Every time I run/walk I wonder whether to bother to write this blog anymore.
I go through a whole paranoid journey of not being wanted, being boring, being too old for this malarky. I run through why I should or shouldn’t blog, and everything that goes with blogging. Like wearing mini skirts when you 80.
And then I get an idea and I think
‘Oh! I’ll write that…’ because my lovely bloggers will be interested, and then I think
‘My lovely bloggers don’t exist anymore, because I have been so lax in writing regularly.’
And then I excuse myself because there are things I can’t write about, don’t know how to write about – and then I think if I write about my absent, commenting bloggers all my lovely bloggers will think I’m fishing for a reaction. Dying for comments. which in a way I am.
So, whether you are there or not, whether you care or not, whether I’m being read or not, whether I should just shut up, I’m writing this in the hope that just one little person will enjoy it.
A lot of it has to do with living back in East sussex. The stimulus is different. There are no boats, planes, cars, motorbikes or human traffic going past my window.
There’s the distant rumble of the A26, and the occasional tractor trundling down the hill.
Theres always birdsong and the mumbling of Radio 4 coming from one room or another.
My days have a different shape.
A combination of thinking, writing, eating, sleeping (well not sleeping actually) walking, watching telly, the activities of the ancient crone, which I can’t think is of any interest to anybody.
All of this was going through my brain when I set off this morning. The hot sun on my peeling shoulders. One day of working in the garden and I got burnt. I’ve never used sun cream but the ozone has thinned like my sensibilities.
I miss London and I don’t miss London. I miss my flat and I don’t miss my flat. I miss five days a week on the radio and telly and I don’t. What I do miss is the peace of youth, none of which I felt when I was young. The peace of knowing that if you don’t do it now you’ll have another forty years to put it right.
Now I’m getting the peace of age, which is much more introspective.
Anyway I posted two letters, put on my headphones and started running.
I have been working on a speech for a new project. A dear man has decided it would be a good idea if I were to stand on stage and talk to people about survival. Not like Ray Mears eating grubs and whittling, but how I’ve managed to still be here.
One of the stories I use is of the donkey down the well. It’s a lovely urban myth. The farmer decides to cover the donkey with earth as the well is too deep and the donkey too old to save..
As he shovels the earth the donkey starts to squeal, then the squealing stops. The farmer finally has the courage to look down the well. The donkey has been shaking off the earth, tamping it down and taking a step up. Finally the donkey gets to the top of the well, shakes off the final grains of earth and trots off merrily. The moral being – well you know – life throws dirt at you and blah blah blah…..
So here I am in my shorts and vest, ‘Snarky Puppy’ pounding in my ears and just when I get to the bend, behind the gate, standing all alone, looking at me is a scruffy little donkey.
I turned the music off and tentatively held out my hand. Two flies were buzzing round it’s doleful eyes. He didn’t move. so I tickled his head. Then stroked his nose. He just stood there in all his dusty glory.
I stood for ages, just cooing at him, and he let me play with his mangled mane.
When I walked away so did he, gently turning back into the field.
Now that is something you wouldn’t get in Battersea