I thought I had all the time in the world

Funerals are by definition sad occasions.  It is a time to reflect on the life of the deceased, a time when everyone who knew them to come together to celebrate their life.

It is also usually a time when the whole family comes together, like births and weddings, and can take an interesting turn given the right set of circumstances.

And, depending on how old you are at the time, you could start reflecting on your own mortality, and how much or how little time you have left, and, quite possibly, what it is you have or haven’t done with your life.

Perhaps the question should be, are you going to put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

The sad fact is, we all do.  We all believe we will have plenty of time to get things done, with a motto of, old enough to know better and young enough not to care.

What happens when you die at 44?

It’s one of those questions that we face when attending the funeral of the daughter of one of my in-laws.

It’s a well-known fact that a great many of us look forward to retirement, and having reached that age, generally in the mid to late 60’s, that we will be settled in our life, all major commitments completed, we will be in reasonably good health, our children will be old enough to look after themselves, and we have an adequate retirement plan to see us through to old age.

Until then, we sacrifice a great deal, spending our time either working, or helping our children on their way to an equally successful life.

There never seems to be time for those holidays overseas or doing those things near and dear to us, putting it off till ‘tomorrow’.

No one realizes ‘tomorrow’ never comes.

Plots ripped from the front pages of newspapers

This is not new, but …

I’ve been reading about the disabling of ships near the Straits of Hormuz, a rather interesting place for such events to happen because if something serious was to happen, like a ship or ships being sunk there, that would cut off the worlds oil supply.

It is said that there are alternatives because I’m sure someone has thought of the inevitable happening, that a rogue nation might decide that if they can’t sell their oil, then no one will, and made alternate arrangements.

But…

That too seems to have been considered and damage has been inflicted on the pipeline, just to show the world they, whoever they are, can cut off oil any time they want.

So, what will happen, if the inevitable happens?

Read “Last Light”, but Alex Scarrow, and be prepared to be horrified at the possibilities.

(https://www.amazon.com/Last-Light-Alex-Scarrow/dp/0752893270)

It may very well cause the whole world to fall into anarchy.

We all once thought a rogue nation might pre-empt a nuclear strike, with deadly missiles going in all directions, but it appears that’sd the least of our problems.

Cut off oil, probably the most depended on item in the world, and the results will be catastrophic.

Hopefully, this will only remain a plotline to be exploited by fertile imaginations and never become a reality.

“One Last Look”, nothing is what it seems

A single event can have enormous consequences.

A single event driven by fate, after Ben told his wife Charlotte he would be late home one night, he left early, and by chance discovers his wife having dinner in their favourite restaurant with another man.

A single event where it could be said Ben was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Who was this man?  Why was she having dinner with him?

A simple truth to explain the single event was all Ben required.  Instead, Charlotte told him a lie.

A single event that forces Ben to question everything he thought he knew about his wife, and the people who are around her.

After a near death experience and forced retirement into a world he is unfamiliar with, Ben finds himself once again drawn back into that life of lies, violence, and intrigue.

From London to a small village in Tuscany, little by little Ben discovers who the woman he married is, and the real reason why fate had brought them together.

http://amzn.to/2CqUBcz

onelastlookcoverfinal2

In a word: Quick

Go get your stuff and be quick about it.

I’ve tried on many occasion to be quick, but it’s like my shoes have lead soles, or it’s like walking through water.

Perhaps I should just stop finding excuses and admit it’s old age and I am slowing down!

I’m guessing that in using the expressing the quick and the dead, I’ve got one foot in the grave.

But when you use the word quick it generally means moving fast or doing something at a rapid rate.

It could also refer to someone who picks up knowledge rapidly, that is to say, that boy is quick, maybe quick as a flash.

I’ve been cut to the quick. An interesting expression which basically means you’ve been hurt very badly.

It also makes reference to the more sensitive side to us, hence the above expression.

It has a more literal meaning, referring to the quick, under your fingernails, and you know how much that hurts when you cut the nail too short, or remove the nail from the quick.

And like most of us, I’ve been caught more than once in metaphorical quicksand.

It doesn’t pay to go near or test out what real quicksand is, but if you have to, make sure you tie yourself to an anchored rope first.

