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This is a question Beautiful Moments, Part Two

Last week I saw a helium balloon cross the road at the lights on a perfectly timed gust of wind. Today I saw four people trying to get into a GWiz electric car. They failed.

What's the best thing you've seen recently?

(, Thu 5 Aug 2010, 21:49)
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Beautiful moment of the day..
I do a little Dj work for my local pub (well, have been resident for the last 2 1/2 years..)

to cut a short story shorter, there was a management change recently, from someone okayish to a miserable git.. who just happened to sack me last night because I finished 7 or 8 minutes late and the (busy) pub didn't empty quick enough for him.. (It's usually really busy when I'm on as I have a large crowd of mates/family who follow me about)

Here comes my beautiful (if a little petty) moment..

I set them up a cheap and cheerful website a year or so ago, and was planning on updating it with some whats on type stuff, and a menu etc.... so I thought I'd update it for them today!

www.gardeners.50g.com/
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 20:26, 9 replies)
Tender is the night
Me and the Missus were on holiday a couple of weeks ago, and she said... "Do you know what you never see? Butterflies in the house..."

And do you know what happened at that very moment?

She guffed. It fair made my eyes water.
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 20:11, 1 reply)
Email
The arrival of an email this week that said I had an interview for my dream job. Now all I need is to get the damn thing and I'll also have my second beautiful moment.
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 19:48, 2 replies)
The Best Thing I've Seen Recently?
www.openiris.co.uk
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 19:47, 2 replies)
Silver Sun
I never saw this band in their heyday, but they reformed, produced a new album and announced a few dates back in 2003. My son, who adores them, took the train from Southampton, whilst we took the train from Newark, on a Thursday night, to see them. We met up at the gig (The Barfly, Camden) and they opened with "Pixie Pixie", my favourite song. At the ripe old age of (wavy lines), having not seen my son for ages, with my wife and daughter there too, it remains a beautiful moment! Thanks, James!

Length? Left on the 6:00 train, 60 minute set, returned on the 11:30 train, home about 1:30 am!
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 19:46, 2 replies)
Pink Floyd
Back in '71. my friend drove me to see Pink Floyd at the De Monfort Hall, Leicester. They played "dark Side of the Moon" in its entireity, a full 18 months before its release. Then they went off for a fag, came back and played a full, mind blowing set. Then encores. The lights were up, and most of the crowd had gone, when they came back and did a bluesy jam. I don't know whether it was spontaneous, or planned, or what. All I know is, at 16, it was a magical moment which has lived with me .

Length. About 15 minutes, as I remember.
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 19:40, 3 replies)
I live a five minute walk from a country park...
you know the routine, walks, lakes, trees etc...
Was sitting in my conservatory about an hour ago and heard this really strange noise.. it was a flock of Canada Geese flying home from said park to wherever they roost and they're all honking away as they fly, almost as if they're fighting to be in the front of the V shape "me first, no me first" honk honk honk. Or perhaps "shit on that duvet cover on the line honk honk"

It was excellent. They sounded just like little kids in their enthusiasm.
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 19:23, Reply)
Southern Electric
Opened my final gas and electricity bill from Southern Electric to discover that they owed me 83 quid. Now that were a beautiful sight.

I then went out and blew it all on massive drugs and fuel for my honda accord (which is also a beautiful thing).
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 19:22, 1 reply)
I tripped over my slipper....
Most likely a long post ~~~Last friday I got a phonecall from my Grandma; 'missflee, Grandads in the hospital, he's had a fall and I need to get his pajamas'. Ok me thinks as I drive to the hospital take her home to get the overnight bits. Turns out he was bringing in the bins and tripped on his slipper that I'd bought him for fathers day! Cue my grandma fumbling around grabbing anything and everything, including his real life murderers book (just what you need in hospital aye) whilst I cleaned the garden and kitchen of the blood splats.. We take the trip back to the hospital seemingly hitting every red light on the way. So I see my grandad sitting in his hospital bed, 7 stitches in his hand a violot black bruise on his chin and the impending operation to add wires to his fractured hand...He looks at my grandma and forces her to promise to eat, tells her he's fine and gives her a kiss.

I take her home picking up some fish and chips on the way back only to sit infront of the tv to watch CSI; the phone rings and its my grandad, simply to say he loves and misses her. Everyday for the week he was in hospital we visited once a day, he called her 4 times a day. To have him say how he didnt like being stuck with old fogeys and wanted out.

