Wednesday, 4 January 2017

A " Field Of Dreams " Moment

My family often nag me to amalgamate the better parts of Going Gently into some sort of bestselling paperback. The Prof says whimsy sells, and I guess he is right given the plethora of " heartwarming" and " uplifting" tales of life changing encounters middle aged pongos like myself experience when lifestyles change and temple hair is lightening from brunette to a gentle grey.
On the way to the panto the other night, my sister remembered what I call a " Field of Dreams" moment which she said would be a " Satisfying " denouement to the chapter where two middle aged gays first moved into a tight knit Welsh village!
Nine years ago, I held my very first " allotment open evening" It was on the back of similar open evenings my sister organised at her own town allotment, where friends and family had the opportunity to survey  her vegetable beds, have tea and cake and make a contribution of a charity of her choice.
My first allotment open was a small affair, but it was important to me as I left several hopeful posters around the village inviting everyone to attend. Attendance by the Trelawnyd-ites meant everything and as the 6 pm opening deadline loomed close, My sister remembered me gazing up the lane in a sudden downpour of summer rain, worried that no one would come.

I should not have worried ...for the " Field Of Dreams " moment arrived as powerfully as anything ever seen in a sentimental movie or tv series! the only thing that was bloody lacking was a sudden swelling of a musical score, for at exactly 6 pm and led by Auntie Glad hidden underneath an oversized umbrella, a long line of village characters weaved their way down the Church lane towards the field to support the event.
It was a real Hollywood moment amid the wet grass and Slightly damp Victoria sponges.

Perhaps, my sister is right. It is these kind of moments balanced with the sadness of those normal life dramas that make a story readable and accessible to all. Light and froth peppered with emotional romps......perhaps that is the formula..

Anyway over to you all.....you all, like me, have a book inside you......if you eventually write it, what would be your " Field Of Dreams" moment?
I'd be interested to know.

97 comments:

  1. Perhaps now , some of you may realise that this moment was one of many which made me so loyal to auntie glad!

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    1. This and Aunt Glad) is so lovely it made me cry. Probably PMT. Actually, no. I think you shared a moment of magic and it reminded me that each of our lives has some of this within it, amidst the quotidien.

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  2. At my job I was trying to organize Christmas caroling at a local senior centre,only three other people expressed an interest. I carried on, the night I arranged for the singing over twenty showed up. I got weepy,we sang our hearts out that night.

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    1. Thats EXACTLY what i was talking about!

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  3. What a wonderful "Field of Dreams" moment for you, I've got a lump in my throat now.

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    1. Come on sue, whats yours?

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  4. Good old Auntie Glad! And all the villagers of Trelawnyd! You really should write a book.

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  5. I love Auntie Glad. Just love her. How is she these days, John?

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    1. Vry forgetful last time I saw her but still resolutely cheerful x

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  6. of course they would come to check out the new residents!

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  7. That is a beautiful story. I think writing a book is such a leap of faith and a brave thing to do. Maybe it could be your retirement project? -Jenn

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    1. I told the prof he needs to buy me a lap top specifically for this purpose

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  8. In the middle of a chaotic shift in intensive care I was tasked with the painful chore of informing the family of a young man that his resuscitation went poorly, he was not going to survive, and would they like to spend this Saturday before Easter at his bedside in his last moments. Overwhelmed with frustration and grief the hospital priest entered, went to his room to administer last rites and give those of us unable to get to confession to do so there. Soon this family was surrounded by staff, catholic and non, praying for him and them as we all became one in faith around his bedside. A small crowd had formed around the room including staff and other visitors. It was a moment. We had set the venue and they all came. It was a magical sort of moment. Never to occur again.

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    1. Yes, i have seen something similar but on a smaller scale. Thank you for this

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  9. You should listen to your family. Your blog, your stories, your point of view, your humour... your life would not only make a book but a TV series, as well. I can't say I've ever had a Field of Dreams moment. I wonder if I should now get depressed.

