Archive for June 2012

Life   Leave a comment

Yesterday:  home from an epic week at work, completely exhausted and miserable.  Coffee, adrenaline and sheer bad temper kept me going for 13-14 hour days.  Hated life, job and everyone.  Crawled into bed feeling completely sorry for self. Nobody understood me. Nobody appreciated me. Nobody realised how wonderful I was. Nobody loved me.  A little ball of hatred and misery.

Today: Took the day off,  woke late, ate breakfast in bed. Sunshine outside – face up, eyes closed and warmed by the sun. Drank a latte slowly. Had leisurely meandering conversation with a loved one.  Watched people’s faces and listened to their  conversations. Good news from friends. One got a job with a major business, the other who has suffered much in their life, was made a director in their firm.  Found a book I really liked. A stranger was extraordinarily kind to me.  Saw a lovely movie. Ate delicious food in the balmy evening.

Laughed at my yesterday self. Now going to bed beaming, partially due to the large glass of Sauvignon with dinner, but mostly due to the good things in life. (and perspective)

Life is like that.


Lonesome George – RIP   Leave a comment

Not a huge fan of blogs about animal pictures but just this once….

He is just so old (and wise looking!)

From Aesop’s Fables:

The Hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals. “I have never yet been beaten,” said he, “when I put forth my full speed. I challenge any one here to race with me.”

The Tortoise said quietly, “I accept your challenge.”

“That is a good joke,” said the Hare; “I could dance round you all the way.”

“Keep your boasting till you’ve beaten,” answered the Tortoise. “Shall we race?”

So a course was fixed and a start was made. The Hare darted almost out of sight at once, but soon stopped and, to show his contempt for the Tortoise, lay down to have a nap. The Tortoise plodded on and plodded on, and when the Hare awoke from his nap, he saw the Tortoise just near the winning-post and could not run up in time to save the race. Then said the Tortoise:

“Plodding wins the race.”

Little old lady 2   Leave a comment

  At the swimming pool today there was a little old lady. Very respectable looking. Very neat. Buttoned up cardigan.  Skirt past her knees.  Vaguely Spanish or Italian, or at least carrying that aura. She was there with her grandchildren. Sitting at the side of a West London council pool, very primly watching over them. Over her shoes were blue plastic shoe covers for hygiene. But what was truly beautiful was that she was wearing shoes with tassels and had deliberately pulled out the tassels from the covers and neatly arranged them fanned out on top of the blue plastic. I hope I am like that when I get old.

Midsummer silence   Leave a comment

(I lie. It is 23rd June, St John’s Eve,  but this is the ‘real’ midsummer, the truly magical time.)

Just outside London, a steep hillside covered in big field daisies, meadows filled with full-headed field grasses.  In the corners of the field, elder trees just about ready to bring forth their fruit, and blackberry bushes in full bloom with pink-tinted flowers.  Both a hint of berries to come when we move into autumn.

Purple and white clover delicately fragranced. (When we were children we pulled out a single strand from the bloom and sucked the base because our  parents thought it was amusing to tell us this was how bees got honey.)

Wild woodbine (honeysuckle), old-fashioned roses with a fragrance that evokes memories of childhood. Oak leaves (because it is a magical time of the year.) And ferns, massive, jungle-like, primitive, in woodland with sunlight flashing through tall trees.

A tiny woodlouse strolls across the path. The only sound is the wind whispering through the grass. I have a micro-moment of realisation of existence.




Work – corporate stylie   Leave a comment

Well-known train station coffee shop at 12.20 pm, Friday:

Counter assistant girl: Are you on your way home now?

Me: No, but nearly there because its Friday.

Girl: Yay! It’s Friday.

Me: Are you off tomorrow?

Girl: Yes

Me: Isn’t Friday great? Are you nearly finished now?

Girl: Not until 9 p.m.

Me: Oh, that’s long. What time did you start?

Girl: 6 a.m.

Me: Wow! Your feet must be killing you. Do you have a long break though?

Girl (and other counter assistant) laugh: No,  it is only us today.

Me: Suitable shocked face.

Girl: And I got up at 3 a.m. this morning because of the bus strike. I am always so tired on Friday but even worse today. Normally I just go home and stand in the shower for a while and then sleep. Then I wake up and I don’t know where I am and I am in pain all day Saturday.

(Neither was British. Wonder how Ed Miliband’s Mandy, Gary, Barry and Holly will cope with this?)

Posted June 23, 2012 by mshambainlondon in Curious incidents, Work

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Luxury in middle age   Leave a comment

Friday night. Nine p.m. and already in bed. Bed all to myself. New clean sheets. Cup of caffeine-free tea. (And a glass of wine to balance that out.) Biscuits. Radio 4 in the background. Good book for later. Paradise! I would not be young again for a million pounds right now.

Windy day   Leave a comment

At the weekend I walked across North London to Highgate passing through estates of affluence. For some reason I can cope well with places like Richmond to which I mentally attach redeeming features like scruffy dogs and mad old people. But when it comes to North London I can’t seem to find that internal charity.  I also got lost during my  walk, so a large part of my time ‘up north’ was spent wandering around the faux olde worlde houses, muttering names of streets, turning maps upside down and peering down unfamiliar lanes.  This may have added some grist to my mill.

However after various findings and losings of path, I found myself sitting under a tree near a cafe (with some of the most expensive coffee in London) watching a very windy day blowing up a storm in the park. Overhead the metal cafe sign creaked on its hinges. The trees were dancing. No, more than dancing, they were threashing in the wind. Only their deep roots kept them in one place. It was like watching dancers chained to the ground, desperate to move. Or how a wild symphony might look in your imagination. The grass rippled in a frenzy underneath the trees.

Humans were infected too.  Hair was blowing in all directions. There was a wildness in the air that caused children and dogs to skitter around the park with the wind up their backsides. Parents became infected with their children’s skittishness and the fear of their being hit by a falling branch or something from a building, and called them back to safety.

I bravely held onto my paper coffee cup and used it to stop my useless maps from blowing away. It was completely exhilarating. I wanted it all to end in a crash of thunder and a flash of lightning followed by a huge downpour. I felt that only this would do proper justice to such a big introduction.  But like many things in life, it didn’t.  A few drops of threatening rain, a bit more blowing and that was it. But the wind tearing through the trees is still creating beautiful re-runs in my mind.