Monday, October 6, 2008

Wouldn't You Believe It?

Unfortunately, an elderly family member of mine is back in Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, which means that I'm travelling the 160 miles across the UK to visit them when I can.

Addenbrookes is quite a famous hospital and well known for its pioneering enterprise. (Unfortunately my elderly relative is an ordinary Cambridge resident and therefore her ailments do not push Addenbrookes' pioneering boundaries back further. Perhaps that's why she was admitted to A&E last Tuesday needing an urgent MRI scan, and here we are a week later, and they still haven't arranged it for her. Still, that's a completely different posting, and one that if I said everything I wanted to say, would probably see me in court for saying naughty things I shouldn't!)

Anyway, whilst she waits for the urgent MRI scan, we've been chatting, and when you're in small wards you often start chatting to the other patients as well. And across the ward in a bed opposite is an elderly woman whose husband was posted in the rural town where I live in Shropshire, during the Second World War. She heard us talking about the Long Mynd, the big hill that dominates the town.

Now, my neighbour and his son have been exploring the hill and have recently discovered some remains of what look like some Second World War buildings. They're quite large and looked as though they may have housed some big machinery.

Well, wouldn't you believe it, but the elderly woman in the hospital bed opposite says, "my husband used to drive tanks up and down the Long Mynd," and suddenly I realised what those huge buildings were.

I'm now in the process of doing some more research for an article on this subject, but isn't it amazing how someone in a hospital bed 160 miles away from home can unlock a whole host of ideas? The thought of driving up The Burway, the single track road that climbs up and over the Long Mynd fills many drivers with dread, for the sheer drop on one side that they might get acquainted with if they don't pull into a passing place properly when they meet something coming the other way. I'd hate to think what they'd do if they met a tank coming in the opposite direction!


I must say congratulations to Joan Newman who's just told me that her second assignment has been retained on file by Best of British magazine. She was a little disappointed that the editor hasn't said that it will definitely be published. But I've reminded Joan that editors don't have a habit of hanging onto unpublishable material!

Ships Monthly magazine is on the look out for nautical related articles. It's preference is for all types of sea going vessels except yachts and it prefers boats to be 20th or 21st century models. Alternatively, a sea related topic such as lighthouses, shipyards and harbours may also catch the editors interest.

As you can see from this month's front cover, it's not just British orientated, so perhaps those of you based further overseas may be able to sell an idea to the editor, More information can be found at the magazines website

Good luck!