Jane Reynolds' Weekly Magazine/Blog – 21st August 2011

Where do I start?

Eastbourne Pier - Jane Reynolds' weekly blogI was going to post a photo of the Red Arrows (I was so excited to have finally got a good one (rather than the trails of smoke I usually get), from my trip to the Eastbourne Air Show last weekend, but – as usual – it wouldn’t load.  However, you’ll probably know by now that one of the pilots was killed yesterday – moments after finishing a display at the Bournemouth Air Show, so here’s a photo of the Pier at dusk instead.

The Red Arrows are one of the few things that make you feel proud to be British these days, and a big part of the reason why I’ve been back to ‘Airbourne’ for Eleven years in a row.  You cannot help but watch in awe and pride as those nine little red planes put on displays that literally take your breath away.  It’s upset me so much, and has come at the end of a week which – for me – had already been tough enough.

I’d only had four days away, and they not only flew by like an F16 jet*, but (tents and weather aside!), were spoiled by a message I received on Sunday night which caused me a whole day of hurt before I found out it was actually a ‘joke’. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I’m always honest with you, so that when I’ve finally got some good news we’ll all be able to share in it together.

So. After 365 days without a day off, those four days were a stark reminder that there is a world out there which I have barely been a part of for years (and not at all over the past year), and it’s been very difficult to come back to my office and start work again as I’ve really questioned whether 90 hours a week trying to ‘make it’ as a writer (but only earning money from working two of those days as a cleaner), is the best thing for me.

There’s times in our lives where we have a choice of going down one of two roads.  Looking back, history has proved that (for me), in every single case so far I’ve managed to choose the wrong one!  I’ve had to make one of those choices again this week, as (after the events of the last few days), I’ve wondered whether it’s actually all worth it.

I gave up work (and a lot more besides) to write, so after a lot of thought (and giving myself a damned good talking to), I’m now back on course and sitting in my office writing this blog while the world goes on outside my window (actually, there’s a camera crew filming right outside my window at this exact second; shouting ‘Action’ and everything!).

Ok.  Hope you haven’t minded reading those few paragraphs of angst, but I just felt I wanted to share it all with you as I couldn’t just write “Oh, I had a lovely time,” because I didn’t!  It was great being with my two friends, eating good food and drinking some excellent wine, but for all the reasons above (and a few more), on balance, I feel it would have been a lot simpler not to have gone!

Still, after a couple of days back at my desk it’s now business as usual and I’m over it.  Aah, isn’t that a lovely story!  I’d love to have posted a few of the photos I took, but they won’t load.  I’m hoping to get it resolved soon though, as I’m getting an expert in.  His name’s Mark and I’m confident he’ll sort it out.

Let the Train give you Strain

Eastbourne StationI must just tell you this.  After not having been on a train for over Thirty years, last Sunday afternoon I had to catch a train back from Eastbourne back to Pevensy and Westham station.  It cost £2.90 to go two short stops.  I had to wait an hour for a train, the ladies’ toilets on the station were closed, and when the train stopped at the station the doors didn’t open.

As the train started up again, I – like some of the other dozen or so people (some of them with children in pushchairs), started walking along up the train to find the Guard.  We found one (who looked to be about Twelve), but he just dismissed it as being our fault for having been in the ‘wrong’ carriages!

As two of the people were actual residents of Westham, our assertion that we were in the RIGHT carriages was very credible (because it was true!), yet despite our protestations, there was nothing we could do but stand there and wait for the train to reach the next station.  As ‘luck’ would have it, we only had to cross the bridge and wait a couple of minutes before a train came the other way to take us back a stop, but what if we’d have had to wait for an hour?

The Guard wasn’t in the slightest bit bothered or apologetic, and tried to make us feel like idiots/liars. If this is what the railways are like, it’ll be another 30 years before I go on a train again.  Shameful …



2 Responses to Jane Reynolds' Weekly Magazine/Blog – 21st August 2011

  1. Jenny Longworth August 21, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    What a lovely read. The Red Arrows will always have a special place in my heart. My Mum and Dad’s house was 2 miles from RAF Scampton… their home. I have watched them train for over 20 years. The death of Jon Egging was incredibly sad.. I can’t believe it. X

    • Jane August 22, 2011 at 7:29 am #

      Being so close to them gives you a special bond. Was the same for me. We used to go and watch Concorde’s trials, and even now I can’t see a photo of it without still getting a lump in my throat. Wish I’d been on it. Let’s hope they don’t ground the Red Arrows like they did with Concorde. If they stopped all makes/models of plane flying after one of them crashed, there wouldn’t be a plane left in the skies …

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