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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)
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There was a harvester bringing in a crop on one of the quex fields today.
Massive cloud of dust and the road covered in chaff which blew up when cars went through it. Stunning.
(, Sat 7 Aug 2010, 1:25, Reply)
Wild camping
I have a fair few of these, but one of the best was when we were down collecting firewood from the shores of Loch Lomond, just around dawn. As we trudged along the shoreline we heard a great deal of splashing and looked up and over to see two enormous swans attempting to take off. This involved a fair bit of running across the surface of the water and lots of flapping. As it was so quiet and tranquil we could every flap of their enormous wings as the struggled to take off, and take off they did, soaring about 20 foot above our heads.

We just stood in silence, time seemed to stand still as they eventually got out of earshot.

Could break yer arm mindye.

Another time me and a friend had taken a reasonably mild dose of magic mushrooms and camped bout 100 yards from where we had picked them. We laughed like loons and eventually the shrooms began to wear off as dawn beckoned. However the real star of the show had yet to appear. All around us, what had previously been varying degrees grey and shadow, began to infuse with the most incredible shades of green, imperceptible at first, then gradually every shade, tone and hue of green became visible, it was as if someone was turning up the colour knob on the world. The thick velvety moss that covered the dry stane wall beside us, literally burst with life and vigour. The grass, bubbled with rich variance, no to square feet where the same shade. The tree we had camped under cast its emerald encrusted limbs around us and the hills in the distance positively exploded with verdant intent. I attempted to capture some of the intensity with a camera, but it failed miserably to convey the variance.

When we woke up the next day, in the full glare of the sun, it had all just turned to a boring green.
(, Sat 7 Aug 2010, 1:07, Reply)
A Rover P5b driving past me on my way home from a shitty day at work
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 22:59, Reply)
Yesterday night my hamster looked close to death. It was shaking like a druggie withdrawing and wasn't able to walk or anything. I checked this morning to see if it was still alive to take it to the vets and she/he (undetermined sex) is back to his/her normal healthy self!
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 22:02, 5 replies)
The innocence of lambs
A few mates, my wife and me trekked part of the Pennine Way from Bowes to The Tan Hill Inn. We went back via God's Bridge to the A66.

My wife was knackered. The other two wanted to go on walking and do the "Bowes Loop". We let them go on. I made my wife comfortable and set off to fetch my Land Rover. The quickest way back to Bowes was via the route of the former railway.

After a little while I came across a small flock of sheep, a lamb was half asleep and let out a questioning Baa as I went past. I stretched out my hand and the lamb nuzzled it for a minute. The lamb knew I wasn't Mum, but the trusting innocence touched me.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 21:32, 6 replies)
the shock of the new
recently, my kids had some friends over to play, they are 4 & 2 and the various kids are similar ages. I had been drafted into their games and was busy being killed in a variety of ways.
I was bored, so I said to them "hey, I can pull my finger off' and showed them the tired, rubbish 'pull your finger off trick' that everyone has seen a million times.
The kids, being so young, hadn't seen it before and were completely taken in. It was beautiful to see them all wide-eyed with wonder and shocked at what I could apparently do.

They even dragged me downstairs to show the other adults, who were understandable less impressed
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 21:32, 2 replies)
A signed photograph of Stevie Wonder
On the wall of a pub in Cheltenham.
The reason it was so good? The message and signature was cut off by the edge of the picture.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 20:39, 2 replies)
in the clinic
16 years old, siting with clenched knees, biting your nails.
in walks the nurse.
"well, your test is negative, you're not pregnant."

(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 20:21, 4 replies)
Not seen per se...
...but remembered very recently.

I watched my friend's little 'un playing with plasticine the other day and it unleashed an involuntary memory from way back when...

I must have been about 3 or 4 at the time when my mum bought me a set of multicoloured plasticine, probably to keep me occupied while she carried on with whatever mums do during the day, but I didn't care - I had a new toy and I was excited. There were 8 fucking colours, like THIS

It turns out that they had Michaelangelo use the plasticine for the packaging photoshoot though because, try as I may, I couldn't get the bloody stuff to look anything like the pictures. Cue toddler me taking a tantrum, rolling the whole fucking lot of it up into a big brown ball, punching the absolute shit out of it, then throwing it in the bin.

(Seriously though, the makers of plasticine need to be realistic with the pictures on the packaging - their target demographic aren't the most dexterous or coordinated bunch and it just makes the little tykes feel like abject failures at a very young age. I blame the decline of today's youth on their inability to make their clay creations look anything like the fucking turtle on the packaging.)

I flaked out, started crying, then I must have fell asleep due to exerting myself in such an uncouth manner, because all I remember next is waking up and toddling into the kitchen to find my mum.

My mum, god bless her, had fished the ball of clay-rage out of the bin, then separated out into it's individual colours and laid it out for me to find once I had calmed down. It must have taken her ages.

