For light relief:
Leaving aside whether you already play one, what would be the instrument of your choice?
For light relief:
Leaving aside whether you already play one, what would be the instrument of your choice?
This entry is inspired by Cro Magnon. He is an Englishman. No, not in New York; in France. If you are into growing your own food, dogs and questionable political views please do visit his blog. He is, unlike some, also a gentleman. One may say “refined”, with a, as yet small, dose of “ennui” thrown in.
Yes, so in one of his recent posts he brought to my attention a bit of folklore. Namely that when eating your first mince pie of the season you should make a wish. This was news to me. But felt immediate relief that I hadn’t yet had THAT mince pie. If I’d had I’d have wasted a good opportunity. He also, more or less, guarantees that that wish will come true. Marvellous. If I were five years old I couldn’t have been more excited.
Now the crux sets in – and when the Angel took me on a magical walk in the New Forest and to one of his favourite spots, on Boxing Day, I related one of his mother’s shortcomings to him. Remember Boxing Day is on the twenty sixth of December. I still hadn’t had my FIRST mince pie. Why? Sweethearts, it’s simple. There are times in life when I will dither. Whilst once upon a time (BC – Before Cro) I would have eaten mince pies with abandon, his innocent piece of information made me enter dangerous territory. What should I wish for? I am spoilt for choice. Will I, by accident, wish for something idiotic (think of the fisherman, his wife – and they had THREE wishes – and how that ended up a bit of a disaster and a massive disappointment)?
I wouldn’t call myself indecisive but when it comes to wishes one can’t be too careful. So, naturally, and being risk averse, I keep postponing the moment. As I was relating to him this new found anxiety the Angel smiled. Ok, I said. I’ll take my life into my hands – bury me later -, on our return home we’ll have the first mince pies of the season. In separate rooms if need be.
Imagine my surprise when, back at the ranch, I rifled through the cupboards and couldn’t find any. I “knew” I’d bought them. Not least because they were on my shopping list. Nope. No mince pies. I even checked all my receipts. No mince pies. One wonders how the subconscious plays little practical jokes on us. Don’t quite know what to make of it. Should I be glad that I didn’t tempt fate? Should I curse fate that I missed a chance? Obviously I could just curse myself. In which case I’d need a mince pie to undo my curse. Where to go from here?
31st December greetings,
Like Hilary Clinton I too needed to put my feet up. In the olden days, like a hundred or two years ago, someone would hand you smelling salts. Now? Never mind. Just wilt.
So there I was, yesterday afternoon, on my sofa, not tired yet wired and somewhat queasy. So, in absence of anything else to think about I tried to remember what day of the week nine eleven was. My guess was Wednesday. Wednesday is good. In the mother lingo it’s “Mittwoch”. Literally “mid of the week”. Let’s not delve into Sunday. I am not up to it this minute.
Anyway, upshot being nine eleven was a Tuesday. Tuesday – for some reason – is a non day to me. “Dienstag” – the day you do your duty. Serve. I like Thursday. Donnerstag (Thunder). Monday is, obviously, the day of hope. Goethe had something to say on that. And I was born on a Monday (EVENING). Fair of face. Could have been Sunday. But I did take my time. Apologies to my mother. She bore it well. Never held it against me.
Friday. “Freitag”. Being free is obviously what all of us aspire to, and few achieve. That’s the reason we look forward to the weekend. An illusion. Even the land of poets, thinkers and tinkers couldn’t think of a good name for the gateway to “Sonntag” (Sunday). The gateway being either Samstag or Sonnabend. “Abend” being eve. Pretty fluffy if you ask me.
Whatever your respective remnants of the day are: ENJOY.
What day of the week were you born? And why are some people’s birthdays always at the weekend?
Other than that, and back to Hilary. Pneumonia? Shite. She’s got to hold out. No matter what. This is ridiculous. If the worst comes to the worst she could always pass her torch back to Bill.
People will say: I’ll pray for you. And that is very kind if – usually – just a throw away remark.
However, twice in my life was I touched by the sincerity of their promise. The first time was some years ago when I turned up at my solicitor. I was in dire need of solid advice. The moment he told me “I’ll pray for you” and he did, there and then and in front of me, I knew my chips were down. Not that he charged me for his time.
The second [assurance I’d be prayed for] was only a few days ago. Given with the sincerity a child offers (children don’t bullshit). And you know what? I was happy. I, the person who doesn’t “believe” was actually happy that someone thought me worthy enough to include me in their prayers.
I love photographs, those of my life, the Angel’s and those of others’ lives. To me a photo is pure magic – a snapshot in time.
I pour over them, and each tells a story. I believe the oldest I have is of my maternal great grandparents, taken in 1895. My beloved grandmother was born a year later. Judging by his moustache my great grandfather could have been Nietzsche’s younger brother. To look at the image of two people you have never met, long dead, yet without whom I wouldn’t be here. They had five children – four daughters, one son. Though why they bothered to have a boy is anyone’s guess. In the end he was just young fresh meat cannon fodder. As indeed was my grandparents’ eldest son, Karlheinz, AFTER the end of the second world war. Prisoner of war. Russia. Couldn’t stand it any longer. Tried to flee the camp to go home. Shot in the back. He was younger than the Angel is now. The Angel being 24.
