Wings of the Warrior

I was going to start this brief blog post by saying that this entry has little to do with running.

Then I realised that repetition is boring.

The running bit:

Parcel motel served up a pair of New Balance 1210’s yesterday morning and apart from trying them on around the house I have no more news on them. They are trail shoes so I expect I’ll have to run on the edges, where the dogs of the parish read their twitter feed,  of my local amenity walk to get a feel for what they’re like on trails.

More to come.

They’re the first pair of New Balance shoes to be made by the Reds (China) and not in good old Blighty so my keep it local consumerism seems to have failed.

Yesterday an extraordinary event took place that I only found out about at the end of the day over dinner. When I say extraordinary I mean that I found it extraordinary. If you’re a teenager or someone on a different part of the wheel of life to me you’ll just mentally shrug at the story and mutter an Americanism like whatever.

One of my mother’s neighbours (a Yorkshire man of 91) went to his final reward recently and his funeral was yesterday. Like most people from across the pond he was a left-legger (jargon buster: across the pond = Britian, left-legger = protestant, as in he dug with the other foot) so my mother (a 7 day a week mass goer) found herself in the local Church of Ireland church.

For fear of being struck down by a bolt of lightening she took a accomplice with her in the shape of my 5 year old so, Tom.  Tom is a pragmatist and will happily go to church in exchange for chocolate and crayons but he does complain that mass is both boring and makes him thirsty.

The insight of youth.

The significant thing about my mother’s elderly neighbour was not his Yorkshireness nor his age but his history.

when I was a kid in the 1970’s he had a very boring job as an accountant in a paint factory. He did have a fish pond in his front garden (which was exotic back then) which marked him out from all the neighbours.  He had a past that you’d never have believed if you’d seen him in real life.

He had been an RAF fighter pilot during World War 2.

Over dinner last night my mother recounted the funeral and the story of his RAF days – 6 weeks travelling for training in South Africa for the clear blue skies, the invasion of Sicily, D-Day, the campaign medals.

Maudlin and sentimental tit that I am I was staring at my 5 year old and thinking of a day in the future when he will tell his grandchildren that he once attended the funeral of a fighter pilot from World War 2 and they’ll barely believe him.


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