Movin’ on up

I had my first cup of proper filter coffee made for me by my daughter this morning; and enjoyed two sophisticated and very funny gags at each end of the day from my son.

Me and my girl went on fairground rides and shopped for and cooked chicken, mushrooms, spinach and cream linguine; even my food-fastidious boy agreed it was pretty good.


Yesterday I left work in good order: with plans, roles and actions in place. Now I have my feet up in our very own Georgian seaside cottage; with a fortnight in Italy ahead to look forward to. 

Albeit I’m getting older, life in many ways is getting easier. From today’s perspective, the second half of my middle years are looking better by the day…

Tree of Life

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Instead of ‘keeping plates spinning’, I’m coming to the conclusion that a better metaphor for my middle years, is a spreading oak, full of twittering birds.

Many feathered, they can’t be tethered; birds come and go and freely choose your branches. Some stay a while, some just pass through. Some coexist peacefully with the rest of the tree. Some scare others away. Some sing beautifully, others cheep incessantly. And quieter birds just appreciate the support and shade.

Right in the centre of my tree is the ramshackle but solid nest which is my little family: cheeping, pecking each other and squawking periodically for food. Sustenance delivered, this nest is the driving purpose of my whole tree.

Sadly my oak – like so many urban trees – suffers regular vandalism. A couple of people regularly urinate on it. Every now and then a f#ckwit carves “I am a f#ckwit” on it. Periodically someone tries to strip the bark and make my branches droop.

But my tree is home to a good many happy singing birds most days. From the smiling faces in the coffee shop, via the cheery waves from security and the cleaners to the rather more demanding nesting birds of the people who work for me. And of course the noisy but life-filled family nest, bursting with love, at each end of the day.

My tree of life ain’t a bad habitat. And seeing its many occupants cheeping, twittering, singing and flitting in and out is a happier picture than the pointless spinning of plates.

Keeping the vandals away, the ravens at bay, the roots deep and the branches strong, is all I need to do to enjoy life-filled and happy days. That, and a heart of English oak.

Dead Mum or Dinosaurs

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I was debating with a friend yesterday whether he should feel any more concerned by the beliefs and values of his dead mum as the behaviours of dinosaurs. Both belong to the past; we live in the present. And soon we’ll be down with the dinosaurs – extinct.

We were on the topic of ‘self limiting beliefs’ – ideas we carry around which help us ignore reality or choose not to tackle the big questions in life. And the big question we were discussing was: how much to save for old age and how much to spend in the middle years.

I’m persuading him (especially if he’s reading this) that save, save, save and worry, worry worry are to be finally and fully vanquished. (Paradoxical that, as I bow to no man in my capacity to worry about the future). But he’s just about ‘home free’ financially and just ain’t rational to keep on saving when your days are numbered.

Just because your folks were thrifty until their last breath, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Life is for living. We’ll all be dead before we want and it behoves us to get on and enjoy ourselves if we can afford to.

I’ve often worried much more about the years to come than the ones I’m living. So I’m with the dinosaurs, get munching those leaves and worry less about the meteor.