Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Worth passing on

My Growing Old Disgracefully online group picks up a lot of laughs and cartoons and shares them around. I don't pass on many of them, because I like to be original here, but these two are fun, and I especially endorse the message in the second one - that's exactly how I feel!

Friday, January 11, 2008


I cannot live without lists - I have no faith in being able to remember ANYTHING for more than five minutes. At any given moment I may have on my desk downstairs a long-term list of jobs to do, and a quickie list to do urgently that day, and a list of things I want my cleaner-companion to do for me while she is with me. And of course there will be a shopping list on permanent availability in the kitchen.

Then I have a little pocket notebook which fits in my dressing-gown pocket and goes up and downstairs with me night and morning. All my great thoughts during wakeful nights, or on first waking, go in there, and in theory everything is attended to during the day before it goes upstairs again at night. But I'm afraid there are always some jobs left undone, and then they have to be ringed round so they can be picked out as I turn back the pages to see what I've missed.

Also any long kind of job that needs to be undertaken, such as clearing my husband's house, or going through his papers, has to be sort of consolidated from time to time with a list, showing what's been done and what is still to do. (This sort of list at its best serves also as a source of information for other members of the family.) Such lists may be updated several times before finally being scrapped.

However, reading lists have never proved very successful, I'm sorry to say - they never seem to get to the library with me. And shopping lists, too, seem often to get left at home in a most unhelpful way. Before long I may need a list reminding me to get up, eat three square meals, and go to bed again. Ah! me .......

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Koi Carp by David Koster

This is by way of being a cautionary tale.....

My second son is a committed fisherman, and although he now mostly flyfishes for salmon, there was a time when he was an enthusiastic carp man. When, in 1998, I came across this reproduction in a magazine of one of David Koster's paintings, I knew instantly that I wanted to get a print of it for my son. However, I could not find an easy way of going about it (I did not have a computer then), and I am nothing if not lazy. But I kept the magazine picture.

Nine years later, searching the web for something I no longer remember, I came across an art gallery selling animal pictures on eBay, and there in the collection was Koster's Koi Carp, although the colouring was rather different in the digital picture. However, I thought it an improvement if anything, so I ordered a copy.

When it arrived it was yet another colour, pale and washed-out-looking to my eyes, and I was frankly disappointed. This third picture is my photograph of the actual print, but my camera too is misleading, as it shows more colour than is seen by the naked eye.

The moral of the story obviously is: if you are going to buy art, buy it in person, not through the medium of press, internet or camera. Also, the gallery did point out that Koster produces his own handmade limited edition prints, so that there is always the possibility of variations in the colouring.

The gallery was prepared to take back the print, but I decided to take a chance with it. I showed it to my son without telling him the story of my disappointment, and he instantly wanted it. Just as well - it wasn't cheap!

Footnote :: As for me, I like any of these three reproductions better than the original!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

No New Year resolutions for me .....

..... instead I have been indulging in some self-congratulation! I was vain enough to start a folder of 'reviews' of my blog in the early days, things which people said about it which I particularly valued, when I was not sure if my blog was of interest to other blog readers. Now, two years and four months along the line, I have been reassured by the many kind comments that have been made and I know for sure that it is. Readers have used the words: charming; wonderful; beautiful; original; inspirational.

That is heady stuff, which I repeat shamelessly because I have been so astonished to find such words in my comments box. But I don't mind being shameless, and I have undertaken to write openly of my feelings here. This is my way of acknowledging what unexpected gifts I have received, in return for the effort I have put into my blogging.

Further, the things my readers have written are a confirmation for me that old people do have a value 'at large', if they can find a way of expressing it, and so should not be overlooked or disregarded. We need to know this, as we become physically more tired and frail - it helps to keep us going!!! And through my blog and your comments you are helping me to say so to other oldies.

So I say thank you, thank you so much, for the things you have written, all of you, which comfort and enrich my mind, my heart, and my blogging.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Inner peace - continued

You know, I reckon every community should have a Centre of Inner Peace, as well as an Arts Centre and a Health Centre.

There would be special workshops, and exercises and interactions and treatments - obviously given free by volunteers; it would have to be run on a 'give and receive' principle - and everybody would be entitled to one Inner Peace day off from work a year in order to attend the Centre.

How's that for an idea?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A warning for the New Year

Be on the lookout for symptoms of Inner Peace. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to Inner Peace and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

Some signs and symptoms of Inner Peace:-

A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experience

An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment

A loss of interest in judging other people

A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others

A loss of interest in conflict.

A loss of the ability to worry - this is a very serious symptom

Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation

Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature

Frequent attacks of smiling

An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen

An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to love them back