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3rd Ear Thoughts – The Death Of Aeroplane Man

The death of an elderly neighbour in my street who appeared to have no family or friends stirred me up so much I had to write about him.  Dying alone and decomposing is an awful way to leave this earth, even if Aeroplane Man was a miserable old goat.

Casa-Cortes-Handcrafted-Wooden-Bi-Plane-Airplane-Model-Toy-bcdec05b-1fa3-447d-9835-93cb5151a513_600

A hand crafted wooden aeroplane similar to the one Aeroplane Man used to fly.

Having lived on my street for over 20 years, I’m familiar with the many residents who live alongside me.  The good, bad, ugly, nosy, dangerous, stuck up, etc.  I’ve seen families come and go, watched kids grow into adults, police raids and many people carted off in ambulances; both emergency and private ones.  Last week an elderly gentleman who lived up the road was taken away by undertakers after being discovered dead for a number of days by the police.  No family or friends were there to claim his body or take charge of the possessions in his home.  There will be no-one to oversee funeral arrangements or shed a tear for him and it really got me caught in a sadness for him, even though he was a miserable old goat.

private ambulance

A typical British Private Ambulance

‘Aeroplane Man’ was probably in his late 70s, early 80s, tall, stony-faced, soulless eyes and always wore the same clothes, that 1980s grandad look; patterned jumper and casual slacks with a smart but worn and weathered overcoat.  In all the time I’ve lived on this street I’ve never seen him hold a conversation with anyone except workmen visiting his home or yapping at kids to leave him and his toy airplane alone.  His handmade wooden airplane is how he earned the name Aeroplane Man.  Up until around 10 years ago he’d often fly his airplane on the green near the local park in the warm weather.  The local kids would crowd around him and ask him for a go.  He’d ignore them till they got too close to his plane, growl at them then retreat back home.  Sometimes I’d walk past his house and he’d be staring out of his window at nothing, if his gaze caught mine, he’d swiftly turn his head or just stare through me just as he would if I passed him on my travels to the local shops.  I remember walking in the road so he could freely walk along the crowded path one winter.  I looked into his face for any kind of acknowledgement; a smile, a nod of the head maybe but there was nothing.  I uttered “miserable old goat” under my breath, which he could’ve heard but he really did come across that way.  Even the elder folk in the area referred to him as a “funny one”.  No-one knew anything about him in life and not many gave a toss about him in death.

I’m not aware of who alerted the police that something was wrong but after they’d smashed down Aeroplane Man’s front door the nosey crew lined up around his front garden gate smoking their cigarettes, gossiping, peering through any open space in his home, badgering the police for any information.  I too peered from my window as events unfolded, saddened that this man who as miserable as he was, must’ve meant something to somebody and had some meaningful purpose in life at some point was now just a lonely corpse.  Once the undertakers had removed his body, the Housing Association workmen boarded up the smashed door and secured the locks.  If there truly is no living relative of Aeroplane Man, within a week his belongings will be cleared out by strangers followed by any repairs that need fixing in his home in order for a new tenant to move into the property as soon as possible.

Dying like that scares me.  My daughter assured me it will never happen as we watched the private ambulance drive away, but who knows what our fate is in life?  In spite of the families we grow up with, the friendships and relationships we form, the precious items we value in life; in death we are just a body.  Aeroplane man may have been a Miserable Old Goat but I pray for his soul and hope he finds both peace and his smile in the afterworld.

Quote By 3rd Ear Girl – ‘Know Your Worth’

As #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek comes to a close, 3rd Ear Wordz shares this quote to uplift those who are struggling alone with depression and are put down by those around them.

worth 2

Quote by 3rd Ear Girl

Find more quotes from 3rd Ear Girl and DAMW on Google+ Donnatella’s Space DS

 

3rd Ear Wordz – Broke Boaster

 

Welcome to the 3rd Ear Dictionary.  The language may not translate well in the ‘real’ world but is essential in the 3rd Ear World.  First official entry is Broke Boaster.

Broke Boaster

Broke Boaster from the 3rd Ear Wordz Dictionary

 

3rd Ear Wordz – Giving Up On You

Giving Up On You

Extract from “Giving Up On You”

A lyric about a failed relationship from the 3rd Ear Wordz vault.  

“I’ve had enough. I’m sick and tired of you taking me for granted.

Now I’m toughening up, cutting the ties that keep us banded.

Guys like you are too selfish, caught up in your own game.

Always promising changes, yet things remain the same.

Well I’ve tried, given you all that I could.

You fail to recognise how I feel.

And telling me you’re the one who’s been misunderstood.

You just don’t know when you’ve got something good.

So believe me cause this time it’s true.

I’m giving up on you.

 

Lost count of the times I had your back.

Whilst you were cheating behind mine.

Gave up on my dreams only for you to treat me so blatantly unkind

Oh why! Tell me one time that I ever did you wrong?

