Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Better than a telegram from the Queen

A true story based on affection, the passage of time, a change of heart. And no confusing dog.

I first met Mrs BB (then Miss T) in 1959 while working in London for a cycling magazine. Given our mutual enchantment she willingly accompanied me to Cardiff one Saturday afternoon where I reported the Olympic track cycling trials. Miss T said later cycle racing bored her and she was only entertained when one racer, high on the banked track, toppled over and dislodged others.

Soon after I left the cycling magazine and moved to a hi-fi magazine. Despite this the new Mrs BB continued, for two decades, to proclaim this view of cycle racing.

Time passed. We bought a house in France with a French telly. There we were both drawn into the Tour de France and remained converts thereafter. I shall not try to persuade those who imagine that the TdF is a mere race; it is easily as complicated as cricket and takes time to appreciate fully. What’s more it has the most gorgeous backdrop (ie, France) much of it shot from helicopters. After each transmission, just ended on ITV4 in Britain, we eagerly discussed tactics achieved or missed.

It is my birthday shortly. Changing her painting style completely Mrs BB has created this impressionistic acrylic of the team time trial stage of the TdF. “If he doesn’t want it, I’ll have it,” said Younger Daughter, another TdF convert. Fat chance. A long way from the 1959 Olympic trials Mrs BB and I embraced. “After all you did me a poem,” she said.

I envisage a shiny dark green frame but can’t wait for that.

NOVEL Now up to 108,059 words. Perhaps another 5000 to go.


Rouchswalwe said...

Poems and paintings! Inspired by loving memories. My heart is filled with happiness for you both.

Occasional Speeder said...

TdF - the strangest thing to cause parental harmony and love. To use a sporting cliche - she's a bit special is Mrs BB...

Professional Bleeder said...

Very fond of Mrs BB myself - finslly liking her choice of art

The Crow said...

Hearts full of love, art and cycling - can't beat that, not even with a stick!

Wasn't there an anniversary coming up soon, as well as a birthday? Well, happy anniversary, regardless, and many happy returns on your birthday, BB!

The Crow said...

PS: please add my name to the growing waiting list for Mrs. BB's fine piece of art - glorious work, that! I promise to give it a good home and a prominent place therein.

(Forgot to add this to first comment.)

Avus said...

Magnificent artwork!
And didn't our Mark (Cavendish) do well.

marja-leena said...

Happy Birthday, BB! Beautiful painting and gift, Mrs BB, You are both lucky in love.

herhimnbryn said...

Birthday wishes when appropriate to you BB.

Mrs BB's painting is wonderful. I think to make something for the person you love imbues the creation with so much meaning.

I look at her painting and can feel the cyclists racing past.

Barrett Bonden said...

All: The sense of sharing an event was particularly strong here and very much appreciated. But there is an amusing divergence (perhaps most of you won't think it amusing) which I have noticed. Mrs BB and I are Brits and it is evident in our choice of language. There is one word we tend to avoid using, not because we disapprove of it but because we are rather shy and reserve it for occasions where its definition is inarguable. Thus synonyms pop up: "affection" in the original post; "a bit special" and "liking" in the comments of our daughters. While the majority of you - bless you all - have opted for the word itself. Please understand, this is not criticism, merely a reflection on how cultures may differ. The international implications of this word are explored in both my current novels. And if you wanted a perfect example of how Brits behave in public, this comment with its slyness and evasions is a good starting point.

RW (zS): You have put your finger on the symmetry which I didn't immediately recognise. Each to his/her own trade.

OS: There are several glues in the union but this is as strong as any.

PB: Me too. But where to hang it?

The Crow: Last year was my seventy-fifth and our golden and both got swept down the sink by illness, surgery and Diane's death. On reflection it sounds petty of me to bring this up; such anniversaries and celebrations are moveable feasts and the main consideration is we (and our daughter) are alive to celebrate them. Can't promise you the pic but maybe there'll be a bit of rhyme later on, even though I've rather got out of the habit.

Avus: I agree about Mark but as dedicated TdF freaks we try not to be entirely Anglo-centric about our worship. This year brought two dozen strands, several quite heart-rending. Bradley's broken shoulder, Cadel finally winning as "an old man", Andy "tearing himself inside out" (Paul Sherwin's words) on the Galibier, the endless combativity of the French rider Jeremy Roy, Thor Hushovd proving he's much more than a sprinter, Mark Renshaw's perfect lead-outs. I could go on.

M-L/HHB: As experts in the plastic arts, I appreciate your comments on the painting itself. What adds to the value of the gift is a complete change of style.

Occasional Speeder said...

It's true - we are a restrained bunch.Using my own favourite moment/fact of the TDF as a comparison to how we should be? The reaction of Johnny Hoogerland when he took to the stand as King of the Mountains after his accident was so instinctive and genuine, it made me a little tearful. A bit like your comment regarding getting a perspective on what happened last year.
Oh - and I adored the fact that after he sobbed with relief he received over 150 proposals of marriage vis Twitter... Women love an emotional guy....

The Crow said...

OS said, "Women love an emotional guy..."

Yes we do, which is why we love BB.

Plutarch said...

A bit late to comment, but Mrs BB's cycling picture deserves a bravo from someone else who is notnor ever has been deeply moved by the sport, but who loves a good picture.

Lucy said...

Wonderful picture, happy birthday BB.

Relucent Reader said...

Happy birthday, sir, and happy anniversary to you and Mrs. BB.
Lovely dynamic painting.