Mustn’t get carried away with nostalgia – though I do. If I were allowed to save one thing after all living beings were removed from the house on fire I’d take my treasure trove of photos.
I have done it again. Long intro. What I meant to convey, and please do let me know your own examples: A snapshot in time without holding your camera to it. Yet engraved in your memory forever.
Last time it happened to me was about a week or so ago. Caught up in my usual far away dreamy world, crossing the road on foot and on autopilot, a car passing stopped. The sun was shining. The driver leaned out of his open side window – a young man in his mid twenties, long blond hair, and his trademark big smile: Mama, he beamed.
And that, having been taken by surprise, frame was a snapshot in time. A perfect moment in time. That moment’s “frame” has etched itself onto my visual memory in an almost shocking clarity. It’s there. Like a photograph (not taken).
Sweethearts, with the many many many subjects I feel like raising I chose this one for today’s breadcrumbs.
Are your feelings for someone influenced by the friends they keep? I know that last sentence is mildly convoluted but sometimes a knot is a knot.
Once upon a time (in my teens) I was part of three circles of friends. Yes, three. They couldn’t have been more different. None of them [circles that is] overlapping. And – by instinct – I kept it that way. The members of all three circles would have detested each other in equal measure. I am good that way – segregate as not to give cause for warfare (make that, in their cases, unreasonably sniping, sneering and abundance of unjustifiable arrogance). And yet, you know what – and it puts perspective on how we relate to each other – I was at home in every one of those circles.
Remember the initial question: Are your feelings for someone influenced by the friends they keep?
On the whole generalizations stink. However, yesterday I made a my earth shattering discovery. Stand by to be astounded: Generalizations (a bit like cliches) do serve a purpose. Don’t raise an eyebrow. They do they do they do [serve a purpose]. Namely that they simplify things.
Why this hadn’t occurred to me earlier I don’t know. I suppose some of the best is left to last.
Yes, sigh, so there I was watching an astonishing family drama unfolding. On screen. I have always known about family dynamics but this was a bit like rinsing my contact lenses/glasses to see more clearly. I haven’t got the faintest idea what the hell is going on.
There are six characters. A mother and a father, and four siblings – three brothers, one sister. Which, I suppose, is worse (for the boys) than being one brother (like my own) among three sisters. The bit that kept and keeps confusing me is that I continually mistake the second son for the eldest. Why? Because – remember we are talking about generalizing/stereotypes – in this epic the eldest is the bad boy, the black sheep. Whilst number two is the good guy, the responsible one, you get the drift. It’s the wrong way round. Naturally, the youngest is a total emotional pain in the proverbial – but that’s what you expect of the youngest. No surprises there.
So, yes, my world is now slightly topsy turvy, having to pinch myself to remind myself who is who in the sequence of siblings. I don’t know what your assorted experiences are, either within your family of origin or the family you have created yourself. Please do let me know if you can stomach it.
In terms of how far psychology can throw its stone and cast its shadow I am BOTH, hallelujah, an only (because I am quite a bit older than my siblings) AND an eldest (with all that entails – remember, the subject is generalization/stereotypes) so I have, literally, had the best of both worlds. I don’t say this lightly not least because it reflects on me if after my own experience of family and observing those of others there are only two things to be: The one and only, or the eldest. I am so grateful I dare hardly to whisper it.
Slaughter me. Little more damage can be done than the havoc my siblings have (in recent years) created. I am the eldest – my mother’s words to that effect ring in my ear and to this day she expects me to be the peace maker – and, by nature, I am [the peace maker], but you can only make as much peace as the other players allow. My youngest sister, again playing to stereotype, recently confided in me that she always felt she was looked upon as totally incompetent. Really? Well, I never. Can’t believe it. We used to call her the “Professor” when she was barely big enough to sit on a swing. She had that deep thoughtful look. Not, of course, that a frown makes for intelligence.
My other sister? The long awaited and so eagerly greeted by me first sibling? She fits the stereotype of the second child so perfectly it’s painful. It took decades for her to reveal how much she resents me. Mind you, that’s nothing compared to the fact that she (earth mother) left her family, a husband who loves her and a bewildered herd of children (she wanted) in their teens a couple of years ago. But (I suppose) that’s what seconds do. Self destruct. So, yes, back to my watching of aforementioned TV drama, I am confused. That set of siblings does not play by the “natural” order of things.
In case you are wondering about my brother (number three). He keeps well out of everything. To the extent that he appears (note APPEARS) – but isn’t – totally aloof to conflict. His wife of over twenty years, one of the many women who adore him, asked me the other day about my take on her husband’s inner workings. Well, what can I say? Obviously by the time he hit his teenage years I’d already left home so I wasn’t privy to all that happened. All I know that he is one of those affable people who avoid conflict at all cost and, in my opinion grow an inner crust. Let’s just hope he won’t implode.
