In Ripon yesterday afternoon standing behind a couple in middle youth at the counter, I couldn’t help but notice their alternative clothes. The man’s trousers were multi-coloured with red trainers and jacket. The woman a bit less colourful with black flower printed trousers and more subdued jacket. The man’s fair wispy hair was complemented by a plentiful beard in the profile I saw. They had something of the clown come from a nearby circus about them. I wondered if their sartorial tastes extended to their home – if so it would have been interesting to see. I’m all for eccentricity as it keeps our friends, neighbours and acquaintances amused. I did feel it might be going a bit too far, however, when the couple left the store and the chap’s other profile came into view. His face on the other side was completely clean shaven. Maybe he was to do an advert for before and after shaving cream or razor? Did he have a passport? in which case did he have two. (Explain that at the entry desk of an American airport). It’s been a while since I saw random stuff but yesterday had to be close to the top of the list S;^)
When you pass 50 or so, you realise that more then half your life is behind you. I suppose that’s why so many people have that midlife hiccup. As you go on further then you occasionally wonder what age you’ll reach and in what health. As I approached 70 (ridiculous – I only felt 35 or so) impending mortality came home to roost. Symptoms prompted a Doctor’s visit and subsequently a diagnosis of rectal cancer was a shock, but not a surprise, since this type of cancer was in my family. Told I was early stage and treatable with every prospect of being cured, I opted to go for surgery etc. Luckily we have a huge teaching hospital with state of the art practice in our city and top surgeons so my treatment was the best. I got as fit as possible in advance but, even so, the recovery was grueling with many things to overcome and I don’t know how anyone on their own would ever recover. Him Indoors took on all household tasks in addition to running around after me and keeping my spirits up through weeks of being unable to eat, having oral thrush and despairing of ever feeling stronger etc. Today, some 12 weeks or so after my Op, I am back to eating and slowly regaining the near stone in weight I lost, have stopped needing any pain relief, am doing some jobs around the house and have today driven to the local supermarket, helped to shop and driven back. Good thing we both didn’t know the full extent of what we would have to go through to get to this stage and I can understand anyone opting to let the Grim Reaper make arrangements. I never felt my age and was so active and we’d done so much refurbishment work in our home which I flaming well wanted to get the benefit of, it never occurred to me not to fight. Plus Him Indoors was so adamant we would get through it and that he couldn’t live in this house without me – the house and decor etc being me. I hope we get a good few more years together to justify what he has done for me – and grandchildren would be a bonus but not on the horizon at the moment. Having a brush with death reminds you that you won’t see the end result with your children but I’m incredibly proud and happy to have seen the wonderful people they have become. Medical advances mean cancer is not a death sentence these days – even when 8 hr operations are required. Did I say that I’ve been told I’m cured and will be having a Stoma reversal in early April? Keep your fingers crossed for me – I would like to see 85 if not 100 and get my telegram from the Queen. S;^)
Some time ago I read an article where the author was warning of a Dooms Day scenario, caused by global warming, where a massive migration of people could take place from Africa northwards. Conditions could become so bad due to droughts, crop failure etc. that such a migration could happen in a shorter time than we might think. How would people escape? How would they be received? Where in Europe would they go? How could the European Countries and wider world cope? Was any Government ‘wargaming’ for such an eventuality? Well that mass migration is going on now, the cause is war and desperate poverty. Living conditions in Europe can be seen and they are a magnet when you have very little. Countries are squabbling about the best way to cope while people with the same hopes, fears and aspirations as us die on route. Whilst we are a crowded island, we Brits could take a fair share of these refugees and play our part in finding a long-term solution. Sadly I can see that a referendum on staying in or quitting the EU could well swing heavily towards quitting as all the talk I hear is of keeping refugees out and quitting the EU to pull up drawbridge. I wonder if one unspoken fear is of an influx of Muslims who will fail to assimilate and one day produce some who will ‘stab us in the back’? Would we more readily take in refugees from a Christian country? When are Governments going to get their act together and produce a credible plan which also addresses the root causes of this mass migration? Meanwhile people, like you and me, die.
Just returned from #Wetherby Antiques Fair. The best thing to be seen wasn’t the huge variety of glassware, ceramics, costume jewellery. Nor was it the Gladstone bags, though Rider was sorely tempted. Nor the vast quantities of interesting stuff with which you could have furnished your home in completely your own style, whatever that style might be. The best thing was the Matured Gent, browsing around on his own. The presence of Him Indoors precluded Rider from attempting to become acquainted. Said gent – around 5’10” with distinguished grey hair – was sporting a grey Fedora, white long sleeve shirt with cufflinks of course, nice tie, black waistcoat complete with gold chained pocket watch (watch hidden but assumed), black fine wool trousers and polished black shoes. He looked the very finest English gentleman of a certain time period. Quite alone but perhaps not in need of a companion. Single Matured ladies with a liking for a similar style of dress could do worse than hang about similar Events – that Matured Gent might get around S;^)
There should be a VC for civilians and I know the man who deserves one. We have a chap in our village who is ‘slow’ and was unknown to Social Services until recently, when the City Council pressured him to move out of the 3 bedroom Council house, as he lived on his own – it had been his family home. He had always been ‘looked out for’ in the village, principally by one or two people and is wellknown around the place. He has been given employment, by a member of our Champion’s family, so never claimed benefit etc. Anyway our Champion (who happens to be our Parish Council Chairman) got a Social Worker involved, put the case with the Housing Manager for the chap to remain in the village via being downsized to an ‘old person’s bungalow’ when one became available – in the meantime our chap was not to be moved out of our village, emphasised our Champion. Our Champion had to be really firm and attend various meetings in his own time of course. Now – yippee – a bungalow has come free and our Champion is organising as best he can. Our Champion has taken our chap to sign up and is worrying about furnishings as the place is ‘stripped’. He has been to see the man who has bought our closed pub and asked for some carpet – duly kindly donated. One or two of us will help with other stuff but our Champion still has a lot to do to get the chap moved into his new comfortable home. These kind actions by our Champion are absolutely typical of the man. He has worked tirelessly all his life around the village, involving himself in Fairs and Fetes, Village Hall, helping anyone and everyone either himself, or finding someone who can. If money changed hands then our Champion would be a millionaire. In his youth, I’m told he was a bit of a ‘Jack the Lad’ but when and if he stands before those Pearly Gates then I bet they’ll be flung open. Our village is so lucky to have a Volunteer Champion – and we do have a few more – but he’s the Champ.