A Time For Reflection

I’m writing this blog in the den while Debbie is wrapping the last of her presents in the landing cum toy store behind me while listening to Christmas carols on the adjacent Echo Dot!

Yesterday CPS Plumbing came to repair the snow damaged guttering on our house, which thanks to the David Wilson new home guarantee of five years when we bought it was free of charge.  That could explain why shortly after we completed in August 2015 they reduced it to two years…

On a more serious note I logged onto Facebook last week, which is something I don’t do as frequently as I used to, not because I’m not interested in what old friends are doing but if you’re not careful it can dominate your life and so I try and restrict my social networking accordingly.

That said, it is a brilliant way of keeping in touch, a good example being my Squad 29 30 year reunion which would have been impossible without Facebook, however one post by my old Howmedica finance colleague Tom Dennington caught my eye when he shared the news that Ian Ogden had passed away on the 29th December 2016 aged 83.

Ian and I shared an office in Staines when I first started working for Howmedica Europe which formed part of Pfizer Hospital Products (later Medical Technology Group) way back in 1984.  I joined as European Financial Analyst working directly for the Assistant Controller Alan Hughes alongside Ed Brooks who Ian reported to from memory.

Alan worked for David Eynon the European Finance Director but eventually moved to another group company called Shiley Europe as Finance Director when the post became vacant and I moved into Pfizer IT become the very first Analyst PC Technical Support around about the same time.

Ed and his family were brilliant looking after me especially in winter when the temperature on my boat “Jaslee” dropped to freezing and they allowed me to evacuate to their house to recuperate in the warm with a hearty meal.

I visited Ian and his wife Judith in their house in Henley in the “Jaslee” mooring alongside the weir next to the lock there temporarily probably in 1987 when he was 54 years old…

My lasting memories of Ian was of this bearded giant (at least 6 foot tall) being a bit of a corporate maverick but managing to qualify (eventually) as a certified accountant and securing a company car, which I’m sure was a relief to Judith as his strategy previously had been to buy old bangers and run them into the ground.

Despite being twice my age when we started work together he was obsessed with keeping fit and every morning after the drive from Henley to Staines he’d lie down on the office floor and perform Canadian airforce exercises to keep fit.

He’d also regale me with stories from his youth about smuggling Mercedes cars across Middle eastern borders and importing Afghan coats into London during the swinging sixties.

He was very much an intellectual, well read, but not snobbish at all and had earned a living as a taxi driver from memory prior to his more respectable sojourn into the world of accountancy.

He knew quite a few celebrities too, including Rosie Swale who in her book “Rosie Darling” described Ian as the most intelligent man she knew in England!

Ian loved his food and drink which Howmedica finance in those days was happy to fund and I have many recollections of rather liquid lunches being consumed in the Staines “Rat” tandoori restaurant next to the office which almost became a staff canteen.

How quickly time passes Ian my old friend, I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to pay my respects at your funeral with your family on your passing.  I do remember hearing from Judith that he’d had a stroke quite a few years ago, but such is the pace of life and the inevitable changes that occur that we didn’t manage to reconnect.

Sadly, that also happened recently with (Trevor) Gordon Rees who passed away earlier this year and many years ago Frank Tullo so famous for his “Music Man” singing at the Howmedica office Christmas parties.

RIP all.




A Time For Reflection

Time & Rememberance

It’s already been 15 months since we moved to our new home in Llanfoist and time literally seems to be flying by.  The David Wilson builders are out in force today as you can see in the photo below we have the big crane on site today, let’s hope that they fall silent at 11am today, 11/11, as we remember our war dead.

Sugar Loaf just visible top right

Taking this from our second spare bedroom which is a homage to all our ancestors that served their country in both world wars is quite apt.  Fathers and grandfathers, great uncles & their friends too many to mention, we will remember them.

WW1 grandfather’s, WW2 father’s medals & my cap badge!
Debbie’s father was awarded this certificate by the King
Grandmother’s brother and “Tower” poppy
My father’s HQ landing ship HMS Largs
Dad’s “crossing the line” certificate

I’m pleased to say the two minutes silence was observed and we decided to lay flowers down for Debbie’s parents at the memorial gardens in Llwydcoed where we had to do a bit of repair work on Cliff’s plaque, but it was a beautiful, dry day with almost no wind and very peaceful.


Time & Rememberance