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Like a candle in the wind

Shake out the ghost dance

Even after more than twenty years in the northern hemisphere, I cannot get used to a winter birthday.

Born in the sub tropics of the southern hemisphere, my mid-January birthday will always be a midsummer thing, preferably involving beach sand, ocean waves and salty mermaid tails.

After the Big Bend explorations, I pushed onwards to the Texas Gulf coast, determined to walk feet in ocean salt water on my birthday. A bit of a mad idea, considering the unpredictability of midwinter weather on the gulf coast. Booking a flight to Cancun at the first sign of a snowstorm in Texas is just not a card I have in my hand to play.

A winter storm and dense coastal fog notwithstanding, I woke up snug and cozy on my birthday, in a 1948 vintage Victor caravan called Norma Jeane, in Port Aransas on the Texas gulf coast.

Original wood paneling glowed.


I found the Aransas Pass Vintage RV Farm BnB online.

It turned out to be very beautiful, even if the neighbours fly all the flags to prove they are staunch supporters of gun rights and the previous prez of the US of Hay.

Living my life like a candle in the wind….uh huh uh huh

At this retirement farm for vintage travel trailers, there are 8 different old caravans comfortably out to pasture, under lovely coastal trees.

Goats, chickens, a horse, donkey and a pack of dogs share the property.

Some of the critters are friendlier than others, while the rooster does love to crow in dark of the night.

The house rules forbid feeding the animals anything. Oops! I shared my raw carrots with the horse and donkey before reading the house rules.

It being off season (not so good weather), I was the only person in the park even though it was a holiday weekend in the USA. Martin Luther King and I share a birthdate. Trouble makers both.

In Norma Jeane, I had electricity, ample kitchen, tiny bathroom, masses of hot water in 33 feet of RV which is pretty big. Huge in fact. In spite of a resident Christmas tree, the lounge area easily accommodated a yoga mat. The traveling shweshwe yoga mat bag was there. Of course.

I had booked Maria, a smaller (and less expensive) 1961 Mallad trailer (16 ft with outside kitchen and bathroom) but the very generous owners upgraded me for free, because they had no other bookings for the weekend.

The upgrade was lucky for me, as the weather would have made cooking outside, and using the outside bathroom facilities (nicely designed though they were) uncomfortable.

The mid January winter weather probably also explains the paucity of other guests.

Having a whole gulf coast island resort to myself was an unexpected and welcome gift.

I will take the wild weather happily for that blessing.

It was just me, the fog and this magnificent array of authentic old tin ladies of the road.

Perfect patina was a feature of every one of these guests at my Texas Gulf coast birthday party.

Ageing beautifully: hard not to get the message in this company.

We shall live again.…shake out the ghost dance. (Thankyou Patti Smith)

Goodbye, Norma Jeane Though I never knew you at all You had the grace to hold yourself While those around you crawled They crawled out of the woodwork And they whispered into your brain They set you on the treadmill And they made you change your name

And it seems to me you lived your life Like a candle in the wind Never knowing who to cling to When the rain set in And I would've liked to know you But I was just a kid Your candle burned out long before Your legend ever did

Loneliness was tough The toughest role you ever played Hollywood created a superstar And pain was the price you paid Even when you died Oh, the press still hounded you All the papers had to say Was that Marilyn was found in the nude

And it seems to me you lived your life Like a candle in the wind Never knowing who to cling to When the rain set in And I would've liked to know you But I was just a kid Your candle burned out long before Your legend ever did

Goodbye, Norma Jeane Though I never knew you at all You had the grace to hold yourself While those around you crawled Goodbye, Norma Jeane From the young man in the twenty second row Who sees you as something more than sexual More than just our Marilyn Monroe

And it seems to me you lived your life Like a candle in the wind Never knowing who to cling to When the rain set in And I would've liked to know you But I was just a kid Your candle burned out long before Your legend ever did Your candle burned out long before Your legend ever did

Bernie Taupin and Elton John - 1973


Will you still love me when I’m sixty-four?


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