Posted in Life and Family, Music I Like

Swing Swing

Emotions, they stir
The sun is gone
The nights are long
And I am left while the tears fall

It sounds like Chinese poetry! But Swing Swing is by The All-American Rejects. There’s a picture of a go-kart on the front of the CD, though I originally thought it was a petrol mower.

I hadn’t heard of it, but it cost next to nothing as the charity shop was trying to get rid of scruffy CDs no one wanted. (The case was scraped at the corners, but both CD and case were in remarkable condition). I had a few minutes to myself, with nobody breathing disapprovingly down my neck, so I could buy whatever I fancied. I wanted new music to try, and here was this CD looking for a new owner.

At first I didn’t like it as it has quite a heavy ‘head-banging’ sound. My musical taste is mostly mellow… UB40, Gabrielle, Johnny Nash and so on, though I like rock as well.

Being unwilling to concede defeat, I played it several times, and there are bits I now enjoy… in particular the track mentioned above.

Swing, swing from the tangles of
My heart is crushed by a former love
Can you help me find a way
To carry on again?

When something like that gets in my head, I’m more likely to write a blog post than if all is quiet, peaceful and normal. My soul hums with sadness, hope and inspiration.

From what I’ve heard, inebriated people become ’emotional’, embarrassing their friends with heart-felt sentiments. I wish to point out that I’m such an occasional drinker I’m almost teetotal, and don’t need to have been drinking anything to do that! All that’s required is that I be under the influence of a song.

All of you out there in the blogging world… I love that you are there. (Hangs adoringly round people’s necks). I don’t post as much as I used to, but there’s that feeling of random connectedness with others. We are not necessarily like-minded, except that we’re prone to sitting down and writing out our thoughts. Some of you, like Rabbit or Christopher Robin, dash off something practical and to the point. Others, like Winnie the Pooh or Tigger, know how to entertain and make people laugh. Then there are the anxious, slightly annoying ones like Piglet. Still others (like me) wait self-pityingly in the rain and ponder gloomy Eeyoreish thoughts.

Well… today we were having an informal family get-together. It seemed bright enough at the beginning, but the day wore on and things weren’t going as well as I hoped. People were subdued, and there were tired silences. I made a self-deprecating joke about the robohoover attacking my TV soundbar, and was told somewhat waspishly that if I wanted to watch the Eurovision, I’d have to do it upstairs anyway… I’m on my own with that.

With ‘Swing Swing’ in my head and my emotions slowly boiling up, our day was already a failure. I received a kindly, disturbing letter which I read somewhere around tea-time. There might be a smidgeon of misjudgement in the missive, but not by much.

Today was someone else’s day and I had to stay pleasant and positive, but the effect the letter had on me was shocking. I shut down quite slowly, peeling off from the others around me, my eyesight gradually blurring. When it came to supper time, I couldn’t face food. My mother had poached egg and toast while I fell asleep.

Perhaps this kind of reaction is a way of escaping for a while. Dozing off helps you ‘find a way to carry on again’. You wake up feeling half-dazed, but your appetite is stealing back.

“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”
~ John Steinbeck

Sometimes falling asleep on the sofa for an hour or two is all it takes. You eat a pan of noodles and check the soundbar is working upstairs. After a period of rest and thought, there will be friends to talk to and things to look up online. Ideas; plans; humour. Rethinking and reorganization.

Something good will come of this. Yes, I’m determined.

– – – – –

The above post was written a few days ago. Eurovision 2017 is over now; political spats, witty one-liners, streakers et al!

Posted in Books, Health Issues, Life and Family, My Cats

Failed Mooch

I came back from town and sat down to start this blog post, and there was a clattering from the porch. Sharky came in from outside with a welcome on his lips, and I pulled him up on my lap and said “it’s so much nicer to be at home with you.”

I meant to stay in town and ‘mooch’ a little after coffee at the usual haunt but I didn’t feel up to it. I went to bed at 21:00 last night, read a little Alistair MacLean (The Last Frontier) then switched to two essays by Leigh Hunt (Getting Up on Cold Mornings and A Few Thoughts on Sleep). Nineteenth century blog posts.

Had a nice long, cozy sleep, waking at six in the morning.

Read a little more, then got up around 06:35 with plenty of time for leisurely breakfasting, blog-reading, email-checking, post-opening and file-sorting. I was all ready for my day’s leisurely mooching, but after I walked to town and sat down for a nice cappuccino at 10:30, again not finding our favourite tables vacant, I found I wasn’t feeling particularly well at all.

It feels like your brain hasn’t been properly oiled, your eyes have been sandpapered and you’re almost seeing stars – but after your early night and organized morning, you fully expect to feel smugly energetic and refreshed.

Early to bed, early to rise
Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise

So far the ‘healthy’ bit is failing to materialize, and I won’t comment on the rest.

I was interested in Leigh Hunt’s references to the idea (in his day) that lying late in the morning shortens your life span and causes ‘corpulence’. What happened to those ideas; were they disproved? Or are there so many new theories and ideas whizzing around these days that the old beliefs lose their visibility?

Does lying late shorten your life span, or does something else causing your short life span cause you to lie late? Maybe everybody had short life spans but people were more likely to be uncharitable about someone they considered a slug-a-bed?

Back to this century. The next step (after coffee) was to visit Argos and argue over a piece of bedroom storage furniture that acts like a freestanding item of ‘fitted bedroom’. You set it up behind your bed and store things on the shelves and in the overhead cupboard. We need as much storage space as we can get, now that we’re trying to squeeze two households into one house, and I considered it seriously. But then, just as we were checking its availability, I had a horrible thought.

“Wait a minute,” I said. “I’m not sure about this. When you’re sitting up in bed reading, what do you lean against?”
Long silence while we all stared at the photo. Then we left.

After that we visited Superdrug (not a good replacement for Savers), and I was studying a pot of E45 cream which was no cheaper than in Boots. I was just deciding to bite the bullet and buy it (it has a healing effect on my chapped hands) when Mum coasted to a stop beside me and said “E is going now – do you want her to give you a lift back, or are you going to mooch around with me?”

As I mentioned earlier, I’d had every intention of mooching, then walking home, but my mind was so unclear now that I didn’t feel tempted by the thought of staying in town. It’s a bright day and the light seemed to sear my eyeballs. It could only get worse.

Home again, E45-less. Sitting with a cat in the cool shade of my house. So much for mooching.