Monday, September 29, 2014

Downward Dog















I was pleased to find out that the yoga class was in the other church hall – not the hall of the church I have stopped going to. (I really just wanted to sing ‘How Great Thou Art’ once a week and try and put myself into a spiritual zone. I didn’t want to join the 5 a side team or go on long walks in the country.)

It had been a squeeze when the class was held in the local gym – the clank of the free weights and the sound of MTV had rattled my karma.

I was pleased to see more men at the new class. I was even more pleased to see that they were older than me and that the teacher had to give them special attention and kind words of encouragement.

I usually get near the front of the class, so that I don’t have to peer out past somebody’s rear-end to see what the teacher is demonstrating.  The ‘Downward Dog’ position is then useful – as I can look back through my legs to see the older guys struggling. This heartens me. 

I’m not proud of this.

I was the same during my finals at university. I went into a ‘History of Ideas’ paper with little preparation – but when the young man beside me burst into tears half-way through the allotted time I found myself perversely inspired. Using the few quotes I could recall from ‘Freud Made Simple’, I was able to spin out my thoughts onto several supplementary sheets.

The yoga teacher is a better person. With an expression that showed genuine concern, she uttered words that caressed the strugglers and put me to shame: 

‘Just do what you can. Remember – every snowflake is different.’

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Whisky and Savlon





















I live in a very quiet village – officially a ‘dormitory village.’ Most of the houses were built just after the railway station. Only the station platform survives. There are many old people.

There are downsides to living among so many elderly people – they speed-dial the GP surgery as soon as the switchboard opens and pinch all the appointments.  

There are upsides as well – the seniors smile at my children and say sweet things. They also drop their shopping lists around the village – mainly in the woefully understocked and farcically overstaffed local Tesco. My favourite recent find is above. It is written on a page taken from a reusable diary from the last century. 

Milk – essential for tea and coffee which have already been bulk bought for fear of running out. My parents still manage to have at least 2 jars of ‘Mellow Birds’ coffee in their cupboard at all times.

Brown Bread – unlikely to be the very earthy stuff coated in bark-like matter, but a nod towards the need to stay ‘regular’.

2 Tins Oranges – more roughage. Also has the potential to be fashioned into something approaching a ‘dessert’. Peeling fresh oranges must just seem an unnecessary fuss when you reach a certain age.

1 small tin ham – not expecting any company and not fond of leftover ham stored in the fridge.

Tissues – for use while sniffling in the GP waiting area (see above). Can be blown into like a little bugle of triumph while listening to younger villagers being told that all the day’s appointments have gone.

‘Iron Bru’ – he got the ‘Bru’ bit right, but we all know that it’s ‘Irn Bru’. Curious choice for an elderly chap. Perhaps it’s a mixer for….

Bottle Whisky – why not? If I reach the lifestyle signified by this list, I’ll have strong spirits too – probably listed above ‘Milk’.

Savlon Cream – hot on the heels of ‘Whisky’ - I wonder if an allergic reaction is expected….