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This is a question Beautiful Moments, Part Two

Last week I saw a helium balloon cross the road at the lights on a perfectly timed gust of wind. Today I saw four people trying to get into a GWiz electric car. They failed.

What's the best thing you've seen recently?

(, Thu 5 Aug 2010, 21:49)
Pages: Popular, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Chance meeting
24 years ago, I met a young lady, we started seeing each other and fell madly in love. We were together for three years, a real rollercoaster of a relationship. We were both very young and immature, we were both headstrong and though we both were very much in love, being together was the wrong thing for both of us. Eventually, after many painful arguments, we finally split, for good. Life went on for both of us, but I never really stopped thinking about her. Sometimes I'd go weeks without thinking of her, but then something would remind me of her and I'd find again, that little place inside where something was permanently missing.

July 2006, I was on my way to work, a journey I had made almost every week day for two and a half years. Train to Kings Cross, then down to the tube station to catch a train to Baker Street and then on to Marylebone to the offices of the bank I was working for. I'd left the house, expecting nothing other than to roll into work, make it to the end of the day and return home, but the day turned out significantly different to anything I could have imagined.

I walked onto the packed platform and headed to the spot where getting on the train would put me in the perfect place to get off at the stairs at Baker St. and there she was. Stood in the exact spot I always stood. My heart leapt and then almost instantly fell. We'd not parted on anything remotely approaching the best terms and I feared that she would still resent the way things had ended. I didn't know if she had seen me, so I stood behind her, waiting for the train to arrive. I couldn't talk to her, the disappointment, if she still felt angry, would be too much too bear. I would get on the train, she would get off at a different stop to me and it would be one of those wonderful moments that I would remember and treasure.

The train pulled in and we got on, I was sure that she was unaware of my presence. Euston Square, she did not get off and my nervousness rose. the longer she was on the train, the more likely was the chance that she would see me and I'd find out if she was still angry with me. Great Portland Street came and went too and my anxiety levels rose higher. I told myself that I would get off at Baker Street and she would stay on the train, heading off to who knows where and out off my life once again. If she did get off at Baker Street, however, I felt I owed it to myself to at least try to speak to her. When we arrived and she stepped off, just ahead of me, my resolve evaporated. She would be going out a different exit to me and we'd part without meeting, it would be for the best. At the top of the stairs, expecting her to turn left, she turned right and I was a mess. Fear and elation flooded through me and finally, I plucked up the courage to say something. I said her name, not knowing quite what to say, but she stopped and I saw the most beautiful thing I have every seen. She smiled at me, tears in her eyes. She'd been feeling exactly the same as I had but had not plucked up the courage to speak to me and, fearing the worst, had resigned herself to walking off, never knowing.

Our lives have changed completely since that day. We both lived lives that made us grow up, in different ways, but it turns out, we're the pretty much the same two kids that fell in love 24 years ago and last year, 22 years after I first proposed, we finally tied the knot. That's where I saw the next most beautiful thing, her on her father's arm, walking down the aisle.

Apologies if it's a bit Mills & Boon and probably a bit clichéd, just wanted to share.

*Edit* cheers for all the comments, and to all those that asked, it's 100% true. Seems funny, but sometimes the stuff of Hollywood movies, really is the sort of shit you can't make up.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 14:29, 24 replies)
Take That and an old lady
It was the motherships 70th birthday last year.
She loves Take That. She is also the kindest most thoughtful, sweet, soft, old lady you could ever meet.
I have to say I quite like them too but never that much I would want to go see them.
Then 'The Circus' tour was announced. I decided to get her a ticket a whole 10 months in advance.
This meant I could give her the ticket for Christmas and then plan to go see them the following June.
She opened her present on Christmas morning, put her hand to her mouth, and tears filled her eyes. I nearly wept, she was SO excited. It became her entire focus for the next few months.
Her birthday suddenly came upon us, so she came to Bristol and we drove over to Cardiff. She had never been to a 'big' concert before so had no idea what to expect. The town was buzzing! packed full of people all heading to the stadium for the big event.
Outside she saw the tour buses and was speechless at the enormity of it all.
I took her picture outside the stadium, grinning, holding onto her ticket like she was Charlie and her ticket was golden.
We wandered in. I have been there before but she had never been anywhere bigger than the Liverpool empire so the scale, the height, the atmosphere freaked her right out!
We found our seats right up high, and sat waiting. She was like a kid. A 70 year old lovely old lady with a face of a child.
Then they came on. A huge cavalcade of balloons headed out into the middle of the stadium. Then, they appeared and started to sing 'Greatest day'. 'tonight this could be, the greatest night of our lives...'...I looked over at this pink, kind soft old lady and she had tears in her eyes. I was filled with such a love for her at that moment I thought my heart would burst.
All the way through she was enthralled, laughing, speechless...
Then the final song came on. They did the song from Stardust 'Rule the world'.
Oh I'm filling up now just thinking about it.
As they finished I looked at her and she was crying. Hands on her face, trying to hold it in. But she was crying. It took every ounce of strength in my body not to collapse in floods of tears at how happy she was. I gave her a big hug and told her how much I loved her.

