Belhaven House Hotel

Manager's Distractions

Antarctic Bliss

When Oates fell, his heart rent,
Yet showed his smile of his content,
For he had searched this Continent,
And found, the finest snowflake.

 

Prescellis' Gold

Walk the Laburnum Trail, my friend,
Maenclochog to Mynachlogddu,
Defend again our hilltop fort,
Built way up on hee.
Ride again where white mares roam,
And trickling streams do flow.
Flex once more the limbs and string
Your ancient yew longbow.
This land is green and soft,
To those who tend for fish and grain and meat,
And death to those who plunder,
For the gold beneath our feet.

 

Misquoted

A hitch-hiker thumbed a car one wet night.
The car slowed, the driver was Bob Hoskins.
He gave the thumbs down signal, grinned and
roared off.
Just up the road, the engine died and the car
came to a stop.
The hitch-hiker caught up, looked at Bob
Hoskins, fuming at the roadside and said
" It's good to walk".

 

Such Beauty

Such Beauty!
Overhead the midnight blue sky, lightening in the east with the approach of dawn.
The half moon at  one-o’-clock high blazes, signalling the approaching  sun and all the lights dance in excited anticipation. Their shimmering reflections flicker across the almost mirror surface below.

Flames and lights on the east take on the form of The Plough’s handle and the Morning Star fades into insignificance as the sun breaches the horizon.
Birds that had been chattering for hours in the half light now flit from branch to branch. And gulls glide over the awakening Waterway, as the sunlight floods the limpid river . This is Milford Haven.
         
 The flames and lights are those of Chevron refinery and jetties.
In daylight, the chimneys and girdered columns  break the skyline and their presence is derided by locals and Travel Writers. But at night, their safety lights and flares, combined with the extraordinary atmospheric effects generated by the Gulf Stream, transform the Waterway into a place of magic and beauty and visitors to Pembrokeshire are awestruck. No wonder Turner painted here !
         
There can be few views more entrancing than looking down river from the Cleddau Bridge after dark when the industrial areas are illuminated, and reflected in the river. And at night, viewed from Herbrandston or the back of Meads Leisure Centre, Murco refinery takes on the form of a gigantic cruise liner heading for the South.
         
Don’t look for the beauty of Fireflies or stars by day. Wait for the night, and reach for your video camera to record the beauty.

Bruce Henricksen 21/1/2006

 

Democracy - it's all about Choice.

                   When our first lad was still a toddler, I noticed while on holiday, in Cornwall, how many families, also on holiday, seemed to be having the most miserable of times. The elder kids surreptitiously thumping each other, to relieve the boredom, the little one bawling her eyes out, Mother trying to pacify the squalling brat and separate the other two, while Dad is wishing he could bury the lot of them and/or run off with the nearest bar-maid. I thought ,hoped there has to be a better way.
                   So when our first lad reached three I explained to him that when we were on holiday we would in turn choose, what the whole family would do for that day as long as it was within car reach and I could afford it. Even a three year old catches on pretty quickly and it means they introduce you to things and places that you would never have contemplated. You get the chance to show them things you hope will interest them as they grow up , and it stops the squabbling. It's simply a case of "shut it! Your next choose day, is two days time". So in our family on holiday, every day was a Chooseday.
          I  don't remember the eldest's earlier choices, but I do recall him taking me go-karting at Aviemore, and ice-skating and canoe-ing on Loch Morlich and salmon fishing at Loch Ness ( don't ask! that's another story).
          When the second lad reached three, he was by then anxious to join in, and we ensured that first choice was always for the youngest. We were on our way to London so his first Chooseday was Barry Island Funfare, en route. His next attempt
was the Battle of Britain Exhibition, Hendon( put-up job by his Grandad I reckon so he'd see Mosquitos,Lancasters etc) followed by lunch at an Indian then London Zoo, then, it should have been a lazer light show at Madame Tussauds, but they said he was too young, so he said "right! let's go for go for a  Chinese".
          The eldest by then was starting into electronics so it was off to the Science Museum to see working displays of and and nand junctions, by then I was lost.
          Years later I was studying marinas, so the eldest made sure on his days we got to see the best electronic synthesiser shops in London, Southampton, Birmingham, Stockton, Newcastle and Cardiff, where he got his Roland Juno.
          My wife took us to castles, cathedrals, museums, stately homes and gardens.
I took them round the walls of York, hauled them up the hills of Scotland, the Malverns and Wiltshire to see ancient battle sites and monuments like Culloden,  Glencoe, Silbury Hill, Avebury, Stonehenge and the White Horses, and for the inevitable snorkelling with wetsuits and Fairy Liquid.
          We noticed how early on, both lads became expert map readers and on their Chooseday, they sat in the front passenger seat and navigated, and they could cram more visits into one day than I could believe or my wallet stand.
          The scheme was so popular that the lads asked if  it could be extended to include weekends, so that if we were going out for a run somewhere, one of us would have a Chooseday and the youngest one kept score.
          Usually by the time lads get to seventeen, they don't want to holiday with" the old ones" but, ours kept it going right through their university years. Presumably,with Dad providing the transport and the grub and the entrance fees, it was financially prudent. Perhaps, they also had a bit of fun. I know I did.

 

Epitaph

 

Lay me not down to rest.
Rest I do not need.
Give me a wave,
Or trusty steed,
A raging sea,
Exploding star,
Make it near,
Make it far.
I'll ride the wind
Of inter-stellar gas,
A neuron in an endless mind,
 Corpuscle in another vein,
And neither works,
Without the twain.

 

Bruce Henricksen                                                                        Jan.2008

 

For Bruno

 

To be remembered ,
for a little while at least,
by a few with love,
a few more with affection,
a few less with dislike but still with respect,
hopefully none with hatred-
such aspirations should suffice.
Those who yearn a more permanent mark
In stone or print, may tread this road a dozen times before they accept – the quiet way.

 

1988

 

Enduring Love

A  love you may not understand,

Enduring love, long centuries planned.

Common destinies, oft entwined,

Enduring love, hardship refined.

 

Bruce Henricksen