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03 January 2013


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Belated New Year greetings. The rain continues but at least the festivities went ahead, if somewhat restricted. I didn't see any television over the holiday so thanks for the tip about John Wilson, I have loved his appearances on the Proms. I'll see if it is still available on iPlayer.

I hope we can catch up soon.

Happy New Year from Canada! As ever, I love reading about life in your village and round your hearth.

I, too, had a Christmas I will not soon forget and which, blessedly, was not my usual. I now type this with only my left hand as I spent the holidays having a fractured shoulder. In early Dec. I fell on a patch of ice on the beach while walking my elderly and profoundly neurotic wee dog. I will tell you now that, no matter the agony I felt, the anxious wee beast suffered more than I.

After waving my good arm and yelling for help for a bit I was rescued, as it happened, by a passing doctor who was also walking her dog with her young family. In between moaning and nearly fainting I said, "I'm so lucky that you're a doctor!" To which she replied, "Well, you're not that lucky. I'm a psychiatrist." Laugh number one.

And now, the reason I am sharing this all here. She pulled out her cell phone and called for an ambulance. I was trying to stay conscious and manage the soaring pain when I heard her on the phone saying: "I'm on the beach near Lee St with an eld..." then she saw the horrified and furious look that had replaced the look of agony and growing shock I had worn a moment before. She understood immediately that I knew she had been about to call me "elderly" and that I was going to take exception to that even if my arm fell off right there and then. "How old are you?" she asked innocently. "Sixty!", I said, "I'm sixty!" as though that ought to settle the "elderly" business once and for all.

It took me a while to find that funny but, after the morphine, I started to laugh at myself.

Happy New Year to all the old broads and their good dogs!

M - if you missed John Wilson et al on iPlayer, there are plenty of DVDs and CDs available.

Christina - belated greetings to you too and I'm so sorry to hear about the fractured shoulder, hope it will soon be mended.

And your wish - Happy New Year to all the old broads and their good dogs - well, let's all raise a glass to that, even though it is now mid-January!

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Thought for life

  • The House of Breath, William Goyen
    We are the carriers of lives and legends - who knows the unseen frescoes on the private walls of the skull?

Thinking about . . .

  • Daniel Klein, Travels with Epicurus
    I too listen to music more and more. Throughout my life, music has stirred me more than any other art form, and now, in old age, I find myself listening to it almost every evening, usually alone, for hours at a time.
  • Julia Blackburn, Thin Paths
    I began writing because I liked to write things down. I learnt foreign languages because they seemed to enter my head by a process of osmosis.
  • Joan Bakewell, Stop the Clocks
    I live contentedly alone. It's better that way and I am often thoughtful about what has been and what might have been. There are many like me.
  • Patti Smith, M Train
    Oh to be reborn within the pages of a book.
  • Patti Smith, M Train
    Why is it that we lose the things we love, and things cavalier cling to us and will be the measure of our worth after we’re gone?
  • Judith Kerr, Observer Magazine, 22 November 2015
    I don't believe in God. I find it much easier to believe in ancestors. I like to imagine they are pointing us in the right direction.

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