Then it was all over and we made our merry way home through the crowds.

She sent me a card the next week saying thank you for the best night of her life.
I know it was too.
If I never have a beautiful moment again I will always be so glad I did that for her. She is now starting to fade, her health is deteriorating, but I know we will always have that magical night where she experienced the wonder of cheesy pop stars who made her cry with happiness.

What more could you ask?
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 1:45, 19 replies)
Emily
Some of you know the backstory to this, Emily is my G/F's daughter.
One night, some time ago now, when watching TV she asked "Does it bother you when people think you're my dad?"
I replied "Not at all munchkin, I'd be proud to have you as my daughter".

She thought for a bit.

"Sometimes people ask if you ARE my dad, I don't like telling them you're not, 'cos I really wish you were."

Doesn't get any better than that.
(, Mon 9 Aug 2010, 22:09, 7 replies)
When my young son
comes to stay with me one of his treats is sleeping in my bed with me, I tell him stories into the night and we eventually doze off exhausted. Because he is next to me I sleep very lightly, any sound or movement wakes me up. About 3 months ago I was woken by him just saying 'Daddy'.

"What son?"

He is quiet for a moment..

"You're my best friend"

Then he turns round and goes straight back to sleep. Its like he woke me up just to tell me that.

I am filling up right now thinking about it.
(, Mon 9 Aug 2010, 19:48, 6 replies)
On the last 'bus home out of town in Somerset one Saturday night
A group of lads at the back were being drunken, loud, but friendly - absolutely no malice at all.

Every single female that got on got a HUGE cheer from these lads.

A little old lady in her 70s got on - cue the HUGE cheers.

She paid for her ticket, turned to them with a wink and a smile, and pulled her skirt up a little exposing her knee, and pouted.

Cue HUGE cheers, wolf whistles, "Cor!" etc, but nothing filthy or dirty. Just good, clean fun.

Ace.
(, Mon 9 Aug 2010, 16:22, 1 reply)
The falkirk wheel at night
Good thing I had my camera!

(, Thu 5 Aug 2010, 21:56, 8 replies)
Going to the pub
This is only loosely related, but then I suppose this is a QOTW for all those random stories which just spring to mind.

The favoured after-work drinkery for myself and my staffroom colleagues is a couple of miles away through the bits of the city that disappear into rolling countryside. It serves good beer and cider, and is far enough from the school to prevent our well-earned drink turning into an impromptu Parents Evening.

But this isn't a story about the pub. It's a story about going there.

About halfway there is a different, small school, one of the many private institutions that dot the perimeter of Gloucester, and outside is the inevitable lollipop lady; someone with whom I have a passing acquaintance because I teach her son. One particular Friday, I was suffering quite a thirst, but was just about attentive enough to see the friendly crossing guard on the offside pavement, holding out her pole in a 'let me cross the road please' sort of way. I obligingly eased to a halt.

Not so the vehicle behind me, the ubiquitous white Ford Transit, with it's occupants of ubiquitous chavs wearing stripy polo shirts and baseball caps. As I slow down, they get closer and closer, until grinding dramatically to a halt some two inches from my rear bumper with a screech of breaks. Chav number one leans out of the driver's window and bellows "What the fuck...". It occurs to me that he is so stupid that he hasn't seen the flagging bright yellow lollipop which is waving all over the road.

This supposition is proved to be correct as he grinds the Transit's gears viciously into reverse and then first, and slams his foot to the floor, trying to burn me off in a cloud of black smoke. Only when his van is fully blocking the opposite carriageway and about five feet in front of my car does he realise that there is a crossing lady and two kids trying to get across the road, and his brakes take another pounding.

One of the kids is screaming at this point because her friend has tripped and fallen in front the van of twattishness. So crossing lady, nice and slowly, ushers both of them across and makes sure they are safely on their way home. Then, with a smile and friendly wave to me, she makes to return back to the opposite pavement.

