Where have I been?

Back in the USA!


After a slog of a journey that began far too early on Monday morning, Elisha and I arrived at the Days Inn, Chicago around 18 hours later. I seem to be a bad luck magnet on my trips to the ‘states and a combination of flight delays meant dealing with rush hour traffic during our drive from the airport. Stressful after barely any sleep, but we got here in the end.

Today’s plan is to see a bit of Chicago before we drive down to Indianapolis. We had intended on visiting the children’s museum, but the weather is way too good for indoor activities so I think we will go to Millennium Park and find a skate park.

My Aunty Denny

On Friday the 13th of March 2015 I went for a meal at Annaya’s Indian restaurant in Helensburgh, with my brother Andrew. I’d gone for a couple of beers after work before heading back, so when we got to Annaya’s at around 8pm I was in good spirits and ready for a slap up feed.

When we entered the restaurant I was happy to see my Aunty Denny and Uncle James sitting down the back, so I asked the waiter if we could join them. He showed us to the table right beside them and the banter started before we’d even taken our seats.

“Och! Denny, they saw us!” James laughed. “Shush, you!” She said back to him.

Aunty Denny and Uncle James had always been a great double act. When I was younger I used to get quite stressed at the way they constantly tormented each other, but it became a source of great entertainment over time and I loved the comedy of it when I was in their company.  We spent the next hour or so laughing and talking as we ate our meals and I was so glad we’d happened upon them on the night.

They were finished before Andrew and I, and, after a bit of fuss over not being able to find her scarf, Aunty Denny came back from getting her coat to give us £30 towards our meal. I immediately protested, saying it wasn’t necessary, but she told us that she’d won big playing bingo earlier that week and wanted to treat us.

She’d always been a fan of bingo. I remember when we went on family holidays at caravan parks or Butlins, Aunty Denny would waste no time getting stuck into the bingo halls. I never knew she still played it, but her winnings were impressive.

It was such a kind gesture for her to share her windfall with us and I gave her a hug and a kiss as she left. James was already at the door, eager to get to the pub and going “C’mon you!” Denny scoffed and theatrically rolled her eyes as she went off to join him, waving us goodbye as she went out of the door.

That would be the last time I ever saw her.

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The legend of Captain Fork Beard

Elisha helps Jason to make pirate money.

A couple of weeks back I had to help Jason with his “take-away” homework, which consisted of pirate related project work divided into three parts. He’d already done the first task, making a flag, so I had to help him make pirate money and help him write a story about his pirate, Captain Fork Beard!

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The tale of the Sugar Boat

The wreck of The MV Captayannis

On the 27th of January 1974 in the midst of a raging storm, the MV Captayannis sunk in the River Clyde with its cargo of sugar. The crew were rescued, but the ship itself could not be saved after rolling over onto her side on a sand bar. I was about one and a half at the time, but somehow I can vividly remember being taken down to the shore by my uncle and grandpa to see the wreck in the days that followed the storm.

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