🎂 Sotonians milestones

:birthday: Sotonians milestones


Congratulations @dubai_phil and to everyone else involved!


Oh NO…


The only possible clear dates that I seem to be able to come to UK to visit the new arrival appear to be between 18th and 22nd April.

What on earth can I do in the London Area over those dates…


And how the heck can I get a ticket for Mrs D_P next to me with only 1 membership card…


I’ve read in history books about the mountains of blankets left over from the Boer war.

Were they in colour or was it all black and white in those days?


Black & White as you well know…colour wasn’t invented until 1935 when Kodak thought colour would be a good idea. Our blankets were in colour as they came from WW2.


Not a major one but Teenage Mutant passed his driving theory test this afternoon.

I have made clear that he now needs to pass the practical test so he can start driving me and his mother to/from the pub - it’s not as if we’ve shortchanged him and Young Adult in term being their designated taxi drivers for the last 17 / 19 years respectively …


Good luck. My dad is still my taxi driver when I am in town.


Not sure if this is a milestone or not, but Young Adult #2 is not going to Uni this year.

Two main reasons. She’s not sure what she wants to do, and thinks 50K+ is a pretty big spend on uncertainty. Second, she’s just not ready to leave the nest yet.

There will be no slacking off on A-levels, and as someone who had an unintentional gap year myself, it was no bad thing. First of all, you work out what you don’t want to do, then you work out what you actually want to do. When you get to Uni and see the 18 year old peeps that didn’t take the gap year, you get a very strong sense that many of them don’t know what they’re doing there.

She was a bit scared of telling me to start with, as I’d freaked out when Young Adult #1 was talking about deferring her third year of Uni. That was a bit different. 18k of tuition fee debt had already been accrued. Perhaps we’ll get JC in before next September :lou_sunglasses:


I still don’t know what I want to do.


I’ve had that moment where the people I work with are young enough that you can drop something we consider a huge cultural touchstone into a conversation, and it goes unrecognised.

I thought I lived in a world in which everyone had seen GoodFellas. Why wouldn’t you?

And yet this drew blank faces in the office , while two people openly admitted they’d never seen it.

It’s at that point you realise that you are an old bastard, these people have likely had no idea of what you were blathering on about half the time, and reported you to HR for things Alan Partridge said the other half.


Today, 28th March 2018 is the hundredth anniversary of the death of my maternal grandfather at Arras.
He was 40 years old and a father of 4 daughters and 1 son. A life, like many others cut short in a senseless war.
Nothing unusual about him but he loved and was loved, can anyone ask for more.


You look young in that pic, @lifeintheslowlane .

You still look like you’ve rogered Walter, mind.


My Great Great Uncle was killed on the same day near Arras. he was in the Somerset Lights and family legend has it that he was down the pub where some of the soldiers were whilst staging at Hursley Park and got shit faced and signed up at the young age of 40.


He does. The tache quite suits him, too.


Let’s face it it was pretty shit anywhere @cb-saint if you were in the front-line. I wonder how many were killed on the 28th March and how many of the survivors carried the “scars of war” for the rest of their days. My grandad was wounded at Gallipoli in 1915 with the Royal Hampshires, patched up and sent back to the front-line.


There is one true “horror” of being an Ex Pat.

It happened to me some 10 years or more ago, a text from my Sister back home that simply said call me NOW.

The news was like a sledgehammer, my Dad had passed away. He had not been “well” but he hadn’t seemed to be "ready to move on. What happens next is horrific, the scramble to get emergency leave and find a flight, then the hanging around, being in the way as you truly cannot “help” organise anything as your phone isn’t local and worse you have no idea who to call or what to do.

All of which pale into insignificance to the Guilt you feel on that rushed flight home. The If Only’s that run through your head…

I thought that was as bad as it coud get. Then my Mum had a series of strokes, Dementia set in. It has been incredibly tough for my Brother & Sister, I was limited by my salary for a year in travelling home as much as I should have done, then now just as we are beginning to get some traction in our “Exit Strategy” I get a different text.

Give me a call when you can…

And the news is kind f worse. She had a fit abut 4 weeks ago (luckiliy I went home to see her in mid Feb when she was abit brighter). She spent 3 weeks or so in Hospital and was released about 10 days ago, seemed fine but is now “deteriorating”.

And that is the knife. She is now bed ridden, waiting on Care Assistants and Doctors to sort things out and give a prognosis. We are both heading home to see her in 3 weeks, and now nobody knows if she will last one nght or one month or one year.

Our flights can’t be changed, but even IF we went back now, we still have to travel back to Europe in just over 2 weeks. When we get there we have nowhere to stay (apart from with wonderful friends) ad there is nothing we can do, except be in the way, IF we went for a week we could have to leave again - such a clusterfuck of unknowns and guilt and


It is a Milestone, we all have to face this moment, she had a great innings and all that. My Ex’s Mum had a stroke, we rushed up to Southport, hung around a week, Doctors said she was stable, I left the ex there drive home, walked in the door and the phone rang and I literally had t o go straight back up the M6 - she never forgave me for leaving tbh.

Now? Simply any decision will be the wrong one. We just have to wait.


Uff, that sounds horrendous. Sorry to hear that @dubai_phil .

I’ve always been desperate to live abroad for at least a little bit, but this is something that has scared me. My family is pretty small, and I am pretty close to my mum. That scenario sounds like my nightmare. Can’t imagine how hard it is for you right now.


Ripping us apart

Even IF we decide (Or get the call) to rush back, it is Easter and flight costs/availability are awful.

Helpless is the best word KRG. I feel should open booze but that isn’t going to help

We’e just packed Go Bags in case. Best compromise I think


Couldnt agree more @dubai_phil I was on a ship when my mum had her aneurysm. trying to get off the vessel then flights back to the UK. A nightmare. As you say when you get there very little you can do to help. Just as bad when my brother went as well we had just been back to the UK to show the youngest sprog off. had flown back to Dubai 5 days earlier when the phone rang with the message fom my sister get your arse back here pronto. The thing about my brother was as we were going back to Dubai and leaving my old mans place he drove past on his way to the Langley Tavern and stuck his head out the window and said “Have Fun” his last words to me. Which I have been trying to do ever since,


Guilt only comes after your “couldn’t give a shit” attitude returns to haunt you not after fate conspires to rob you of the chance to be in the right place at the right time, despite best laid plans.

Hindsight is a gift to nobody.



So the simple cold logic is that there is a window to “say goodbye”. There will then be a window for a funeral. Then there is a business trip to Poland (and back to UK for the Semi & Granddaughter).

No word yet from the Doctors, no idea whether it is even worth getting on a plane (as in - it may be too late).

IF we come back tomorrow we hit Easter flights and Car Rental problems (let aone your traffic and weather forecast)