Letting go . . .

Recently, a pyrex half-pint jug that once belonged to my Grandmother broke. We had used it almost every day for decades and perhaps it was just worn out. I liked it because it had imperial measurements, which I work in for cooking and baking. Nothing lasts forever and I was fond of it because it was a connection back to my Nan.

Pyrex jug

Early the next morning, I woke up with these words in my head. I wrote them down and went back to sleep:

Glass breaks
Cause heartaches.
The chain
Of molecules
That rules
Our links
With people
From our past
Is broken.
And it’s so hard
To let go.

I’m learning to let go.

Posted in a musing.

My life’s essentials 10: breakfast

My life's essentials 10: breakfast

I’ve noticed that food figures a lot in my life’s essentials.

It is, after all, essential to life for us and I think it figures so highly because I’ve had to look at my diet closely because of my Crohn’s disease and also to prevent middle-age spread.

My aim is to achieve a balance of eating healthily while enjoying meals and having the occasional treat.

Take breakfast as an example: I couldn’t get through the day without it and as I eat it after my morning walk, I am usually very hungry.

In the week when I’m working, breakfast is a serving of natural yogurt followed by porridge. It took me a while to develop a taste for porridge, but now I eat it all year round in preference to manufactured cereals. I really enjoy it and know it gives me fuel to get through the day.

On a Sunday it’s time for a treat and that’s when we usually have a cooked breakfast. Our table is laid with cups and saucers, sugar bowl, milk jug and cafetiere. The toast rack makes an appearance along with the butter dish and knife, and the jars of marmalade and homemade jam line up as if on parade, jam spoons at the ready.

Whereas porridge is eaten on the go, our eggs and bacon, chipolata, black pudding, mushrooms, tomato and hash browns, or occasionally fried bread, are savoured leisurely with accompanying music. (Allegro’s Miserere performed by the Sixteen was a favourite of one our spaniels.) This creates the perfect balance to working days.


Posted in Crohn's disease, food & drink, my life's essentials.

My life’s essentials 9: treasure

My life's essentials 9: treasure

What do I need? Not a lot.

What have I got? Too much.

This morning, when our dog took me out for exercise, we played with a newish tennis ball. I’d throw it for him to catch and bring back.

Then he found a bald, broken tennis ball, which didn’t bounce.

He was so happy.

I put the newer tennis ball in my pocket and we played with the old one, which gradually fell apart and became half a tennis ball.

This treasure meant more to us than anything else.

I don’t buy much any more. We rarely buy presents for each other. What’s the point if things just clutter up our home more when we’re trying to cut down on the clutter?

A walk on the beach watching the sun sparkling on the tops of the waves: that’s a gift that fills us with wonder.

Finding half a tennis ball in the sand or a shred of chewed rubber ball that we can all play with and roll down the dunes: that’s real treasure.

Posted in my life's essentials.

It was just a car


I used to drive a 4×4 leased through my business: great fun.

But then I thought about the cost – not just to my pocket, as I got 23-25 mpg performance on the motorway, but to the environment.

For tax reasons I leased cars through my business, but gradually felt it was unjustifiable environmentally to change car every three years.

So in 2004 when I had to give back the 4×4 or buy it, I decided on outright purchase of a more environmentally friendly car which I would keep for as long as I could. Yes, I chose a diesel, which more than halved fuel consumption and so thought would be better for the environment – well, that was what we were being encouraged to do. Hm.

It’s a shame because my Mitsubishi Spacestar has been a trooper for almost 12 years, but now has gone: living by the sea has taken a toll on it.

It was not the most stylish design, but it was a trooper, still delivering 50 mpg on recent trips up country. It carried Mrs Z, our dogs and me all over the place, not complaining or ever breaking down as I delighted in exploring narrow, hilly lanes.

It was dependable when I had to visit relatives in hospital, help with house moves, put the seats down and fill the back up with almost everything.

12 years is the longest I have owned any one car and I hope its replacement lasts as long.

From being concerned about how long it would keep going, I started to feel a little sorry as I drove it away for the last time.

Didn’t I used to say that a car was just a metal box on four wheels that carried me from A to B?

Posted in a musing.

Not virtual: raw reality

I remember walking to primary school on winter mornings . . . in short trousers. How did my knees not lock up in the cold?

I think of all the times I waited for a bus, tube or train on a cold, dark, miserable evening when commuting home from various jobs in London.

Oh, to get in the dry and warmth of school, work or home.

And yet now I like nothing better than to go for a walk in a storm, face blasted by icy wind and rain.

Perhaps it is because it reminds me that I am alive.

When so much time is spent at a keyboard, looking at a computer monitor or phone and reading about or watching others’ experiences, it is important to remember to go out and experience life for ourselves, first hand.

In recent years, a number of elderly people I’ve known who were very active in their younger days have passed away. One of them, Pete and his dog Chalky, could no longer climb a hill, even though he had, I believe, sailed to the Continent when younger.

Lately, the storms have made me realise that I must enjoy them while I can, must climb hills while I can, must do these because they are what I want to do and that at some point my body may not be so willing or able to do what I want it to do.

I’m glad that I don’t have to wear short trousers in winter or to stand waiting for bus, tube or train, but I am glad to be able get out there in the real world, whenever I can, whatever the weather.

Posted in a musing.
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