Tuesday, 21 January 2014

As I was saying...

The post I had in mind as a Part 2 to my favourite things and vice versa, was postponed while I lived the guest blog adventure. Now seems as good a time as any to ramble on with it. First, I should say that, influenced by the negative responses to it - the guest blog, of course - I started trying to avoid the complaining, mannerisms, style and so on which had been criticised. Not a good idea. Of my time on earth quite a lot of it has been spent working out what pleases the other. In my life away from blogging I think I have managed to cultivate a bit more of a 'dammit' attitude to the 'right' thing and the 'wrong' thing so I shall transfer the benefit and be as predictable, toshy and unclear as turns up spontaneously in my stream of consciousness. Bryn Terfel singing Welsh songs: that's not a bad start.  A deep voice from the land of my father's (apostrophe?). That's enough to burn my toast... while I stop and listen, of course. Though nostalgia is a double-edged whatsit. Given enough of it, it becomes homesickness which, as a war time six year old sent to boarding school, I know a bit about. Indeed, it may well be my prime 'dislight' now I see it in black and white.  Echoes of it creep in  even to the here and now of life. For instance, if ever I am separated from someone I am close to on an outing, I am plunged back in to the despair of The Abandoned which I experienced when kind parents, seeking to protect me from the pain of separation, simply left me at the school without saying "Goodbye". I recounted this to the father of my children when he disappeared at an Airport recently while we waited for our flight. In sixty years I had never confessed before. "Very well", quoth he, "next time I'll say 'I'm just going for a newspaper. I may be gone some time'". And that's another of my distinct delights: the awareness of a shared allusion. It feels like one of the most profound of  jokes (You do get the allusion. Think 'ice'.)

Communicating with the wordless is another great delight. Working to understand my cat pleases me. I ask her what kind of miaow if it is not instantly apparent. Patiently she miaows again evidently hoping to find me less stupid with repetition. Currently, there is a television advertisement for spectacles. A vet is feeling in a pile of fur for a pulse. Failing, he tries his stethescope on himself then on another part of the fur. Urgently, he calls for his assistant to come " as quick as you can.... a cat with no pulse." The assistant picks up the fur and places it on her head. He has mistaken her hat for a cat. The advertisement then shows the cat making one of those non-miaows which are a sort of 'humph', as if - "over here,stupid" The advertisement is for a firm that makes eye-glasses, for the benefit of those of you in Mountain View, California. Pre-speakers make rather more rewarding reading. This can be done via decibels, hand gestures and puce faces, also by chuckles and smiles,  grunts and variable tones. It's possible that love for the little ones brings the nicest delight of all. I am still delighted by my eldest's first responsive communication: "in the barfoom" he replied when his Father enquired, as one does of a baby, expecting no reply, "Where are your shoes?". His father came running through the house shouting "He spoke. He spoke.". Alright: the secret's out. Communication is the delight, the favourite thing. Bore da

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Guest Blogging

Well, that was exciting: Gransnet kindly asked me to write a guest blog for them and I trepidasiously accepted. It appeared last Thursday, which would have been January 8th but I havent the faintest idea how you access it. I was sent an email with a lot of blue letters which, I am reliably told, were a link. I pressed on that and 'Eureka', there it was.  It seems that a number of you has come on it because there were quite a few 'thread' comments. Most were warm, friendly and pleased to meet me, so to speak, but there was the odd contra -indication. It was amusing to read a little discussion about which end of the age range, 75 or 40, I actually was. I had a bit of a read randomly, myself, and it seemed clear enough to me. More than often I refer to the three score and more than ten years I am carrying thus far even if the whole point of the enterprise were not to draw out the ironies, disasters and fun of being 40 on the inside but 75 plus in actual years. I do apologise, however, if I have set up a muddle and will try to do better hereafter. There were several comments disagreeing with what I had said.. I see this as an interesting manifestation because it never occured to me that feelings and experiences could be "wrong".  Someone wrote that the blogposts were "tosh", a word I havent heard since playground days.  Several wrote how much they enjoyed being old in a "so there" kind of tone. There I really am deeply sorry for a mislead. I do enjoy my chronological age. That has nothing to do with the fact that it gives rise to very real predicaments that have to be managed, sorted  and, hopefully, laughed about. Thank you Gransnet for the opportunity and I will read all the threads again if the Wizard of Cyberspace has left the door to them open. I would suspect he has; for encouragement read chastisement, for skill read stupid and for a job well done read banishment. If he had his wicked way there would always be an IT disaster for him to mock me with. The door will be open simply because of the presence of the 'toshers' amongst us.

I had intended a part 2 to the previous Delights and Dislights post because, having written one, I found I was overwhelmed with more. The guest blog has provided both: delight in those I have pleased and dislight where I have erred. (I am aware of the liberty I have taken with the negative, but if one can't invent a word at my age when can one?) But there really is a special delight in reaching more readers whom, I hope, will identify with the unexpected and unrehearsed aspects of feeling just the same on the inside while a lot more than thirty years have gone by on the Passport. I see that I made an assumption. I assumed we were all in agreement that a certain purity of developement in terms of who one was going to be had been reached by forty.The concerto has its form. There are just the decorations to add. In fact, there is the basic me which is more or less constant. Opportunities to modify, moderate and expand do offer themselves and I hope I take them: that is: take in a new source of love, throw out an old source of irritation for instance. Someone I know well won't allow anything new in to her house unless she throws something old away. That sort of courage I lack but I muddle through actually and figuratively. Here's to blogging and even threading. Prynhawn da.