Hildie's photography skills...
In this blogposting…
* Ada
* Antoine de St Exupery
* Seen in Virginia
* Life’s Lessons
* The World:  A Truckshunter Geography
Continue at your own risk…

We haven’t heard from our august Honorary President for ages, so you’ll be glad to hear that Hildie and I decided to pay her a visit last week.

It was lovely to see her.  She hasn’t been too well over the last few months but seems to be improving now and getting back to her astonishingly sprightly self.  She smiled a lot, talked a lot (she’s a truckshunter, after all) and laid on an awesome spread of coffee, sandwiches and biscuits for us.

Hopefully, we’ll soon see her at an AGM.  In the meantime, here are a couple of the pictures we took last week.
All the best Ada - from all of us. 

I included an old photograph of this French national hero in posting 328, as part of my Christmas adventure story.

It’s since been pointed out to me that my one-paragraph biography of St Exupery excluded a very important aspect of his popularity; his children’s books, especially Le Petit Prince (‘The Little Prince’).  So….not only an aviation pioneer and war hero but also a writer of books for children.  Antoine de St Exupery sounds like a really nice bloke, doesn’t he.  Un mec sympa.

Serge has also reminded me that he took a picture of me standing next to St Exupery in Lyon airport, which is named after him.  Gaze upon it in wonder.

As a matter of fact, looking at it has reminded me of what a cosy little airport Lyon St Exupery is.  It’s never too far to walk to or from the arrival and departure gates - and if it is, there are travolators to carry you along.  It has just the right number of coffee-bars, souvenir shops and newsagents, a helpful Help Desk and loads of places to sit down.

It contrives to do all this despite its owners’ attempts to make it seem more ‘metropolitan’ and important.  Their latest attempt to make it feel more worldly is the construction of a very, very big railway station; it is certainly the newest, grandest, flashiest - and emptiest - I’ve ever seen.

Inasmuch as airports can ever be ‘likeable’, I much prefer the smaller, regional ones like Edinburgh, Lyon or Newcastle to the huge, unfriendly international ‘hubs’ like Heathrow or - God forbid - Paris, which are really nothing more than highly inefficient ways of moving vast numbers of deeply unhappy people from one bland and faceless warehouse to another.  They are necessary but loathesome.

Give me good old Woolsington or St Exupery any day.  But not, perhaps, Teesside - which, typically, is the exception that proves the rule.  It’s a small, regional airport - and it’s awful.

My old friend Kathy sent me some photos recently.

A 15-year-old photographer called Marlin Shank took his camera for a walk (as it were) in his local park in Staunton, Virginia.  What he saw (below) is an extremely rare albino ruby-throated hummingbird.

Isn’t it wonderful?  Thanks Kathy.

Kathy also sent me this thought-provoking and very uplifting list written by Regina Brett, who is 90 years old.  She reckons these are the 45 lessons that life has taught her.

- Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
- When in doubt, just take the next small step.
- Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Change the way you think.
- Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will. Stay in touch.
- Pay off your credit cards every month..
- You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
- Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
- Release your children when they become adults; its their life now
- Save for retirement, starting with your first pay cheque.
- When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
- Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
- It's OK to let your children see you cry.
- Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
- If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
- Everything can change in the blink of an eye.
- Take a deep breath - It calms the mind.
- Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
- Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
- It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
- When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take No for an answer.
- Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
- Just because you believe you are right, doesn't mean you are. Keep an open mind.
- Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
- The most important sex organ is the brain.
- No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
- Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
- Always choose life.
- Forgive everyone everything.
- What other people think of you is none of your business.
- Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
- However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
- Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
- Believe in miracles.
- Your job is to love your children, not choose who they should love.
- Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
- Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
- Your children get only one childhood.
- All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
- Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
- If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
- Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
- The best is yet to come...
- No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
- Yield..
- Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

We’ll soon be making the next call on our wayward world tour - this time, it’s to Antigua and Barbuda.  As usual, I’m looking for the kind of facts you don’t find in textbooks so, if you can delve around to find out what they eat for breakfast there, what their favourite tv programme is or what’s at Number One in the charts (or similar off-beat stuff) - get in touch.

Post comments on this blog or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com


Vivienne said...

