Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

Sixth Sense & No Sense

It’s Thursday afternoon, I’m currently bound for Manchester airport station on the 14.50 train from Leeds. The locomotive carriages packed like my case, which lays under a ruck of luggage six feet from yours truly at the end of this compartment.

Not crammed full, though with t-shirts, jeans, shirts and undies like my holdall. Moreover, jammed with a congregation of unsmiling individuals with faces liked slapped arses, and quite possibly arses liked slapped faces…… Not that I’m keen to prove the latter. These disenchanted looking visages who’d rather fixate on their mobile phone devices than bear witness to numerous scenic views bequeathed on a train voyage across the Pennine Hills.

Seeing their sourpuss scowls makes me feel like bellowing “Cheer up you miserable buggers, Lancashire isn’t that bad!!” That opinion held despite my roots being in the county of the red rose counties fierce neighbouring county rivals Yorkshire. Despite my ingrained identity crisis born from spending my childhood 100 north of my roots, I’ll forever class myself as a member of the House of York. This granting by birth, meaning if I’d have been around in there mid to late 15th century during the 16th century War of the Roses. I’d have been a member of Richard of York’s army. My foe the House of Lancaster.

Luckily I don’t bear grudges; consequently I don’t let my county’s defeat in that particular conflict 500 years ago prejudice my view on Lancashire – The neighbouring county on our western border predominantly separated by the imposing Pennines. Personally I’ve no axe to grind with Lancastrians as a result of that particular conflict war half a millennium ago…… In fact, I have got an axe to grind full stop. I’ve never felt the need to purchase one.

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I didn’t get an opportunity to complete this narrative on Thursday afternoon/evening. Subsequently, it’s now Friday morning and I’m currently undertaking a separate journey. On this occasion courtesy of a Canadian airline, not aboard one of the legions of TransPennine Express locomotives. My destination while hurtling west at 40,000 feet is Canada – The land of make believe…… Or am I confusing that with a song from Bucks Fizz.

The city where I’ll once again finally touch terra-firma Toronto, Ontario. The metropolis I’m reliably informed but someone who’s ordinarily reliably uninformed that’s named after Lone Ranger’s sidekick.

Upon moving on to my final Ontarian destination of Elizabethtown in the county of Leeds, Im spending two nights nearer Toronto in a place named Newcastle. A bizarre coincidence bearing in mind I was born and my roots are in Leeds, England; along with the fact I was raised in Gateshead which is the adjacent town, England.

I’m writing this journal perched in an aeroplane seat currently flying at 40,000 feet above the Atlantic. My inaugural penmanship at this height initiating me into the mile high club literary section. As an aside, I’ve never made it into the more notorious mile high club. An existential failing on my part consequential of being unable to sustain an erection above 32,000;

Today’s literary notions commenced after pausing the movie ’The Sixth Sense’ on the seat screen in front of me. I initially attempted to multi-task and simultaneously watch M Night Shayalman’s celluloid offering and wax lyric concurrently. You could say I’d aspirations of watching ‘The Sixth Sense’ and writing ‘No F***ing Sense’ at the same juncture.  Sadly, I found watching the mental torment of a 9-year old boy, listening to a dramatic soundtrack and trying to work out if Bruce Willis was wearing a wig too distracting to concentrate on the other job in hand.

Talking of ‘The Sixth Sense’, I recently met a guy who, like the young boy Cole Sear in said movie, claimed he also saw dead people. A boast I wrote off as unlikely until I found out he worked Monday to Friday as an undertaker.

As I write the plane has cleared the Atlantic Ocean as is hurling west over the Canadian mainland at about 600mph. Having just been fed, watered and over five hours into my seven hour journey I’m in reasonably chipper spirits. In two hours I’ll be in Canada for the first time, and second visit to the North American continent, having visited New York City in 2012.

As I’ve no internet connection on the flight, I’m having to write this offline with a view to transferring the prose onto my website ready for publication when wifi connectivity’s been returned.

I watched the movie Stan & Ollie earlier in the flight. A motion picture telling of Laurel and Hardy’s 1950’s stage tour of the UK, attempting to rebuild their careers after opportunities to appear in movies dried up. 

British actor/writer Steve Coogan portrayed Stan Laurel and the guy who sang Mr Cellophane in the musical film Chicago (whose name currently escapes me, and I can’t google it as I’ve no network connectivity) played Oliver Hardy.

According to the multimedia screen on the screen in front of me, there’s currently one hour and thirteen minutes until we’re due to land in Toronto. As my mum generically posits about new technology “It’s amazing what they can do these days!” She’d be no doubt impressed with this device in front of me. Not only does it play movies, TV shows, audio, games, GPS journey info, but it also predicts when you’re next due for the bathroom…… Apparently, I’m due to empty my bowels in thirty two minutes; potentially, though, if this current turbulence were travelling through gets any worse I predict it’ll be sooner that that!!

Due to an amalgam of closed window blinds and glare from the sun, Im currently unable to see the ground below. I’d guess, though, as we’re still tens of thousands of feet above ground even without those barriers I wouldn’t be able to see much, something I learned from an old uncle of mine who once told me “When you’re 40,000 feet above the ground you won’t be able to recognise much of worth below”……. I don’t know how he knows that for certain as he’d never flown in his life.

Categories: Blogs, fiction, humour, Postcards from

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3 replies

  1. Enjoy your holiday Gary.
    Love Maureen x

    Like

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  1. Ontarian Toon – Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

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