I visit him on my own one afternoon, and he talks about his army days courting girls to get into the shows, writing letters merely to get postal orders, told me he was a virgin and told me everything was different with grandma, he just knew. She was 16 and he was 21, they dated for years before my great grandparents accepted him. He's 80 now, and they have something any couple should be jealous of.

True Love ♥
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 19:18, Reply)
To answer truthfully
Glastonbury festival 05 - Monday morning, all the big acts had finished, leaving most of the surviving festival folk to gather around the stone circle on the first real day of sunshine after three or four days of a rather epic storm (at one point I had an african toilet gurgle at me, but that's for another QOTW).

Anyhow, spirits were high, people were cheering and dancing and lounging and partying and everyone cheered in euphoric delight as the great orb in the sky rose to dry us all out. The place suddenly looked so colourful.

After breakfast I wandered over to my friends who had commandeered a huge black kettle and they were joyfully brewing up some magic mushrooms which had been donated to us from some one. It would have been terribly impolite to refuse one.

Half an hour later. Heaven.

All I can remember was the raised spirits of everyone, the golden sunshine beaming down onto the colours of the crowd, the smell of campfires, beautiful people dancing and smiling and the aroma of various smokable herbs, all accompanied by wandering musicians and campfire guitar strumming... I had no option but to lie on my back, staring at the fine feathery layers of cirrus cloud that gently brushed the deep blue sky.

If I told you I saw Egyptian gods staring down from the skies, you wouldn't believe me - and i'm an atheist, but that's what my minds eye painted in sky.
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 19:08, Reply)
Funky arrows
Was visiting a friend of the wife's house one weekend about two years ago and we were having a chat in the living room when we heard a very loud plane noise followed by a booming noise, shaking half the windows in the house.

We usher out to the back garden, which happened to overlook pretty much all of Swansea bay from this hill on this sunny summer afternoon. To the left of us was Kilvey hill in the distance and to the right was Mumbles. Then ahead of us we notice the Red Arrows doing their display at the beach front, pretty much straight in front of us, but far enough away for us to appreciate all of what they were doing. Well impressive stuff we think, then we notice half of the group break left towards Kilvey hill. Then they gradually turn around and start heading towards us.

I notice this and point it out to the missus. These 4 planes are flying towards us directly, and as we were on a hill they are flying directly at us, altitude and all. We watch this for about 20 seconds and start wondering when the fuck they are going to pull up, while standing there gawping in awe at the approaching formation.

About 3 seconds before they would reach us they pulled up, so at what must have been between 50-100 feet directly above they soared away in glory. The windows shook in the house, my fucking fillings rattled and my ears bled, but by fuck it was awesome to watch :D
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 18:59, 2 replies)
Today
I saw a fat man sitting at Starbucks on Tottenham Court Road wearing nothing but his little black pants and some sturdy looking shoes.

Some foreign girly tourist types found this terribly amusing and asked if they could have a photo with him.

He obliged, which made me terribly happy. :D
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 18:53, Reply)
My son
After the (still ongoing after 3 year) court case, the move 300 miles to ensure he doesn't grow up with his dad the other side of the country, the near bankruptcy, the most painful time in my life:

My son, when he's allowed to spend time with me sleeping upstairs in his bedroom.
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 18:35, Reply)
Bizarre sight in Swansea
I recently come back from trailing around with the family one rare clear evening (as it constantly pisses it down in Swansea, we'll never get a hosepipe ban) and as we were getting out of the car to go back into our home I noticed something odd floating above our house.

Someone had chosen during the sunset to release their very own minature hot air balloon, which consisted of what looked like a small bag with an oil lamp glowing under it. It casually floated past the roof of our house and started to grandually pick up altitude and slight speed as it glided casually through the orange and dusking sky.

Considering this part of Swansea normally only has cars on fire, this was a sight to behold.
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 17:45, 10 replies)
About ten minutes ago, I met an absolute legend...
Some of my work involves being team press officer for a superbike racing team. Cracking fun, great atmosphere, awful hours.

Anywho, meandering through the paddock, I just ran into Keith Flint of Prodigy fame. I'm a huge, huge fan of the band. I had a chat with the bike-mad fella and we compared tattoos. We've both got the band's ant logo as ink (I had it done at their 20th year anniversary gig in Milton Keynes by the band's tattoo artists, and it only cost a small donation for charity. 150 of the 70k+ there had the chance to get it).

As an afterthought, I got a photo taken with him and sent it as an MMS to the five people I went to the gig with. I got the single word reply 'cunt' back from three of them.

Beautiful.

Length? 3cm by 3cm, on my right shoulder. I call it Chip...
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 17:35, 4 replies)
Local Fete
ok, our village has had its annual scarecrow festival this week, and to finish it off, my wife organise an old fashioned fete; tombola, candy floss, bobbing for apples etc.