Lovely photos of Ada...well two of them! Hope to see you soon Ada.

Lots of love,
Vivienne xxx

Val said...

Those Life Lessons are so inspiring. But look up Regina Brett on wikipedia - internet Chinese Whispers have turned her from a 55 year old woman into a 90 year old!

Sid said...

I have learned a lot in the last 18 hours. Sunderland Royal Infirmary had more than ten operating theatres working today. Four ran late due to unforseen circumstances (my daughter Gillian was in one of them). As a result some staff in the recovery units worked overtime for which they won't get paid.
The same people (and visitors) are charged £6 per day for parking their cars.
I think that is scandalous.
Even at this time of the night/morning the charges still apply. That is extortion in anyones language.

Sid said...

I had better add that Gillian is doing well, although she does resemble Puddsy Bear at the moment. We hope she will be home later today.

Did you know that radio4 still plays the National Anthem at the end of the daily broadcast.

Hildie said...

Sid .... I am so glad that all went well with Gillian's operation
and I wish her a speedy recovery.
Dreadful, isn't it, the fact that
we have to pay parking charges at hospitals. Some people have a terminally ill brother in hospital and have to think 'how long till the parking metre runs out?'

Ian, I didn't take the headless shot of Ada .... it was your accidental shot, as I passed your iphone back to you ....
remember? Or are you just up to mischief?!! You said, "Ooops, I've just taken a picture!"
I'm not saying I didn't have trouble with the iphone though! However, this is my thought for today ....
"The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook." - WILLIAM JAMES.

Val, I had a look on wikipedia, it says Regina was born in 1956 and is a columnist on an Ohio newspaper .... as you say, it's still good stuff though. Anyway, are you still coming to an AGM one of these days?

Sid said...

Hildie can I improve on WILLIAM JAMES thought for today.
Being married for more than 40 years I think it should read "The art of being wise is knowing when to shut up".

Hildie said...

I go along with that , Sid, and we'll credit the quote to you!!

Apologies for my comment about
hospital parking ....
on reading it over, just now, I'm afraid
what I said was a bit stark and raw. Sorry.

Love and Best Wishes to Gillian.
You should sleep well tonight in your own bed, Sid. Did you just sleep in a hospital armchair last night?

Sid said...

You have nothing to apologise for Hildie. I have re-read your comment and can't find anything wrong with it.
I was offered a nice comfy recliner for the night, but declined it. I'm one of those folks who can sleep soundly anywhere, and that wouldn't have been any good at all. Gillian needed to have a close eye kept on her, and the truckshunters blog helped keep me awake to do just that.
At one point I found myself thinking of the agm at the Sage and those wonderful Ambient sausage rolls you brought.
What else but a gathering of Truckshunters could spend time discussing the relative merits of a sausage roll and how on earth biduarit could be 'ambient'.

Sid said...

Biduar was, of course, the word verification.
How it got mixed up in that comment must be my fault.

Hildie said...

Know what I've thought for a while, Sid, on the subject of AGMs?
It's inappropriate now, of course, but I think we should have a 'picnic in the park' kind of an AGM. I reckon we'd enjoy that.
It sounds to me as though you didn't sleep a wink last night, mister.

Ian Robinson said...

That list of Life Lessons has caused quite a lot of controversy, one way or another. More in the next posting...

Hildie - apologies. I was getting well above myself and made far too many assumptions!

Sid - I'm with Hildie's comments. Tread very softly and take great care of YOURSELF as well as the remarkable Gillian. Thinking of you...Meet soon, AGM or no AGM?

Hildie said...

It's okay .... you were just kidding. x

Sid said...

Just had to let you all know that Gillian is doing well.
If it had been me I'd be yelling blue murder.....

Vivienne said...

Hi Sid,

I'm very pleased to hear Gillian is doing well. Please give her my love.
Lots of love,
Vivienne xxx

Hildie said...

I'm so glad all is going well for Gillian ......
have you caught up with your sleep yet, Sid?!

Sid said...

The sleep thing is fine Hildie. It usually only takes a couple of days, and then I start to know what day of the week it is.

Sid said...

Thanks for your good wishes and love Vivienne. Gillian grinned when I told her there were lots of people asking about her.

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