I’ve been such a fool to put up with you so long.

You used to love me, hold me, be there for me baby.

Now you walk over me, crush my pride and say that you care for me baby.

Well no more. I’m tired of being your fool.

Believe me boy, I’m giving up on you.

 

Now my eyes are open and I can see through the haze.

When I see you on the street, I’ll be looking the other way.

Cause I don’t want to see the tears in your eyes,

Or hear about how you’re hurting inside.

Because I know its all lies.

How many times do you want to throw your love on me?

Then when I don’t live up to your expectations, take it back from me.

I’m worth more than the drama you put me through.

Believe me boy, I’m giving up on you.”

 

Copyright D Woolcock for 3rd Ear Wordz

Purple Interludes No 1 – The Dream

I’m missing Prince… Some fans can create art, sing tributes, make symbolic items, etc, as they mourn him.  I can only write about how I feel… This is Purple Interlude No 1.

Interlude 1 dream

Purple Interlude No 1

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3rd Ear Wordz – A Lost Battle

This poem captures the dark mood of depression

A Lost Battle 2016

Copyright DAMW for 3rd Ear Wordz

LYRIC 4 PRINCE – I Got You

Being a Prince fan for 28 years, to say I was devastated when he passed away in April this year is a huge understatement.  I wrote this lyric in the mid 90s about the impact both his music and persona had on my life.  

smiler

Taught a girl how to be a woman
Gave her the guidance 2 find what she was looking for
Showed her another way of having fun
U know how 2 keep her coming back for more

CHORUS:
And when I’m falling you are there 2 save me
From the bad girl that they try 2 make me
A long tough struggle but i know I’ll make it through
Cuz baby I’ve got you

detroit 84

Prince on stage in Detroit 1984

When I was weak and wanted 2 give up
U made me take a deeper look inside
Showed me how 2 smile and toughen up
You gave a boost 2 raise my fallen pride (chorus)

They can darken my rainbow. How you make me feel they’ll never know. As they grab another stone 2 throw, I grow. Into a light from which I’ve been kept hidden. A light brighter than the sun that shines. For every sin I’ve made I now feel forgiven. All my doubts and fears erased from my mind. Reality’s still a bitch, but it’s more easier 2 face. Now I know your heart is my home. Somewhere I can go when I feel alone. A reason 2 keep going forward without having 2 look back. Thank you 4 saving me and putting me on the right track.

Copyright D Woolcock for 3rd Ear Wordz 

3RD EAR QUOTE – Life, A Senseless Lie

judge judy reflection

This reflection comes from something TV Judge, Judy Sheindlin says very often on her show, and it’s true.  If something somebody tells you makes no logical sense, it’s most likely to be bullshit. 

Recently, many things have been told/explained/fed to me that don’t make no sense at all.  Am I stupid?  Paranoid maybe?  Or is my life just one senseless lie?

3rd Ear Girl

QUOTE -When Death Is A Gain, Not Pain.

prince people

Betrayal After Death

I came up with this quote after seeing some ruthless actions from the family and friends of a dear person I once knew.

 

Stand Out Memories 1 -Unsavoury and Dangerous Attention

Silhouette of pregnant woman in flowers

Pregnant and single came with a whole bag of dramas. IMAGE: Simplyremidial.com

One Sunday in 1993, I was invited to dinner by my cousin and his then girlfriend. Having a proper Jamaican Sunday dinner was a rare treat for me back then as I had recently moved into my flat, was pregnant and living alone. Slaving away over the cooker for hours on end making chicken and rice and peas for 1.5 people was not only a time consuming effort, it was also expensive. Sheena loved to cook, she was a good cook and getting out of that half decorated, barely furnished flat and in some fun loving company was a bonus.

Being the popular couple that they were, Paul and Sheena’s house always had people flitting in and out at any given moment. On that Sunday, Gavin Harding was one of the visitors who invited himself to dinner. It had been a long time since I’d seen Gavin, but I instantly remembered him. That beanpole frame, the stark features set amongst his jet black skin and that mouth full of big cranky teeth were unforgettable. He didn’t recognise me, I was a young girl when he had seen me last, now I was a pregnant young adult. When Paul told Gavin who my mother was he rolled off a few tales of my antics as a youth (none that connected my memories) and made idle chit-chat.

According to previous adult conversations that I wasn’t supposed to be listening to, the word was Gavin had serious mental health issues and a violent temper that had led him to be taken away (sectioned) from his family for a number of years. He was recently back on the scene in Cov, catching up with familiar faces, one of them being Paul’s. Although his voice was overbearingly loud and his rants about the youth of his day compared to the youths in the 90s seemed a little patronising, Gavin’s presence didn’t really bother me. I’d been around enough people with mental issues not to be judgemental and if Paul and Sheena had him in their home, around their young son, he had to be alright didn’t he?

