My friend Anne, who is in her nineties and as sharp as a tack, tells me that I have a “lively mind.”
you regular readers know, I always take anything somebody says about me as a compliment. Always Assume Positive Intent - that’s a pretty good motto in my opinion. Mr B would possibly disagree, commenting that it is on account of my lively mind that I
keep veering off at a tangent from whatever subject we are currently discussing. This is, he would point out, (i) extremely annoying and (ii) does nothing for his understanding of my argument / point of view. When it comes to Random Ramblings, my lively mind
drives him to distraction.
My lively mind also gets me into trouble in conversations with friends when something really important / interesting / loosely
on the subject pops into my head and I find myself interrupting them and consequently breaking their train of thought. This is a very bad habit which I can only excuse by blaming my lively mind which knows it will forget what it wanted to say unless I blurt
it out. Immediately. It is fortunate that I have any number of Forgiving Friends.
There are, however, significant advantages to a lively mind especially for a
full-time unpaid carer whose main role in life is to keep another person happy. Especially when that person is Mr B who loves All Things Sporting and TV programmes - including a good many about cooking meals which we will almost certainly never get round to
cooking. It might be a decidedly boring existence were it not for my lively mind.
Let’s start with the sport. As I tell the fellow members of the Sporting
Memories club which we have taken to attending every Thursday morning, I am the least sporty of people. Nevertheless, over fifty-three years of marriage I have absorbed, merely from living with Mr B, an amazing amount of sporting information. It’s called
osmosis, I understand, and requires no energy at all from the person acquiring the knowledge, which is probably just as well as, my mind may be lively but my body is often less so. It means, however, that I can generally enter into the group’s conversation
without appearing a complete nitwit. Nobody would complain, I dare say, if, like other carers who bring their charges, I sat quietly in a corner consulting my phone while Mr B was enjoying the chat - but what an opportunity for my lively mind to find a way
of contributing. And guess what? the sessions are so much more enjoyable than I ever thought they would be. And the biscuits cooked by the Really Rather Wonderful Rhona are, well, legendary - so there’s food for the body as well as for the mind.
Faris the Rascal certainly has a lively mind though, as he informed me on his last visit, when he returned to school after the long summer holiday he did have to cope with
what he called his “rusty brain.” How I love that boy! I can imagine him explaining the situation to his teacher - who seems to have decided that the best way to oil rusty brains is to set maths homework for the pupils of Flamingo Class. Look lively,
Just as I am congratulating myself on my own lively mind and the fact that my brain isn’t too rusty, all things considered, I find myself
with Mr B watching a TV programme called Money for Nothing. In this programme, other people’s rubbish is whisked from a local recycling site (with official permission, as the voice-over fella keeps reminding us) and turned into amazingly ingenious items
of furniture or fashion which then sell for quite outstanding amounts of money. On this afternoon’s programme, for example, one clever chap turned an old garden trampoline into a kind of fancy lounger, while yesterday and equally clever recycler extraordinaire
took some old deckchairs and made them into cool bags. Which were, indeed, cool by name and cool by nature. I am All Admiration. I can’t imagine myself looking at an old sewing machine and saying: “Coffee table!”
When it comes to lively minds, well, I have to admit it - I am most definitely an also ran...