Friday 20 October 2023

Buchanan's Wife - Jottings 1


5.22 am - Leicester

Autumn rain at 5.22 am from my window, Leicester.

Early morning cuppa and orange/almond cake.

In two days,  at this time, Ash will be on the M1 on her way to Heathrow for another 13-hour journey to KLIA.

I have this album by Mark Lindsay given to me by my late brother Akim when I moved to Brunei in 1978 to earn my living and escape the oppressive world of teaching in Singapore.  I remember this one song (though not my favourite) 'The Man from Houston'.

This time, on this journey which  I have been doing since 1985 with Iain (at least twice a year) I will be  treading a new frontier.  From now on this will be a solo trip, just like when I departed KLIA for LHR in August this year.  Just like some previous arrivals at LHR or KLIA I can depend on him to be waiting.

From now on, on every arrival, I will be wondering ......

  • why there ain't nobody here to meet me
  • I wonder why there's no one here to greet me with a kiss
  • tell me everything's all right
  • and boy I sure missed you
  • and please don't stay away so long next time 
  • ...  and oooh I love you .

That's as far as it goes for me.  The rest is for Shah,( my late brother Mus' son )for whenever he has to leave his wife and kids behind when he's away on Company Business.

Memories of Leicester to take back include the warmth, love  and kindness of  friends like Jackie and Julia, Jagdish and Punam, Deanna, John, at Leicester Animal Rescue, Naseema our neighbour and Mohammad and Moriom our good neighbour who live just next door, for Siti, a dear friend from Malaysia who, with her lovely daughters Sara and Hana came all the way from London to keep me company in Leicester.   And finally, some last words from our dearest and kindest of friends - Colin Brooks.

A conversation with Colin, our dear friend in Leicester

Colin - my version

Iain's view and mine as well

On Sunday 15 October .

BW - Colin, can we make it on Tuesday after 3? Am dealing with Council and the solicitors for the Will.

COLIN - Sorry, that's the day I'm in Northampton.

BW - What about Wed afternoon?

COLIN - Yes, that's fine. What time does the Queen of the Orient  command my presence?

BW - Afternoon at 2-3  says the Dowager Queen if that's okay with the Grand Vizier.

COLIN - Your wish is my command.

BW - I shall command the glass carriage to transport you, to avoid the Cycle Lane and leave a trail of horse poo for the Council to clean up for the gardens of the Green Brigade.

COLIN - I can remember ladies rushing out with buckets to collect horse poo dropped in the road by the milkman.  Well not really the milkman, his horse!  Perfect food for the rhubarb. The poo, not the milkman!

BW - We do share mind-boggling knowledge.  Iain would really approve of this!

COLIN - It's amazing how conversation seems to distil down to good honest s**t! 😀  

Yes I miss talking  to Iain.  He leaves a gap in life no one else comes close to filling.  His wife isn't a bad cook though.😃

On Thursday 19 October

BW - A confession Colin. I ate 5 pieces of your Lindt chocolate. Yummy!  

 I recall what you said Colin; of saying goodbye to someone who is not there.

To comfort me , my late brother Mus (when he was still with us) reminded me of a quote from Wordsworth.  "Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendour in the grass ....... we will grieve not but rather find strength in what remains behind."   {He was a strong shoulder for me to lean on, the last of the four most loved men in my life.}

Departed in 2023 - the last two of my most and well-loved men.

The strength is something I can sustain, but the grieving is relentless.  Thank you Colin (and this I know he would repeat to you if he could) for being there and for being you.

Take care of yourself and look after your diet, England expects every man to do his duty.

See you in Spring, God be willing.

From the Oriental Queen of Leicester.

COLIN - Wordsworth's words recited by a Malaysian Malay man.  What a wonderful thought that he used English literature to describe the world.

Grieving lessens but never fades. Ironically, without its presence we would forget those we love.  So fortunately every negative event has an equal positive.

I too miss Iain. There was someting deep inside that I related too.  I hope your journey is not too daunting and remember that England and Leicester awaits to welcome its Queen once again.

PS : The Brook by Alfred, Lord Tennyson for another Brook -  the namesake Colin Brooks.

An extract from The Brook by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.