I can’t remember too much of how that night panned out but I know the food was good, tunes were pumping from the stereo and jokes were running free, especially when Karen, another face I hadn’t seen in a while turned up. Karen was a bubbly girl and had been my one-time smoking buddy, in the years when we were too young to have been smoking. I’d only been back in Cov little over a year so to reminisce on some good times in the past was enlightening. I even invited Karen to come up to my flat some time before I had the baby so we could catch up more.

Two days later, early in the evening as I watching something on the TV, there was a heavy knocking on my front door which slightly startled me because most of my visitors had to use the outside intercom to gain entrance into the block. The shock of seeing Gavin’s face when I opened the door put me on a paranoia. I never gave him my address, nor did I invite him to come and see me but it soon became clear to me that he must’ve been eavesdropping when I gave Karen my address and directions to get there. Inviting himself into my flat he instantly developed an authoritative pace as he strolled through every room checking out the décor, telling me about the similar flat he had years ago in the same area, blah, blah, blah. I was more than uncomfortable but how could I tell this guy who I hardly knew but was a friend of the family, that I wanted him to leave my flat? What would his reaction be? Thankfully he was “just passing by” before checking out a club in town. It might have been just under or over an hour that he was in my flat but it felt much longer as a cyclone of dark thoughts circled in my head. Before leaving he invited himself to come back again soon and offered his hand in helping me complete the decorating. I politely declined insisting I had someone already helping me, locking the door fast behind him, determined he would never enter my home again and thanking God repeatedly for allowing any situation to escalate.

mental health awareness

Quote by 3rd Ear Girl

Later that night, in the early hours of Wednesday morning I was awoken by the intercom buzzer. I knew it was Gavin before he somehow made it into the block, pounding at my door and shouting my name through the letterbox. I remember hearing my heart thump into the mattress and the gulp of saliva struggling to ease down my throat. I can now say the fool was out of his mind thinking I’d let him in my home at that hour, but back then I lay silently stiff in that bed shit scared. Mobiles weren’t in the circuit then and I didn’t have a landline phone. In a phrase that my grandmother often uses, it was only ‘me one, and God’ and in that moment, hearing the anger and frustration in his voice, my fear was stronger than my faith. He finally gave up and fucked off, stomping down the corridor, bashing the communal doors. I just lay frozen, thankful yet again, but unable to sleep.

Paul and Sheena found it all hilarious when I relived the nightmare to them… “Gavin nah go do you nuttin…” “He’s just looking a friend innit, and you’re a single girl with a baby on the way. He wants to look after you”. Their jesting did not raise a laugh from me and I let them know that I didn’t want to be his friend nor have him beating down my door at all hours like he was my man. In fact, I never wanted to see his face or hear his name again. I had a bad feeling about Gavin and sensed things weren’t gonna end well if we bucked up into each other. When you get that gut instinct that someone or something isn’t right, it’s always wise to follow it. A friend answered the door on Gavin’s next and final visit. She told him I wasn’t home as I cowered in the bathroom and he rambled some nonsense message to pass on to me. Paul also had words with him to back off which further nerved me. Now Gavin not only knew I was awake when he was beating down my door, he knew I wasn’t interested and scared of him.

To be fair, despite his boldness and over friendliness, Gavin hadn’t made a pass at me or vocally expressed having feelings for me. Suppose he was just being friendly in his own unique way I wondered, and my harsh rejection had stirred up some ‘issues’ in his mind. I was more scared of seeing Gavin now than ever but my guilt at misreading him soon wore off when I popped into my local Caribbean takeaway. I wasn’t a regular customer but I was on friendly enough terms with the owner for him to tell me that my ‘boyfriend’ had took two curried patties from him one Tuesday night stating that I would pay for them. “My boyfriend!”, I exclaimed to the man in disbelief, knowing it had to be Gavin he was referring to.

Gavin had only stopped off at the takeaway after the club and spun some craziness about his pregnant girlfriend being hungry, giving a spot on description of me and which block of flats I lived in. Recognising the brief, the shop owner explained he had no reason not to credit the food as he regarded me as a “…nice and polite girl”. The shame and anger this fruitloop was causing made me deny knowing who the takeaway guy was talking about and I most certainly didn’t pay for the patties. I can laugh now, but back then, even though I’d been deserted by my unborn’s father, having anyone think I was carrying Crazy Gavin’s kid was horrifyingly embarrassing.

I never did see Gavin again. Just a few months later he got into an altercation with some people in the city centre, flipped when the police turned up to arrest him and ended up being sectioned again. I never make light of people’s struggles, but there’s some people that I should never be around, Gavin is one of them. I often think how I could’ve easily been the one he turned on had I opened the door that Tuesday night or if he had confronted me after the brush-off. Others may believe his encounter with me was entirely innocent. I call it a lucky escape, and I’ve had a fair few of them.

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