life dreams died when my partner left us. All I see is darkness. My job is to give our son the best possible childhood. After that nothing. It’s something I’ve heard from others in a similar position to me – I live through my son.
After the world changed my night dreams became a weird bizarre place. Reality completely warped. But increasingly the dreams became memory driven. Accurate replays of precious moments. This brought great solace with a few tearful mornings. But recently things have changed. Suddenly the night dreams are actual memory based but morphed in some important and strange way.
A lovely visit family trip to Edinburgh Zoo to see the Pandas. But in the dream the family trip becomes a trip round Jurassic Park world. All the actual incidents but with a dinosaur flavour.
A trip to the Royal Ascot Racing Festival held for one year at York. The Queen riding past us. 2005. Yet in the dreams it’s not Horse Racing. Sometimes it’s Dragster Racing. Sometimes it’s donkey racing. YES I get these strange morphed dreams repeatedly.
A family trip to the beach. It’s cold so it’s double jumpers. Ice cream and hot doughnuts. Yet on the first sandcastle we strike oil. Oil gushes out of the beach.
A romantic meal. Days filled of love and smiles. Yet the fine food is replaced with bugs and slugs and grubs.
A hand in hand walk round York’s Roman Walls. But instead of lovely views of York and it’s stunning Minster we see Paris on side and Nepal on the other side.
A New Years Eve Blues Brothers Themed Night replaced with a WWE wrestling night.
I could go on. So many odd dreams. I’m not a clever man so I’m not going to venture into Descartes territory. I suspect the reasons may not be that fundamental. But the bottom line is that I want my precious original sleep dreams back. Often they are all that remain of a better place. I like a bit of craziness but not here please.
It’s Sunday and it’s time for a bit of Switzerland.
Just something about this wonderful place that is so uplifting for the soul.
Looking at the photos something occurred to me. How the varied architecture and buildings blends in perfectly with the stunning landscape. How many times these days do you see a potentially wonderful view ruined by an ugly inappropriate building. Not here in Switzerland.
It’s Sunday and it’s time for a bit of glorious Switzerland. Time to finish our 2015 journey to the Gornergrat. Last week it ended with the family at the top of the 10000ft rocky ridge looking at the panoramic view of the Alps.
I remember stood by the small stone Gornergrat Chapel and tried to think of a reason to light a small candle. Nothing came to mind. Life was pretty good. Little did I know that if you fast forwarded a year my mums funeral would have just been held and that my soul partner would be just a couple of weeks away from leaving this world as well. Yet here she was stood next to me full of the joys of life. With hindsight I should have opted for the chapels complete stock of candles.
Just minutes away from doing our last big walk together as a family of three.
But you know what I can’t think of a better walk to go out on.
I’m a seasoned hill walker in the UK but I have to say in the mighty Alps – it’s much better to be going downhill. So we started from the ridges highest point and descended. My almost perfect streamlined aerodynamic body shape – think Homer Simpson rather than Usain Bolt – gave me plenty of downward momentum.
The views just kept being astonishing.
We headed towards the Lake of Riffelsee. A place featured on millions of screensavers world wide. A place high up (so to speak) on our family bucket list. Would it be that good in reality. YOU BET and MORE. A small tranquil lake which perfectly frames the reflection of the Matterhorn. Yes it rightly deserves it place on the worlds greatest natural spectacles top table.
Eventually our son convinced us to save his little legs from further punishment and make the rest of the journey by train. A truly unforgettable experience.
It’s been one of those Yorkshire days. Long periods of rain punctuated with spells of stair rod duck weather. It’s the perfect weather for a leaking back door. If we had ducks then they would be happily swimming about in the utility room. I know what the rich must feel like now – an indoor pool. Looking at ours I really don’t see what all the fuss is about.
It’s was similar weather three years ago when I had to go and see the solicitor about my partners will. I was in such a daze that I hadn’t realised that I had forgot to put a coat on when I got out of the car. Within minutes I was a drowned rat but I only realised when I saw my disheveled reflection in a shop window. Previously I would have had an angelic voice quietly whisper – why don’t you put a coat on dear. It’s the one thing I have never adjusted to. Not having that caring soul help guide this bumbling fool through the twist and turns of life. That’s probably why I still tend to avoid social gatherings. Not sure I trust myself.
I’m so blessed to have been with that caring soul for a wonderful 17 years. It’s created so many memories. Fortunately years of over using the camera has created multiple photo albums filled with these memories. Those photographs tell our story perfectly. But one thing is missing and it’s so haunting. I just can’t seem to remember her voice. After all those years we spent together how can I forget something so important. I just can’t get it right in my memories.
So I have been trying to find a video with my partner talking. So many videos taken but they all focus on our son. Then I came across our old video camera. The one we bought during the pregnancy. The one which has been gathering dust since mobile phones became the memory recorder of choice. No luck so far but I did come across something which completely floored me. A mini video disc marked up as sons first walk.
When it happened I had picked our son up from nursery. My partner was still at work. Son was sat on the floor singing away so I started filming him. Within seconds he managed to pull himself up and waddled across to me. All captured on film. Unfortunately our dvd was broken at the time so we couldn’t replay it. So I said I would go into the city and get it transferred to video. I kept putting it off. I never got round to it. Over time the disc was forgotten about. I never did share that moment with my partner.
You assume you have all the time in the world but in reality you never know how much sand is left in the egg timer.
It so important that we remember to seize the day. Don’t assume you will get another chance tomorrow.
So the voice hunt will continue. I know somewhere I will find it. Then my memories will be complete. And again I will hear my angelic angel.
Autumn is upon us. Everywhere you look the signs are clear.
