Jaqui's Daily Blog

Bridges I Have Crossed

There’s something quite special about a bridge, don’t you think?


I wonder who first looked across a river and decided that it was much too far, and too cold, to swim across in order to reach the other side? “I know,” he said to his best beloved, “Let’s build a Bridge Over Troubled Water.”  I expect she huffed and puffed a bit, said why didn’t they just take the log boat, if he didn’t fancy a swim; and then told him to call her when he was finished because she had plenty to be getting on with while he was messing about on the river.  How many times, while building the prototype, did its inventor fall into the river before he finally got it right?


My son-in-law recently cycled over all the London bridges for charity. I’m not sure how many times he crossed the River Thames over the course of the 55 miles he cycled. I wonder if he had a favourite among the bridges – I shall have to ask him next time I see him. Here are my three favourite bridges - in reverse order:


My third favourite bridge is Tower Bridge. I like the way it opens and closes to let the bigger ships through.  It is, you might say, an Ever Obliging Bridge. I especially loved it when it was decorated, first with the five Olympic rings and then with the symbol for the Paralympics last summer and autumn.  When both were taken down and tidied away, the poor bridge looked bereft.  Nevertheless, it went on opening and closing, doing what it does best. Love that bridge!


My second favourite bridge is the Golden Gate Bridge over San Francisco Bay. Back in 2000, Mr B and I sailed a 36 foot Bernabeu yacht right underneath this beautiful bridge and out the other side before turning heel and sailing back as a sudden mist rolled in, threatening to engulf us.  Well, actually, I have probably given you a slightly wrong impression, in that Mr B and I didn’t exactly sail the boat, as in hauling up the sails or anything - we were lucky enough to be invited on board and went along for the ride. And what a ride it was – one of the top unforgettable experiences of our lives.


However, despite the ever obliging nature of the one, and the thrill factor of the other, my absolute favourite bridge is the bridge over the River Severn, the one which connects England and Wales. This is the bridge which takes me across the river to the home of my three Little Welsh Boys. Not forgetting their Mum and Dad, of course.


Tomorrow morning Mr B and I will get up early, make ourselves a flask of coffee, fill the boot with cases and the car with petrol, and call in at the Balloon Shop to buy a birthday balloon for Young Morgan, the Littlest of the Little Welsh Boys who will be one year old on Monday. We will set off for Wales as early as we can, because this means (as My Boy so rightly says) that we won't waste a precious moment of time which could be spent with his beautiful boys.  


I have spent much of today in preparation for our trip. After our regular Friday morning choir session (our audience of Wednesday afternoon have asked us back next year – already. We must have been good!) Mr B and I enjoyed a bacon bap and a mug of coffee (£2 each – unbeatable value) in the community centre cafe, then set off to town to buy Young Morgan’s birthday present.  I thought we were buying him a hippo toy, with colourful plastic balls which you could catapult, pinging musically, through various chutes and tunnels. But it turns out it isn’t a hippo, it’s a dinosaur. Mr B says he can’t believe anyone could get a dinosaur muddled up with a hippopotamus but, honestly, there is a resemblance.  If a vague one.  Mr B points out that the toy is green, which isn’t exactly hippo colour, hippos being generally mud-coloured. I maintain a dignified silence which I always think is a safe option when there really is nothing you can say in your own defence.


Oh, I can’t wait! We will have a weekend of Family Fun with a Very Special Birthday thrown in for good measure. We will open presents and eat birthday cake. We will play games and tell stories – today’s picture, you may like to know, is Sam’s drawing of the Jolly Boy Boat, the subject of many adventure stories. Please note the three hammocks, each marked with an initial so that the three Jolly Boys know where they are sleeping.


Tomorrow night at bedtime my Little Welsh Boys will clamour for yet another Jolly Boy story and I shall have to rack my brains for an island (it has to be named after an animal) we haven’t yet visited where we can travel on a new and, as yet, untold adventure. As always it will be something of a challenge.


Still I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it....

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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