But before she gets there, she turns to the van and looks Chavs number one and two square in the eye. She turns and marches towards the van. I was expecting her to go and ask them to be more considerate in future, but what actually happened was even better.

The fire of devilish fury rising in her eyes, she brandishes her lollipop like Conan wielding his sword. I swear to god she actually swung it around her head.

"YOU! STUPID! FUCKING! CUNT!" she bellows like Brian Blessed on ecstacy, punctuating each word with an almighty blow of the lollipop on the bonnet of the van, before stalking off in the general direction of the school. Myself, the children, and the gentleman approaching the crossing from the other side break into spontaneous applause.

As Chav number one leaps out of the door and inspects his mangled bonnet, I sneak a glance at Chav number two, who is sitting bolt upright in his seat, mouth open in mixed amazement and pain, as though he had just witnessed the queen taking a dump.

Restraining the rising hysteria, I motored off to the pub, leaving the scene of justice behind. Two hours later, I drove past the scene, seeing two very bemused van drivers still trying to explain to a bored-looking policeman what had happened.

Length? A tad over six feet, I believe.
(, Mon 9 Aug 2010, 16:20, 4 replies)
Alien Invasion...
This Saturday just gone, I spent the day at the Norman Lockyer Observatory near Sidmouth helping out at the South West Astronomy Festival. Barring some rain in the morning, it was a glorious sunny day on the south coast and there was a brilliant turn out of star gazers, amateur radio enthusiasts and interested locals with their kids. My job was to help run a “Physics is Fun” stall, with loads of hands on experiments and crafts for the kids, big and small, to get involved with. We made solar system bracelets, demonstrated tricks with water and launched paper rockets with some copper tubing and a foot pump. My personal favourite, however, was the spinning UFOs. Essentially, this is two polystyrene cups taped together, back to back, which are launched in the air by wrapping a couple of rubber bands around them then firing them like a catapult.

There’s a bit of a knack to it, and, after a couple of hours of the kids laughing at me for being pretty inept, I got the hang of it and started to get rather proficient. Now, if you get the angle and the spin right and put a bit of extra back spin on with your finger when you launch them, you can get these things to fly pretty high and do some impressive loops. I’d been demonstrating this to a small crowd and explaining the concepts of lift and momentum when I decided to launch another.

Somehow, I got it just right. With a bit of judicious help from a passing breeze, the cups looped into the air, climbed to about 20 feet and spun over the observatory, where they hung for what seemed like eons (but was more like 30 seconds). They then gently looped back and floated down into my waiting hands where I (astoundingly) caught them. I turned to see that a group of about 15 people were standing, open mouthed at what they had just seen. One of the parents turned to me and said “That. Was. Amazing...” Her child, no more than six years old, tugged at her sleeve, saying “Mummy, can I stay here and play with the Physics lady? Then can we go and see some more telescopes please?”

I don’t think I’ve ever been so pleased in my life. Here’s a child who wants to spend their Saturday engaging with science and was actually begging to visit a telescope.

Why do we need to make up magical explanations for the world around us, when the simplicity of showing children a toy that they can make in their back garden is so much more satisfying and is a way in to catching a kid’s imagination? If this weekend showed me anything it’s that we shouldn’t lie to kids about how things work as generally, they’re totally switched on and seem to get it that finding out the truth about stuff is pretty awesome.

As an aside, I’m thinking of developing the cups by calling them “Inuit Puffin Cups”, decorating them with glitter and taking them to Glastonbury next year and selling them to confused unicorn worshippers for five quid a go.
(, Mon 9 Aug 2010, 9:26, 11 replies)
Chav mother
with little boy in hoody walks into my pub.

"Oh dear!", thinks I.

"'e's just dropped his lunch, so we've come in to get 'im cheesy chips"

Cheesy chips come out to her and her offspring, who walks over to the bar. Down comes his hood, and a little angelic face says "Please may I have some mayonnaise? Please" he waits, quietly at the bar until I come back with the pot of mayo. "Thank you very much. I love cheesy chips" and off he walks.

Not overly beautiful, you may say, but I was prepared for some horror child, which I am too often confronted with. And this was a wonderful surprise.

What made it even nicer was the regular at the end of the bar who stopped the mother on her way out to congratulate her on having brought up such a wonderful child, to which she beamed with pride.

Little things like can make the world a lovely place.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 10:27, 4 replies)
Lowbrow
I'm lucky enough to have a girlfriend who, despite having lived in the UK for a few years, didn't quite get au fait with some of the more peculiar British customs. One such custom (I hope that I'm not coming across as a frightful weirdo here- please feel free to correct me if this isn't a custom at all) is feeling faintly triumphant after breaking wind particularly lavishly.

