….but we are all fabulous.
Nugget number 1 – a brief encounter
Travelling back from my Mum’s where we spent a lovely restful and pampered Christmas, we stopped at the service station at Chorley on the M6. I was standing in the queue for the ladies feeling fed up that there were so many people in front of me when the woman in front of me asked me a question about those ludicrous emergency toothbrush balls and whether they were any good. We got talking and within the space of 2 or 3 minutes had exchanged the sort of deep personal information that I have only ever known women who have just met to do. She was travelling back to Shropshire from visiting her children. When I asked how many she had she replied 3 now. She explained that her daughter had died at the age of 35 from primary progressive MS. She went on to say how lovely it was that her daughter’s talents in art were starting to be apparent in her granddaughters.
I said that I had been visiting my Mum with my new fiance – she was so warm and immediately asked to see the ring (something not all friends have done). I said that we didn’t have children and that I was too old (nearly 47). She asked sympathetically if that’s what I’d been told and I explained that I would have wanted them 10 years ago but that I didn’t relish being on the school gate at 50. She laughed and said the nappies were worse than the school gate. She managed to be interested, concerned and non-judgmental all at the same time.
It’s hard to capture in words, but I came away from our encounter feeling warm and enriched and actually as if I would have liked to have sat down with her and had a cup of tea just to spend more time in her company.
Nugget number 2 – riches under our noses
I’ve been taking time over the past few days to stop what I’m doing and head out with my OH for a sunny winter walk round our local area. It’s too icy to want to drive anywhere else and it’s nice and immediate – not too much of a production. We go out for about an hour, at the warmest (ie 2 or 3 degrees) and brightest part of the day to scavenge as much vitamin D as possible. An hour is enough (it’s bloody cold and so please spare a thought for anyone sleeping rough in this weather – see yesterday’s post).
Paul Klee – Winter Scene
Despite the cold, it’s well worth the effort. Firstly we get a chance to get away from our computers, stretch out and get some fresh air and exercise. It’s amazing which extra muscles come into play when you are trying to make sure you don’t slip over! I also love talking to my OH while we’re walking glove in glove. There is something very facilitative about walking and talking which sitting down together doesn’t really achieve.
Anyway, we have taken different routes every day and explored our neighbourhood a bit – finding new things along the way such as a fruit and vegetable garden in a park round the corner kept up by the local school, a gorgeous cemetery with all the Christmas decorations which make death seem even more poignant than usual, a woodland walk hidden in the middle of a residential area, several houses with jewel-coloured baubles hanging on outside trees and a handy pharmacy within 5 minutes walk. A very nice gentleman on a mobility scooter also pointed out a badger sett. Given that I have lived here for 4 years, it seems a bit shocking not to have known all this – I do run and walk locally but on the same routes usually.
I am looking forward to exploring these new routes in different seasons in the new year and very much hope that our winter walks have started a new positive habit for 2015.