I went for a wander with the boys and there is a family there. Mum and the kids are loving it, dad looks like he'd rather be anywhere else. One of the kids, a boy of about 6 asks dad for a pound to go on the Show your Strength machine; use a hammer, hit a target, make the bell at the top ring.

Dad moans about it being a complete waste of money but this lad keeps on. Eventually dad gives him the money but says "you'll never do it, all these shitty fair things are rigged so you can't win".

He picks up the sledgehammer, somehow gets it in the air and swings it down. It's awkward, all over the place but he hits the target.

"Ding".

I didn't look at the marker thing as it went up but he wins the top prize (a giant spongebob) and Dad looks mightly subdued.

As he walks of, the stall owner sees me watching and lifts a second bell, hidden under his chair. "I hate it when parents do that. You have to give kids a chance! He only got it about 75% there so I helped a bit".

Thing of absolute beauty.
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 16:51, 1 reply)
Not one but two
beautiful moments in as many weeks. Long one here, be warned.

Last week it pissed down with rain. I was standing at the kitchen window looking out. Now this is no ordinary looking out - this is looking out by a woman who has been registered blind for ten years due to losing a very large percentage of her eyesight. So the stuff you guys get to see is often totally lost on me.
However I still like my garden and often attempt to grow stuff in it that is not weeds. At the moment there is an area close to the house which is covered in nasturtiums (probably spelled that one wrong.) They are bright orange and yellow flowers with leaves shaped (I think) rather like the old Skips crisps, but larger, sometimes the size of the palm of your hand and bigger - and the stem attaches at the middle of the underside, so they can look like little scalloped dishes on a stem.
I was gawping at the rain on the plants with the aid of my trusty Canon digital SLR, which is how I get to see the finer detail of the world these days. I can see things largely better through the viewfinder than I can unaided. Not so great for getting around (impractical !) but for moments when time is on your side and you're not doing anything much it's good. And you can always upload it to a pooter and see stuff on a big screen that you never even knew was there.
The rain was absolutely hammering down, but the sun was out in the way the sun often is during summer showers. The nasturtiums were getting a total pasting from the downpour, but the surface of the leaves is quite water repellent and they have a sort of well in the centre that forms the dish shape. A ray of sun was illuminating the group of leaves in my viewfinder right as I was looking at them - result ! Press to record some video I think.
Drops of water were pooling in the centre of the leaves and forming like water on a hot stove top in the brightest silver, with the sun lighting them up, then being smashed off by the continuing rain. They looked like little sparkling jewels leaping around, it was amazing. When the shower tailed off I was still looking, and one leaf had a huge drop of water in the middle. Slowly the rain petered out and as it did, the silver drop began to swell up. I watched it get bigger and bigger as the shower ended, then eventually weight and gravity took its toll and the water over flowed the leaf edge in a bright silver stream.
When I uploaded this to my mac and slowed the footage down, it was even more beautiful.

Second beautiful moment was a couple of weeks ago when the group of visually impaired bods I am in a band with did a fundraising gig at the local blind club. I run the band / workshop as such, it's a lot of work (which I won't go into) and every one in it is of differing abilities (read: some of the members are a bit crap) so it can be a hard ole grind sometimes that I often don't enjoy anymore. Luckily my fiance (who is also in it) and I are in another band also which is very good, so all is not lost in terms of our own artistic fulfilment. Leading up to this gig (we rehearsed for six months, that'll give you an idea of the level of the thing) I had been wondering what the hell I was still doing it for, as it was proving hard to get through to some of the members what was needed and how they could improve (without coming out and saying, "You're shit, tighten up !", which under the circumstances I feel would be unfair). Politics within and around the whole thing weren't helping either.
But then on the night I got an absolute idea of what made it all worth it.
One of our members is a fifty something school teacher-like prim and proper lady who has Rentinitus Pigmentosa. She has grown up kids who don't really appreciate her anymore or help her much with her decreasing eyesight. She's just got her first guide dog and is going through all the stuff associated with learning how to work with her and so on. Her first husband died from cancer when they were very much in love after she nursed him through it, and her second treated her like total dirt, cheated and left her high and dry and absolutely destroyed any confidence she might of once had. The other female member of the band is a bit of an attention seeker and can often criticise this lady when she really should keep her mind on her own lack of talent, so our fifty something lady is often unsure of her own abilities. She's very shy and constantly worries about what people think of her.
But since working with her in the band over the last couple of years I have seen her utterly blossom, with a sex kitten in there clawing to get out. She now sings songs she never ever thought she would (we never thought she would either) and gives it the berries every single time. The crowning example being her at the gig singing "Black Night" by Deep Purple, giving it two hundred percent, whilst my fiance (used to such things) gave it a shredding guitar solo, and the rest of the band plus a crowd of fifty or so sighted and non sighted people alike shouted gleefully along with the riffs. She loved it, they loved it. She absolutely glowed, no kidding. It was a truly beautiful moment and it made me realise why I am still doing it.