When we moved in together there came the awful realization that we would have to be in the proximity of each other even when at our least soigné. As the days went by I grew tired of running to the loo every time I needed to fart, and had to figure out the best way of broaching this delicate subject.

Eventually, I decided to bite the bullet. While we were gazing into each other's eyes on the sofa one day, I asked her, in my most debonair manner, to pull my finger. She complied, and what followed was my beautiful moment.

I let fly an absolute rip-snorter; one of those guffs which go down in legend and song. It started off with a basso-profundo growl, and then climbed in pitch, with occasional bird-like trills providing the soprano. Her eyes grew wide with wonder, then crinkled with glee as she realized the momentous event which was unfolding in front of her. Her beautiful face gasped with amazement and wonder as I loudly voided my bowels of foetid air.

It is probably the most enduring image I will have of her; the memory even trumps (ahaha) even her expression when I proposed to her on top of a wind-swept hill. In fact, I'm welling up even thinking about it.
(, Tue 10 Aug 2010, 11:37, 16 replies)
Bouncy bouncy
OK, here's another great chance to read this ...

It's not the first thing you think of when you mention Australia but through a strange twist I ended up spending a week in a town called Jindabyne and doing a bit of snowboarding in the nearby resorts.

I always got a lift in the morning and was told that the best way to get a lift home was to stick my thumb out. I think my thumb was used for about 20 seconds as every time - every time - the first car to pass me stopped.

I won't mention the first guy who turned out to be staying in the same ski lodge as me and bought me stupid amounts of beer and invited me to a party at his house, or the second guy who drove me all over the town to get a wee repair done to my board. I want to give a mention to the two lovely girls who picked me up on the third day.

We were idly chatting, 'where ya from', 'ya here on holiday', 'what do ya think so far'?
I answered 'Scotland', 'sort of' and 'it's brilliant ... although I've been here for days and haven't seen a kangaroo yet!' I added jokingly.

They talked amongst themselves for a bit and then pulled off the road up a side track which I assumed was some local short cut. We speeded along for miles, the road getting worse and worse as we drove, then it started to climb high into a part of the 'Snowy Mountains' (they're really called that).

We'd been off the main track for about half an hour now, longer than it would take to get to Jindabyne over the main road, so was getting ... well not scared ... they were lovely people ... maybe a bit worried.

We started driving through a heavily wooded area then stopped as we approached an old looking trailer. The driver got out and approached the door which was opened before she got there by an old scary looking guy. They talked and both looked back at me a few times before he dissapeared back in and the driver came back to talk to me.

She came back over and said, 'as quietly as you can get out the car.' Starting to get a bit scared now but did as I was told. The old guy came back out and beckoned for me to come over, gave me a handful of brown pellet like things. 'Walk over there and hold your hand out.'

I did, and out of the trees came a tiny little kangaroo, then another, and another, then loads ... all coming up to me and eating out my hand.

These girls, who I'd known for about ten minutes, drove on an hour's round trip out of their way so that some stranger could see some kangaroos! For no reason other than that they knew where to find some. It was a magical moment that meant a lot ... it was over 12 years ago now and I've got a huge grin on my face typing this.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 16:42, 3 replies)
uhm I dont normally do sad stuff
This QOTW got me thinking about beautiful moments. Like many of us I've seen many wonderful things and shared some experiences that will stay with me forever.
I've made love in a tropical waterfall and danced naked in a monsoon, within five minutes of eachother. I would explain more about that, but this is not a posting about nudie prod games.

The most beautiful day I had came a few years after the missus and me had been trying for a baby.
She has a genetic disorder that means her eggs cant travel down her fallopian tubes. It was about three years before we discovered this and that our only option would be to go through IVF.
Through some cockup, our case kept getting put on the bottom of any waiting list. This was partly due to her genetic condition and partly because she'd previously had parts of her lungs removed. They didnt really know what to do with her.
Finally we got to see an expert in her condition who was able to write the sort of letters that get things moving again.
And we were off, I got to experience the delights of wanking into a tiny jar to a jazz magg from Portugal (not as easy as it seems as the jar they give u was only about as wide as my bell end) and my gf got to experience someone sticking needles into her ovaries.
She was also on a strict drug regime, all of which had to be injected by me every day.
The first session was a complete failure, so we go through it all again after a break of a month or two for her system to reset.
Second time is a failure too.
We have our third and final try.
The morning we did the pregnancy test will stay with me for life. There it was, the lil blue bar showing us that yes it had finally worked. That day I was like a a grinning idiot the whole time.
Suddenly I knew why parents looked at their children the way they do and why whatever they get up to, they are still loved.
It was the happiest day of my life, my heart even kept skipping beats like it didnt know how to cope with being so happy.
I have never felt a feeling like it.

