Remembering my Dad ..

Today is my Dad’s birthday.  He would have been 95.

Mum and Dad

Dad with the love of his life – Mum !

I had started my memoirs when he was with us and had posted a few of the most vivid memories onto this blog,  but need to complete it so the next generation will know the wonderful legacy that he has left us.

Meanwhile ….this blog has been named after a cherished memory.  My very first post replicated below describes this.

Thank you my Darling Dad for leaving me with such a beautiful memory that has stayed with me from my infancy.  May the Angels play you sweet lullaby’s as you rest safe in the heart of your Maker, our God.

……..(My first post) ….

It’s been a long idyllic break since I left the confines of the commercial world and it is time to start my “ramblings”.

Unfortunately,  Rambling Rose,  my dad’s name for me, has been taken by many servers so I’ve settled instead for ‘wondering rose’ which is closely linked.  I ramble because I wonder and many are my ‘wonderings’.  I wonder about this and I wonder about that till I sometimes drive the family round the bend.   I am sure my Dad had no idea how I would turn out when he sang this lullaby to me, in a voice almost as glorious to me as Nat King Cole:

Ramblin’ rose, ramblin’ rose
Why you ramble, no one knows
Wild and wind-blown, that’s how you’ve grown
Who can cling to a ramblin’ rose?

Ramble on, ramble on
When your ramblin’ days are gone
Who will love you with a love true
When your ramblin’ days are through?

I can’t promise that anyone is going to love me or my ramblings but the Rose goes where it must – where the sun draws it …. and so too must I go … wherever The Son draws me.

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Memories … pressed between the pages of my passport

The first thing that struck me when I pulled out my passports last week to complete a visa application, was how careless I have been with this document which is -literally and figuratively – a passport to the world.

My passport history was shocking.  I have had my passports stolen from my home when in Jamaica, and returnd by the police; stolen from my car in Sri Lanka and dumped in a nearby playground. Another time, my sister had  taken my passport to her office and I had to apply for a new one to travel as we could not find it in time.  Yet another passport had to be cancelled because ink had spilt on it.  And  …  the most heinous of all – I had lost my current passport,with all attached passports, in a place unknown.  Workmen found it many months later when digging the road outside my home.  My parents diligently tried to salvage what they could of the rain soaked passports by placing tissue paper amongst the wet pages for Visas are  – or should I say ‘were’ – a very precious commodity during the height of the civil war.  And I had numerous visas stamped between those pages.

Flipping through them last week, squinting at the faded print, tying to read a defaced page and figure out the country seal, brought back so many memories.  These were not just visas. This was in many ways the story of my life pressed between the pages of my passport.

The most number of “permitted to land” stamps were obviously from Sri-Lanka and Jamaica – my first and second homes.  Running close was the US for you cannot travel to and from Jamaica without going through either US or UK.  US was my preferred option.  It was the back yard – or should I be politically correct and say front yard of Jamaica – and the closest holiday and shopping destination.

And then there were the ‘stamps’  that reminded me of the crazy trips I did – like the time I had the brilliant idea of landing in Patmos, driving through the country and departing from Lanarca the next  day.  Unfortunately I had failed to do my homework. All hotels closed early.  The airport actually closed behind me!!  I managed to hail the last passing taxi and persuade him to drive me cross country to Larnaca.  Tensed during the whole drive in dense darkness, I lost all further interest in exploring, and spent the rest of the time at the airport.  So much for my desire to see Cyprus 🙂

That same trip was actually filled with adventure.  I had applied for my Israeli visa whilst in Spain as the Embassy in Jamaica could not handle my documents. (Since most travel to Sri Lanka touches Arab countries, the Israel passport is issued on a separate sheet of paper. Such is politics !!!)

I was grilled right royally before boarding the flight to Tel Aviv as to why a Sri Lankan, living in Jamaica, had travelled to Spain to get a visa for Israel and was returning through Cyprus.  To make matters worse, I had no hotel booking, no contact address, nothing. They made my plans of adventure and taking each day as it comes sound very sinister indeed.  Unknown to me, there was meeting scheduled between the Israeli and Palestine leaders so security was extra tight, and my circumstances, including travelling alone, were considered strange and highly suspect. A Sri Lankan girl, travelling alone, under these circumstances … we have to check this out.

They sent me to a waiting room where I soon realised (from the clothes on the ground in the half-screen changing room type chambers) that they were intent on doing a full body search!  I went cold.  Using all my female intuition and expediency … I burst into tears. They sent for an immigration officer who I remember knelt by my side to inquire why I was crying.  (Who wouldn’t?)  At least he was kind and concerned.  I told him I was not prepared to go through a body search and would just book an onward flight, forgetting about my pilgrimage as I had no desire to enter the Holy Land with such restrictions.

He “cleared”‘ me.

It was almost dawn when I arrived and went to the hotel referred to me at the airport. For the first time in all my travels, I stayed in my room the entire day, nervous to venture out.  Finally in the evening I went to the reception and they informed me it was safe to go out, that the tight security is relaxed once you enter the country.  So I went out.  The ‘normalcy’ of everything around me – except the helicopters and soldiers patrolling the beach which I had not realised was at the hotel doorstep – wash like a splash of ice cold sea water.  I relaxed and prepared to explore Israel and the Holy City.

