Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

Did I switch the light off?

October 4, 2010

Light in the gathering gloom

Did I switch it off?

Did I switch off the light? Turn off the TV ? Turn off the tap?
I know I have a problem when I keep going back to a room to make these checks. Yes, I go back feeling pretty sure I did the right actions. It isn’t just the cost and waste of fuel and water, but just as important are the safety issues. Am I going bonkers is what I ask myself, or have I a hidden anxiety that manifests itself in repetitive actions? Fears of senility?
Well, I don’t think I have dementia. I know the questions asked of dementia patients and I can answer them all. Apart from which, having lived with dementia (my mother suffered from the worst kind and her life was a living hell) I know the signs.
Is it stress? I have to admit, I have been working on the computer doing actions that require more knowledge than I possess. Not having been brought up with computers I don’t understand the language and I tend to work trial and error style. I get shown how to do things but I soon forget again. I have to go over and over to make things sink in.
I recall doing psychology during teacher training and one model was that we build on an already acquired concept. Growth comes with building on that solid foundation. Trouble is, as far as new technology is concerned foundations can change. Even some of the web sites change and grow and I can’t keep up. Or different sites have slightly (or totally) different ways of doing things. AND they will use pale text, sometimes quite small too, for important actions. I get tied in knots.
Governments want everybody to be on the Internet. Impossible. Not just because it does not adequately reach some areas, but many older people do not have the skills and computers are no-go areas. Maybe they do show ancients grinning because of their achievements at getting on line but they are a mere few. Fears of losing money is enough not to get an on-line bank account. Deafness (and foreign and regional accents) are enough to make oldies shudder and cling to their local bank, even if they have to travel to get there. The hole in the wall for doing business may be simple to most, but to some elderly it could well be a hole to lose money in.
So the computer has become important in my life for I am the one in our long partnership to use it. Not just for business and information, but for my writing and books. It has opened up the world to me. And found me new friendships at a time when friends have become thin on the ground. But I admit to getting frustrated and feel like putting the mobile toilet roll holder (it is heavy metal) through the screen. I yell with frustration as my son comes into the house HEEEEEEEEEEEEELP! Poor lad!

So that’s one thing that could be making me anxious. I guess there are a number of things though that I can do nothing about. Things I would so much like to help with, but have not the money, the talents, the time or the health to oblige.
It is then I start to look back on my life and wonder if I should have done things differently. Have I wasted my talents? Taken a wrong turning? (That is a constant thought over certain matters that were costly at the time and just as much so in retirement.) But looking back is useless. As the sands run speedily through the hourglass, I am keen to make the most of the present, while being aware of what I leave behind. No, I have no desire to go off on cruises or fly to foreign lands. Maybe I just want to be successful in my own efforts, not be a burden on others and to have the satisfaction of a job well done.
Now then, did I turn that tap off?

What a laugh! A lady koala reading my book (NO she is NOT Edna Everage)

June 8, 2010
koala reads Red Boxes

Australian Lady, Janny Inkletter, reads Red Boxes — delighted!

And what does charming Mrs Janny Inkletter say about it? (No, this beautiful lady is not related to Edna Savage. She is the wife of that extraordinary ruler of Phools Paradise — Payton L Inkletter, writer and philosopher, king of wit)

