It’s been over 5 years since I sat down in a restaurant….. That’s as rare as a start to the morning like the photograph above. That’s as rare as my football team winning something. Oh hang on the last time that happened was 1969. So hopefully not that rare….😂😂😂
A bit like my so called football team and silverware, the next restaurant trip is not looking particularly imminent. Hawklad isn’t keen. I can’t think of the last time I went with my family to eat out. Maybe a couple of picnics or a garden bbq before the world changed. It’s well over a decade since I went for a meal with a friend. The height of culinary excellence with friends has been limited to the very occasional grabbing a bag of crisps on the way to see my team get beat again. And the other side of the family is understandably very much more distant now.
But here’s the thing. I’m not missing the food. I’m much happier with a bag of chips , sat on a sea wall and fighting off the mad seagulls. I’m not in a mad rush to expand my social circle again. Do you know what I miss about restaurants. That feeling of being grown up every so often. Having to smarten myself up, even combing my hair…. To sit properly. To feel like I’m doing stuff that other people are doing.
That probably makes no sense at all and anyway it’s not happening anytime soon.
Colour has arrived to Yorkshire. Always great to see, it’s such a lift. Sadly it won’t last long and it will be gone for another year. It’s a reminder to me that time is precious. Got to make the most of it. Grab those moments. Live and not just survive.
Yes there will be darker, colder months. Those times will be more manageable if the gaze is in the moment or looking forward, rather than focused on what has been.
It’s early Sunday morning here in Yorkshire. My thoughts are drifting to another country. A little bit of heaven on earth. To one of the most stunning places on the planet. To Switzerland.
Switzerland is a country that has been close to our family for such a long time now. Many family holidays. At least 4 generations. It’s over 5 years since our last visit. One day we will hopefully return, currently it would just be Hawklad and I. A lot of life has happened over those 5 years.
Why did so many family members spend so many holidays here over the years. This is why.
Loss is different for everyone, whatever the reason behind the life story. Each loss is unique.
It’s now approaching 5 years for me. The journey continues. Things change. Sometimes suddenly, other times gradually.
One of the biggest changes over that time has been with my attitude towards memories. When 2016 hit I truly realised their importance. Time can be short so it’s important that you create as many memories as you can. But here’s the thing, my mindset was that was for me there would be no new personal memories. Yes there would be new ones but they would be about Hawklad, not stuff I had done. For me that was it….
That’s changed now.
Time is still a limited resource and memories are still important. But it can’t be just about looking back. It is definitely OK to create new memories. That shows that life is not just about survival. It’s about LIVING, even after loss. So yes I want to create new memories. AND there is no reason that the NEW ones can’t be just as good or even better than the old ones.
You just never know. All you can do. All I can do is give LIFE a CHANCE.
In years gone by if I needed to think. Be with my thoughts. I would go for a run. Maybe go climbing. Those things worked best for me. But then parenting and then single parenting curtailed the climbing option. It was then running. Fell running to collect and process my thoughts. Often I would start a run then become lost in my thoughts. Only the alarm on my watch would bring me back to reality. I would be miles into the hills and it would be a mad sprint to get back home for the return of the school bus.
Then the pandemic happened. We went into our family lockdown. So far 16 months of a lockdown. I lost running. But I didn’t lose my need to think. So I discovered the joys of leaning against our back garden fence. Thinking while looking over the fields and scanning the distant horizon from a little hill top home.
So this morning I was leaning on the fence. Thinking. Looking at a distant beautiful tree. Dreaming.
But then I was joined. Someone decided to invade my space and block my view.
I’m can’t really see the tree now. I’m having to stroke and feed this one. I’m telling this cow my dreams. She seems udderly fascinated. Or maybe she’s herd then all before. Definitely deja moo…
It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to glorious Switzerland. A country which means the world to our little family. My partners family have had strong connections with the country since before the Second World War. It started with a young chap being sent to The Alps to recover from a serious chest illness. It continued with members of the Quaker family working with injured serviceman charities . Then my partners mum and dad holidaying here every year while staying with close friends. Then my partner would go there on family holidays. I was then introduced to the wonders of Switzerland and finally Hawklad was.
Life moves on. That connection with Switzerland now rests just with me and Hawklad. A connection that we both are keen to treasure and keep going.
Time marching on sometimes takes my breath away. The helpful iPad flashes up a message each day telling me what happened this week in years gone by.
Today it informed me that in this week Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield was released. Released in 1973……
1973 for pity sake. I can vaguely remember my older brother playing this on his hifi. Has it been out that long….. But here’s the thing. I like listening to the music but I’ve never owned it. Always had to listen to it on the radio or when others have played it.
Maybe when our own personal lockdown eases I will venture out into the second hand stores. The charity shops to see if I can find an original copy. Own it for the first time. That would be nice. Would feel kind of right.
In life some things seem just right. Very occasionally perfect. Those things give me direction. Give me hope. They always make me smile.
What’s the definition of a mad dog. Definitely one that has worked out how to climb onto the kitchen work tops, pinches a box of tea bags and then sprints around the garden scattering tea everywhere. Definitely top canine entertainment for the mad one.
After that mad 10 minutes then there could only be one record I played as I sat down to do some work. Yes a bit one music perfection in the form of one of Yorkshire’s finest. Joe Cocker is sadly missed.
This is one if my oldest records. I accidentally pinched it from one of my older siblings. They never noticed all those years ago, so I’m probably safe now. My kind sibling bought it in 1970. I kind of acquired it around 10 years later….
They don’t make them like this anymore. Gatefold with full size poster.
Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun…..
Well we have a mad dog. We have an Englishman. Still waiting for the sun sadly……