PC 100 A Milestone

Milestone – “A stone set up on a road to indicate the miles to and from a given place; an event, a stage in life.” (A Roman mile being 1000 paces by one of its soldiers)  (Not sure there are ‘kilometre stones’?)

I never ever imagined I would reach this personal milestone, because actually there wasn’t one, a goal that is! What there was, way back in 2013, was a need to scribble something about what I was doing and to communicate that to those close to me, having given up on the traditional postcard with the ‘Wish you were here!’ message.* So my postcard (PC) series was born, emailed occasionally to a growing address list. Most people probably read the first few as they were mainly about Brazil, a country few in the UK knew much about. My first trip had been with Celina, who became my wife last year, in April 2012. Coincidentally my maternal great grandfather Richard Corbett had been born in Recife in north east Brazil in 1850.

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Lagoa with Sugar Loaf in the distance, Rio de Janeiro

These musings developed as I found that I enjoyed trying, not always successfully, to describe where I was, what was going on in my head, or simply to make some observations about my life. In 2016 they morphed into a blog available on WordPress at postcardscribbles.co.uk, thanks to the suggestion and assistance of my son-in-law Sam. And here we are, PC 100, a hundred PCs of about a thousand words each, so in total about 10,000 words. Although that’s a definition of a novel, I have not written one, because that has a beginning, a plot, and an end. And who wants to read a novel of 100 chapters?

For those of you who have been with me since the start, you will have read about marriages (PCs 41 & 77) and deaths (PCs 22 & 60) and you will read about births in PC 101; ‘Hatches, Matches and Dispatches’ my parents’ generation would have called them. You will have travelled with me to the USA, Canada, France, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and of course to Brazil. Since I started my PCs this country has gone into a serious recession, had its president charged with impeachment, hosted both the football World Cup and the Olympic Games and suffered both too little and too much rain. Given that it’s some 2400 miles both north to south and east to west, visiting parts of Brazil is quite a project. I sense we have seen more of this wonderful Latin American country than many of the inhabitants, going north to Recife, south to Paraty, Cananéia and Santa Catarina, west to the Pantanal, Foz de Iguaçu and São Paulo, whilst based in Rio de Janeiro.

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The view from the Top of the World Highway, Alaska

My maternal ancestors, the Nation family, moved from Somerset in the late 1700s to India, on to New Zealand in 1860, and to the UK via San Francisco and Nevada in 1898. Great grandfather George’s trips to Alaska and Canada in the early part of the last century gave us a focus for a trip that we might not otherwise have made, following in his footsteps right up to Eagle City, some 130 miles south of the Arctic Circle (PCs 43, 44 &45).

Whilst I don’t write to get feedback, some people comment. It’s a little like throwing food onto the surface of a limpid pond. Some fish always bite, but others, living in the murky depths, you won’t see until a particular morsel tempts them to the surface. They feed, and then sink back for a year or so!!  One or two topics have created more comments than others; the most have been made about PCs on Loo Paper (PC 47) and The Loo (PC 54) and on Alcohol (PCs 15 & 16). I am really not sure what a sociologist would make of this? At other times it’s as if I have posted something into a black hole, silence is the only thing that comes back.

I’ve scribbled about Christmas and about Easter and about Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, about Cutlery & Etiquette, about speaking and seeing, eating and talking, and I’m fascinated by the coincidences that are all around us.

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 The remains of the fire and sea ravaged West Pier here in Brighton

And I’ve made quite a few faux pas – such as using current when it should have been currant, and being told by Colin it must have been a shocking experience! Very droll! When proof reading you can get word-blind and words like bare and bear get misplaced contextually and I readily admit to being uncertain initially whether it’s perserverance or perseverance?! And of course someone said they weren’t going to read any more as they were too boring, introspective and personal ….. and after 6 months self-imposed purdah came back.

I hope that my scribbles are at least vaguely interesting and occasionally informative? People call it my ‘blog’: “A regularly updated website or webpage, typically run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.” Well, sort of, huh? Updated only because the thoughts are current and not that they are dependent on the previous ones. I am trying to collate the first 100 with the intention of publishing them in a magazine format. I hope that some of my regular readers will want a copy.

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So have a cup of coffee, and enjoy

And now I had better get on with PC 101 about these new births.

Richard 2nd July 2017

Note: * Technology moves quickly! Four days ago I got a postcard from my daughter and family, enjoying a week in sun-drenched Italy. The postcard was made up of photographs they had taken around the pool, the manuscript message personal and apt, the ‘stamp’ a picture of one of my grandsons enjoying an ice-cream – all courtesy of ‘TouchNote’. So clever!

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “PC 100 A Milestone

  1. I think I have found new reading material for my commute! Hope you are well! Sounds like you are living an interesting and full life! Gemma

    Like

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