Saturday, August 08, 2020


It's been a tricky week. I've been fed up. I've been wanting the old life back.  

A friend said 'Yes I'm OK, but I don't want to live like this.'

But we have no choice. Do we? We have to. 

I watched Out of Africa for the nth time a couple of weeks ago. When Karen's husband leaves home to fight in the war, she says: 'It's an odd feeling, farewell. There is such envy in it. Men go off to be tested, for courage. And if we're tested at all, it's for patience, for doing without, for how well we can endure loneliness.'

It made me think about the second world war, and how that generation coped with the hardships and privations and threat. It went on for years. They didn't know when it would end. Just as we don't know if the present world we find ourselves in will end, or whether this is how it's going to be from now on.

I've decided to read some eye witness accounts of life in the UK during the war and see if I can absorb some wisdom and stoicism and learn how to get on with it and stop moaning.

I've chucked in Anna Karenina anyway, 40 pages from the end. It feels like a failure, having waded through 700+ pages of it. But I need to be engrossed in a book, and there are so many other things to read, and things which might be helpful. Also, I could be dead next week. Why waste my last few days on a book I am not enjoying? And a kind friend who has read it twice offered to check those last 40 pages and tell me if I have missed anything important. Yes, yes, I'm a lightweight, but I have never pretended to be otherwise.

Yesterday afternoon Chrissie asked me on Facetime how I was, and without thinking, I said 'Blissed out.' After an up and down week, I'd had breakfast in the garden

and then set off early for a walk with Liz. We parked at Alport and walked along Lathkildale.

The video shows a place we stopped for twenty minutes to think, and to absorb the peace. I first came across this place when I was 15 and it was so special it stuck in my mind, until I saw it again 30 years later.

This is higher up the river, above Conksbury bridge.

And this is the view after we climbed up the hill and turned round to come back downstream.

You can probably appreciate why I was 'blissed out.'


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the bliss Sue. Your photos and video are a tonic and it’s also a privilege to be included in your walk in this way. Such beauty and peace. Breathing more easily already

Anonymous said...

Loving the poke in the eye to Tolstoy - quite ballsy to say ‘nah’ to his final 40 pages!

I too have been searching for an absorbing read. Just started the first of the Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard.
I’m hopeful.

Thea xx

Sue Hepworth said...

Hi Ana, I’m glad you enjoyed our walk!

Hi Thea, is it ballsy? Or is it me finally losing patience and thinking ‘Oh for goodness sakes, I’ve got better things to do with my time! These are difficult days! My friend thinks it’s one of the greatest novels ever written. Yes, there’s some good stuff in there, but there’s an awful lot of boring ruminating too. I hope you enjoy the CC. I have two friends who have.