My dear old mammy succumbed to the 'big casino' 11 years ago and this is, without a doubt, one of the best memories I have of her.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 20:09, Reply)
Fireworks in the sky and my heart
For the last eight years I have been involved in a local firework display each November. Now this is serious stuff,the four of us that put it on have all been on two day training courses, the display is about twelve minutes long set to music and fired electronically and the cost of the fireworks is usually about two and a half grand.
Last year I did the timings and firing order,and after several years absence we managed to get two 8" Shells, these are huge about the size of your head and weigh about 7.5kg. fused to go together on the last beat of the music.
At the firing point you don't really see anything because you are directly underneath, these big b****ers launched and lit up the sky on cue they lasted about 20 seconds. We actually got to see them because they were so massive and all we could hear was the applause from the audience three hundred metres away. Beautiful moment Number 1.

We made safe and walked on down to the pub where the spectators were,and the woman I had been seeing for a few weeks was waiting, she gave me a massive hug and nearly kissed my face off, then whispered "I love you" Beautiful moment 2

I would put photos if I knew how
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 19:28, Reply)
Wild Geese
I live across the road from fields full of horses. When it rains very large puddles form and for some reason, the wild geese from the nearby lakes like these puddles. Over this summer more and more geese have spent the day there but in the evenings they always return to the lakes.

Several times I have been lucky enough to be outside when they leave to go home. First you hear the honking and then the sound of silk taffeta as they fly overhead. Once I even felt the bow wave of air as they went.

(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 18:46, Reply)
not so much beautiful as very lucky
walking home from my mum's house about a year ago, totally skint. i needed £40 immediately, or my internet would be ruthlessly cut off by cable. mum couldn't help me, she'd just been hit with a massive gas bill herself.
head down, i trudged onwards. then, i spotted something shiny, lying in the gutter. i stooped and picked it up. it was £1.
"wow, that's lucky," i thought. then i thought a bit more. "maybe it really IS lucky. i think i'll find out."
so, with my street treasure clasped in my sweaty palm, i went into my local newsagents and bought a £1 scratchcard*. i started to scratch off the coating, looking for the elusive number three that would tell me i'd won. i was having my very own charlie bucket moment here. first row, bugger, no three. second row, double bugger, no three. third row, look at that! a three! i knew i'd probably only won a pound, so i decided that if that was the case, i'd just keep the pound.
i began scratching off the prize panel. i saw a pound sign, then a one. "oh well," i thought, "i haven't lost anything". but i wasn't done yet. next to the one was a zero, then another.
i'd won £100. i haven't made a sound that high-pitched since i was 7. seriously, there were dolphins in the north sea going "what the fuck was that?" i was utterly delighted. i cashed in my winning ticket, paid my bill and went home to phone mum and tell her. she was happier than me! she'd been so worried about me not having enough money and felt guilty for not being able to help me out.
i know £100 isn't really a great deal of money, but it brought both my mother and me a great deal of happiness that day.

*it was a cash for three card, for anyone who's interested
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 18:15, 2 replies)
My Godson
I've never been close to children at any point in my life. Except at school, of course. Never been a father, no brothers or sisters or family.

But, the other day, I watched and heard my little godson counting for the first time. Put the world to rights, he did.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 17:11, Reply)
This one time
I ate a load of drugs and illucinated myself no end. You know the deal. Marching powder and mushrooms and stuff.

A big man with a flowing white beard looked at me in my face. And then he said, 'that Dawkins chap is right you know'.

I was struck dumb.

And then we both had a good laugh about it.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 17:01, Reply)
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)
Heart Warming biker story - almost literally.
We made a new friend recently and later found out that she has been really poorly, life threateningly poorly in fact and with out me knowing the details, she has been in hospital for major heart surgery.

She is currently waiting to hear about getting her bike license back after being so poorly and is missing riding her little bike. Well, the wife and I wondered of one of us could take her out for a little blast and then finish up at the local bike night on the sea front, to give her a bit of a break from Countdown and being nursed.

Said new friend was really excited, but I am not sure she really believed we would do it. Until I told her what time I would pick her up. The wife told me to be very careful and take very good care of her, because technically she is still very poorly and we don't want to kill her.

So I met said person and she jumped on the bike and we went for a blast. She was whooping and giggling even though I took it steady, even on the motorway. We arrived at the bike night show and I swear that the smile on her face was the biggest brightest smile I have ever seen. We wandered around for a little while and then stopped for a cuppa, before jumping back on the SV and my dropping her home.

I love riding my bike anyway, but her smile said more than a thousand words ever could and I would like to think that we have encouraged her to get on her bike as soon as she can. Get well soon CP, much love from CJ and Jayneflakes XXX
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 16:01, 10 replies)
More solstice
Seeing the shadows line up on this bad boy on the summer solstice to form a snake that goes down the staircase to the head at the bottom of the steps - only happens once a year apparently and i happened to be there on my honeymoon.

edit: pic of it actually happening
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 15:58, 1 reply)
Watching dawn surf in over the Somerset levels from Glastonbury Tor at the Summer Solstice, two drummers greeting it as it rolled towards us, and a girl I didn't know standing next to me gently clasped my hand.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 15:35, 2 replies)
True Parenting.....
It's two weeks into the school holidays.

