There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio...

“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
Shakespeare - Hamlet.

So it's Wednesday, it’s busy at work, I’m emotionally and physically drained from some pretty long days and nights… so it’s time to get out and go for a run. I keep stalling and delaying the get out of your seat, but Lorna’s at work pushing me - get out and get some fresh air - I have no idea why I delayed, but eventually I’m out and on the way up Win Hill. It’s a profoundly important hill to quite a few people, friends included, and my former friend, and constant nagging ‘kick up the arse’ memory the Major, Lt Col Thomas Pollak whose ashes are buried up there, complete with a bottle of Scotch for his running friends to dip into, as and when appropriate. Which is most times.

I have been on a bit of a down, work as a self employed person who works isolated and alone for the vast amount of their life, is always a toughie. Finding these moments to recharge are key to keeping going and today is no different. I am tired, fed up and in need of reassurance that I am on the right path. I’m full of doubt about my project. Will people like what I write? Will it make sense? Have I made it simple enough? 10 years of invested energy in this project is quite a lot, I imagine, by anybody’s standards.

So I am searching my mind for one of those mini epiphanies, one of those treasured idea moments where you go ‘Oh of course, that’s it!’ ‘That makes sense’ and of course ‘people will see what I am trying to say.’

I should elaborate, I am carrying the word ‘happiness’ from my massively abridged system of wonderful words, the Magic Forest, as a treasure hunt prize. Basically it’s a tin with a little print, a T-Shirt and a discount voucher worth a few bob as its a 50% off thing. I hide it, and find the What 3 words (W3W) location and people find it using their W3W app.

I ‘d like to point out I chose the word carefully for Win Hill. There are so many personal memories on that hill, running up and down the steepest 1000’ of Peak District hill. It is well known to people wanting a fast track to physical strength and a great short 10k run. I have been doing this since the 1980’s as have many friends, so it’s a special place as indeed is the amazing word ‘Happiness’ a key word, chased by many, in the pursuit of their wellbeing, but more of that another day. All that is important is that it is key and treasured.

So it’s dark clouds overhead, and I summit, it starts to rain and a rainbow appears. Blimey! It’s only the brightest full rainbow I have ever seen, or ever photographed for that matter, It has the elusive pen umbra second arc as well.
Oh my goodness. I hear Tom’s profanity in my ears, kicking me up the arse to get a shot and I realise the end of the rainbow is pointing directly at his rock, where his ashes are.

Goosebumps. I am welling up. I miss the old bugger. I always will and it’s as if he’s saying hello you ‘civvie crap hat’ ( a military form of not so endearment) from the old box down there… ‘You know homfray it’ll all be alright in the end you know.’ I ask him whether they have let him into heaven, or whether he is stuck at the gates.
Now I’m not religious, I am certainly spiritual, but I don’t believe. I kind of wish I did. Perhaps this is a great moment to revise this particular aspect of my belief, but I am too busy being moved and all emotional. I’m not afraid to say I had a little weep until I heard Tom tell me to ‘stop being so soft.’

I’m all alone up there, which is very unusual these post pandemic days of the huge upsurge in outdoor activities, so the whole feeling is exaggerated. 
Wow! Deep breath. Still no answer, but I know the answer, I know it is meant to be, a reassurance from Tom and maybe his new drinking pals up there in t’heaven. 
Whatever he was, a serious soldier who broke all records on special forces selection, a doctor, a landlord, a para, the best shot in the army, all records held for a big number of years, the doctor who created new systems for operating on evacuating soldiers in flight out of war zones, my dearest friend, an inspirational drinker, raconteur in Alpine huts he was without doubt ‘a straight to the point man’ who cared for his mates, all their lives in my case, and now he is still here with me. As irreverent and pugilistically challenging as when he was alive.

It’ll be right. I am reassured, I make a mini video, but the stupid selfie stand blows over much to my heavenly overlooker’s amusement, and I am tasked to get on with my run. But whoah, wait a minute, I still have to bury the treasure. Despite all evidence pointing to the very existence of greater forces, I still have to hide this geocache tin in the rocks up here.

I find a small crack and hide the tin, I go up and above the gritstone rocks and fire up the W3W app.
Now I know W3W is always building amazingly improbable stories from its 3 words, but the app is showing ‘flocking.goose.moment, OMG literally what the heaven?

Thank you Tom. I am convinced there are greater forces out there we really have no idea about. I can’t prove whether any of this exists. I can do the maths and look at probabilities, but really all that matters to me at my ripe old age now is that I had a chat with a much missed pal, he really had a laugh proving beyond doubt, contrary to all religious protocols that it isn’t necessary to prove the existence of any higher being and I have found a new confidence and happiness in everything I am doing for now.

Bless you forever.


November 12, 2022 — Si Homfray