The Epitaph

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The other day on a short break I looked around a very old church. Whilst I admired the architecture and suchlike it was a simple grave in the churchyard that caught my eye and made me think…

There are few words on a gravestone,
normaly just name and dates,
very little about the person,
when he stood at the Pearly Gates.
The memorial to Freddie Clark is different,
refreshingly honest and true,
simple words for eternity,
what will your stone reveal about you?

Let’s be kind and caring out there today

© Baldock Bard 2018
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
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The Baldock ‘Boutique’ Boot Sale
STILL HERE AFTER 26 YEARS!
starts 7am Every Saturday
until October 20ththOctober 2018
Buyers Park and Enter FREE!
www.u-boot.co.uk

It is the friendliest bargain bonanza anywhere!
Feed your hungry sat-nav with SG7 6RD

 

 

 

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The Home From Home

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On my way to the bank yesterday I passed a caravan parked in a car park. Knowing that some holiday-makers sometimes use car parks for the night with a motorhome, the idea of a caravan parking this way was new to me. On the way back I stopped to speak to the couple who were sat outside in the sunshine. They’d had a tough week, he’d lost his job, she had been ill and they were evicted from their home. However, they were smiling, with a broad grin he told me how friends were rallying round to help…

In a car park in town,
a caravan with jacks down,
looks like it’s going to stay.
A husband and wife,
with troubles in life,
sit outside on a perfect summer’s day.

Last week they were evicted,
a move neither predicted,
and now the van is their home.
The leisure battery was shot,
no power had they got,
no light at all – not an ohm.

A friend lent a generator,
a battery from a mate (…er!),
their friends had rallied around.
I felt quite humble,
that despite a huge tumble,
their feet remained on the ground.

The moral is clear,
that when icebergs appear,
and your ship is sinking quite fast,
friends bring the lifeboat,
to help keep you a-float:
Your future depends on your past.

(…in life you reap what you sow!)

When I passed later they had gone. I wish them well, it just shows that none of us realize just how lucky we are.
True friends are always there, covering our backs.
Discover a new friend today. I made and helped a new friend yesterday.

© Baldock Bard 2018
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
Facebook: Baldock Bard
Twitter: @baldockbard

The Baldock ‘Boutique’ Boot Sale
STILL HERE AFTER 26 YEARS!
starts 7am Every Saturday
until October 20ththOctober 2018
Buyers Park and Enter FREE!
www.u-boot.co.uk

It is the friendliest bargain bonanza anywhere!
Feed your hungry sat-nav with SG7 6RD

 

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“May I come in?”

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Today’s picture was taken by my drone flying just outside a tiny village in the rolling hills of North Hertfordshire that I call home. It shows where the small local road crosses the main A507 Baldock to Buntingford road.

On the 20th of June, a man left his house in Baldock, two miles away, to go for a run. Tragically, he didn’t return home. According to local reports, he was hit by a lorry near this junction. The report went on to tell how ‘next of kin have been informed’.
Sadly, my family are well-aware of the process. A police officer knocks on the door (in our case close to midnight) and utters the words “May I come in?” or similar.
He brings with him or her a maelstrom so sudden and violent that it can leave the recipient with deep but invisible scarring from which there is little hope of a full recovery. Every time I hear of a fatality on our roads my thoughts are immediately with nearest and dearest receiving such life-changing news.
For such a sudden tragedy to happen so close to our village, brings it even closer to home and unpicks the invisible scars yet again.

What I’d like you to do is this: Please can you ring, text, e-mail or somehow get in touch with your nearest and dearest. Not this afternoon, not tomorrow, but right now. Can you say or type the words: “LOVE YOU.”
Not for me, not for my son David or Peter Day who died out running, but for you. You are able to do it while so many can’t and never will be able to.

© Baldock Bard 2018

The Road Victims Trust is a registered charity offering a range of free support services to residents of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire who have been affected by fatal road collisions. http://www.rvtrust.org.uk

 

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Cereals 2018 (b)

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Yesterday I went to Cereals 2018. Various people asked why, when I no longer had any arable acres, did I bother going. At first I couldn’t come up with a good answer. However having mulled it over while I was walking around amongst the giant tractors, combines and cultivation machines I suddenly realised the answer…

You can take the farmer out of the farm,
a move contemplated with some alarm,
when he’s been used to a harvest all his life,
(so have his friends, family and wife).
It is more to him than just a career,
with it’s worry, uncertainty and cash flow fear,
when you remove his arable armour,
you can’t take the farm out of the farmer.

