The riverside at Castlefields

The riverside at Castlefields

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

This is the voice of the Mysterons

Long, long ago... but not as long ago as Fireball XL5 or Stingray or Thunderbirds... there was a brilliant television series called Captain Scarlet.
Of all the Gerry Anderson-produced science fiction puppet series that were so much a part of the 1960s, Captain Scarlet was my favourite.
I think it just came out at the right time for me.
I had already been thrilled and delighted by the three aforementioned puppet-populated shows, each with their very own heroes - Steve Zodiac (with his sidekick, the glamorous Venus) in Fireball XL5, Troy Tempest and Phones (and Marina) in Stingray, and the Tracy brothers and Lady Penelope and Parker in Thunderbirds.
But then came the fearless agents of Spectrum - and I was ten-years-old when this came out in 1967. The colours of the uniforms, the beautiful Spectrum Angels, the majestic Cloudbase, the exciting vehicles (SPVs and SPCs) were intoxicating to me.
I don't think I have seen a TV series since which has knocked me between the eyes in quite the same way.
Little wonder I had to get hold of the DVD boxed set. It's just a shame I don't really know any other Captain Scarlet fans to watch it with me. Oh well....

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Curved Air - Backstreet Luv

My job with Shropshire Seniors

My job with the Shropshire Seniors is an absolute joy.
I work in a gorgeous Georgian building in a beautiful part of town, and my colleagues are lovely.
There’s something about this job that makes me truly happy.
I’m laughing a heck of a lot more. I feel friendlier towards the world and the world seems friendlier towards me.
I’m calm. 
I actually enjoy the idea of going in to work – and I haven’t felt that way for a while!
This might sound silly, but there’s something about it that prompts warm, comforting memories of being 12 or 13 or 14 years of age, and walking home from Belvidere School with my dear friend Russ Greenshaw and discussing with him the next edition of our own little magazine - The Entertainer (created with scissors-and-Sellotape, crayons and felt-tips).
Sometimes the memories are not that specific. Sometimes it’s just that feeling of being a child. Just a pleasant feeling that makes me smile to myself.
I think about Robinson Crusoe on television, Blue Peter, The Monkees, and Bewitched, and jam sandwiches for tea.
There’s a beautiful giant tree outside my office window – a Cedar of Lebanon, I am told – with the sunshine beaming through its branches. It’s beautiful. And I have the time to appreciate it.
I haven’t experienced this feeling – certainly not in such a sustained, consistent way, for quite some time. It’s rather wonderful.
I get little flashbacks of Mum and Dad and happy long-ago days in Castlefields.
I’m also getting great memories of being an adolescent, being a student at Tech, and what happy days they were!
Don’t get me wrong. Being a big soft sentimental romantic, I have always carried these feelings with me to some extent, but nowadays they’re not just Sunday afternoon feelings, but constant companions, and I love it.