More cheese, Vicar ? ;)
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 16:15, 2 replies)
Most beautiful thing I've seen recently?
The balance of my Paypal account after you lovely people donated for Jessie :)
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 16:13, 3 replies)
Airborne
On the way home from work there is a particular stretch of country lane where I can sometimes get a nano-second of 'air'.
I drive a 2.9 ton L200 animal pick up truck, so its a beast.
The road is very twisty and turny, plus it undulates a lot too.
I have to, on the high bit before the dip before the jump, check and see that there is nothing coming the other way. Then move across to the wrong side of the road, then floor it.
The camber of the road is such that you have to be on the right side, and turning slightly right.

I recon I get about 3mm of air, just enough for the engine to roar as only the finest 2.5ltr turbo diesel can.

The cows and sheep all look dead impressed at my amazing awesomeness, all in my own head, of course :)
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 13:09, Reply)
Light and sound combine
Late one cold winter's night, I'd been up in London for a gig and had a few bevvies. Still feeling the effects of the cider when I got to Faversham, I decided to leave the bike at the station and pick it up the following day when sober.

Unfortunately due to it being around half past 1 in the morning the buses had long since stopped and the taxis were monopolised by the troglodytes who inhabit the local area. Not wanting to sleep in the station car park and possibly catch something, I pulled my jacket tighter around me, set my mp3 player on shuffle and started the long, lonely 5 mile walk back home.

Walking through the outskirts of Faversham was alright as it was lit, but after that before the motorway junction there's a long stretch of about a mile alongside a two lane A road which is completely unlit. No houses either side, it's just fields. Approaching this bit, wearing my thick bike gloves to stop my fingers going numb, the shuffle starts to play me Echoes by Pink Floyd. For those who don't know the song it's rather epic in it's scope. The middle section drops out all music and you're left with various whistles, cries, haunting wind sounds and sonar - all very unnerving on a dark country lane. After the sonar comes in it gradually picks up and builds, each instrument layering itself on the last until it explodes into life (at around 3:57 in the linked video - listen to it all to get the full understanding).

It was at that point a police car burst over the brow of the hill ahead of me, full spotlights, lighting up the road like it was daytime. The sheer timing of the whole thing - the burst of song coinciding with the array of lights - left me stunned, and all I could whisper was "that was awesome, do it again sometime."
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 12:16, 2 replies)
last night (long story warning!)
quick backstory. not a brilliant year topped of by redundency and the threat of bailiffs. All happening in the last month. ANYWAY....

Last night we wandered behind the performance of peter pan in our local park. I've always loved Peter Pan, the book, the character, anything to do with it in fact and they really focused on the emotional aspect rather than the fun. They hit a part where they tell the story of what happened after wendy returns home (i wont go into details, if you dont know it or havnt read it in a bit DO SO NOW you wont regret it )and i stood in the dark with friends and strangers with tears running down my cheeks. An amazing wave washed over me of understanding and desire for adventure, doing something i love and am good at. I'd applied to Uni to do fine art the day before, I'm 37 and had sworn to stay away form education forever. I grinned crazily for a good 5 minutes all tears and silence in the dark in a crowd :)

and then

We wandered up to a place you can see across the city and it looked as lovely as ever. Friends, as we often are, in our usual place enjoying life. Life is good. Suddenly we hear some young lads voices and the coal of fag appears over the hill and promptly vanishes again as the lad holding it fell on his ass. Much laughter and they wander over chuckling. Now, sometimes we get innundated by chav idiots shouting and showing how much harder they are than everyone else and as its really dark we cant tell what type of monsters are approaching.
"Can we sit with you? is that OK?"
Of course it bloody is! and so they call to their mates. A lovely way to top off an amazing evening. So to those lads, and to the one celebrating his 18th birthday (and his GF's 16th) especially. Thanks for joining us, you were bloody sound and your desire for life and the thrill of your future chimed perfectly with me.

"To live will be a great adventure."
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 11:10, 1 reply)
Did my bum used to look big in this?
After some strenuous working out and training, I dug out a bag of old jeans, some dating back 10 years. They fitted, some quite loosely!