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    1. Think again...me thinks we have all ben part of such an xprience

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    2. Mitch took the words right out of my mouth, John! the heck with the book though, I think a TV series about your daily encounters in a small village in Wales would be a hit! Time for something new instead of all those old repeated program series.

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  10. Like Mitchell i don't think i've ever had a moment like that... but i agree with everyone else ... i think you should write a book.... Most of the writing is done... should be easy... lol ... Ofcourse my favorite parts are where you ask the BEST questions and all the lovely and diverse answers you get.. :) Hugs! deb

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  11. I thought if I resumed blogging, they would come!Nope, the Field of Dreams is still quite empty (even though my stats show otherwise. Why is it folks are so loathe to leave a comment after they've read your words? They can't all be trolls???).I'd buy your book.x

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    1. Who knows the fickle finger of blogging x

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    2. Your bloggers aren't fickle? Well, almost!

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  12. It must have felt wonderful that so many villagers came to support the event John. I can't think of a Field of Dreams moment in my life. I too agree that your life stories could be made into a book or a series along the lines of the Darling Buds of May!!!

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    1. Tthe original post from 2008 can be seen here

      http://disasterfilm.blogspot.co.uk/2008/08/allotment-open.html

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  13. Touching to hear of that day, and all the villagers!! I liked that your blog got it's well deserved attention on mr Puddings blog too. Nice going! I like your approach on things, and that your posts never ever get boring. From the most tender meetings with villagers and patients to hilarious stories with dogs and smaller disasters. I for one would write about all those people who have brought me light, love, good thinking and memorable moments, they are many, could be many books!!

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  14. I love the scene of Auntie Glad leading the way to your allotment event. When your potential book is made into a potential movie, you will need to find just the right actress to portray her. Now we know the beginnings of your closeness to her.

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    1. Rosemary harris could do it...she has the same sweetness

      See the original post at

      http://disasterfilm.blogspot.co.uk/2008/08/allotment-open.html

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  15. Antie Glad led the charge....how appropriate. A Field of Dreams moment? By the way, that is my absolute favourite movie of all time. Well let's see...one year I planted some sunflower seeds in the back yard against serious criticism from the hubs.....One day in October I called him to the back window. The sunflowers were blue. I opened the window and the blue rose up and flew away. Blue jays...dozens of them. If you plant them, they will come.

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    1. That's a lovely story.

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    2. Yes, i liked that x

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  16. Still waiting for my FoD's moment.....

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  17. Forget the book - go directly to HBO!! Your life is hysterical...especially your incidents of pooing behind various hedges in lanes, your escapades with Scotch eggs, Camilla the goose...it's so funny!! I cannot remember a FoD moment in my life but I'll keep searching. Cheers from Florida...

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    1. I may have to change scotch eggs to cheeseburgers if the series is American made

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  18. Another wonderful story. Your Auntie has a good spirit, I hope she's well looked after...

    As for moments, most of mine revolve around loss, especially in the last few years. Losing people to cancer, opiate overdose (finding a corpse isn't as portrayed in film) and then add to that older folk dying from strokes, old age (102) and accidents, really, who would read this unless I could make it funny...I do love the image of your small but mighty auntie leading a group down a lane in the rain...you could do a lot with that...

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    1. And it is a perfectly true story!
      See the original post
      http://disasterfilm.blogspot.co.uk/2008/08/allotment-open.html

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  19. Lovely story. I do so miss Auntie Glad being in your daily rotation of characters. Hope she is doing well.

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    1. I aim to see her this friday zoe

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  20. I already wrote my book, and my moment was walking away.

