Isn’t it strange how random thoughts suddenly pop into one’s head…..or words that one has never even given a passing thought to in years…and suddenly there it is! Out of nowhere.One even questions as to whether or not such a word could still exist…..hmmm does it?… I wonder?
This happened to me early yesterday morning,..I was walking along a deserted beach in Northumberland and I suddenly thought of…….. “Algebra!!”where did that come from ?
How have we all managed to live without….”Algebra?”Casting my mind back,I was thinking “why is it so very important in first and second form ,when it is something never to be heard of , or ever used again in any way, shape or form! ever,… in your life!!”
I loved maths, I was never particularly outstanding at it,but I loved the challenge,especially those annoying little equations” If it takes 6 men 9 days to dig a trench 10 ft deep how long would it take 4 men to dig the same trench “I always thought the logical answer was tell those 4 little men to find a couple of friends, then 9 days are guaranteed!! but that was never the kind of answer they were looking for somehow !! why try to be difficult?…so unnecessary I always thought.
No!…X had to equal “number of men” divided by number of days….plus some other annoying little letter,then often squared !
Then there were the ” grown up” Equations….”Quadratic”and “Calculus” !!….(sounds like something that needs a medical opinion!!) they were something else!…and we worked so hard at all this too….learning formulas,endless homework, as though life depended on it,……Yet all long forgotten….least I have, (or are there some people who think ” Oh… I must try to apply that useful Quadratic formula to this little problem… In fact, I’m sure as soon as I know what x is equal to, the sink will unblock itself!!”
As I said, it was a random thought as I was on my way,(via the beach and coffee,)to the lovely “Art and Craft/Antique/Vintage/Bric-a-Brac/Collectables etc etc Market” held on both sides of Tynemouth station,which was restored 20 years ago to its former Victorian glory, with a beautiful cream panelled glass roof….It attracts many locals and visitors each Saturday and Sunday from all over and indeed its gone from being a rather ” local concern ” to attracting buyers and vendors from all over Northumberland.
But all that is by the way…I just love it,and was determined to allow myself a good 3 hours before I was to meet a friend ,Stephanie, for Lunch in nearby Tynemouth village.
It was strange going to the market in Summer, as under the high glass roof it gets quite warm, whereas in Winter it is so so cold,freezing in fact. Standing on the concrete floor, one leaves thinking one has left ones feet on one of the stalls somewhere!! as they cant be felt at all..totally numb! big fur boots definitely need to be the order of the day.
I’m going to have to give you a bit of background now,otherwise what I’m going to tell you wont make any sense at all….(I think I feel a ” Ronnie Corbett ” moment dying to get out !!I’m going to have to go off on that “tangent”)
Many years ago now, when I shared a flat with my sister,an American lady moved into the flat above us.She was about 30 years older than us,but soon became such a dear friend, she was like a second mother really, our doors would always be open,and we would often go upstairs after coming in late from some dull and boring date and relay all the gossip to her, she loved it.( She too was a Sagittarian,and so we shared the same values and ever optimistic view of Life)
She had 4 children ,all similar ages to us,all living in Ponca(tiny town) in Oklahoma( I was always going to get a little golden spaniel puppy and call it Ponca as I loved the name,not achieved as yet !)So when 2 of them came over to visit we all had just the best time.
Over months,(and she was in the flat nearly 3 years,)she started to feel tired and lost so much weight…she wouldn’t do anything about it, her Dr. said she was just run down ,but in fact she had cancer,and it was terminal.
I remember her calling me at work to tell me, as though it were yesterday.To cut a long story short, the day came when she had to leave London…for ever.The month was October.
I remember going upstairs to the empty flat after she left,we had shared so much fun there…. the words of the song by Don MCLean came into my head….
,”Empty rooms that echo as I climb the stairs,and empty coats that drape and fall on empty chairs,And I wonder if you know,thatInever understood,until you said you’d go,until you did,I never thought you would”
We are talking here 25 years ago,and writing those words still make me cry as I remember that room so well, and losing my dear friend.
We spoke on the phone many times but she wasn’t good.I wrote a poem,and as I was known for continually chatting on a phone(years before mobiles)it was about a telephone call to heaven… One of lines was something like”She can’t really cook and sings really flat,so you don’t really want her up there”
I sent over the poem to her children in Ponca, it reached them the day after she died.She never read it.
Her children loved the poem and asked me if it could go with her in the coffin….it did,and my sister and I sent a single red rose to the funeral in Oklahoma.
She died onDecember13th…Two days after her death I received a birthday card from her,it was one of the last things she did, her daughter told me,and she was so insistent that it was sent in time .
There IS a point to this and it IS connected to Tynemouth Market I promise you….so just keep with me ok…
Not long after Betty’s death ,a couple of months later maybe ,a friend asked me to go with her to a clairvoyant,I had never been to one before and was a little wary,however in I went ,as she seemed a nice jolly individual…..She said various things,then said “I have Elizabeth here…”.I couldn’t think of any Elizabeth,then it dawned…Betty!…she said she wants you to know she loved the poem(she hadn’t seen the poem as she had passed away ,as I said,2 days before it arrived!)the medium went on…”Just 1 thing,she can cook and her singing isn’t flat!!!!what about that lovely spaghetti bolognaise she made!!!”No one could have told this person all this….she also said she was never in that coffin…it was the cough that carried her off…not the coffin!!and that she loved the red rose and wanted to send me one!!”
