Friday 4 October 2013


For some reason I haven't taken the trouble to analyse, recently, I find myself gazing at a toddler with open-mouthed disbelief that two such infinitisimal entities have combined to make such a lively and interesting human being. Imagine my stupor, then, at the contemplation of a whole adult. Last night, at supper with the father of my children, we spent a satisfying period watching a tiny being learn to negotiate a step between two sections of the cafe. Eventually, her foot having hovered above it several times while we held our breath, she sat and bumped her bottom down it. I do, so much, love to watch little ones learning how to do this business life. Think: every single item and atom that makes a way of being in the world has to be learned. The other day, at another cafe, I watched a little boy on his Father's knee, gaze down at a dog at the next table. His face quite clearly registered " what the Hell is that?" I do hope someone enlightened him in due course.  My preoccupation at this time must stem from my own recent and rather momentous birthday. There's a lot to be said for being this far up the ladder.  I can afford to  be much nicer. There really isn't time to take offence. I can afford to be wicked. There really isn't time to mind my 'ps' and 'qs'. I can afford to speak my mind. There really isn't time to think through the alternatives. I cannot afford to be sloppy in my appearance. There really isn't time to correct an impression of 'couldn't care less'. I cannot afford to spill my food. There really isn't time to keep changing my blouse.  I cannot afford to be forgetful. There really isnt time to remember or be reminded of what I got wrong. I had a little gathering to mark this occasion and told my friends that which you, Dear Reader, already knew. I told them about the serendipidy of my work life, where I, inter alia, had gone from part-time airborn trolley dolly to part-time library book trolley dolly. Someone commented that there had been rather a lot in between.  Indeed there has. There are so many memories that many of them have fallen out for lack of accommodation in my overstacked archive.

For the occasion, someone emailed me a copy of Julie Andrews' "These are a Few of my Favourite Things" adapted for her 79th birthday.  I found it hilarious. I am not sufficiently computer literate to find it and quote it to you while keeping hold of this blogpost at the same time. You can imagine that it has a lot to say about the infirmities and inconveniences of advanced age. My favourite things included the handful of people who helped me celebrate, although there were inevitable exceptions. For instance, the venue would not have countenanced the presence of my beloved cat. She it was who brought me my first present: a mouse. She stood in the doorway of my room with this offering in her mouth but, attempting a meow at the same time, dropped the poor thing. It ran like mad under the bed but I decide to get in and leave its fate  to chance and the morning. My lovely friend and helper next morning did crawl about with a torch looking under the bed: to no avail and to no mouse. So whence it went and whence it came I know not. But, unlike the cat, it didnt end up on the bed with me so I hope it lives to match my three score and, by now, a very great deal more than ten. Prynhawn da

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