What didn’t happen

“If Red breaks that leg again,” Howard said soberly, “it will cripple him for life.” Alexander told him that maybe it was better to break a man’s leg than his heart.”

Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand

Winner #Fitbit Step Challenge.

I increase my pace. In my head the blood in my veins pumps audibly. My chest burns. I love the sense of freedom that running (or rather a good run) can offer. I watch The Adjustment Bureau on the small screen. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt dash across a busy New York street. On the treadmill to my right, a man in his 60’s slaps his stomach intermittently as he runs. Is he trying to spur himself on? Is he literally smacking away the tummy fat? Does he like the sound of it? I try not to pay too much attention to him. He’s also pushing his body.

I think how grateful I am for a healthy, relatively fit body.

I think of Hubby and the fateful fishing weekend.

“I’m not interested in what happened,” said my Husband “It’s what didn’t happen that’s infinitely more important.”

But you do want to know, right? Continue reading What didn’t happen

5 Weeks ‘Into Africa’

“I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills. The Equator runs across the these highlands, a hundred miles to the north, and the farm lay at an altitude of over six thousand feet. In the day-time you felt that you had got high up, near to the sun, but the early mornings and evenings were limpid and restful, and the nights were cold.”

Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (pen name of Karen Blixen)

Karen Blixen Out of Africa“We paid £3 for a haircut in South Africa,” we told our flamboyant, full-of-opinions, Irish hairdresser in London some years ago.

[This, when he quoted Hubby £45 for a men’s short back and sides.]

“WELL! … I don’t exactly live in a frickin mud hut, do I?” he pointed out.

[He had a point.]

“So, are we cutting today or not?” he asked us, waving the scissors around. Continue reading 5 Weeks ‘Into Africa’

Being a grown up

“All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, ‘Oh, why can’t you remain like this for ever!’ This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end.”

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Birthday cakeBrain: There’s that animal I’m very familiar with, with mane and big teeth!
Brain’s word identification software: Lion!
Mouth: Goat.

True story. Continue reading Being a grown up

Visits in my dreams

“Logic cannot comprehend love; so much the worse for logic.”

Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church by N.T. Wright

I’m in a resort. I go to the loo. Somehow this process is convoluted and slow as I’m carrying shopping bags and cannot find my mobile. When I come out the whole location has changed. My brother hands over the ‘looking-after’ responsibilities and we venture into a music shop. More obstacles – a gutter too deep, crowds, too much noise – and now suddenly we’re not in a shop we’re in a stadium and I’m trying to find a way to climb out of the camera box. I’ve lost him again and the search I’ve carried out so many times begins anew … Continue reading Visits in my dreams

Smile Therapy

“To tell you the truth, I was considerably upset and worried. I am not going to pretend that at that moment I foresaw the events of the next few weeks. I emphatically did not do so. But my instinct told me that there were stirring times ahead.”

The Murder of Roger Achroyd by Agatha Christie

Next to The Golden Girls, one of the best old ladies of film – Ms Ellen Albertini Dow (1913–2015) of The Wedding Singer (1998)

On Easter Sunday Hubby and I had lunch (Easter Lamb – delish!) at a friend’s house. I was sat next to our friend Floz (not her real name). Floz is a part time conspiracy theorist, a full time intellectual and in the evenings works as a companion to 3 old ladies.

“Do you know the key to happiness in old age?” she asked me as I prepared my roast potatoes with butter, salt and a good dose of gravy.

I leaned in for the holy grail of advice. Continue reading Smile Therapy

Stone Soup

“A rich man’s soup – and all from a few stones. It seemed like magic!”

Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

Besides the Teeny Tiny Woman, the other childhood story my parents frequently read to us was Stone Soup.

It’s a folktale of far reaching import…

In the French and Hungarian stories, a soldier who has been through many trials is returning home. On his way he passes a village. He is hungry, but has no food and carries an empty pot. The villagers, wary of soldiers and tired of war are unwilling to feed him. But their curiosity is piqued when he makes a fire, fills his pot with water, drops a stone into the pot and begins to heat up the water. Continue reading Stone Soup

Cats ‘n dogs ‘n floods

“The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.”

The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss

“Good morning! Thank you. We are all settled in amidst the pouring rain.”

This is the email we received from our tenants on Sunday 21st April – Easter morning.

We have a couple from Johannesburg and their 3 small children, a granny and two aunties renting our Morgan Bay home. They booked for 6 nights and are our first paying tenants.

Hubby and I were nervous-excited to get our first let. I’d put together a welcome pack filled with info about what to do and see in our idyllic South African seaside village. It promised to be a wonderful holiday!

Little did we (or they) knowContinue reading Cats ‘n dogs ‘n floods