The next day it was all over. She was bleeding when we woke up.
Shellshocked we didnt really know what to say to eachother. The doctors patiently explained that it would be very unlikely that we would ever be able to have our own children.
The option of donor eggs fell by the wayside when her lung collapsed a year later and she had to have part of it removed, leaving her with severly reduced lung capacity.

So thats it really, for one day I knew what it felt like to be a dad and I will never forget it.

Maybe I should have just typed that. Maybe then I wouldnt be mopping my darn eyes.

On a lighter note, to help with her physio we got a border collie called Flo who is the absolute bee's knees and we frikkin love her to bits.

*edit* Thanks to everyone for the kind words and messages. There are some truly beautiful people on here. Its easy to forget that with all the goatses and nob jokes.
xxx
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 14:06, 12 replies)
The axeman cometh
Just some quick background...

I've been having a really bad week. Broke up with my fiancee and later discovered she'd cheated on me. I tell you this only so you can imagine my current mindset. For those who can't; I'm so down I'm positively subterranean. It feels like someone's died.

With that in mind, some further background...

I live in a big old house that's been converted to 3 flats. I'm on the ground floor, the top two flats are currently empty. The landlord of the flat above mine had his previous tenant disappear owing him rent so is in the process of changing the locks. This includes the lock on the main, communal front door. He changed the lock on Monday and promised to get me a key cut. Since then I've had to leave the front door on the latch everytime I go out.

Yesterday, my phone died while I was in work. It's a messy business breaking up with someone, there's a lot of texting and terse phonecalls involved. So I'm essentially phoneless. I arrive home with some bags of shopping to find that the door is no longer on the latch. It is locked. I have no key. And no phone.

After standing there aghast for a minute I think "Fuck it. It's that pillock of a landlord's fault I'm locked out, he'll just have to replace the lock again" and start kicking the shit out of the door.

After about 5 minutes of this, Paul arrives. I don't know Paul, he lives across the road from me. He looks a bit 'special'. And is carrying an axe.

"Alright mate?", asks Paul, "need a hand with that?".

I'm so grateful he hasn't come to behead me I say yes. I'm further grateful that he decides not to go all "Heeeere's Johnny!" on my front door but instead wedges the axe blade between the door and the frame and starts twisting it. "While I twist, you push the door, hard", he says. So I do.

After about 5 minutes of this Martin pulls up in his van. I don't know Martin either. But he looks like a builder.

"Oi mate!", shouts Paul. Who also doesn't know Martin. "You haven't got a crowbar in the back of that thing have you?"

"Yeah.", answers Martin, looking slightly wary. "Why?"

"Bring it over here!"

So that is the story of how me and two complete randoms ended up in a heap on my hallway floor having crashed through my front door and broken into my own home.

I'm inside my flat after thanking the guys. I put the shopping down and I know I'm about to cry. I'm sweating, worn out physically and emotionally and I can just feel it coming.

Then there's a tap at the window.

I pull myself together, pull back the curtain and see Paul stood outside. I go out to meet him.

"Hiya fella. I just been and told the wife what happened and she had a right good giggle about it. Wants to know if you'd like to come over for dinner?"

I could barely talk I was welling up so much. How lovely is that?

Never underestimate the kindness of strangers.

*Edit* And I've just realised it's my b3taday too.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 13:08, 12 replies)
We once saw
in Basingstoke, a large and perfectly vertical dog turd in the middle of the pedestrianised area. Not even the slightest lean; it was like a brown fissured Saturn V rocket waiting for blast-off.
(, Sat 7 Aug 2010, 11:56, 3 replies)
Most beautiful thing I've seen recently?
The balance of my Paypal account after you lovely people donated for Jessie :)
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 16:13, 3 replies)
My Grandad and Grandma.
Seeing as you lot are making me extremely weepy, I thought I'd actually join in for once. I'm afraid there's no punchline or even any specific 'moments' here, but I'd like to say how much I love my grandparents.

My Grandad is amazing. He really is. He was an evacuee in the war, then he joined up to the RAF, and he worked on the Star Wars strategic defense initiative. He travelled all over the world with his loving wife in tow, to Singapore and to Kenya where my uncle was born. He's given me so much, and I don't mean in terms of crappy plastic toys. He taught me how to pick blackberries, how to put rubber band aeroplanes together, what a dinosaur is (we went so often to the Natural History museum, he had a season ticket). He showed me how to think, how to question and why grandparents are so fucking special.

