The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Captain's Blog (5) Treasured Memories.


By david


19 March 22.00hrs

This is not what I had planned for my next blog, but seems to fit in quite well, nevertheless. Have categorised in the “other” category.

Got 2 “frantic” phone calls from my Mum last midweek. First was to say that Dad’s last surviving sibling, Aunt Liz, had died suddenly. Second, friends of my parents from Denmark mother and son) were stranded in Edinburgh due to the flight ban because of the Icelandic volcano eruption.

The Danes were due home last Thursday. They will, finally, depart tomorrow, albeit on 2 borrowed garden recliner chairs to sleep on for a 24hr sea voyage to Zeebrugge, Belgium. After exhaustively investigating all hotel and travel options, and finding the one or two available at exhorbitant prices (as I thought, there are real pirates out there milking this for all they can!!!!!!!!!!). They were being charged £1600 alone to hire a car to drive the 600km (500 miles) from Zeebrugge to Copenhagen, but we have managed to arrange someone to drive down and collect them. Forget the cost in calls via mobiles, still a huge saving!).We laundered the contents of their suitcases, fed and entertained them, of course, and will take them (and the recliners) to the boat tomorrow. The son’s 2 children, aged just 3 and 5, were beside themselves with worry (Thank Goodness I speak Norwegian, so could calm them down a bit from us, too). Well, that’s sorted!!

Back to my late Aunt Liz, whose funeral was today, leaving my Dad and one brother as survivors of a family of 9. I have had to document, in a way, this, as there is a very nautical theme. My Dad’s and Aunt Liz’s late brother, David Marshall (same name as me), was on the committee of our, then, local Horticultural Society. He, I remember, got me entering all the county flower shows in the Children’s categories back in the ’60s.

His sister (Aunt Liz) and Uncle Brian, were avid sailors, and stalwarts of the local Sailing Club. I used to go out with them, as a child, in their yacht races and, quite frankly, was filled with dreadf – especially when we saw basking sharks – LOL!!

Have to include these wonderful words from the service, which were along the lines of; "At sunset (of your life), it is time to weigh anchor from your safe harbour, and set sail towards the setting sun…..In time, there comes a point when those watching from onshore will see the sails disappear beyond the horizon, and be never again seen. Remember, there is, somewhere, another shore, with another horizon, where there will be those waiting for the first glimpse of those sails……..


(Also remembered our Danish friends, who will get home on Thursday, at this time)

Finally, had been trying to get a pic of our great find for our theme for the past couple of weeks. Seems a bit like fate now – but here it is………….

Narcissus “Sailboat”

Got this pic just last week, as it finally bloomed! Am glad that I kept it back, now!

Will Your Anchor Hold?

William James Kirkpatrick
Will your anchor hold in the storms of lifeWhen the clouds unfold their wings of strife?When the strong tides lift and the cables strainWill your anchor drift, or firm remain?
We have an anchor that keeps the soulSteadfast and sure while the billows rollFastened to the Rock which cannot moveGrounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love
It is safely moored, ‘twill the storm withstandFor ’tis well secured by the Savior’s handThough the tempest rage and the wild winds blowNot an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow
It will firmly hold in the Floods of DeathWhen the waters cold chill our latest breathOn the rising tide it can never failWhile our hopes abide within the veil

When our eyes behold through the gath’ring nightThe city of gold, our harbor brightWe shall anchor fast by the heav’nly shoreWith the storms all past forevermore
Alternate verse:It will surely hold in the Straits of FearWhen the breakers tell that the reef is nearThough the tempest rave and the wild winds blowNot an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow

Words public domain

Have always liked this hymn by Priscilla Owens. Never saw the day when i’d sing it! But, then, I do believe in many things………………………:-))

More blog posts by david

Previous post: Captain's Blog (4) "Curse of the White Peril"

Next post: Captain's Blog (6) "Pirate Story"



Oh that is so sad yet beautiful and all those memories that brought you to, linked you to, your theme garden.
Your poor Danish friends it has been horrendous for everyone trying to get home, Pirates everywhere it seems cashing in on others misfortune Thank heaven for kind folk like yourselves to help in times of trouble and stress

19 Apr, 2010


So sorry to hear of your Aunt, David. How strange the threads that bind us !
The sea seems to be in your blood :) The sails on the horizon verse and the narcissus sailboat linking together.
I'm sure your Danish friends will be forever grateful for your kindness.It's nice to know there are a lot of good people around who will help. Sadly as always there are those who will take advantage too.
ps 'Will your anchor hold' was the hymn of the Boys Brigade.

