Friday, September 24, 2021

Reasons to be cheerful

 I have to admit that I was feeling fairly gloomy this morning.

1/ the state of the country: nuff said.

2/ worrying about whether I will have enough petrol to get up to Wensleydale next week when my two sisters and I are having a holiday together that was cancelled last year because of you-know-what.  (Dave kindly went down to Bakewell at 7 a.m. and filled up the car but reported that several pumps were empty already.)

3/ whittling about when the USA administration will make a definite announcement as to the date we can travel there and whether they will accept those vaccinated with Astrazeneca. It's so tantalising when they say 'early November.' Why don't they give a date?  I want to get my ticket booked this minute to go and see Isaac and Wendy and the girls.

But after my early doctor's appointment in Bakewell I cycled past the Co-op and spotted our lovely Big Issue seller Sofia - whom I haven't seen for 18 months. It was so wonderful to see her that it really cheered me up.

Then I cycled home up the Trail, littered with drying leaves, and bounded by firey rosebay willow herb 

and was thankful for the changing season. It's deeply reassuring that the world continues in its seasonal cycles. 'The sun rises in spite of everything.'

When I got home our boxes of cox apples arrived. There is no apple that compares with a new season cox. I once embarrassed a greengrocer by saying that biting into my first cox of the autumn was almost orgasmic.

And now I am considering the irony of my whittling about leisure travel, when Sofia will be worrying about paying for heating this coming winter, and the swingeing cut to the benefit she's probably claiming.

This poem never fails to comfort me:

Everything is Going to be All Right

How should I not be glad to contemplate
the clouds clearing beyond the dormer window
and a high tide reflected on the ceiling?
There will be dying, there will be dying,
but there is no need to go into that.
The poems flow from the hand unbidden
and the hidden source is the watchful heart.
The sun rises in spite of everything
and the far cities are beautiful and bright.
I lie here in a riot of sunlight
watching the day break and the clouds flying.
Everything is going to be all right.

Derek Mahon

from New Collected Poems (2011), published here by kind permission of The Gallery Press


  1. Anonymous9:12 pm

    I wrote you a reply to your last post a couple of days ago and it disappeared - not sure why - maybe I didn't post it in the end? Anyway: Hello - your blog is a reason to be cheerful. Well it invariably cheers me up anyway. Not to mention inspirational - cycling to Bakewell no wonder you are sometimes tired. I’m afraid I’m finding cheer in Bake-off and Strictly on TV , do you watch? ( although in both cases better watched recorded so we can skip bits that get tedious). Definitely want to try making milt loaf. I’m in the process of picking our apples, I’m not sure if they will keep - probably need to separate them like yours are. Frantically making and freezing apple sauce. Hurrah for the joys of Autumn. Love Jenetta

  2. Anonymous8:21 am

    Oh dear I meant malt loaf Jenetta

  3. Hi Jenetta
    It's always great to hear from you. I didn't get another comment from you so I don't know what happened to it.
    Cycling to Bakewell is easy - it's cycling up the hill behind our house which is the killer - and in most other directions too because of the hills.
    Our plums have finally finished now after three weeks or more. I picked the last of them yesterday. xx