My Grandma is fantastic. I'll never forget the time my Mum, me, my brother my my grandparents were sat talking in their almost stereotypically old-person living room. I don't remember what the subject was - something about the RAF - but my Grandma said, with an affectionate smile to her husband of 50 years, "Yes, he'll always be my Brylcreem boy." For a brief moment, I saw my Grandad as she must still see him: a six foot something handsome engineer, using his brains and practicality to help Britain.

She's a four foot nine 70-something old woman now, with a dodgy knee and a love for People's Friend magazine. My Grandad has weird heart arrythmias and a stooped back. But you know what? They are so much in love, even now. I can only hope they stick around to see their future great-grandkids, because I want my children to know how bloody special they both are.

Sorry for the page-long rant.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 9:21, 3 replies)
Babies in arms
Not that recent, but I saw the photo again this week so that counts, right?

About four years ago Mrs Spankengine and I adopted twin daughters. It all happened incredibly fast - we got the call on the Saturday and by Monday we were signing away our freedom (I won't go into all the details about how we ended up at this decision in our lives, but there's a few stories on this QOTW that I read and shed a tear to).

Long story short, we met the biological mother early afternoon, then met her parents, who really had been bringing up these beautiful girls (aged 9 months at the time). A truly magical time - it still feels like we were walking on holy ground.

The photo in question? Myself and Mrs S each holding one of these little girls, who both promptly settled and then fell asleep in our arms. The grandparents told us at that moment They Knew, and so did we. And I think so did the girls.

That's what love at first sight feels like.
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 3:30, 1 reply)
from the mouth of my baby
I was looking after my son, just me and him, he'd just turned three. The conversation went thus:
Daddy?
Yes mate?
I'm happy.
Oh that's nice to hear, why are you happy?
Cos i love you

:-) :-) :-)
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 1:54, 1 reply)
Next generation
Six year old little sister is sitting on my knee in the car. I can hear her humming and then doing some sort of amateur beatbox drum sound, and then whisper 'miaow, miaow' to herself. I also noticed she was moving her hands in an odd fashion.

It took a moment to click, but she was being keyboard cat. A beautiful moment right there
(, Tue 10 Aug 2010, 14:09, 3 replies)
When I was on holiday somewhere
I saw the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen, here is a photograph of it:



Unfortunately I forgot to remove the lens cover.
(, Tue 10 Aug 2010, 13:04, 9 replies)

My mum had a severe stroke late last week. She smiled at me today.
(, Sat 7 Aug 2010, 9:57, 2 replies)
8 years ago
I got in line for a cashier at the local Sainsbury's. Infront of me was a small blond haired boy, filled with the joys of a carefree life, and a lifetime of discovery and adventure ahead of him. On the slidy rubber mat was his only selection: two funsized packets for haribo starmix; in his hand was his precious pocket money.

He turned to look at me, a jaded tall blond student with a fraction of his student loan in his pocket. On the rubber slidy mat was my only selection: two massive packets of haribo star mix.

It made me smile at the time. A bit like this --> :)

This is also a beautiful moment: Embrace Life
(, Mon 9 Aug 2010, 22:27, 2 replies)
Not one but two
beautiful moments in as many weeks. Long one here, be warned.

Last week it pissed down with rain. I was standing at the kitchen window looking out. Now this is no ordinary looking out - this is looking out by a woman who has been registered blind for ten years due to losing a very large percentage of her eyesight. So the stuff you guys get to see is often totally lost on me.
However I still like my garden and often attempt to grow stuff in it that is not weeds. At the moment there is an area close to the house which is covered in nasturtiums (probably spelled that one wrong.) They are bright orange and yellow flowers with leaves shaped (I think) rather like the old Skips crisps, but larger, sometimes the size of the palm of your hand and bigger - and the stem attaches at the middle of the underside, so they can look like little scalloped dishes on a stem.
I was gawping at the rain on the plants with the aid of my trusty Canon digital SLR, which is how I get to see the finer detail of the world these days. I can see things largely better through the viewfinder than I can unaided. Not so great for getting around (impractical !) but for moments when time is on your side and you're not doing anything much it's good. And you can always upload it to a pooter and see stuff on a big screen that you never even knew was there.
The rain was absolutely hammering down, but the sun was out in the way the sun often is during summer showers. The nasturtiums were getting a total pasting from the downpour, but the surface of the leaves is quite water repellent and they have a sort of well in the centre that forms the dish shape. A ray of sun was illuminating the group of leaves in my viewfinder right as I was looking at them - result ! Press to record some video I think.
Drops of water were pooling in the centre of the leaves and forming like water on a hot stove top in the brightest silver, with the sun lighting them up, then being smashed off by the continuing rain. They looked like little sparkling jewels leaping around, it was amazing. When the shower tailed off I was still looking, and one leaf had a huge drop of water in the middle. Slowly the rain petered out and as it did, the silver drop began to swell up. I watched it get bigger and bigger as the shower ended, then eventually weight and gravity took its toll and the water over flowed the leaf edge in a bright silver stream.
When I uploaded this to my mac and slowed the footage down, it was even more beautiful.

