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Out And About



Last week was the best week I have had for nearly 2 years. There is a normality coming back into my life that hasn't been there since Tom started to become breathless nearly 2 years ago. At first we only had a bit of a concern, but always at the back of a persons mind is the word cancer. Anyway, this week I have been as high as a kite with a change of tablets from the doctor, but even so I was compos mentis enough to know and act. Although its a really nice feeling to have, feeling tipsy and giggly which can only be compared t having a couple of drinks before a meal and almost feeling a little sad when the meal is eaten and the tipsy feeling is gone. Anyway, I had been tipsy for a week and was getting even tipsier. Now I've had abandoned the tablets and have reverted back to my originals only I have felt I can half the strength. If I am still feeling as good as I am after a couple of weeks, I fully intend the tablets will be confined to the annals of history. Anyway, as you know I have been in quite a reflective mood which was evident in my 'Just Be' blog. I also wrote another piece which has been accepted by Manx Tails for publication and if I was to say I was cockahoop, it would almost be an understatement. I don't want to write on the back of Tom, (so to speak), but I do love writing about him and I know there are people who like to read about him still. It was always on the agenda that I would write around Tom’s writings which would be called 'On the Rocks'. I now feel in a position to crack on with this, but I have asked Manx Tails if it could be a sort of serialization in their publication which would mean that it could be done gradually and would eventually for a complete book. This would be a much easier way for me than trying to write a whole book, get it published and distributed. Finding someone to publish is a task in itself and self publishing is expensive and then there is the distribution. Even Toms book 'Who's Afraid of the Dark' was a nightmare to publicise and get distributed and it also had a financial sponsor. Today we would be looking in excess of £6000 to publish, so this is why I feel a serialization would be good in the interim and I can write gradually. I am not a writer, but when I write about Tom my fingers can hardly keep up with everything flowing from me now. If ever there was a time when I felt Tom was with me in spirit, it is now.

Back to my week though, I have been out in my car/camper, sleeping out and absolutely loving it. I never thought I would be using the camper for sleeping in and saw it more as a day out, tea on tap vehicle, but what fun I have had last week. Of course Tom and I camped and loved it, but he never got chance to use this vehicle and when we bought it I knew I was going to be using it alone and this influenced my decision to persuade Tom to have just one vehicle and sell the car and motorhome we had. I used practicality, insurance, service, tax and garaging in my reasoning. We never argued about things like that. We just discussed and came to an agreement. We didn't argue about anything anyway, just maybe the odd minor disagreement very occasionally. Anyway the truth was that I knew I was going to be left alone and I needed to ensure I had something that would be practical and could be used for Tom as well. I have added a photo of my little vehicle on this blog. I don't think there is another of these vehicles on the Island, so if you see me, give me a wave. Anyway, the dogs and I have slept in the camper and I even came home on Thursday and returned to Peel with Orry the parrot. I haven't lost it! I never had it to lose in the first place. This unusual behavior on my part is not down to tablets or anything else, this is the closest I have been to being myself for quite some time. I've always been a tad mad or possibly eccentric. Orry loved it and was fascinated watching the comings and goings on Peel breakwater. The dogs and I have spent quite a lot of time walking Peel hill and I think it is lovely how it has been developed over the years from just a grassy hill. The little cafe on the breakwater is a great addition to someone like me that still hasn't got into the swing of cooking for themselves. In all honesty, I used to cook for myself all the time when Tom was with me as he was a fish person and I preferred more meat and veg. I suppose I just can't be bothered if I'm honest. I wasn't entirely alone on the breakwater as I had friends in a camper next to me who provided lovely breakfasts, company and allowed me to 'Just be'. As much as I feel safe on this beautiful Island, I would feel a little nervous sleeping entirely on my own without people I know close by. I came on Friday as I had felt a little under the weather with a mild bug which made me feel weak, nauseous and flushing. It went after a day or so and then I continued camping with a call at Sulby first of all which made me feel quite normal. As I pottered about in my camper, couples went past and were fascinated at my cage in the camper. I heard the lady say “What sort of parrot is it?” and her husband replied “An African Grey.” “Are you sure?” she asked him and I engaged them in conversation and confirmed that it was an African Grey and his name was Orry. Well if I thought I was going to shock them, it was me that had the greater shock when they told me they also had there parrot with them in their camper and he also was an African Grey! I actually went over to meet him but he wasn’t very impressed with me, but not to worry, I began to feel quite normal after all. From Sulby we went for dinner at the Chinese in Ramsey. It was a very enjoyable meal and whilst there I received a text Tony, from one of Toms friends, telling me that he was in the Mitre Hotel listening to Dickie Kelly. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I had to nip over and say hello to both. Dickie is a friend from long ago and played at our reception when we got married. Throughout the years we have met up at various places and he always tried to get the best of Tom with his banter. I have never met a man that ever managed that and Tom would engage in the friendly repartee. Going over to the Mitre was probably not one of my best ideas as the first thing Dickie asked was hoe was I doing. Emotion took over and I could only give a squeaky reply and decided I would rejoin my friends in the Chinese. I was waylaid on the way out by another couple telling me they were sorry to hear about Tom and by the time I got outside I felt quite sad. It’s all part of the process and these things happen. I just have to cope with each situation and not allow myself to slip into too melancholy a mood. I spent the night at the Moragh Park and woke still a little sad as I have many happy memories of our time living in Ramsey. We both loved Ramsey and the people who took us into their hearts and treated us as though we’d lived there all our lives. Before me and my friends left Ramsey on Sunday, we called at Alan (Mousie) Christians to fill up with water and then we went for a dinner at the Harbour Lights. It was gorgeous and I had to abandon my usual Sunday walk with Anne because I would have had to rush dinner and by the time I had eaten dinner, I was more up for a snooze than a 7 mile ramble. We continued our camping at Laxey Glen where we stayed the night and returned home today. Orry did well to stay that long really and to be honest, he seemed to love it.

I will have to bring this blog to an end now, but I am adding some photos of the moorhen, some views from Peel hill and also a few great photo's from Sean and Wendy when we went to the Sugarloaf. Sean is a brilliant photographer and I could do with him on my walks to capture the images I want to recreate in oil. That has also reminded me of my walk with Anne a week last Sunday. We walked from Port St.Mary to Port Erin along the coastal path stopping off at the Sound Cafe for a cuppa and a lovely piece of well earned chocolate cake. At Port Erin we also felt we had earned the right to a lovely big ice cream and then we walked the road way back to Port St.Mary for our vehicles. It was great to see the Sugar Loaf rock from above and the birds could be heard in the distance below. How I long to be able to take Anne to the Sugarloaf in the boat and let her be amongst the birds from the sea. Sundays are the only day she can do it and the weather and the tides all have to be right. For some reason it hasn't quite happened, but someday soon maybe we will manage it.

This is Barbara on the sunny Silverburn River, wondering where my rambling spirit will take me, Orry, Skipper and Suzie next.


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