So, my dear readers, having laid a significant part of my life open please do let me know where you are in the order of siblings or if, like my brother, you’d rather not be too close up and personal tell me what you think about my theory on generalizations. Namely that they simplify.
By temperament and nature I tend to comfort people and animals. What people and animals? All of them. Earlier I spoke to … don’t ask.
This post has potential to NOT be comforting. Particularly as some of my readership is slightly/vastly older than me. “Vastly” is, obviously, relative – but there you go. I am twenty five to your 76. My breaking point – and by design I took it in my stride – when I realized that I will have fewer years ahead than those lived. This may sound obvious. It’s still a bit of a shock. Once upon a time the future stretched out ahead of you like, I don’t know, the Sahara/The Grand Canyon/or whatever else is vast, the next you are in a damp cellar. Never mind. I’ve lost my thread. Give me a moment.
Got it back [my initial thought]. I do appreciate that some of you I am in holy and sometimes unsettling communion with do have physical problems. Not necessarily anything alarming or dramatic. Just niggling. Curbing your appetite. Don’t ask me to join [the club]. I absolutely refuse to succumb. Drag me back to the cave on my hair – I WILL NOT SUCCUMB.
And here is my point – and I have high hope of all of you to throw your creaks into the Canyon: To this day I take my body for granted. If I were a car – in terms of years – I might find myself in a ditch (break pads worn). I would ACCEPT it. As I am not a car of considerable mileage I am ASTOUNDED when bits of my machinery make themselves known. One of my wrists clicks at a certain angle of movement (result of multiple breakage) every so often, though rarely, and what do you know: Suddenly I am AWARE of my body. When I really want to frighten myself I wake in the early hours and wonder what on earth is going on INSIDE. You know, all the bits you can’t see, laying dormant making as little noise as a mouse (ie none). Not a twinge. That’s subterfuge. When I want to scare myself even further I imagine rotting away inside without noticing it till it’s too late. You may ask “too late for what?”. My sentiment entirely.
I am no hypochondriac yet will confess to TWO things: I am in total awe of what the human body can withstand, what’s the second? There are too many seconds to choose from.
Hugs, kisses, hisses, wishing us all well,
Sweethearts, despite various spanners in recent years’ works I lead a charmed life. Unlike those [bloggers] who can’t help themselves moaning and groaning over, say – and I truly love this – that they have bloggers’ block. How much more entertaining can it get? You have nothing to say and tell the world all about it. Take a leaf out of a mouse’s book. And keep quiet.
Anyway, lets unite in our assorted self afflicted boats and use WD40.
WD40 is a miracle. If I could WD40 all of you I would. After having WD fortified myself.
And I quote from the can
At the bottom, and in my experience important, “See Cautions on Reverse”
200 ml. Silicone Free.
Hugs and kisses,
Napoleon remarked (why did he make that common mistake of trying to invade Russia – in winter) that a general is NOTHING without “fortune” (French pronunciation) on his side. True. And Lady Luck is fickle. In fact if Lady Luck were so unlucky as to be my daughter I’d tell her a few home truths. The way she grants favours, or not, isn’t the way to go about it.
First of all: She has no sense of justice. None. In fact, if she was that child faced with a marshmallow she’d be out of the door before she could chew it.
I dislike many sayings. Not least the one and only: “Du bist der Schmied Deines eigenen Gluecks”. Loosely translated: Everone is master of their own luck. Bah to that. I do take responsibility for myself (and others) but don’t give me a horse’s hoof. That way you’ll limp on the home stretch.
Anyway, IT’S ALL RELATIVE. “It’s all relative” is my mantra. You can apply it to anything in life. That way (relative) happiness lies. Naturally the likes of Looney and his mind will point out to me that in order for something to be relative you need something to measure it against. True.
I measure ‘it’ against, say, fairy tales. Particularly on a Sunday afternoon. Or a particular Maupassant novella, the title I won’t name lest it’ll break your heart on reading. Yes, fairy tales, as opposed to Maupassant: You briefly, emphasis briefly, spend many an hour cleaning the castle’s hearths under the malevolent eye of your step mother. One hundred years later you either go to a ball and leave your dainty shoe behind and/or are being kissed by a prince. No wonder I only eat apples vetted by me and in the privacy of my own company. And go barefoot.
I won’t tell you which one is my favourite fairy tale. It’ll give too much away about me – even to the obtuse among you. Instead let’s settle on another one. A grim one as the Grimm Brothers go: “Von einem der auszog das Fuerchten zu lernen.” One who went out to learn fear. Not a difficult task you might say. Take it from me. It is [difficult]. Particularly if you are not afraid of the dark. Anyway he did find something he was afraid of. Lucky him. And no, it wasn’t that which we all fear, it was – nemesis of my own life: A COLD FISH.