Sunday, 11 June 2017

I'm only 56!!

Hello all. Very little to report this week. It was my birthday which was very nice. Nice to be thought of and everything. I got some lovely presents and cards and a visit for tea from Aged Parent. I am of an age when birthdays are not quite the thrill ride they used to be. A friend messaged on Facebook and asked what I was doing on my birthday. I was hoping for a night in with a Chinese takeaway, a glass of wine and possibly a little nap. It's enough really isn't it? Especially when Aged Parent had been for tea the night before. 
She had endeared herself to the young people, who are back in situ for a while, by continually mixing up my year of birth with my actual age thus congratulating me several times on my 61st birthday. She then regaled the room with tales of her friend downstairs who has found a boyfriend through the pages of "Chat" magazine. Well I say "boyfriend"; it's a bit of a loose description really. They have talked on the phone a couple of times and he had come to see her last weekend. Aged Parent doesn't really approve of finding boyfriends through the pages of a magazine and she may have had a point. Her friend downstairs came and sat with Aged Parent during the visit because her new friend had to go into town to buy his return ticket from the bus station. It was a couple of hours before AP discovered that her friend downstairs had given her flat keys to the visitor to let himself in when he got back. Aged Parent felt like this was taking trust too far, even for a Christian woman burdened as she is with uncontrollable sexual urges, and raced to her friend's flat to see what was going on. Sure enough, the "Boyfriend" had come back from town and let himself into the flat. He said he was just watching the ping-pong but AP, naturally suspicious when it comes to men, was having none of it and instructed her friend to throw him out and check her envelopes under the bed - which is where all old people keep their policies.
Friend downstairs didn't seem too fussed about that and Aged Parent returned to her flat with grave warnings and saying that no-one better come running to her when people are found dead in their beds. Nobody was. Aged Parent seemed a bit disappointed. 
Anyway after that story and a bit a casual racism directed a her dentist who she is sure is a Muslim and clearing her plate even though she wasn't really hungry she took her leave with this uplifting gem.

AP  How much is it costing you - feeding these two now they are back. I can help you know.
Me Oh it's fine. We are fine - we won't starve. Anyway, with my belly I could do with a bit of starving haha!!
AP You don't have a big belly! Well no bigger than a woman your age should expect anyway.


Happy Birthday to me.
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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

One of the Secrets

I thought about not even mentioning the latest London atrocity. I am certain that the endless publicity that surrounds each event - especially around the criminals rather than the victims - does nothing but feed a strange sense of crusade that these people feel they have. For what it's worth, my own feeling is that someone, somewhere is getting rich from this. Leaders are tucked away feathering their own nests while encouraging the vulnerable to stir up instability on their behalf. It's usually the way.
But London and Manchester leaves a quiet pall over us I think, even as we determine to go about our daily business undaunted because it's the best defence we have. We can get downhearted about how we live in such a world. Fearing for friends and loved ones and wondering what is to become of us all. Possibly one of the secrets about how we live our lives and carry on is in the photo above. This motley crew is part of the team that I manage. Access Plymouth they are called and the people you see are a team of volunteers and staff who work to get the elderly and disabled out and about in Plymouth. It's a task that has become harder as the cuts bite and we are spread ever more thinly but these people are determined because they know the value of what they do. They have learned one of the great secrets of life which is to give of yourself for free - putting in without expecting to take out. Most of them do this for nothing but even the staff could get more money elsewhere for what they do. Charities, for the most part, are not known for massive financial rewards, whatever the Daily Mail tells you.
I read about a mother who was struggling to help her child deal with all the news she was seeing. She told her "always look for the helpers". Whenever you see the people hurt and distressed, look for the strangers kneeling with them. Try to see the people holding them while they cry. Look at the adverts for people offering their beds to strangers who are stranded. It is humanity at its most Christlike and it is here that we can get some comfort. 
The people above are a challenge and an encouragement to us all because they have found at least some of it - some of what life is supposed to be about and it is through such selflessness that some peace and purpose will always be found.
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