#100 happy days revisited

Personally I blame the hashtag.

#don’t see the point.

# seems to be a look at me, search for me, I fit in, I am relevant/original/#on trend.

All of which make me feel like a #grumpy old woman.

Anyway I haven’t done very well with submitting the #photos. They became a bit samey. Quite a lot of food and the occasional blue sky. Waves on the beach and pictures of my current book and half empty packets of biscuits. William in various poses showing his gappy smile which never fails to raise one in me.

But here are some which conjure up happy moments for me. A pebble with a pair of glasses on it. A ticket to a crazy mash up event in Canterbury which involved a folk band, hip hop dancers, clog dancing and Morris dancing as you’ve never seen it and a beat box performer who gazed in to middle distance while making bizarre noises which they all danced to. Strange but great fun.

And two more stones with holes in to add to my collection. These things all made me happy. I wish I could make the photos all the same size and neat. That would satisfy something spectrummy in me, but it wouldn’t make me happy. That’s something different.




But while a picture paints a thousand words, there are so many elements of happy days which can’t be captured in a photo. The smell of hyacinths. The sound of the wind and waves outperforming the sound of traffic. My garden at the weekend was like the beginning of a Disney film, birds and insects busy and working up to courting. There was even a dopey bee in my greenhouse.

I like the way a waitress pays my dad special attention and gives him his pudding just the way he likes it. The way in turn his thank you is  old fashioned and courteous and so … him. I can’t reproduce these in a photo. They are moments in my memory and I have to be awake and aware to see them. I have to be mindful, present to the now and not rushing past the moment wishing I were somewhere else.

And I think that’s where middle age and maybe even old age could be a blessing. Because there’s not so much to achieve anymore. There’s plenty to do and aspire to and enjoy but the need to achieve, to have something to show for my time, to do more or better than last week feels less powerful. For example, while I enjoy walking and running, I can only do it now. There’s no point my looking at my mileage and times in November. One day I ran nine miles and averaged 10mins/mile. Pretty good for the terrain and conditions. But today I ran 2.5 miles like the proverbial potato and felt as if I had been mashed. Tomorrow I may manage a walk. I will have to wait and see. Right now it’s time for #tea and cake.

Gossip at the hairdresser

Foolishly I ticked a box which sets a reminder for me to blog and, like the scales in the bathroom, it’s another prompt to guilt and a reminder of all those good intentions down the drain. But hey ho I’ll write something, anything. It doesn’t have to be meaningful or finely honed.

I have just been to the hairdresser. I like my hairdresser, she is real person. After years of girls asking me about my weekend, just gone or plans for, I now have a woman about twelve years younger than me and she has a fully formed life and opinions. Better still she makes me laugh.

She doesn’t watch much tv but, like me, if she finds something she likes she watches it compulsively. (At the moment it’s The Good Wife – not as gripping as Breaking Bad but it’ll do. And I have a girl crush on Kalinder). She, the hairdresser, Melanie prefers stuff which has a guaranteed happy ending: so LIttle House on the Prairie and The Cosby Show feature large.

I drove there in pouring rain and in a filthy Land Rover peering out through steamed up windows.

My hair is nondescript and thin. Mousy. It all adds to the general feeling of beige which pervades at the moment. So I have decided to grow it a little and have some blond highlights put back in, this in an attempt to make spring happen. I told Melanie this and that I believed her foils had magic powers and that from now on all this awful rain would stop and the sun would come out and the daffodils would bloom.

She was up for it.

I had a seat I didn’t like – it’s by the music machine and a lot of wailing was coming out at some volume – but I didn’t ask to move because next to me was a woman having her hair done by the very camp male hairdresser and slagging off each of her friends, family, colleagues and neighbours one by one. I couldn’t believe it. She hurtled through each relationship in her life complaining.

Her husband – her second husband – uses a flannel and leaves it on the side of the sink, whereas if he leant a little further he could put it on the radiator and their bathroom wouldn’t smell of wet flannel.  (He lost it for me at flannel. Why marry a man who uses a flannel? A deal breaker as Helen would say).

Then we all heard about her sister in law who sends a link to something she would like for her birthday, often from White Stuff and how she buys her that thing because that’s the kind of person she is. A nice person. However the sister in law does not reciprocate and buy smart presents back. She sent something from H and M. Oh no. Major offence taken.

After that a niece in Canada who, despite being friends on FB with her aunt, never wished her a Happy Birthday. Nor did she thank her for her Christmas present. And really her mother should have a word with her about it. It transpired the niece is 20. If they haven’t learned to say thank you by now, well your parenting job is done and they’re on their own politeness ticket. Don’t send any more presents if their thanklessness offends you.

Then a mutual friend, Amanda, who leads ‘a charmed life,’ who it appears never says a bad word about anyone and ‘that just gets on my nerves because life is gritty and shitty and sometimes you just have to get off the fence and say so’.

And finally her neighbours who by coincidence are both trying to sell their homes – I wonder why? And a very long and frankly dull story about parking and car vandalism and them not taking her advice about CCTV. I switched off about here. She did continue for some time but when it descended in to a description of the inside of a cupboard she was having fitted, I started listening to the wailing. I thought I identified Amy Winehouse. But it was Adele.

My hair looks nice: I am pleased with it. And when I came out the sun was shining. And as I drove home three buzzards were wheeling about in the sky.