So I stared at my own backside in the mirror for several magic moments, grinning like a loon.

May have to take up running now, if only to show off the new-look streamlined behind!
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 9:26, Reply)
Blast off
A few months ago I found myself in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for my best mates wedding. I went on a shoestring, while all my mates were doing all the theme parks I was back at the flat reading my book. However, being rather geeky, one thing I was not going to miss out on was a trip to the Kennedy Space center... And luck would have it, there was a launch on. Nothing special but it was still a launch. So my friends and I did all the usual stuff then eagerly hung around for the lauch... delayed 10 minutes. Fair enough, delayed again. Hmm... ok. Waiting around still. The sun is setting and the crowd is getting bigger. Delayed again, at this point it is quite late and we have to leave. All of us quite disappointed so we head back to the car.

And as we get to the parking lot... a confirmed launch time, 5 minutes. So we all run to the car and wait. Then it happens.
First a bright flash lights up the sky, followed by a roar then a big cloud of smoke billows out turning the flash an orange colour then there it is! A ball of fire riding a pillar of smoke. Absolutly stunning moment, completely speechless. One of *the* top highlights of my life. We all stand there in silence staring at the sky until there is nothing left to see.
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 5:51, Reply)
Babies in arms
Not that recent, but I saw the photo again this week so that counts, right?

About four years ago Mrs Spankengine and I adopted twin daughters. It all happened incredibly fast - we got the call on the Saturday and by Monday we were signing away our freedom (I won't go into all the details about how we ended up at this decision in our lives, but there's a few stories on this QOTW that I read and shed a tear to).

Long story short, we met the biological mother early afternoon, then met her parents, who really had been bringing up these beautiful girls (aged 9 months at the time). A truly magical time - it still feels like we were walking on holy ground.

The photo in question? Myself and Mrs S each holding one of these little girls, who both promptly settled and then fell asleep in our arms. The grandparents told us at that moment They Knew, and so did we. And I think so did the girls.

That's what love at first sight feels like.
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 3:30, 1 reply)
Earlier today
I saw a young child drying his tongue out of a car window as I passed in the opposite direction. He looked so happy. I knew I wasn't the only one who did that.
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 0:42, 1 reply)
A b3tard love story!
I met a b3tard from across the pond a couple months ago. We met through b3ta when he messaged me 4 years ago after a post about a creepy guy who used to stalk me. The b3tard came to the US to visit friends, but we've gone mad for each other.

About 30 minutes into meeting in person, he made fun of my little sister, and we were smitten.

You're all invited to our UK wedding, wherein we'll have a crudely drawn magenta cock wedding cake in b3ta honor.

Ginger Fuhrer, would you care to get ordained and preside over the ceremony?
(, Sun 8 Aug 2010, 0:22, 4 replies)
A835
Driving from Inverness to Ullapool (a journey that started in the Midlands !). At a certain point the road became something you would see in a car advert or in Top Gear. A wide glacial valley with a small river meandering through it. The road is raised slightly above it all. No trees and no obstructions to sight. No traffic ! Just foot down and a racing line for every corner. All done in a Peugeot 106 (diesel). 55 bhp no less !
(, Sat 7 Aug 2010, 23:53, 5 replies)
Cows in Hackney
And I'm not refering to the women. No. My mum (who isn't a cow) lives on a council estate in Hackney. It's exactly how you might imagine it except that the River Lea runs outside her flat and links to Walthamstow Marshes. On my way there last week, I saw a group of cows chewing the cud. The sun was warm, the skies were blue and it was a real moment of beauty and peace - exceptionally rare in old Hackney Town.
(, Sat 7 Aug 2010, 23:16, Reply)
Irony On Gower Street
Was walking through Central London the other week end; down Gower Street. Its quite old so theres loads of blue plaques there which was keeping me entertained as no-where was open.

There was only any sign of life in one of the office along there. It was a Catholic Chaplaincy type place.

Then I noticed a Blue Plaque across the street.

"Charles Darwin Lived Here"

Do a 180 for the blue plaque...

local.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&q=&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=13.835858,40.078125&ie=UTF8&cd=2&geocode=FUoiEgMdFgX-_w&split=0&hq=&hnear=&layer=c&cbll=51.523187,-0.133421&panoid=a1W1rB6_zprjg5MqXCLnvw&cbp=12,226.94,,0,-7.31&ll=51.524883,-0.132313&spn=0,0.004892&z=18
(, Sat 7 Aug 2010, 22:08, 3 replies)

This question is now closed.

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