19 Apr, 2010


~lovely hymn David! I am sure your Aunt would have loved it!
~can't believe how people are being taken advantage of when they only want to get home~saw someone crying on tv earlier...

19 Apr, 2010


Beautiful picture and beautiful words with the hymn for such a sad occation.

19 Apr, 2010


some people stranded in New Zealand were billeted out at private homes and minimal cost.
one English couple found out that their billet was from the same village in England so that was a lovely coincidence.

19 Apr, 2010


I am pleased for your danish friends that they are going home safely albeit not as they would have chosen. Sorry to hear about your aunt but the minister or whoever chose those lovely words assuring us of a safe journey and a warm welcome chose well. My daughter and her husband chose the hymn for one of their wedding hymns as the message is so strong. They both sail at a lake near them. My 4yr old g/daughter has been sailing since her 2nd birthday and my grandson could not wait till daddy launched the boat and lifted him in. He launched himself in to the water off the slipway and tried to climb in the boat by himself. He will be 2 in June. The sea and faith are in our blood and we are so lucky to live in uk.

20 Apr, 2010


Although there was some sadness in your blog, David, I found it very reassuring. There is such a lot of hope and goodness around although it is often overshadowed by bad news. I know that hymn well - several of my early boyfriends(many years ago!) were in the Boys Brigade! I hope your friends have a safe journey home. Is there no end to your talents, David? How did you come to speak Norwegian?

20 Apr, 2010


just what I was thinking Gee!

20 Apr, 2010


A most moving and poignant blog David..........

20 Apr, 2010


sorry to hear your sad news david,glad your friends are getting home to david, my joe had a 4 night college trip which has lasted 9 days when he finnaly arrives home friday,

21 Apr, 2010


My friends daughter is stuck in USA, and daughters headteacher is stuck in New Zealand!!
That was a lovely blog David and although sad very inspiring so thankyou, i didn't know the hymn but it certainly says it all doesn't it?

21 Apr, 2010


You know? After I wrote this blog, wondered why I did so, but it was just because of the nautical links to our garden theme. It was not meant to be sad, and am glad that, like me, you found it inspiring (certainly, the last week has made me smile a lot).

Am surprised that my Dad didn't tell me about it being the BB's hymn,Aster and Gee, as he was a member - it was long defunct before my time, though (I had the Cubs and Scouts).

Way to go, Scotsgran! I have to admit that I was a few years older back then, and got into a scrape which put me off the sea for years (now "sorted"). :-)

Amazing. Piersdad, but can well believe it! I remember, a boring Sunday evening in (boring - dare i say this?) Canberra, Australia, waiting to cross at traffic lights. The bloke next to me got chatting, Turned out his parents were from the next town to me, and I knew them!!). A boring Sunday night in Canberra soon became a lively "pub-crawl". :-))

Sandra, did catch some of your news re your Joe. Not until Friday? He will be as glad to be back as you will, no doubt. Did someone do his laundry, or will that be your honour, lol! Who cares!!!!! :-)))

You're welcome, Sk. :-)

Like school, we have had a wee laugh, too, at the places where some of our surgeons (some act like primadonna schoolteachers) are stuck. Not so funny was having to cancel/postpone folks' surgery because of this flight ban, which seems bizarre, given the blue skies and sunshine. Will have to work Sundays now, to catch up. :-(

Ah, Norwegian, Gee and Arlene! When I began High School in the early '70s, my school was offering this as an alternative to the usual French, German and Spanish, due to a language teacher being married to a Norwegian lady, and having spent over 40 years living in Norway. I loved it then, not just because it was "different". That period was the era of the great North Sea "Oil Boom", for one. The grammar is easy, for me, and many words are almost the same as broad Scots. House is "hus" (pronounced "hoos", mouse is "mus", pronounced "moos", "styr" is dust, which is what we would say as "stoor".Learned it for 8 years, and still use it today, as I work with a Norwegian radiographer, also a Norwegian Physiotherapist, We use it to chat for fun, so that the others wonder what on Earth we are talking about, lol!! Works well with Swedish and Danish, but useless for Finnish and - dare I say it? - Icelandic!!!! :-))

PS. Went on to "cover" myself by learning the French, German and Spanish. Also did Latin, which has served me well, niot just in garden plant terms, but also in my line of work. Not talent, methinks - acquired learning, more like! :-))

22 Apr, 2010

Add a comment

Recent posts by david

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    7 Jun, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    18 Sep, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    20 Mar, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    12 Feb, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    12 Jan, 2008

  • amy

    Gardening with friends since
    17 Apr, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Apr, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Nov, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Apr, 2009