Monday, 26 December 2016

Why I Will Live To Be One Hundred And Six

Being at a loose end this morning, and wide awake somewhat earlier than I chose to be, I opened the ghost of my kindle and started to read the bargain of the day of a while ago, which is called, 'The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of The Window And Disappeared,'

I hazarded twenty pence on this book in honour of its title, and I have read three pages and was so inspired that I reached  for this blog and began tapping.

I am going to live to be 106.

Some years ago, I was suckered by Gordon Brown, the then Chancellor of  the Exchequer into buying  into a scheme that was almost guaranteed to enhance my pension. It doesn't. It went down with the stock market and delivers into MY exchequer the sum of twenty pounds a month. I have to live to be one hundred and six to get my money back. And I will.

Hence my interest in stories about centenarians. I am going to be one of them, and I want pointers on how to do it in style.

In the course of the three pages that I have read, the hero has climbed out of a window in his carpet slippers and headed for the bus station. He is uncrashing his 100th Birthday Party, thus avoiding the mayor, his retinue,  and a surfeit of iced cake. I am cheering him on as he stops to rest his knees in a graveyard.

I am liking this man more and more. I have knees, and a fascination with graveyards. I love where this is going....

Sunday, 25 December 2016

All I can hear. ...

Is the ticking of the clock on the wall of my bedroom. I wonder at this, it's battery- driven:  no need for the  tick, but there you  are, and I am glad of it, a reminder that the clock is still telling time and is probably telling it right. 


It wasn't always so. For years on this morning our children would be bursting in ( in three minutes, 'not until eight 'o clock' was the rule!) faces glowing with excitement, my heart bursting with love  for them... ) 

Today all three of them will be sharing Christmas with their own children. They are delightful mothers with lovely husbands and beautiful children. I smile with deep, deep satisfaction. 

Job done.


Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, 20 December 2016


Thought for the Day. Courtesy of Father Richard Rohr:

Love, like forgiveness, is a decision. It’s a decision in your mind and in your heart. And you’d better make it early in the day, because once you’re a few hours into resentment, it’s too late. Already you’re angry at your husband or wife, and you’re upset because the paper boy didn’t deliver your newspaper. You see, when you’re not in love, you’ll use any excuse you can to be unhappy. You’ll use any excuse to be irritated. But you were unhappy before your husband or wife did anything or didn’t do anything, before the paperboy came or didn’t come. You were already unhappy, and they just occasioned it. The exact object for your unhappiness is actually arbitrary and illogical. Unhappiness just needs an object—and so does happiness and love. You have to recognize ahead of time when you are not living in love. This is surely why morning prayer is so important.


Gateway to Silence:
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

No, I Don't Know What MOOC Stands For ...

I have just uploaded my last assignment for the MOOC 'Naural History Illustration 101',

presented by the University of Newcastle (Auatralia) and hosted by EdX. It was a rendering of an elephant which in poor light and a squint is half-convincing. Despite it's shortcomings, I am very proud of it, and pleased to say that it helped me to my 75% overall mark. (Boosted, I confess, by studiying hard for 100% in the theory elements ... ) 

I will post it. Because it's a serious work, I have not given the subject a name, but his mother's called Mango. 

Natural history has always been a hobby of mine, though I am far more comfortable wielding a camera than a pencil, to be honest. Never mind, it was fun to do, great to learn a new skill, and free. 

Frankly, drawing other bits of the cosmos has been a very welcome distraction. It's hard not to imagine that the world is falling apart with the what-all that's happening in politics at the moment. Getting stuck into a tin of pencils is a wonderful antedote. 

What next? I quite fancy another practical course. Off to EdX to find something new to try.