Thursday, February 22, 2018

Letter from home

It's half term, and our grandsons (11 and 13) came for the day on Tuesday. It was a great day. They made a marble run inspired by the Winter Olympics

complete with a ski jump

but the marbles were too quick (or I was too slow) to get a shot of one mid jump.

We also went to the rec and played football - yes, me included.

Other things that have happened this week:

My laptop went back to the shop with a fault, which is one reason I haven't blogged;

I became re-attached to a calming game on my iPad - Flow Free - which I find especially helpful as a way of regaining equanimity after reading the morning news;

I got out the suitcase full of papers that came from my mother's house ten years ago and which I have not yet sorted out. Amongst other ephemera, there were my father's school reports; some (uninspiring) letters my mother wrote to my father in 1934 when she was 17; a university newspaper from a few years later with a tiny report underlined on page 6, of a hockey match in which my father was mentioned; letters my children wrote to my mother when they were tiny; and an 1847 edition of the Daily News (London) which I will have to tell my sibs about. 

There was so much other stuff which I couldn't decide what to do with that I became discouraged, took out the childrens' letters, and stuffed everything else back in the case and shoved it back under the bed. It was a dispiriting exercise. Hey-ho - the things you will do on a rainy February day when your laptop is out of action and it's too early to get out the knitting and you're waiting for feedback from people who are reading the latest draft of your work in progress.

Yesterday I replaced the sad cyclamen on the doorstep with rosy pink primroses. And you know how disappointing my sweet peas have been in the last couple of years? I decided that this year I would go back to doing what I did years ago and sow my own. So rows of sawn-off megasized yoghurt cartons are now looking hideous on the windowsills. 

Yesterday I was bathed in sunshine when I received a very lovely email from a friend in NZ who I haven't seen for years and years, and who had just caught up on two months of my blog. This is what she said about it:

I think perhaps she was responding to my post that said we should appreciate people while they are still alive, and not wait until they're dead. It was a treat, a powerful shot of encouragement (also, nice to know that it's not just me and Chrissie who love Mr Earbrass.)

Lastly, I've been thinking about the pernicious effects of social media, which are blamed for the alarming rise in student suicides. 'It's not OK to have a bad day' said Hugh Brady, vice-chancellor of Bristol University. 

There is someone I have been following on social media who gets on my nerves with her persistent - nay, unrelenting - 'inspiring' posts of her wonderful days in beautiful places. I don't find it helpful. I would prefer to read about the ups and the downs because that keeps it real and makes the ups truly uplifting. 

At least you get plenty of downs with me.


Anonymous said...

Love the marble run! My son used to do something similar in the garden with some old guttering and the hose pipe.

I have a friend on social media who posts ALL of her downs, which can be just as depressing as another friend who portrays her life as too wonderful to be true. I suppose it's balance I'm looking for. And sarcasm. And cat pix.

Helen (who is currently logged into work account and doesn't want to post using that)

Anonymous said...

Dearest SB,
I agree. You are a national treasure. You are also one hell of an awesome gran. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

marmee said...

Oh yes lovely comments from your chum! But how I laughed at your: "At least you get plenty of downs with me"! Sooo funny!

Sue Hepworth said...

Wow! Three comments in one day! How nice.
Thanks, Helen, for your thoughts.
Thank you LRH - you make me blush. Xxx
And Marmee, I'm glad I made you laugh. It's one of my favourite things.

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