RED BOXES: Easy yet moving to read real stories, innocent yet powerful memories of growing up and living in England through 1939-80
I had been anticipating reading this account of Gladys Hobson’s life, for not the least reason that she hails from England, my birthplace.
I was raised on stories of the British Depression era, War time, and post War era till the early sixties, told me by my parents. We emigrated to Australia in 1964 when I was barely 7 years of age, and I was always fascinated by the experiences my parents shared with me and my younger brother.
‘When Phones Were Immobile and Lived in RED BOXES’ was very easy to read, it made me laugh, it made me cry, it made think of my deceased mother very much, who I’ve missed greatly these past twenty one years. A lot of Ms Hobson’s experiences were very much like my mother’s, and I was especially struck by accounts of the fashion industry, because my mother’s work, before she married my father, was in the retail side of fashion. Despite war time rationing being over, it was a struggle for her to find the materials for her wedding outfit; however, one of the tailors that Mum used to deal with hand made her a beautiful tweed suit and lace blouse as her wedding present – it was a worth a small fortune. This made Ms Hobson’s account of her early career in the industry resonate with me rather nostalgically.
Thinking of the times when Ms Hobson was carving out her vocation in the fashion world, she would have needed to be quite a courageous woman; she, it should be noted, was raising her new family as well.
Even though poverty was a constant in the early part of her life, Ms Hobson’s tenacious spirit saw her overcome the struggles that a lot of her fellow countrymen shared with her.
I would warmly recommend this book to anyone wanting to have an insight into this era in Britain, and the making of our current senior generation. There is a lot to admire about how they came through the challenges of their times; things that younger people today would not understand, and maybe not cope with should – let’s hope not – such hard times return.
Janny Inkletter

Thank you, Janny for that thoughtful review.
The (enlarged) Second Edition of When Phones Were Immobile and Lived in Red Boxes — 1939 — 1980 (£7.50) can be ordered from any good bookshop, Amazon etc or directly (post free in the UK) from Magpies Nest Publishing.
(Please note, The smaller first edition is out of print and cannot be ordered from the publisher, but second hand books are sometimes available on Amazon)

Rainbow Magic

October 30, 2008


Rainbow magic lighting the gloom

Rainbow magic lighting the gloom

You have to look closely to spot the rainbow here. But like many things in life we easily see the gloom, sometimes preferring to see the dark side of life at any given moment, rather than accept the small pleasures that often come free. I know I like an occasional good moan. When I saw this rainbow almost over our house I could have wept for joy at its beauty! Here we have the contrasts of sun and shadow. Heavy rain has fallen for most of the summer. How much glorious then is a glimpse of what happens when rain and sun meet in brilliant spendour of colour! 

There is a lot of gloom in the world over the financial situation. Most of it has come about through chasing and grasping at rainbows of happiness. Living beyond one’s means was frowned on when we were young. To get a bank loan was a serious business and only those who could show their ability to pay it back would be given one. We worked and saved. Mortgages were not easy to come by and only one of a couple’s income would be taken into the equation. This was a good thing. It kept house prices affordable. As soon as both incomes were taken into account, so house prices shot up. Then loan companies vied with each other to give even greater inducements with 100% loans and more! Loans were given to people who could hardly afford the payments. House prices continued to rise. So did the divorce rate. Stress and worry. Credit cards handed out like confetti. Spenders taking little account that they would be paying back with interest – if indeed they could afford to make the payments. The lure of foreign holidays to relieve the pressure, eating out and swallowing one’s worries down with alcohol, all add up to the present situation.

Many people hardly realise that clothes, and what once were regarded as luxury goods, are cheaper than they have ever been. But it is only because men, women and children, sweat many hours for little pay. Much money is made by companies from their sweated labour.

We in the West are so selfish, worrying about our possessions when millions are dying all over world through starvation, dreaded diseases and in futile conflicts within countries where mineral wealth is paramount and human lives are of little regard. Who rules the nations? It seems to me those with the power of wealth. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

So what if we have to buy cheaper brands of essential goods? So what if we have to go without a planned holiday, so what if the have to cook meals ourselves and eat up leftovers? And employ many other money saving strategies? Believe it or not it can actually be fun! A new lifestyle of discovery and self-realisation of what we can actually do and achieve and be happy with simple living. 

Rainbows do not last for long but how they can brighten our lives. They are not gold or jewels. You can’t possess them. That is their beauty in this throw-away society. And yet, they can change our whole perspective on life. There is no pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, the joy is in beholding what is already there.