Tuesday, 21 July 2015

These I Have Missed

Having offered you 'These I have Loved' and 'These I have Loathed I felt moved to proceed to These I have Missed   It's perhaps not surprising that there are things  one misses in the 75 not 40 category. One of them, for me for instance, would be my waist. I haven't seen that in years .Arms would be another .Actually, I have seen them but they are a long way from being suitable for public viewing. I simply don't do them so am always on the look-out for sympathetic sleeves. Ankles have also  gone walkabout. I need to choose between a total disregard for skirts or a total disregard for the elderly predicament of no difference in width between knee and foot .As it happens, I do find, as the days hurtle by, that I am less and less troubled by what the eye of the other is seeing so have been out in a dress and fat ankles.

I find I miss longhand. One of my nicest possessions is a fountain pen of such refinement it ranks more as an 'objet d'art' than a wordsmith's tool. There will be those among you who have never filled a fountain pen nor scrawled a love message in blue-black. . However, in a cloud of lost yesteryear I see I have rather romanticised the longhand thing. An error made at the top of a hand- written page incurred a fine of huge proportions: one had to re-write the whole page.However, the advantage of the electronic conveyer of that which must be written down is that what it promises in practical error-removing and re-think possibilities, it loses in malfunctioning. As we speak, the short line curser which shows you where your letters are has joined the nomads so I am having to guess where the print will start and am doubtful about the length of sentences and paragraphs. The Wizard of Cyberspace never interfered in my earlier writing life.

Babies: I miss living with and looking after little people. I miss the feel of a small body against my chest and the gummy, smiley greeting at picking-up time .Truth be told, I miss the absolute sense of purpose the twenty-four-seven -fifty two  the role assumed. I miss good manners and find my own exagerated in a sort of 'yah boo and sucks' compensation. I do know, Gentle Reader, things were always better in the country where one was forty, but I am not the only green-inker who thinks the snows of before were whiter than  the snows of today. With some ruth, I miss forward planning. Recently a television programme I enjoy came to its season's end. Just think, I can see what happens next only,  as a dear, elderly friend used to say when I tried to arrange a meeting for a specific date, "If I am spared, Dear" Bore da

Tuesday, 7 July 2015


Today is the tenth anniversary of the terrorist bombings in London which killed fifty seven people and injured many more. Someone in my circle lost a leg. How it feels to  be him is beyond my imagination, but he shows us all a warmth and health of spirit that shames  anyone grumbling about a tricky computer for instance, in to the incontravertibly old-fashioned solution of counting their blessings. I have always advocated that a trauma has to be measured holistically, in the context of the sufferer's way of being in the world. A baby whose toy lies outside her/his reach is within  her/his rights to carry on as if deprived of a loved human being. To an obsessive tidier a plant pot spilt on the carpet can  feel like a car crash to a differently wired personality. However, this having been said, in the interest of what degree of sympathy to offer, it must be acnowledged that the loss of a limb is,   nevertheless, a gold amongst bronze disasters and should be treated as such without any 'yes-butting' about our own disasters

It is no secret that I am a World War Two child. ( Anyone who can add up must know that). It seems to me that my generation has a response to disaster tht is laced with the wine of a remembered state of mind. Disasters were daily events, particularly in the big cities. As it happens, although I didn't live in a big city, I did come from a town with a very important port which was an early and frequent target of German bombers.  I had been disaptched - I want to say 'abandoned - to boarding school for my safety so had to contend with the breath-holding worry that my parents may not have survived from one night to another. Imagine: no mobile phones, not even direct dialling. How was one of a hundred little girls to find out about her family's fate when such an odyssey had to go through Matron to a form teacher, to the Head and then through a telephone exchange whose lines were mostly taken up with essential and hush-hush emergency calls. Shortages and deprivation of material as well as emotional necessities were simply the way things were. Stoicism became the yeast in our bread, essential but virtually unnoticed, a condition which my lot lives with to this day. And now, especially, the blessing-counting is necessary in the wake of indescribable horrors in the rest of the world.
 .I know, I  know: what has this got to do with being 75 (more than) going on 40? Well, we shall just have to call this post "75 going on 6". Bore da