The kids have been at home for TWO weeks. That's 14 days, or 336 hours, or 20160 minutes. And there's nearly 4 weeks to go.

This explains my perfect moment.

I woke up on the floor of their room, my face stuck to the story book I'd been reading to them which eventually was so boring it sent me to sleep. But then, I noticed it, the noise had stopped! They were SLEEPING!!!!!!!!!

in daddy's footsteps
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 15:15, 2 replies)
Might embarrass my son now
My son recently completed his PhD and secured a job at CERN. A couple of months ago, we popped over there for a few days to find him a flat, open a bank account, etc.

He wanted me there to help as his French wasn't too hot. I hadn't spoken French since I was at school either, nearly 40 years ago, so I didn't expect to do much good.

However, it all came flooding back. I negotiated expertly with French estate agents and bankers and we found him a perfect flat and bank account.

He did well too, driving the hire car and navigating the many roundabouts like someone born there.

The magic moment came when I was busily interpreting between Sonny and a bank manager, and out of the corner of my eye caught his astonished expression - he was gaping at my brilliant command of French.

Nice to know I can still surprise him!
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 15:10, 5 replies)
Another airplane one
After a reasonably alright holiday in Dublin, the missus and I were flying back over to Edinburgh in a Ryanair bucket. As we were coming over the west coast near to Kintyre there was a lot of cloud and mist, meaning the ground was almost completely impossible to see.

Now this was quite late in the evening, just as the sun was setting. For a period of about 5 minutes we were in a perfect position for the sun to reflect off all the pools of water and lochs below. This, combined with the fog meant that there was nothing but solid pools of ambery-gold below us. It was beautiful, slightly ethereal and will stay in my memory forever.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 14:55, 4 replies)
Talk about beautiful moments
Having just been dumped and lost my job in the same week i found £90 rolled up in a bundle on the floor.

and it's pretty depressing that this is the only beautiful moment i can remember.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 14:37, 4 replies)
Take that fireworks!
On a late evening flight from Germany to the UK last year I was sitting in a window seat just behind the wing. I always try to get a window seat because I don't know of any other opportunity to see the world from such an amazing viewpoint. If I don't have a window seat I spend quite a lot of the flight standing by the emergency exits at the back so I can look out of the window, which probably makes people worry that I'm some sort of lunatic who's planning to jettison the emergency door at 30,000 feet.

Somewhere over Germany the captain's voice comes over the PA "Ladies and gentlemen, if you look out the right hand side of the plane you'll see a rather nice fireworks display." Excellent, I thought, I've never seen fireworks from above, this should be ace! So I look out of the window into the darkness below and see... sod all. Well, there were the lights of a town and some villages, but not a firework to be seen. Arses, never mind, back to my book and looking out of the window occasionally.

About half an hour later I glance out of the window and notice two things: one, we're just passing over the Belgian/Dutch coast and two, there's a massive thunderstorm in progress. A few thousand feet below us and a few tens of miles off to the side an enormous thunderhead is hurling lightning around like a baby throwing its toys. Seeing thunderstorms from below is very cool, but from above they are properly awe inspiring. Lightning was flashing to the ground, but also constantly within the clouds and between layers of cloud, lighting them up like a huge Chinese lantern. I had a grandstand view of this because the air between the plane and the storm was completely clear. By the time we'd flown past it I'm pretty sure my face was significantly flatter than before from being pressed continuously against the glass.

Not a life-changingly emotional moment, but a genuinely beautiful reminder that nature can easily produce breathtaking sights that far outstrip any manmade effort.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 14:33, 2 replies)
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)
Couple of weeks ago
I was driving home from the garden centre with a sack of chicken feed in the boot. I rounded a corner and there was a guy cycling on the pavement towards me. The fact that he was overweight, about 45, on a BMX with his knees around his ears was vaguely amusing. But hearing the opening guitar riff from Born To Be Wild on the radio at that exact moment elevated it to a beautiful moment.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 14:21, 1 reply)
People often say that the miricle of childbirth is a beautiful moment
Having witnessed the birth of my daughter I can honestly say that though my spawn is indeed beautiful the moment wasn't. Sweat, shit, blood and screaming is in no way beautiful, neither is watching a womans vagina somehow stretch to the size of a babies head.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 14:18, 8 replies)
Making a child laugh.
A couple of weeks ago, I was at a family party, I was pretty bored as I'd driven, no beer for me!

Seeking some entertainment I approached my cousin's baby, just about to turn 2. She looks at me, smiles and hands me a swing ball racket. I pretend not to know what it is, and try to play it like a guitar, I sing a little song and bounce up and down. She loves it, little face sporting a massive grin, she giggles and dances. My heart is melting, too cute! Then she found the outher racket and joined in, dancing and trying to sing in her little baby voice. The most perfect little thing I've ever seen!
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 14:13, 1 reply)
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.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 14:06, 12 replies)

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