Once In Your Life .. …

Brighton Beach Lovers 2001-2008
Brighton Beach Lovers, In front of Brighton Pier © Stewart Weir 2005

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.” – Bob Marley

A Poem for a Way of Life (Or A New Year) .. …

Brighton Beach Lovers
Brighton Beach Lovers © Stewart Weir 2002

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love – for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment is it perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you from misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life

This Is Margate

img011LOW_Res_Margate
Margate © Stewart Weir 2013

Philip II of Spain originally planned to invade England at Margate in  1588 with the “invincible Armada” to gain control of the whole country.  Throughout the whole campaign, the English lost no ships and only 100 men in battle.  However, over 7,000 English sailors died from disease (dysentery and typhus mostly)  during the time the Armada was in English water. Also those English sailors who survived  and fought against the Armada were poorly treated by the English government. Many were  given only enough money for the journey to their home and some received only part of  their  pay.   John Hawkins showed concern for his men: ” The men have long been unpaid and need relief”. The overall commander of the English Navy, Lord Howard was  shocked claiming that ” I would rather have never a penny in the world,  than they (his sailors) should lack…”. Howard wrote to William Cecil ( 20 Aug 1588)  ” … It is a most pitiful sight to see, here at Margate, how the men, having no place to  receive them into here, die in the streets.  I am driven myself, of force, to come a-land, to see them bestowed in some lodging; and the best I can get is barns and outhouses. It would grieve any man’s heart to see  them that have served so valiantly to die so miserably…”. With this, he used his own  money to pay his sailors.