Memories rush to mind as I write.  How I found myself in a bus full of soldiers in the high security zone in the Gaza strip.  Seated in the last row, blocked by the high seats and absorbed in the scenery,  I had not noticed that the bus had emptied itself of civilians and had filled with soldiers. I was ‘discovered’ when someone ventured to the back, and was brought to the present moment by my awareness of a sudden ‘deafening’ silence:  a stillness and the feeling that people were staring at me.  They were!  A bus full of soldiers was staring at the alien invading their space.

A buzz of conversation followed when I looked up. The soldiers soon unraveled that the driver had forgotten to put me off at the stop I had indicated to him. So the driver had to had to turn back to drop me off at the nearest civilian point.  Again, at least they were kind and concerned  – or maybe the driver was more nervous  of his slip up.  Either way, I got off the firing line.

So many memories, pressed between the pages of my passport.  I am glad I saw the Daily Post prompt in the post Passport to Eternity today.   … and now I am going back to my memories.

P.S.  I went back to Israel again on a pilgrimage with a travel agent No drama like before.   But my first trip made an indelible stamp on ME … not just on my passport.

Life with a Twin

Celebrating our special day, it is nice to reflect on the good, the bad and the fun part of living with a twin.

Finally I ‘get it’.

“Keep your things to yourself”.   A firm ‘in control’ voice interrupts my reading on the sofa.

I look up.  Drama Queen is holding my wavy metal Alice Band outstretched in her hand and drops it on the sofa next to me.

“Where was it?”  (me, nonchalantly)

“On the ground next to the bed!”  (You know the way that’s said right?  !!)

“Aaah … must have fallen off when I slept”.   (still trying to be non-chalant)

No response.  She has gone back to her room.  I turn back to my book.  Then stop.  Did it fall off or did I take it off? Cannot really remember but either way, I am supposed to “keep my things to myself.”

I look up to think about that one and see things scattered all over the ground in the lobby in front of me.  Computer cases, cables, magazines, newspapers, dustbins.  A pink dustbin brush grins at me.  I am sure if I go to the bedroom the hair band will be the smallest thing on the floor. I look at the pink dustbin brush again grinning that he/she has all the right to sit on the middle of the floor with all the other things.    My hair band can’t.  I grin back 🙂

Suddenly I burst out laughing.  I just got it!!

All my stuff is supposed to sit neatly or otherwise, packed into one place.  All the other space around the house that I walk around in … that I move and ‘be’ in is only for that.  To walk around etc.  The house does not belong to me and I can’t mess it up like I would do in my house 😦

Now WHY DID’NT I GET THAT BEFORE?

It will save me stress and it will save her stress.

So until I complete my repairs and move back home, all I’ve got to do is just remember to be more methodical.  And pigs will fly but at least let’s try !!

So Let’s rap to the future… 

Alice Band

The errant Alice Band !

I found your hair-band on my bedroom floor

Evidence that you’ve been here before

And soon I won’t get waves of missing you anymore

You are like a Tsunami tide at my door!!!

(Ed Sheeran modified!)

Now for the other side of the coin  🙂

AN ODE TO MY TWIN

My sister is the sweetest thing

You ever did see

She rants and raves and scolds and yells

But a tender heart has she.

She noticed that I was having

A problem with my pills

Keeping them in one place being

An added stress to my ills

So when she saw a pillbox neat

She put it in her cart

‘At least this may help my sis’ she thought

‘Take care of her weak heart!!!’

HAPPY DAYS ROMS … I LOVE BEING YOUR TWIN !

Happy twin

One year old.. !!

I got a congratulatory message today from Word Press … I am one year old. Nice.  Very nice.

Of course I did not post like I wanted to .. but at least I started.  And I have spent the last week or two since an enforced ‘break’ from work,  reading up on how to improve appearance of this blog.  errrghs!!  I was so un-savvy I had the original theme picture on up to yesterday!!   Thank goodness I changed it before my anniversary. Continue reading

And so I start … finally!

It’s been a long idyllic break since I left the confines of the commercial world and it is time to start my “ramblings”.

Unfortunately,  Rambling Rose ,  my dad’s name for me, has been taken by many servers so I’ve settled instead for ‘wondering rose’ which is closely linked. I ramble because I wonder  and many are my wonderings.   I wonder about this and I wonder about that till I sometimes drive the family round the bend.   I am sure my Dad had no idea how I would turn out when he sang this lullaby to me, in a voice almost as glorious to me as Nat King Cole:

Ramblin’ rose, ramblin’ rose
Why you ramble, no one knows
Wild and wind-blown, that’s how you’ve grown
Who can cling to a ramblin’ rose?

Ramble on, ramble on
When your ramblin’ days are gone
Who will love you with a love true
When your ramblin’ days are through?

I can’t promise that anyone is going to love me or my ramblings but the Rose goes where it must – where the sun draws it …. and so too must I go … wherever The Son draws me.