A book review

Life at the end of the Rainbow, by Jenny Andrews

https://amzn.to/2Xbl4ZX

Poetry is like art, its beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

But, while art can be very subjective, poetry often has a special meaning, to both the writer and then the reader.  In turn, for each of us readers, a poem will have a different meaning, some will see what it represents, and others may not.

And, whilst I have not read a lot of poetry over the years, that changed recently when I subscribed to several blogs and discovered this whole new class of literature.

This view was strengthened when I came across a volume of poems by Jenny Andrews, titled Life at the End of the Rainbow.

For me, each poem is an insight into an extraordinary life, where the author sometimes lays bare those raw emotions, which, at times, we will find ourselves drawing parallels.

In a sense, I think we have all been to this mythical place called, The End of the Rainbow, and sometimes need a gentle reminder that it took a lot of ups and downs to get there.

This is, to my mind, a remarkable piece of work.

I, for one, can’t wait to see what the next stage of the journey will be.

 

A case for Harry Walthenson PI, episode by episode

How thrilled Harry Walthenson, Private Detective, had been to see his name painted on the translucent glass window in the door to his office.

Located in Gramercy Park, in an old building full of atmosphere, he had a space renovated to resemble that of Spade and Archer in a scene right out of the Maltese Falcon.

His desk had an antique phone like those used in the 1930s, and a lamp that cast eerie shadows at night.  Along one wall was a couch, his bed for more nights than he wanted to remember, and on the other a filing cabinet, waiting for the big case files.

Up till now it had been missing cats and dogs.

Then, everything changed…

Starts at episode 1 – The Wrong Place, The Wrong Time

http://bit.ly/2J4aEBP

The latest episode: Episode 88 – Harry returns to the office

http://bit.ly/2WOZECR

Enjoy

What happens after the action-packed start – Part 20

Our hero knows he’s in serious trouble.

The problem is, there are familiar faces and a question of who is a friend and who is foe made all the more difficult because of the enemy, if it was the enemy, simply because it didn’t look or sound or act like the enemy.

Now, it appears, his problems stem from another operation he participated in.

 

Lallo gave me a minute or two to read what amounted to two lines, that my co-operation was expected, and to be given.  It wasn’t exactly addressed to me personally, but a blanket authorization to interview anyone involved in that operation.

I handed the letter back, but not before I noticed it had been unfolded and refolded several times as if it had been used before.  Had Lallo already interrogated Treen, the only other survivor?

Lallo’s first question: “Do you know who was responsible for organising that operation?”

It was rather an odd question, asking a Sergeant who was assigned at the last minute.

“Look, at the time I was assigned to non-combat duties, not as an on-call commando.  I was a late replacement for the member of the team who had to withdraw due to an accident. I was simply ordered to join the team at the airfield.  Given the results, I’m hoping whoever it was that organized and authorized that operation got the bollicking they deserved.”

I had been annoyed at the time, but I’d got over it.  In keeping with a lot of the operations I’d been involved with; very few had a successful outcome, but usually with fewer casualties.

He gave me a sidelong glance, close to an admonishment.  “Just stick to the facts when answering questions.  The other survivor was Lieutenant Treen, correct?”

Not a happy man was the Lieutenant.  Not happy that the operation was changed at the last minute or the fact the odds had been stacked against us, and not happy I’d been flown in as a replacement what he regarded as his personal group.

“Yes.”

“Are you aware he requested an investigation into that operation?”

It came as no surprise.  On the flight over, he had expressed more than one concern about the lack of intelligence and what the real situation was like on the ground.

“No.”

“Were you aware that a week ago Lieutenant Treen was found dead in his quarters, from an apparent suicide?”

Treen if anything was a soldier’s soldier, and the last man to contemplate suicide for any reason.  Surviving, just, that botched operation would not be a catalyst for such an event for such a man.

“No.”

“Odd then, don’t you think, you are nearly sent to your death the day after?”

If that was the case, and one the face of it, it seemed so, that wasn’t the only oddity about this whole affair.  I remembered the date of the General’s letter, the one telling me to be co-operative. It was the day before Treen’s suicide.

I didn’t think it was a coincidence?

It was quite clear someone didn’t want the General or whoever Lallo was working for, to question the last two survivors.

The question now was: what did we know, or what they thought we knew that was so important, that silencing us was necessary.

And would ‘they’ try again?

 

© Charles Heath 2019