It fell this year on a Sunday and the village quiet. My favourite day. I’m not a Christian, though I am fascinated by some of the words attributed to the man Jesus. I don’t suppose he celebrated his birthday. There seems to be a truth in a few of his sayings which cuts to the bone, goes straight to the heart of things and yet, are they liveable? Are they precepts which ordinary mortals can ascribe to?


Anyway, there’s always been something about Sundays that makes me feel British, a sort of closet member of the C of E. No offence to the dear old C of E. I think it has to do with an unconscious brainwashing by schools and society of post-war Blighty. I say ‘makes me feel British’ because I was born in foreign climes. A child of two very different civilisations, a mongrel, never able to quite fit in. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t change the roll of the dice. Perhaps it’s given me a perspective of having no nation and consider myself a citizen of the planet.


The thing is, I’m a loner. It’s not that I don’t like people. I do. In small doses. I’ve found that it’s best to leave people alone, not ask anything of them. To not judge them or try to understand or engage with them in any but the most elementary levels. This manner of interaction has served me wonderfully. I have no friends but many acquaintances. No one knows who I am and that suits me to the ground. I suppose I’m a bit of an eccentric, which is fine. I harm no one and, on the whole, people reciprocate. After many years of such an existence, one is liable to fall foul of mental illness. So far, I seem to have not been stricken, yet who can say? The lines are blurring fast these days. Were they always so unclear? Perhaps we were more tolerant in the past, or maybe we just minded our own business.


I’m all for minding one’s business. There’s so much wisdom in the sayings of our forebears. Of course, there’s a fair amount of cant and hypocrisy as well; hundreds of years stifling death. The status quo. It had to go, without a doubt. Trouble is, we seem to have well and truly thrown dear old baby with the dirty, horrid bathwater.  We’re in the era of ‘Anything Goes!’. And it does. No sooner has it appeared than its old hat. Of course, there’s still the cricket, the Royal family, the WI, but they aren’t what they were. Everything’s been revamped, re-invented, re- something or other. Nothing can simply be what it is. That would be far too boring, which is strange when one thinks how the ‘Retro’ scene has become the in-thing.


I digress. Something not readily entertained these days. No time to do so. Have you noticed? I blame the infernal television and its offspring. The wireless set and cinema were the somewhat innocent archetypes, to begin with. Yet they spawned the rot of a mass dream of life as it might be, should be, could be. Imagination is a dreadful thing in any hands.


There’s a lovely walk by the canal which I follow assiduously every Sunday, no matter what the weather. It’s overcast today, yet clement for August. Walking towards autumn is so comforting, I find. Like walking towards one’s death. Not in a morbid sense. I’ve found a peace with solitariness that’s a trifle unworldly, but least said as they say. I smile at passer’s by and some smile back. Occasionally, a word or two with an acquaintance and then on. The river meanders with many moods and always different. Today it’s a little sullen, yet not unforgiving. The early afternoon has the feel of evening. Colours change imperceptibly. Yes... it’s not been a bad old innings and I think I’m ready (famous last words) to hang up the bat and gloves. One hundred not out is pushing it a bit.  Jenny’s never far from my hand. She slips her little fingers into mine whenever she sees me too deep in thought. Rum old life. ‘Come on, old girl, home for a cup of tea, slice of birthday cake and the Archers.’  



August 05, 2019 08:58

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