The trip I took was to be a remembrance and a farewell to a lovely lady I knew in Lac La Biche, Alberta.
Faye died the winter before I took the trip and I was never able to say my goodbyes to her. To this day, I feel I let her down, I wasn't there when she wanted me - nobody else feels the same way.
A few years earlier I had tickets for the Scarborough jazz festival, but owing to a family row, I had to cancel the trip. After that, the desire to go grew more intense. I was very grateful the Lord allowed me this trip, the next year my tendon tore, and left me disabled.
Another aspect which came into play is I developed a phobia of main line trains, caused by seeing videos of people slipping off platforms and under trains. True, the first video was of a drunken lady, but if my ankle failed me it could have been me.
My wife queried the small amount of money I took with me, but as I said to her, I'm going on a working holiday, and I never go in the arcades.
The big draw on my money was my camera, I didn't realise until I got back, I'd been using the wrong batteries. I had to replace the batteries every day, not once a week.
Could I have wanted more money to spend? Sure, but if I had realised my error about the batteries earlier, my money would have done more than I wanted.
Did I miss anything? Yes, if I hadn't wasted that money I could have fulfilled a life-long wish to see an Alan Ayckbourn http://www.alanayckbourn.net/ play at the Stephen Joseph theatre https://www.sjt.uk.com/. The one on at the time featured one of my favourite British actresses, the lovely Liza Goddard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liza_Goddard. Even though I missed the chance of a lifetime, I still have fond memories of my last trip, and don't think there was much I left undone- my main wish to return was fulfilled.
I got into a system - caused by my disability - I would go out after breakfast for a couple of hours walking, then return for coffee, and a spell of writing. After a couple of hours rest, I would repeat the walk, and write during the afternoon. During the weekend I wrote my two earliest ghost storiesThe ghost of St. Mary's https://www.draft2digital.com/book/32452 and The rocking lantern https://www.draft2digital.com/book/32456. The photos on the covers of these books were taken by me. I used the story of a Yorkshire pirate - John Andrew -from Saltburn-on-the-Sea in my book Sea ghosts https://www.draft2digital.com/book/32491 . This story won third prize in aFacebook writing contest in 2011, despite the contest being hacked twice by a jealous lady I knew.
Last year I used my trip as the foundation for my last novella A Sailor's Love https://www.draft2digital.com/book/34522.
After my evening meal, I would spend a few hours calmly sitting in the park watching the sunset, and feeding the waterfowl. In all my years away, Peasholm Park had not changed, I'm pleased to say.
Unlike many seaside venues, the town had changed little. True, there were the arcades I recalled from my younger days - I had long ago kicked that habit. The new shopping centre was like many across the country, but the house I stayed in was in the non-tourist section, not far from the park, and the area was beautifully calm.
The low two-storey building would be ideal for me. The view of the North Sea is always calming for me. The openness of the surrounding area would make wheelchair access easy, and with the calm I would be able to write better and get involved in webcam interviews - I have lost several opportunities for work because this house is too noisy.
Money is of no great matter for me, if I've got enough to pay my bills and have a meal, then I am happy. I would have liked to go on trips but the Lord has taken that choice from me.
Being honest - if I was to live in the house - I wouldn't need any more trips, I'd be back in my homeland of Yorkshire, what more could I wish for?
As a final point, the house I stayed at is only a short walk from the Scarborough cricket club's ground, watching Yorkshire CCC http://yorkshireccc.org.uk/ play there would fulfil part of another dream for me.
The ultimate would be to win the County Championship by beating Lancashire, and fielding an all-English team.
Those days of yore are long gone, never to return. Days of listening to the dulcet tones of John Arlott http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2011/dec/13/john-arlott-cricket-frank-keating, Freddie Trueman http://www.thecricketmonthly.com/story/878317/t-greatest-that-ever-was, and Richie Benaud http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/32182999. Now what do we have? A load of mindless babble from so-called greats who were never more than lucky to get in the team.
I long for those days of listening to John Betjeman http://www.poemhunter.com/john-betjeman/. What do we have now? You can't get any real programmes, the radio is clogged with masses of #Muslim crap. Last year, I tried to find a #Jazz station - I'd have a greater chance finding a snowflake in a volcano. All I found was over 400 Asian stations, and not one bit of good music - other than Radio 3.