The medium told me to look out for it, but obviously it wouldn’t be interflora !!but I would receive it from somewhere.she said…Days later I was at a friends wedding ,and some guy came up to me and gave me a red rose from one of the floral arrangements…I think we had 1dance and that was that…..
It was the next day when I was telling a friend about the wedding that she said to me”So…..do you think that was the rose you were told about?”I hadn’t even thought about it,let alone remembered….but then my intuition told me ……it was.
After that,whenever I had a problem or a tricky situationIwould always ask Betty to help me and to make sure she heard me,to send me the red rose….she never ever let me down….that rose would appear on a card,on a restaurant table,in just about every strange place you could imagine…
.Actually 2days before my mother died 12 years ago,my lovely friend Sarah sent me flowers as she had just completed on her flat….she hadn’t seen the flowers as the florist delivered them….they were stunning all pink …except for…. you’ve guessed it…. 1red rose…Sarah and I still talk of this to this day…I knew then that Betty was there for me as something was imminent…sure enough the rose came on Saturday,Mum passed away 2 days later on Bank Holiday Monday.
Before Mum died we used to joke about the rose…I said “you can’t send me red ones “as she too knew the Betty story….”You can send pink ones…ok”….the same thing happens all the time…and as true as I sit in this coffee shop writing this….not 1birthday has passed for me,12 of them,without me getting a card with a pink rose on the front.Not all from people who know….sometimes random people who don’t know the story…this last year it was from a man of 86 who was a tailor in Selfridges-who never forgets my birthday…..but it’s always there…it always appears.Mum would never forget my birthday.
Now just in case you thought that you’d wandered off into another blog….I am now on my way back to Tynemouth Market.!!…the Ronnie Corbett moment was a trifle longer than anticipated,but I will allow a break for the loo or a quick coffee should you so wish….off you go!!
I’m afraid I am going to tell you about another incident of someone dying…. Gosh I hope it’s not a dull miserable day as you’re reading this or it will all seem so depressing and it’s not meant that way at all… It’s anything but depressing ….it’s infact so uplifting and amazing I want everyone to have the same experiences I have….the most incredible things happen to me …..which was one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place as I wanted to share them…(.See how Ronnie creeps in when I’m not careful !!)…back to Tynemouth….
It was one of those “can’t feel your feet” days at the Market, February 2014
I had had several visits to the Market as had been in Northumberland for a month as my father was ill.By this stage he was sleeping most of the time in a lovely room in hospital.
I was wandering around with my sister when we came across a stall full of bric-a-brac.On the table I saw one of those beautiful Halcyon Day enamel boxes which I know for a fact are £150 plus,depending on the art work,this one was a limited edition it was beautiful, the lid covered in pink roses….I opened it…and there inside on the lid was 1single pink rose.I just knew that ,like the red rose coming to me,Daddy was going to leave us soon.
The box was £20 but he said have it for £18 as he liked my smile!he obviously had no idea of its value,especially being a limited piece.
I was so thrilled by this little box I showed it to Daddy when we got to the hospital that afternoon and cut a piece of Daddy’s hair to go in it..while he was asleep.
Two days later Daddy went to join Mum on February 12th and made it in time for Valentine’s Day…
Iwent into the room after he had died and had a little chat.I said that he must send a white rose ,I knew he’d know what I meant…( we were running out of colours!) and he must let me know when he’s met Mum ,and that he’d arrived safely …I wouldn’t be happy till I’d heard….I said many other things too ,not knowing if he could hear me at that point….
I now know that he could, he heard every single word .
The next Saturday I went back to the Market,still as cold and just as busy.After going around I made my way round to the stall where I had bought the box the previous week,maybe,just maybe,there would be another box.
I reached the stall and couldn’t believe my eyes….. What I saw was just so incredible and unbelievable I had to look away then look again just to see that it wasn’t a figment of my imagination…it wasn’t.
There on the stall propped up standing 18 inches high was a sign in individual letters on a stake as if to be put in the ground….the letters read”Mr and Mrs Brown”I asked the man behind the stall where he got it…..he said he had no idea,let alone what it was…..he said maybe it’s for a big cake….I took a photograph….and knew that Daddy had kept his promise…. He was letting me know he was once again together wth Mum……..but I always knew he would.
(I’m just going to interrupt this to tell you…..as I’m writing a man has just passed the window….yes I’m still in the coffee shop!…. and he had on a beautiful country tweed jacket….Daddy had the same jacket!!!!see what I mean!!!….every day!….cos I’m talking about him!)
I have shown the photograph to many, and since that day there have been so many signs….so so many…. Some I have written down so I don’t forget them…..and one day they will be told in full.
Oh !just before I go… before the coffee shop charges me rent….must just tell you this.
The coffee shop I mentioned in a previous post,not this one..(.I know a few!…) I visited for the first time in April.I sat outside and got a call from our solicitor to say that Daddy’s house in Northumberland had completed,he’d had the house designed and built…no one else had ever lived there… It was the end of an era….I looked up….I was sitting opposite a dry cleaners….what was it called?…The White Rose!!!
Coincidence? Strange.? No…..I got my rose!… Cos that’s just how it was exactly meant to be.Daddy was happy……
Have an amazing day,and I hope that you too can have special moments….they’re out there …. Just waiting for you…all you have to do is look.
Love and sunshine always,