#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.

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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.

Guest post from Mr T

It wasn’t just me:

Being like William

What’s it like to see people on horses for the first time, to be on a windy hill and see cows scattered throughout for the first time?

Picking up pebbles and examining each one large or very, very small as if for the first time.  Stamping in puddles, moving from one to the next and splashing in each one as if it was the first one.

Spending an hour on Firle Beacon not managing to be more than a five minute walk from the car because there are so many pebbles to pick up, puddles to splash in and a lot of grass to pluck and watch the wind carry away, while we the oldies also watch the grass and sense his future before him.

Bliss

“Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive but to be young was very heaven.”

But alas I am no longer young. Sunrise lights up chin hair vibrant with life, glistening with promise.

One quick snip and those telltale whiskers are gone. For now.

Note to self, make an appointment for wax/thread/electrolysis in New Year.

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This was the view form our hotel window last Friday. It overlooked the golf course and the grass was crisp with frost.

I could have stayed and watched it melt for many minutes but I didn’t, I ate a tepid hot breakfast and went to look after William.

I’ll not bore you with the detail, but it was the first rainfree day for about a month we took him to the top of Firle Beacon and intended to go for a walk. He had other plans.

Begin by identifying every living creature in sight.

Moo. Baa. Clip clop noise. Caw.

Move onto inanimate stuff. Brrm.

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Test wellies in every puddle. Turn over stones large and small. Poke sticks in to mud. Stroke grass with cold bare hands. Try to climb the wire fence despite Granny pointing out the sharp hurty bits. Allow yourself to be lured away with snaffled hotel biscuits.

IMG_3141We were up there for an hour and didn’t leave the car park.  It was a particularly well placed car park for spectacle, but his absorption in each and every detail was contagious. It was all there for him but he didn’t possess it. And Time, that familiar tyrant, became irrelevant. We left because his trousers were drenched. The wellies held up though.

Back to Wordsworth. His was the quote at the top. He didn’t just do daffodils.

Another favourite poem – this came on the Camino with me.

The World Is Too Much With Us

BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174833

I have so much to learn and unlearn.

But he’s a patient teacher.