My friend, the Lovely Sue, tells me over lunch that her new mantra is to live each day with joy. I do SO agree with her.
I realise that some Clever Clogs types (I am thinking
of a particular Son in Law here) will be asking exactly who Joy is and how they can get her to come and live with them but I will choose to ignore them. Not for ever and a day, of course, just until they start taking joy seriously.
We had such an enjoyable lunch, Sue, Eleanor and I. We meet up about once a month and spend half an hour eating and drinking and two and a half hours chatting. Even for one such as I, who is (as you know) Always Thinking About My Stomach,
the proportions of dining and chatting are just about right. What the restaurant owners think about us commandeering a table for such a long period we do not know but the staff are unfailingly sweet to us and at least nobody could say we are any bother.
I never realised that retirement would turn me into one of the Ladies That Lunch. I remember being taken to the Savoy for afternoon tea once and watching the goings-on at all the surrounding tables where beautifully
turned-out women whiled away the hours. There were a few men, to be fair, but it was mostly women. Is there such a concept as Men Who Lunch? Or are they all down the pub instead or eating a solitary sandwich in the pleasurable surroundings of their garden
sheds? Please do let me know if you can cast any light on this social phenomenon.
Sue, Eleanor and I enjoy discussing social trends, analysing why and how our Lives and Times have changed over the years. Put
like that, it all sounds a bit high-faluting, as my Dad might say, huffily, but it's really not. It's part of the interest - even, might I say, the joy - of living to a Great Age, that you can look back through so many domestic changes, so many advancements
in technology, awareness and knowledge and wonder at it all.
After our lovely lunch, we split up to go our separate ways. We put a date in our diaries for a day in December but I had to warn my friends that
I might not make it, everything depending on the Arrival of the Twins. My whole life for the next five weeks - and more - revolves around this great event. Now there's joy for you.
I drive down to a flat on
the sea-front where I have promised to help my friend, the Honourable Secretary of the Bowling Club, to stuff envelopes with the papers for the forthcoming AGM. By the time I leave there, it's getting dark but when I arrive home I find that Mr B, who has taken
himself off to a dentist's appointment, has remembered to switch the outdoor lamp on before he went. It is such a welcoming sight and I silently thank him for his thoughtfulness.
While I am waiting for his
return I think about finding joy in the stuffing of envelopes. There was, of course, the welcome cup of coffee and a Brownie cake which preceded the Task in Hand. And how wonderful it was to hear about the Hon Sec's husband's 90th birthday with a lunch for
all 10 of his closest family at a local restaurant. Two half-deflated balloons still decorate the lounge, witness to the recent celebrations. Even the Stuffing of the Envelopes was, in the end, a job well done as well as a helping hand to a friend in need.
Yesterday's blog was a bit whiney, wasn't it, which is unusual for me. Where was the joy in my experience at the Order Desk in Marks and Spencer's? Well, I made a friend in the elderly gent in the mobility scooter. Even
if we never see each other again (and it is highly unlikely that we will, let's face it) we have shared an experience and given each other support. I also think, after yesterday's experience, that staff may well take my advice, freely given, that they invest
in another computer before the Christmas orders come a-rolling in or they will never, ever cope. Plus the flowers I ordered will arrive and bring joy to the recipient who won't know that I was going to order a different bouquet altogether. See what I mean?
It's easy when you put your mind to it.
Live each day with joy. You know it makes sense.