Whilst for the most part, there is precious little to love about this tenacious, mental little monkey on my back, the flip side of it are the days when I feel like this.
It’s a scorching hot day in ole London town, and everyone is out and about, desperate to grab a bit of vitamin A, and as many disfiguring white straplines on their boiling hot, red shoulders as they can.
And as I strolled over to the park come late afternoon (mad dogs and Englishmen etc. plus I’m old), I happened to pass a kids park, which has an enormous paddling pool, which was positively heaving with hordes of happy, splashing, squealing kids of all ages having the best fun.
And do you know what I thought?
No I didn’t I’m joking; that may well have popped into my head a day/week/month ago, but today is a very rare ‘high’ day when my monkey actually sleeps, and where I feel grateful, content and happy to the point of joyful for the simplest of things.
- A line full of brightly coloured washing drying in the sun
- A pain free body
- A fridge full of good, healthy things to eat
- A charity shop bargain
- Something fragrant and delicious bubbling away on the stove
- A fleeting whiff of jasmine as I pass someone’s garden
- The crush of cool, recently cut grass beneath my feet and between my toes as I write this post
And it’s not about this recent spate of sun. I can feel a similar kind of high in the shittiest of weather, and for things as random as cleaning my flat, bleaching teaspoons (might be the vapours?!), doing some random act of kindness or other, scraping ice of my car windscreen, feeding the birds on a snowy day, sitting on a wall waiting for a bus to come, or running around the common in the pouring rain.
In truth, there doesn’t seem to be an pattern or cycle or indeed, any kind of regularity to these good days, alas. They just pop up every now and then, and no, not when I need them the most. They aren’t that smart. They just randomly mimsy past when I least expect them, like a saffron robed Hare Krishna, who dances past when you’re out shopping, gives you a bit of paneer and a big fragrant cuddle then leave you topped up with love and light and able to see things in a much more positive way.
Take earlier this week.
I was really irate after having stayed in for two hours for a grocery delivery, only to find (after they’d gone of course), that, despite explicit instructions, they’d got it wrong.
Instead of leaving me a kilo of potatoes and a small nub of fresh ginger, they left me one potato the size of a plum, and enough ginger to stun a gorilla, the dipshits, so I had to go out to the shops after all, defeating the whole purpose of using them.
Even after ringing up the company and giving them a flea in their ear, being apologised to, and having the delivery cost refunded, I was still fuming and muttered away to myself for hours….
‘…for God’s sake, why do I bother? Why. Do. I. Bother? What a bunch of amateurs, what’s the point of having a comments sections if those numpties don’t even read it? And even then, where is their common sense? Who in God’s name would order one tiny potato?!! And what the hell am I supposed to do with all this fucking ginger? Clearly whoever packaged this stuff lives on frigging Iceland ready meals and wouldn’t know a fresh potato if one was stuffed up their arse, then again most kids don’t even know what a carrot is in this country, and would run screaming if confronted by a cauliflower, no wonder they have to go to constipation clinic every week, I don’t know, blah, blah, blah….’
Miserable cow, eh? 😉
Guess what happened to that big stash of ginger?
This morning it was peeled, chopped, boiled with lemon peel, then combined with sugar, lemon juice, honey and a cheeky little dram of rum, and is now reincarnated in the form of a little pot of syrupy dynamite, ready to use in puddings, cakes, chilled drinks, cocktails, fruit and whatever else takes my fancy, and will no doubt spread a little spice and sunshine on some of my less than joyful days.
So, what actually went through my mind when I passed those rug rats splashing around in that paddling pool was how their ability to find joy in what life brings them is something we should all try and emulate.
- Give a child a cardboard box and they’ll turn it into a ship, dolls house, castle and play for hours.
- Give them a tin tray and they’ll sled down a snowy bank.
- Show a kid some mud and they will stomp in it and, if no one’s looking, lob it at each other.
- Blow bubbles for an infant and they’ll be enraptured for a good hour.
And take your kids to a place where there is a bit of sun, twelve inches of dirty water and a load of other kids, and they will play joyfully for hours. And afterwards, all it takes to make their day perfect is a nice tea/supper, maybe an ice cream, a warm bubble bath and a cuddle with their mum/dad wrapped in a big fluffy towel whilst being read their bed time story.
Kids really do know how to get their happy on.
Which is why I’m lying on a rug in this crowded park surrounded by hoards of sun worshippers, pissed up teenagers and their kids, who are as we speak, shrieking, running, crying and fighting, completely disturbing an otherwise beautiful day.
Umpteen toddlers, footballs, tricycles and scooters fly past my rug by the minute, swiftly followed by the respective mother’s bawling reprimand (‘PRECIOUS! For God’s sake, be careful! WATCH THE LADY’S RUG!’) which is invariably more disturbing than nearly being hit by a ball in the first place.
Wafts of marijuana (oh, hello!) taint the smell of the lilac blossom to my right, someone is having a drunken domestic with their beloved, and if I dare to look up from my book, I can practically see up the minny of the bikinied beauty lying a foot further up the bank from me.
But the sun is kissing my skin, a breeze is cooling my back, a toothless little minx of a toddler has just bestowed me a goofy grin, and by some miracle all is well with this little nub of ginger’s world and I’m happy and contented in my rough old skin.
And as my bottle of water inevitably gets warm in the sun, I know that when I get home, a nice big glass of ginger/lemon/honey water will only be moments away.
And I’m celebrating the sweetness; while I can.