Second beautiful moment was a couple of weeks ago when the group of visually impaired bods I am in a band with did a fundraising gig at the local blind club. I run the band / workshop as such, it's a lot of work (which I won't go into) and every one in it is of differing abilities (read: some of the members are a bit crap) so it can be a hard ole grind sometimes that I often don't enjoy anymore. Luckily my fiance (who is also in it) and I are in another band also which is very good, so all is not lost in terms of our own artistic fulfilment. Leading up to this gig (we rehearsed for six months, that'll give you an idea of the level of the thing) I had been wondering what the hell I was still doing it for, as it was proving hard to get through to some of the members what was needed and how they could improve (without coming out and saying, "You're shit, tighten up !", which under the circumstances I feel would be unfair). Politics within and around the whole thing weren't helping either.
But then on the night I got an absolute idea of what made it all worth it.
One of our members is a fifty something school teacher-like prim and proper lady who has Rentinitus Pigmentosa. She has grown up kids who don't really appreciate her anymore or help her much with her decreasing eyesight. She's just got her first guide dog and is going through all the stuff associated with learning how to work with her and so on. Her first husband died from cancer when they were very much in love after she nursed him through it, and her second treated her like total dirt, cheated and left her high and dry and absolutely destroyed any confidence she might of once had. The other female member of the band is a bit of an attention seeker and can often criticise this lady when she really should keep her mind on her own lack of talent, so our fifty something lady is often unsure of her own abilities. She's very shy and constantly worries about what people think of her.
But since working with her in the band over the last couple of years I have seen her utterly blossom, with a sex kitten in there clawing to get out. She now sings songs she never ever thought she would (we never thought she would either) and gives it the berries every single time. The crowning example being her at the gig singing "Black Night" by Deep Purple, giving it two hundred percent, whilst my fiance (used to such things) gave it a shredding guitar solo, and the rest of the band plus a crowd of fifty or so sighted and non sighted people alike shouted gleefully along with the riffs. She loved it, they loved it. She absolutely glowed, no kidding. It was a truly beautiful moment and it made me realise why I am still doing it.

More cheese, Vicar ? ;)
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 16:15, 2 replies)
Simmer Dim
I've recently moved to Shetland after marrying my beautiful wife.
We'd unpacked the boxes, marvelled at the view (miles and miles of unspoilt rolling hills right outside our window), been bowled over by the friendliness of those around us, then sat down exhausted with a beer.

It was just gone midnight, and this was the view from the garden. Hairs stood up on the back of my neck when I saw this, in the middle of the night, in summer. The birds were still burbling away in the back ground, there was a cow watching us from the neighbouring field, and there was beer in my belly. This was as dark as it got that night.

The Simmer Dim, is the local name, and it was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen:


(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 14:04, 6 replies)
The last day I saw my first dog
Obligatory wavy lines...

When I was a wee lad (say of 7 or 8) we got a Bedlington Terrier and called him Jay Jay (after initials of me and my dad). He was the runt of the litter and was plagued with illness after condition after illness throughout his entire life, however as much as he felt rotten inside he loved fifty times more.

Dad was the master, I was the brother and we got on like a house on fire. Jay was the friendliest, child-safe and faithful pooch anyone could ask for - you'd only need to glance at him and he'd jump on your lap. Our Burmese cat (McCavity) was very much the boss until his sad death some years later but Jay remained ever chirpy and willing to lend his chin to your knee.

He came from pedigree stock which meant he was due to leave us around the age of 10 and with all his problems he would probably only see 6 if lucky - he lasted (we like to think out of pure devotion to us and us to him) until 13. If you're still with me then we're about to reach the main story point now.

Still with me? Lovely!

