Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A TIME TO REMEMBER

The Great Adventure of my Life'

1963 - Brrr!

For my latest posting I have to confess that I am about to take a personal and sentimental journey into my by now, extended past. I will perhaps remind you that I am now well embarked into my eighth decade but I can guarantee that I am sufficiently self-assured enough to realise that my mind is now replete with my memories; indeed, as we are occasionally informed, one's memory is frequently sharpened with the onset of what is now regarded as 'old age'. The spark for this particular memory jolt was a recent reminder that it was long ago in September of 1963 that I set off on the first great adventure of my life. Fifty years ago, as a single young police officer patrolling the streets of the capital city of my native country and with no particular skills or ambitions, I was about to fly from Heathrow airport on the inaugral flight of the then brand-new Boeing 707 jet airliner which had recently superceded the four-prop Bristol Brittanias, en route to the islands of Bermuda - the 'Somers Isles'. Not only was this a very exciting moment, but to make it even sweeter I had only recently survived an extended and especially freezing winter, one which is currently being remembered for its severity and longevity - and there have been several recent newspaper articles recalling the subject as the coldest in living memory. After three months of patrolling with my pyjamas discreetly as possible worn under my uniform to counteract the Siberian conditions on perma-frozen pavements (we did walk then!) and later, coping with the resultant floods of a delayed, but rapid, Spring thaw, the idea of employment in an 'island paradise' seemed a most attractive option and it couldn't happen soon enough!