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    1. You enigmatic old broad

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  21. I don't think I have one John. But I am always telling you that it is time you incorporated your best moments into a book - so make that your new year resolution. Today's story would make a fine opening

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    1. I think the opening story will be watching joan ( our first old cat) wide eyed and alert walking in a field of grass for the first time

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  22. I believe I had my moment just yesterday.
    I was spending a rainy afternoon looking at
    pretty pictures on the web, mostly cottage
    gardens. (my escape from reality)
    Anyway, one thought led to another and I found
    myself tripping around google maps looking at
    gardens in real neighborhoods that I had known.
    Suddenly, I realized I was pointing and clicking
    around a small town 2,000 miles away from me.
    Farm land way up north where I grew up.
    I recognized a street name and began to follow it.
    You know how it goes......point, click, move
    about 40 ft.....repeat.
    And there it was ! My "Field of Dreams"
    A place I have not seen for 63 years.
    Once surrounded by tall trees, vegetable gardens,
    beautiful flower beds, chickens, cats, goats and enchanting worn red out buildings.
    Now sitting all alone in a dusty, ragged field
    and several surrounding housing developments.
    There it was, the most magical, mystical place
    I had ever known. There it was, the tiny
    farm house where my Great Grandmother lived.
    Where I spent the better part of each summer.
    Just me and my Great Gramma. Having the most
    wonderful childhood adventures.
    We walked and talked for hours each day,
    tending the animals and the gardens
    building "play" buildings in the woods,
    all sorts of enchanting things.
    Gramma died when I was 9 years old.
    That was my first heart break, incredibly sad.
    Yesterday as I looked at her little
    house from every angle google would allow,
    it was just sitting there all alone and shabby,
    I remembered so many happy hours and days
    spent there.
    Of course, I felt I should go there and rescue
    it and clean the windows and sweep out the
    years of dust.
    Oddly, the discovery made me feel so happy.
    Only good memories came to me from that google map.
    That place was my Field of Dreams........
    Still is I think.

    out buildings

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    1. That was rather beautiful x

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    2. I have tears after reading that!

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  23. Great retelling! I adore that you have a photo.

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    1. There are others see my old post
      http://disasterfilm.blogspot.co.uk/2008/08/allotment-open.html

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  24. I confuse my books with my epitaphs. For years I was going to write a story about a family that owned a large, downtown department store and their synchronous decline. I was going to call it The Big Store.
    Then, I was going to write the "great American novel". My life and temperament were just never sad enough to do it.
    I love your blog because it's simple and pure and true and real. If that doesn't sell, we as humanity have had it. It reminds me of All Creatures Great and Small. Especially dealing with people, I have to remind myself of the verse that "the Lord God made them all".
    AS for a FoD moment, I've had many. You have them and you move on. The difference between us is that you remember and record them so very well. I let them pass until someone such as yourself prods me to remember them.
    We, the husbear and I, were at breakfast the other day in our little mountain town in NE Pennsylvania. The waitress does double duty at an antique shop which we frequent. I bought a lamppost decoration there in the shape of a star. The star is in the center and is made of punched aluminum. Circling the star is a metal ring around which are stitched strips of tin in silver, red and emerald. Around the circle were huge, incandescent colored bulbs very poorly wired. I say that because when I plugged them in, they immediately burned my hand. I paid too much for it, but we love it. I wrapped a set of multi colored LED lights around the circle, which is a good 6 feet in diameter. I also ran a wire with a bright, clear light inside the star. With the bright, white light shining through the punched metal star in the center and the colored lights around the diameter twinkling off the metal strips, it's breathtaking. I cleaned every stinking strip of tin around the diameter by hand.
    So, we were telling the waitress we bought it from the shop where she works and how beautiful it looks lit up at night and she asked me if I had a picture. I looked at her and said "why should I have a picture when I can give you a thousand words"? Come to think of it, that's probably why I've never finished any of those books.
    What were we talking about just now? :-)

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    1. There! A book IS inside you! X

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  25. No FoD moments here. I am dull to the core. Love that you (and others) have and share them.

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  26. Auntie Glad is a top-notch person. I so admire her attitude and integrity! No wonder you love her.