I moved out a year before Jay was diagnosed with leukaemia, this was surely going to be the swift end to our old friend. Our vet gave him slim odds but offered us an experimental treatment to try and buy some more time, we took it. Maybe we shouldn't have since it led to as many bad days as there were good. He'd often go a day or two at a time a springy young chap with attitude but then would suddenly be utterly unable to move out of his basket for an equal or greater amount of time.

My mum looked after him like a trooper, watering him with a droplet and making sure he stayed clean, I'll always thank her for that. I went round a fair bit in his last couple of months to make sure I saw him often. Then the last day happened. It was a bad day.

I popped round to say hello and before I left I went to his basket and he couldn't even lift his head to look at me he was so weak, I was told he'd been like this for a few days, longer than usual. I gently lifted his head and ruffled his fur whilst saying 'Goodbye mate', placed his withered head down and went to walk away.

I managed about four steps before hearing his clawless paws tapping on the kitchen floor, he was standing there with his head held high looking right at me, tail wagging and his body shaking with pain. His puppy spirit won through and we had a little gentle play before making another goodbye and placing him in his basket.

We lost him the next day.

He knew he was on his way out as I was making mine.


Length? Being the runt is a good excuse for not mentioning.

EDIT: Still have his collar hanging on my fridge door, respect Jay!
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 5:56, 15 replies)
This:
Clare in sunshine

My beautiful Clare, who recently celebrated her 13th birthday and in doing so has outlived the initial prognosis given when she was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. She's in a modified baby onesie because of the Langerhans cell histiocytosis, which is spreading, but she's still eating, playing, purring and loving. I still fall asleep with her in my arms every night and wake up with her inquisitive little face the first thing I see in the morning. Every time I look at her it's the most beautiful moment, and knowing it will go away soon is the hardest thing in the world right now.
(, Thu 5 Aug 2010, 23:35, 8 replies)
Ten years ago:
A young man sits at the edge of the playground, watching everyone else have fun. In fact, he sits at the edge of everything; he doesn't understand how to talk to people, boys think he's weak and girls think he's creepy. They're probably right. So he hides where nobody can see him during the mercifully short breaktimes, and goes to chess or art club during lunch so he doesn't have to be near most of the other people, and he spends a whole lot of time trying not to cry or show how lonely and bored he is.

Last night:
A young man sits at the edge of the dance floor, watching everyone else have fun. He sips the drink from the round he bought and suddenly remembers the other young man from a decade ago, whose position was so similar and yet so very different to his now. Right now, he's sitting this one out because he's tired, he's been up all day organising the social events of the weekend, he was drinking the night before too, and his mate wants to try to cop off uninterrupted.

He remembers the other young man.

He realises that right now he has chosen to exclude himself.

And the knowledge that I have that choice now makes me smile wider and laugh harder than I have in a long, long time.
(, Mon 9 Aug 2010, 11:15, 6 replies)
Last week I went to the UK on business and had a couple days to myself so went to London.
Wandering around some of the stores, I found a ring that I thought my girlfriend would just love....it's made of silver and is a dragon shaped head, with a ruby for the eye - she likes that quirky stuff.
So I went ahead and bought it thinking she'd love it.

On the plane on the way home, I got to thinking just how much I love her, we've been together 5 years and I realized she's the one I wanted to spend my life with and have children with.

I got home Wednesday, and took her and both our moms out for dinner to regale them with tales of my first trip out of the US. When the waiter brought out dessert, I fumbled for the ring and with tears in my eyes got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. It was a beautiful moment for me and even more so for her. All four of us were in tears and our parents couldn't be happier.

I woke up with her this morning tangled in the bedsheets, and I can't wait for the rest of my life.
(, Sat 7 Aug 2010, 19:19, 6 replies)
ex
when you run into your ex, having lost a vast amount of weight and knowing that you look great, whilst he has got very ugly and his new girlfriend seems to be a smackhead. the look on his face when he actually recognises you? THAT'S a beautiful moment, right there.
(, Thu 5 Aug 2010, 22:33, 11 replies)
The other night
I was kneeling on the bed next to the missus whilst in receipt of a furious handjob. It wasn't long before I shot my load, seemingly in one long spurt and with the vigorous action of her hand, it landed on her chest in a crude 'Z' shape. This was an opportunity I couldn't miss, so I cried out
"Zorro strikes again, Olé!" and with a flourish, snatched up my shirt and wrapped it across my face like a cape, leapt off the bed and ran out the room.

I came back in a few seconds later with a handtowel. I'm a proper gentleman, me.
(, Tue 10 Aug 2010, 11:36, 4 replies)

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