Monday, 3 August 2009


Lest we forget, we are the lucky ones, we were born under the shelter of the spreading chestnut trees.
Like spreading branches of a Horse Chestnut tree, our arms and hands like conker leaves, now continue to reach out throughout the world. Many of us through the use of this site may have found a long lost friend, neighbour or fellow Cuckooite.
I know in our old age we  sometimes seem unappreciative or forgetful, but there again, some of life is just as well forgotten, we eventually remember the important and joyous things.
Sure, over the years our hearts have been broken or we have suffered a traumatic incident. How can you go through life and your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or when a beloved pet maybe gets hit by a car?
 Like a chestnut tree that has had so many big sticks thrown at it, hopefully with the right attitude, one can still stand tall with pride.
  And like some conkers that get smashed in a game, our hearts also get broken, but broken hearts are what give us the strength, understanding and the compassion we need.  A heart never broken is too pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect, or be able to spread out it's arms like branches touch someone in need of a hug or a few kind words, or touch a friend after a falling out and be warm and forgiving over a cuppa.
 And like a conker it's really ok to be a bit tough and prickly and maybe unshaven on the outside, life can do that to you, but unlike the conker we don't need to become too hard, or uncaring on the inside.
 We are so blessed to have lived where we did and played hard and long enough, and like our beloved Horse Chestnut trees, we should have grown strong, spread our seed, blossomed and matured, into adults and loving parents.
 Autumn leaves will certainly fall and our silvery hair will shed,  our teeth may fall out and some poor unfortunate soul, (no one in particular thought of here and not to even mention anyone by name) may have their things drop off.
However, we will still have those youthful laughs forever etched into wrinkles on our faces.
So many have never, played conkers like we did or really loved, or seen things sag and really laughed.
Tragically so many have died, some for you and me, before their hair could turn silver or become a sixty-er or seventy-er conker or more.
We truly have much to be grateful for.


yvonneh said...

glad to see you back tags||||||||? well said. Im off to get some more kleenex tissues

Del said...

Well said John, there's a lot of truth in those thoughts. Happily I haven't had any bits abandoning ship although I only have five hairs on my chest and three of those are loose. Del.

Grace said...

Very moving Tags,makes you stop and think,about life,i have grey hairs but pleased to say none on my chest not like Del

JohnB said...

Thank you...that sounds nice Grace.

JohnB said...

I meant the no grey hairy bits...I thank all of you.

Ethel (Stevens) Damian said...

Tags, that was well said, and I hope the context has been taken seriously by all.

tommy said...

John thank you for putting it all in context.I think you have written what has happened to most of us and where we have finished up on the long journey from the estate.

JohnB said...

Tommy, thank you for all your hard work to bring this site to everyone. It's come a long way from when you and Effo first discussed the idea of it. With the help of the rest of team and everyone who has supported and submitted comments or photos or done their bit to build this site in someway wether they are Cuckooites or children of Cuckooites or like Jackie who is married to one. Each person has played a part.
I particularly want to thank John Holdstock this month for the hard work he has put in over the past few months on the book and Jackie for all she does behind the scenes.
With the reunion next month and books to mail out, she must be very busy, those of you who are going must be excited and feel like kids again who are waiting for Christmas.

Val B said...

The minute I started reading this I knew it was from JohnB. What a beautiful piece of work that you have penned John. Well done!

JohnB said...

Thanks Val, have you been on vacation again?
Well I have to be honest, there is a piece in the first few pages of the new book which I believe Dot Tessier or maybe Peggy Sibley had submitted, well to cut a long story short, I took the essence of that piece and re-worked it trying to use the chestnut tree as an analogy. If anyone has really looked at the horse chestnut leaves, I think there are five leaves on one sprig kinda like our five fingered hands, and that is what gave me the idea.
Do you remember the lovely blossoms the trees had...I do hope the trees can survive the plague of diseases they are currently suffering from.
Where I live we have many big shade providing Elms which sadly we are tragically losing more of them each year to Dutch Elm disease. Trees are our friends I think, I think they take in carbon dioxide and breathe it out as oxygen for us.

JohnB said...

Boy am I glad I said something nice about trees.
I was driving to the gas station yesterday, passing some men who were cutting down another big Elm that had been growing on the parkway.
Just as I was passing, the crane swung around to drop a huge section of the trunk into a truck.
Suddenly I heard a loud thud, and the earth shook. Checking my rare view mirror I noticed that the huge section of tree trunk had fallen into the street, landing inches and seconds away from my Jeep as I sped past.
We are the lucky ones and have much to be thankful for everyday.