The hedgerows are brimming with fruit. Intricate cobwebs everywhere.
Most of the swallows have now departed starting their six week trek to Africa.
Yellows, browns and reds are starting to dominate the foliage. Trees letting go as sad leaves fall to the ground. Soon the fruit in the hedgerows will be gone.
It was the time of year my partner loved the best. She loved the colours and the reflective atmosphere. A time she could walk quietly and just think. Now I walk the same paths. Today I was struck by one thought. My partner would have been looking at these same autumnal sights. Countless generations will have been looking at these sights. As much as you think the world has stopped because of your personal tragedy it never does. Life continues. The never ending cycle of life. The empty branches show the fleeting nature of life. Leaves fall but they will be reborn again. So should you – in your own time. When the time is right – it’s time to live again. It’s time to find a new way of blooming.
For me I’m still in the existing stage. I don’t tend to have personal dreams anymore. For years we had shared dreams. When my partner left us those dreams died. Now my dreams are my sons dreams. I exist because of my son. I live life through my son.
At some stage I will transition into the next stage. When I start to live for me. When I start to dream again. It’s strange how Autumn which is a time of life coming to the end of its cycle has sparked these thoughts. But maybe a better way to look at Autumn is that it’s a time of letting go before you start again. Rebirth. Yes that works better for me. It’s a time just before you live again.
It’s Sunday and it’s Switzerland time….
Switzerland is a spectacular country which means its train journeys are often just off the scale. No need to read a book here. Just look out the window and drink the views in.
The trip from from Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg is one such experience.
The train goes on further up through the Eiger Tunnel to the JungFrauJoch. Known as the Top of Europe. But that was just too expensive. One day maybe… So we got off at the stop where a short walk takes you to the base of the famous North Face of the Eiger.
On the trip up I remember looking out of the train window in awe with our son repeatedly saying
“Mum can you tell me the story about the legend of the three mountains AGAIN”
The legend is that a beautiful young girl (The Jungfrau) is in danger from an evil Ogre (The Eiger). Only a brave Monk (The Mönch) can protect her. They forever stand next to each other in an eternal struggle.
Son loved this story and his mum loved telling him it. On this trip she must have retold it at least 30 times. Another smiley memory. Happy Days and my love keep telling that story.
This photo was taken on the last night my partner had in her beloved Switzerland. During a stunning sunset. Watching the moon rise over the Alps was just the most wonderful experience.
Little did we know that she would be gone 12 months later.
This is a photograph I can look at and still smile. Other photos bring tears but not this one. Don’t know why. In fact the more I think about it this was probably the last Swiss Photograph. It really should bring tears. Strange.
That night we racked our brains trying to work out ways of emigrating here to retire. Drawing up plans for spending all of our long life’s together. So many plans. In reality just pipe dreams with no chance of coming to fruition. The one thing we never factored in was an early death. You never do probably.
A few days ago I walked behind an elderly couple who had been shopping. They walked slowly hand in hand. Behind them a broken man walked sobbing his eyes out. In our pipe dreams that was us in thirty years.
I can’t tell how much that hurts.
From a few years back.
A lovely bit a Swiss Choir singing on the trip from Spiez to Interlaken. You certainly don’t see too much of that on the British Transport system……
I was corresponding with a really good friend this morning. Corresponding that’s a good word and I can’t remember ever using it before. Anyway during the corresponding (that’s twice now) a long forgotten memory popped into my head.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..
In a time before my partner,before our Son, before Aspergers…
A friend had seen an advert for a reasonably local Star Wars Convention. It was decided that a small an exclusively stupid group would partake in the trip. A plan was formed involving fancy dress, a pre Convention drinking event and attendance at the aforementioned convention. What could go wrong…..
So a few weeks later I was sat on a train next to Darth Vader. In the seats opposite we had Hans Solo and Yoda. I myself being Obi-wan. Oh the looks we got.
The pre Convention drinking event was indeed just a little bit drunken. Strangely the Star Wars characters found much competition with a myriad of Stag and Hen night ragalia. A particular mention has to go to Darth Vader who could not get to grips with a revolving dance floor.
The morning after found a hotel room with sore heads and a few costume issues. Darth Vader and Hans Solo still almost intact. Unfortunately Yoda had forgotten to bring his green makeup with him and looked rather ungreen after the nights festivities. Unfortunately his pillow was now distinctly green. Meanwhile Obi was a sorry sight. I had lost my light sabre and false beard. When I say lost I mean that they had been confiscated by the nightclub bouncers as offensive weapons. Plus my Jedi cape was last seen on the revolving dance floor. Bizarrely I was twice asked why my Captain Kirk costume was so rubbish.
So while the others had a late breakfast I set off in search of a new Obi costume and some Yoda face paint. Unfortunately Northern cities don’t tend to have a Star Wars Costumes R Us. After two hours no luck. However as it was October I could find plenty of Halloween stuff. So I eventually returned with a Dracula costume. My thinking was as Christopher Lee had played both Count Dooku and Count Dracula, I could go as a vampire Count Dooku. Unfortunately the only face paint I could find was red. So Yoda went to the dark side and became an odd looking Sith Lord.
So we headed off to the Star Wars Convention in good heart. Just outside the event the others headed for a public toilet so I entered the hall first. Most odd many posters of the Starship Enterprise – I cant remember seeing Han Solo flying that. Then it dawned on me. This wasn’t a Star Wars Convention it was a Star Trek Convention. Thinking quickly I told the ticket person that I may have a passing resemblance to a vampire but in fact I was a replica of a Klingon Bird of Prey. A few minutes later Darth Vader strode magnificently into the hall. He was soon surrounded by a group of rather none too pleased Spocks and Kirks. AWKWARD.