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    1. Indeed i do....and now you all know why!

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  27. Try as I might, I can't come up with anything. Hopefully there's still time yet, even if it's at my funeral!

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    1. .....well we all hope for a busy funeral....as long as not everyone is there cos they are celebrating!

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  28. Good job Auntie Glad. Lovely stuff. If you get all Frances Mayer on us (aka the Welsh version), will you have to edit out the Bridget Jones type escapades?

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  29. I think my moment is yet to come, but hope it does. Meanwhile I'll be inspired by yours.

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    1. Let me know when it happens!

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  30. Build it and they will come, field of dreams moments; in my personal life it would be my "I passed the bar exam" party that grew so large it was held Friday night and Saturday nights; on a professional level two out of the three years I have planned a national conference on aging, it has sold out and we have had to turn people away. And I was worried that no one would come.

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  31. Oh I just love your blog John, I often wonder (day dream) what it would be like to live in your village..I wonder what names we would have been given lol many of our gay male friends call us 'the girl's 'but that just reminds me of what my dad calls the chickens lol xx Sammie.

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    1. I think like most villagers, the characters are dying away with the community feel ...in the end, sadly most villages will become just housing estates!

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  32. I have never had a "Field of Dreams" moment but I have had other "field" moments including "Field of Rhubarb", "Field of Hudders" and "Field of Horse Shit". In this complicated and often confusing world, I suspect that lots of folk are looking for a homely rural idyll - a place that takes them away from their regular lives. "Going Gently" provides a lot of that and with tweaking/reformulating I believe it could very well appeal to a wider audience - people who are looking for something quirky and escapist to read. I think you would need to have a thread connecting village events and society which means there would be other blogpost zones to omit.

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    1. I was waiting for this!
      You never fail me

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    2. "Going Gently - snippets of life in a small Welsh Village" Just a whole lot of snippets as we read them here. Each chapter with a title just like a blog header. What have you got to lose? Give it a go, you might make a million or two ???

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    3. Perhaps all blog commentators should have a 1% cut?

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    4. Waiting for helpful and genuine feedback? That's what you got John (apart from the opening light-heartedness)

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  33. My First post after reading for many years. My mother had a stroke and was bedridden for many years and cared solely by my father until she passed away at a veritable age. On the day of her funeral we arrived at the Church and it seemed that hardly anyone was there as there were no cars around. I assumed that as she had been out of village life for a number of years people may have simply 'forgotten' about her and also in the Forest of dean even though they had lived there for 30 years were 'newcomers'. My FOD moment was entering the church and seeing it absolutely packed to the rafters. It makes me tear up to this day. Also so much money was raised for the church that she has her own kissing gate at the entrance with her name on it which is highly amusing as she wasn't a church goer herself.

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    1. How wonderful clare
      I think that " final" salute to someone is such a powerful statement to just how respected you are
      A wonderful memory
      Welcome ! Please comment more xx

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  34. when I was diagnosed with cancer in 1989, my (now ex) husband and family (parents and sister) deserted me. my co-workers saw to it that I was never alone.

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    1. And now you are greatly loved, my most loyal of blog followers xxx

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    2. anne marie what a jerk and family also. Where we married to the same person ?
      I came home from a hospital stay and there were so many flowers delivered that my x said to me, "are your friends trying to make me look bad ?"
      I then had to drive myself to the doctor (doctor said NO) for the removal of lots of gross stuff because the x did not want to miss work and he was the boss !
      I am so happy you have wonderful co-workers.

      cheers, parsnip

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  35. I remember that day, we thought we'd got a speeding ticket rushing back from Colwyn Bay ( we hadn't ) I wore my new Manila Blanket trainers which ended up covered in mud and chicken s**t the car stunk for weeks!...I can't recall a F of D moment except maybe our ( Prestatyn) very first flower show, we were so worried that there would only be a handful of entries we'd made plans to raid the neighbouring gardens, but when the entries started to arrive I did breathe a big sigh of relief. Maybe we underestimate the lovely town/village people who always support us.