Have a great day and enjoy what you do while you can and stay away from big toys you can’t afford or justify!

© Baldock Bard 2018
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
Facebook: Baldock Bard
Twitter: @baldockbard

The Baldock ‘Boutique’ Boot Sale
STILL HERE AFTER 26 YEARS!
starts 7am Every Saturday
until October 20ththOctober 2018
Buyers Park and Enter FREE!
www.u-boot.co.uk

It is the friendliest bargain bonanza anywhere!
Feed your hungry sat-nav with SG7 6RD

 

 

 

 

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Cereals 2018!

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Today I’m off to a ‘Farming Show’ called Cereals. This isn’t what non-farmers would think of as a typical agricultural show. It’s a specialist, single-sector, exhibition cum informative talking-shop with demonstrations of machines big and small (without sheep, cattle, pigs or alpacas!). It is also interesting to me as a drone-flying-farmer to view the latest innovations…

The car parks open at six,
the gates open at eight,
I’m still writing my daily blog,
looks like I might be late!
My drone is having a day off,
(no chance of breakage today!),
I will be near Duxford,
watching someone else at (work) play!
The talk will be all serious,
of crops and rain and sun,
but what nobody will tell you,
despite problems farming’s such fun!

Have a good day everyone, stay safe and happy.
(Photo taken at Cereals 12th June 2014!)  

© Baldock Bard 2018
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
Facebook: Baldock Bard
Twitter: @baldockbard

The Baldock ‘Boutique’ Boot Sale
STILL HERE AFTER 26 YEARS!
starts 7am Every Saturday
until October 20ththOctober 2018
Buyers Park and Enter FREE!
www.u-boot.co.uk

It is the friendliest bargain bonanza anywhere!
Feed your hungry sat-nav with SG7 6RD

 

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Memories of a Gentle Man

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I seem to have entered a phase in life where funerals comprehensibly out-weigh weddings, christenings and other celebrations! Yesterday, Mrs Bard and I went to say goodbye to a friends father, Roy. As I sat in the church watching people arrive, I wondered how they all fitted into the large jig-saw that was Roy’s life. Then I thought of how this ‘truly gentle-man’ fitted into ours…

Roy was a newspaper editor from the days when they were representative of the community they served and not just ‘swapsies’ for large faceless organisations. When our son was killed, it was to him we turned for help with writing the notice to be put into the newspapers. He sat in our kitchen and went through the word-options with such kindness and quiet helpfulness that the memory is vivid even some fifteen years later. When I delivered the eulogy for his daughter Sally’s funeral, he came up to me afterwards and paid me the greatest ever one-word compliment by simply saying ‘Thank you’, but in a way that conveyed a thousand unspoken words and emotions.
He had been a great amateur sportsman in his time and it was entirely fitting that we left the church to co to a ‘Cricket Tea’ afterwards.
The sun shone and the daffodils were in full bloom, how very appropriate.
Thank you Roy.

© Baldock Bard 2018
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
Facebook: Baldock Bard
Twitter: @baldockbard

The Baldock ‘Boutique’ Boot Sale
STILL HERE AFTER 26 YEARS!
Season starts 7am Saturday 14
thApril 2018
It is the friendliest bargain bonanza anywhere!
Feed your hungry sat-nav with SG7 6RD


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No-Egg Easter!

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I am constantly amazed when meeting fellow diabetics. Many of them seem to only pay attention to their diets just before they are due an ‘all-seeing’ blood test. Having been told at the outset last May by a specialist: ‘if you don’t change your diet, the next time we meet I’ll cut off your legs’, was enough of an incentive for me (even with chocolate)…

My first Easter without chocolate,
since becoming diabetic last May,
all food has to be considered,
if well I’m going to stay.

My one big treat over Easter,
a mini hot cross bun,
I savoured every mouthful,
but only ate the one.

Of course I missed the chocolate,
untouched eggs on the shelf,
but the only one I’d have cheated,
would have been myself.

Before I’m accused of ‘Halo-polishing’ it must be remembered that my Type-2 was self-inflicted through my addiction to soft drinks and sweet things. Despite having a ‘bit-of-the-ex-smoker’ about me, I was left with little choice.
Have a great week and enjoy all that left over chocolate!

