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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

4 Minute Fugitive. Living in the Moment.

I’m taking a chance here. I haven’t a clue who some of you readers are. I’m taking a guess that those of you that I don’t know (some of whom have been following my musings since day one) are not bad eggs. Hopefully none of you are bad eggs. I think if I dig around in the past I could give some of you a run for your money. Not that I've ever been a bad egg but I've had my moments.

Interestingly the host site we use as a vehicle for this blog enables me to see the rough location of where, you the readers, reside. Mostly of course you're from the UK but I’ve had readers from Australia, New Zealand, France, Spain, Holland, Germany, USA, Canada, Ireland, UAE, and others. I can dig down to the town or city and street level . For some places I’m really stumped as to who you could be. Perhaps you may like to comment.

Anyway am I a bad egg? I don't think so. I’ve only been chased by a police car, whilst driving, twice. Once for speeding on a very quiet A30 heading home. I was doing about 95mph. As I sped under the Broadwoodwidger bridge a blue light started flashing on the car above. At the time I had a really boring company car; a Peugeot 406. Rather than slow down I safely maintained my speed and told the girls we were in a police chase, they were worried. The police steadily caught me up over a distance of 4 miles finally so as to conveniently pull me over at the Lifton turning. After being issued with a £60 Fixed penalty notice, 3 penalty points on my licence and the obligatory lecture on speeding while being responsible for 2 young children in the car I was sent on my way. As it happened I was only driving because Tricia kept letting the speed creep to over 100mph so we swopped over to slow it down a bit. What were we doing? We were making memories.

The other time, a bit more challenging. My younger brother Colin and I when in our teens/early 20s were on the way home late one night from Bodmin to Bugle where we were living at the time. No doubt we had a few beers on board. Who didn't in the early 80s? At this time I was driving an Mk3 Ford Cortina. The engine in this car came from a rally car so therefore had some performance modifications. For all you petrol heads it had a Janspeed Exhaust Manifold, a Twin Choke Weber Carburettor and a Piper High Lift Camshaft. The engine was fast and powerful, the rest of the car was a rust bucket. Coming into Bugle before the railway bridge there were some temporary traffic lights. There were 2 or 3 cars slowing down ahead of us for the red light which had just changed. We saw the oncoming light turn green there were no oncoming cars. So like many young, reckless, drivers we saw our chance, overtook the 2 or 3 waiting cars and shot through the red light. Swiftly a blue light lit up. Oh! Bugger! Quick! Think! I know, lights off (compounding our problem), we knew of a yard at the back of which there was a garage with no garage doors. It was usually empty. Our luck was in. We shot into the garage and ducked down in the car. Blue lights flashed in the area for what seemed like ages. Eventually we skulked our way home probably giggling all the way. Another memory in the bag.

Anyway making memories is a great thing. Something I try to do each time my grandchildren are with us. And reminiscing about things long gone can be great. Much of my writing includes little interesting episodes of my life. Recent memories, however fun, are challenging to hear. When I hear someone say, where did that time go or it seemed like only last year or doesn’t time fly, these simple, innocent, common phrases sends shivers down my spine.

Tempus Fugit, go away!

Equally, idle conversations about the future. With the roll out of the vaccine it seems the collective consciousness is beginning to look forwards, and indeed why not? For most of us things can only get better. (I feel a song coming on.) For me there’s a couple of overriding thoughts. If I’m diagnosed with Covid, even though I had my first jab yesterday, and drop dead within 28 days I’ll be recorded as a Covid death which seems somewhat unfair after all I’ve gone through over the past 3 ½ years. Secondly; do we still run a raffle for places at my funeral? I feel a zoom event coming on.

Recently I heard this. “We may be in the same storm but we're all in different boats”. You just don’t want to be in my boat!

Clearly the best thing for me is to live in the moment. So I turned to Google (other search engines are available or has Google bought and buried all of them by now?) and entered the words “Living in the moment". What a lot of airy fairy tripe I found written by what I can only imagine as a load of old hippies “gone to seed”. But there were plenty of opportunities to be further enlightened by buying their “life manual” or a myriad of other illuminating publications.

So my interpretation of Living in the Moment is;

  1. Try to find some enjoyment every day. (Probably not by watching “A Place in the Sun” Channel 4 at 3pm followed by “A new life in the Sun”). I watch it because it’s conveniently soporific and 3pm is usually my nap time.

  2. Talk to friends and family and remember it's probably easier for me than them.

  3. Keep conversations to the present or near present as much as you can.

  4. Get a S.M.A.R.T. project. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and time- bound.

I’m about to bring our, now getting a bit tatty, e-bikes down from the shed into the utility room/garage/man shed/gym/warm workshop. I’m going to give them a coat of looking over, some polish and a bit of air in the tyres In readiness for transporting to Padstow for use on the much acclaimed Camel Trail. (I know of a yard at the back of which there is a garage with no lockable garage doors).

5. Don’t look too far into the future. I’m scheduled in for 3 weddings this year. The first is imminent. (8 days) living in the moment. One is April the 24th, the not too distant future. The last one is in the summer the 31st July, in the same hotel, but just after the much lauded G7 summit. Probably not got quite the same security measures. Slightly too far into the future for comfort.

Thank God I’m not invited to 4 weddings.............think about it!

6. If France and the rest of Europe pull their collective fingers out and get on with the vaccine programme, four of us are planning a road trip in a, Grand Tourer (car), to our favourite Chateau on the banks of the Dordogne. With a couple of stops thrown in at La Rochelle and Bordeaux for good measure. Fingers crossed for more memories

7. It's ok to look to the past but not the, blimey where did that time go, past.

What was all that about at the beginning about bad eggs?

I know our bikes will be safe.

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Juliet French
Juliet French
Jan 29, 2021

A lovely blog! ❤🚴‍♂️🚴‍♀️


Emma Matthews
Emma Matthews
Jan 29, 2021

Love this one. Definitley NOT a bad egg. A sprinkling of naughty and living in the moment which you do so well. Your lifes experiences make great stories and have us all secretly wishing we could tell such fun tales. I need to be more Neil! (And try and sleep more) XxxX

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