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  36. Is that my sister commenting?

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    1. I always thought yours was being presented with the British Empire Medal ?

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    2. No it's Debbie one of her committee members, the one with the dog called Billy, sorry I didn't realise my user name Tweetart would on

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    3. Right i shall always refer to you as tweetart!

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  37. I have not the slightest doubt that your posts could be translated into wonderful screenplays.

    When this does take place, as it surely will, would you add to the richness of the material by including the comments and replies?

    Happy New Year to you and yours. xo

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  38. and a big New York hug for you too x

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  39. In 2011, I turned 40 and decided to celebrate by going on a trip to the US. I was hoping to meet a number of blog buddies but there was one in particular who I thought would give me a warm welcome. She didn't want to know me but people travelled to LA from Seattle, New York and San Francisco to meet me and spend a weekend together.
    I stayed in the homes of people who I had never even spoken to on the phone. It was a wonderful trip and such an honour.

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    1. Strange as it may seem i too would not really like to meet a fellow blogger.....i prefer to have them as dear friends here.....mind you i would never be rude to anyone x

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  40. Like Clare, mine happened at the funeral of a loved one. My 54 year old brother passed away very unexpectedly in November. He was a bachelor and had spent a fair amount of his adult life largely unconnected to his family. In recent years, however, we’d been closer than we ever had. While planning his funeral, we were asked how many people we expected to show up, and we made our best guess. The day of the service, workers at the funeral home had to set up more chairs and people still ended up standing. There were people from every era and facet of his life, most of whom we, his family, didn’t know. It was so heartwarming to see all those people there to commemorate my brother, who I loved dearly.

    I would certainly read your book, but there is something special about a blog that a book can’t offer: anticipation. If I stop on your page and there is no new entry, I go away disappointed, and the next day, I’m looking forward to blog-reading time that much more. If it were a book, I could devour it all in one day if I wanted.

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    1. Such events sooth the living....your brother, hopefully knew just how much he was lived

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  41. this tale put a smile on my face. :)

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  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  43. This will be yawn-inducing to some, but right up there as an FoD moment must be, at the age of 15 or so, 'getting' Shakespeare', thanks to our youngish English Lit teacher/priest to whose enthusiasm I'll be forever grateful for revealing the incalculable riches in S's words and which, in the over half century since then, has never ceased to astonish and delight me. Thank you ever so much, Father Hurst!

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  44. A nice remembrance and I don't think I have such a moment. A good comment from K about turning your blog into a book. Personally I think, you would have sales to your blog readers but I doubt anyone could put into some sort of cohesive book.

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  45. I think mine was when I took over as co-manager of the village charity shop where I had been a volunteer for five years. None of the other volunteers left on my shifts in charge and they all supported me tremendously.

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  46. What a great idea! Your blog COULD be a book, with all its characters and funny incidents. It would be a challenge to put in a single cohesive narrative, but it could be done.

    Unfortunately, I don't think I have a book in me, or a "Field of Dreams" moment. At least not that I can think of now!

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  47. Do it!! Please do the book! Like your allotment open evening you could always donate some of the profits to a charity of your choice, I for one would buy your book as your blog posts have made me laugh out loud and almost choke on my coffee many a time! :)

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  48. I think you could do a television show set in your village.

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  49. I cannot think of a single 'field of dreams' moment in my life. Of course I do dream of not owning a field ... now that would be good ;-)

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  50. When you print your book of essays be sure and include the story about when you took Mary to the vet and mayhem ensued I laughed so hard had to call my hubby upstairs to read it to him, I hunted high and low went back at least 6 months to find it again and gave up I also remember when one dog was on the opposite side of the river a long time ago, you have so many gems I want an autographed copy.

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    1. Thanks margo..it was winnie on the side of the river

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