© Baldock Bard 2018
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
Facebook: Baldock Bard
Twitter: @baldockbard

 

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Charlie Comes To Visit!

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Have you ever revisited an old haunt or workplace and been disappointed? I can remember driving past my old primary school and thinking how small and insignificant the playground looked fifty years later! Return visits to former places of work can dredge up all sorts of memories that one would rather forget. Thankfully there are exceptions to the rule and yesterday my theory was well and truly disproved…

Charlie worked as our student,
I think it was ’91,
and although I was his young boss,
we seemed to have such fun!

He came to stay this week,
with wife, 9 and 7 and 5,
it was as if he’d not been away,
when he drove down the drive.

I guess that’s the mark of friendship,
that those years seemed just days,
It’s a shame they live in New Zealand,
in so many different ways!

While reminiscing I forgot to tell him one story from those years: We had a group of sixth-formers visit the farm (in those distant days before Health and Safety kicked in). After a tour discussing farming, grain mountains and Europe, they got to try their hand at driving a tractor and 4×4 on a grass field. Last summer I was approached in the town by a woman with three children, she asked: “Are you the farmer?” I relied that I was a farmer! She said “I came to visit your farm many years ago and a very nice lad showed me how to drive a tractor and I’ve never forgotten that day!” So there you go Charlie, you made an impression then as you continue to do now.
I won’t spoil the story by telling everyone that you drove the Land Rover (see above) into a tree just before the school visit! BB 

© Baldock Bard 2018
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
Facebook: Baldock Bard
Twitter: @baldockbard

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On Dover Beach 2018

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Sometimes I get to read poetry written by proper poets. Observing the depth and meaning of their writing, I feel as if I’m standing staring at a puddle when an unseen ocean laps the shore in front of me. The other day I read ‘Dover Beach’ published in 1867 by famous poet Mathew Arnold (1822-1888) As I was in East Kent at the end of last week, I decided to look up Dover Beach for myself and see what I’d make of it…

Of Dover Beach there was no sign,
nothing poetic, nothing to rhyme.

A vast expanse of modern concrete,
wind-blown sea-spray as cold as sleet.
In the distance cross-channel ferries,
jostle for position like adversaries,
shuttling off to Northern France,
choreographed as a giant’s first dance.

On Calais beach looking out to sea,
two dark eyes stare back at me,
across from France asylum’s waiting,
so near but far and so frustrating,
her child was drowned in the Aegean Sea,
through a fog of tears she can’t see me.

I was disappointed by Dover Beach,
that so many give their all to reach,
instead of saying “What the f**k”
perhaps I should just count my luck.

If only I had thought and tried,
I should have known it was high tide!

Obviously written with apologies to Matthew Arnold© Baldock Bard 2018
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
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Twitter: @baldockbard

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Anne – a Valuable Mentor

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Anne and Geoffrey at the Car Boot Sale near Baldock

I have been very lucky in my life to have enjoyed the support of mentors. Most have come from the farming fraternity, however a few have helped me in other ways, even if at the time I didn’t recognize the significance of their guidance.
One in particular, Anne, was my brother’s Godmother and a family friend. It was she who encouraged a troublesome teenager (me!) to pick up a book and read. It is therefore, by default, that you (and I) have her to thank for the fact that you are amongst the over 250,000 people worldwide who have read my blog pages.
How did she help? She helped by not only encouraging me to read, but also giving freely of her time and interest, even when the subject matter must have bored her almost to tears!
On one all-too-rare visit when she and husband Geoffrey stayed on the farm, she asked me what I was reading! I well remember, with the greatest of embarrassment in hindsight (I can feel my cheeks redden even now, many years later), how I went into great detail about a book whose subject was truck-driving between the UK and Saudi Arabia (Cola Cowboys, if you’re interested!).
It was always my intention to thank her and show her what that patience had lead to in my writing and my (much improved!) reading. I never did and I shall always regret it.

Later this week I journey to Kent, to say goodbye. I shall be whispering a very personal ‘Thank you’, to the mentor who installed in me a love of books and I shall not be in the least bit ashamed if I spill a tear or two.

The greatest gift you can give a child (particularly a difficult teenager) is your time.
How about you give it a try sometime and while you’re about it, whisper a silent thanks to Anne as well.
Also if you have thanks to give, do it now, if you leave it too long then one day it may sadly be too late.

© Baldock Bard 2018
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above

Facebook: Baldock Bard
Twitter: @baldockbard

 

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