Contrasting Joys

The Water Road - A Complete ContrastYesterday was pretty manic. Up at 7:00, after staying up till after 2:00 watching Comic Relief, and well done to those guys, over £75m raised so far. Then driving to Bristol in rain that even Noah would have commented upon. Spray, floods, hold-ups for broken down vehicles, a real relief when I pulled up on Charlotte and Rob’s driveway.

It never ceases to amaze me, the contrast between the relative calm of the car, to the total hubbub of a house full of three energetic and boisterous young lads. There’s no such thing as peace and quiet, squeals of delight mix seamlessly with the bings, bongs, plinks and plonks of Sonic on the Wii, hectic doesn’t even cover it.

After a welcome cup of coffee, one example of pandemonium gets swapped for another as Charlotte and I go off to do some shopping at the biggest Sainsbury’s I have ever seen. Despite the cathedral-like cavernous interior of the store, there wasn’t a spare inch of room. Weaving around the assembled throng with the ever filling trolley, was reminiscent of the video game the boys were playing earlier.

Back home, and with everyone fed and watered, Rob and Jake went off to the football, while Charlotte, Zach, Oliver and I went over to Hannah’s. Lots more chatting, rugby on the telly and the two three year old cousins playing away, filled the house with life and yet more noise.

Then as the rain finally stops, my brother arrives with my Mom, having driven through similar weather, all the way from Sutton Coldfield. My Mom is surrounded by doting granddaughters and great grandsons, and it is clear that she is delighted to see them all again.

Before we get chance to see the dying knockings of the Wales v England rugby match, delivering some respite from the disappointment the score line was causing, it is time to head off for dinner at a local Beefeater. The rain has resumed and although there is a huge car park, we all get another dousing getting from the car to the restaurant.

The evening flies by, the food is good and the company better, but by 9:30 it is time to start thinking of wending our way home. In fact, Charlotte, Rob and the boys had bailed a little while earlier, the batteries of the younger members going flat before thy could make it to the sweet course. The drive home was dark, damp but uneventful.

What a contrast with today. Getting back last night, I was greeted by a parcel in the doorway, left by Ms Post Lady while I was out. It was the books about single handed boating that I had ordered earlier in the week. Although tempted, I had left opening the parcel till the morning.

I slept until after 10:00, but the lure of that parcel was enough to get me out of bed as soon as I woke. Not that I stayed out for long. Having unpacked and closely examined the contents, I made a large mug of coffee and dived back under the still warm duvet and started reading the largest of the books.

The Water Road by Paul Gogarty, is the account of his four month odyssey travelling around the maze of canals linking four of Britain’s greatest rivers, namely the Thames, Servern, Mersey and Trent. As you might expect from an acclaimed travel writer and former TV presenter, the narrative is beautifully descriptive and impossible to put down.

So, from the constant contact with the family yesterday, the conversation and physical contact, I have had the exact opposite today. I’ve spent the day all on my own, not even a phone call to break the isolation. The contrast is amazing, but I have to say that each has its joys. I love my family and spending time with them, but I am perfectly happy being alone. I guess it’s all a question of seeing the best of all situations.

A Love That Will Never Die

The Secret Piano - Alexis FfrenchA parcel arrived at work today, and in it was an amazing little gizmo, an Apple TV module. It allows me to stream my photos, videos and my music, wirelessly from my iPad or my PC straight to my TV and my home cinema system.

So I’ve spend a wonderful evening looking through my photo albums, whilst listening to Earl Klugh, Pink Floyd, Alison Moyet, Alexis Ffrench and many others in stunning surround sound.

It’s only when you really sit and listen to music you love, some that hasn’t been played for many years, that you realise what power it has to lift your spirits and gladden your heart. So whilst I dislike the marketing strategy of Apple, with their restrictive practices and all, I am delighted with my new acquisition, and I’m sure it will be worth its weight in gold.

A Day Of Reflection

Mirror MirrorBack on my own again, and time to think, to get everything in place and to take stock. Being alone isn’t all bad. It does give me the space for introspection and that is a very healthy thing. Having the peace and quiet to chant is also the perfect environment to put my thoughts in order.

A nice bike ride in the autumn sunshine and the brisk air also gets the grey matter working again. Working hard forces the blood to flow and the heart to pound, both a great way to make me feel alive. Burning the excess calories of the last few days gives a feeling of satisfaction and makes all the effort worthwhile.

So my mind is clear, my decision is made and all that remains is to deliver the verdict. That isn’t going to be the most fun, but I know it will bring a sense of closure. At least, only being half way through my week of relaxation, I still have time to get life back on the right track and settle back onto my path to self enlightenment.

%d bloggers like this: