Sunday, June 15, 2008

Many Happy Returns

I make little secret of the fact that I’m not the best of travellers so, having just returned from a visit to Northampton, today is going to be a rather quiet celebration of my birthday. At the time the Beatles released “When I’m 64”, such a great age seemed almost unimaginable for this wreck of a twenty-something but, now I’m there, health problems notwithstanding I’m going through one of the happiest periods of my life. My only requirement for contentment is the presence of ma belle amoureuse, tending to the garden when stamina permits, and observing the flora and fauna hereabouts.

Sorry; that paragraph took off in a direction I hadn’t anticipated, even though every bit of it is true. Come to think of it, any direction my rambling takes is something of a surprise, not exactly stream-of –consciousness more rivulets-of-idleness. I don’t even know what I intended to say; just crossed my fingers and trusted in the keyboard to make it plain!

Let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start; when you read you begin with A,B,C, when you write you begin with me, me, me … So, travelling is the cue. The reason for the visit to Northampton was, for my beloved to celebrate her sister Margaret’s 70th birthday; the six siblings were to go out for a celebratory dinner on the Friday lunch time. Helen and myself don’t like the idea of being apart for even one night, so we decided that I would travel down with her, provided I could overcome my travel anxieties. Being a poor traveller, this necessitated a two night stay, arriving on the Thursday afternoon and returning home on Saturday morning.

Most of my time on the Friday was spent in our room, at The Innkeepers Lodge, resting and sleeping. I occasionally ventured out to amble around the pine tree surrounded grounds of the establishment and, grabbed a couple of starters in lieu of a main meal at the adjacent carvery. I’m grateful for the time spent sleeping, otherwise, it would have seemed an extremely long day whilst my beloved was out with her siblings. What kept me going was the thought of being back home around lunchtime the following day. Please note, it’s the arrival that matters not the journey.

The return journey went much more smoothly than we could possibly have anticipated but, nothing can match the joy of ones return to the homestead.

A highlight of the return journey was a sign, presumably referring to ongoing maintenance work, stating “DELAYS ARE LIKELY UNTIL AUTUMN 2010”; my God, I thought, I have difficulty coping with a ten minute hold-up (hyper-ventilating panic attacks etc.), I don’t think I can survive one for 2 ¼ years.

A little further along the motorway, a large poster in an adjacent field read, “PREPARE TO MEET YOUR GOD”. The way some people were driving, crossing lanes without signalling, cutting in without leaving an appropriate space between the other vehicles, it seemed quite ominous. If the intent was to proselytize, it was sufficiently distracting to ensure that potential converts may not survive long enough to repent or convert. Must admit, I appreciated it more as the work of a prankster with a sick sense of humour, rather than a wayside pulpit.

This posting also appears on Mal's Murmurings


prin said...

Glad you made it back home in one piece! Happy belated birthday also! I know what you mean about when the song came out, not thinking I would ever get there :) Still got 10 years to go but I'm sure those will pass by just as fast as the other 54 did. I used to love to travel and was even a courier for around 10 years in Atlanta traffic, but now it pains me a bit to even get in the car. It seems that there is no such thing as road etiquette anymore. With the road full of big ole SUV's it's downright scary. Especially if you are one that never gave up your small car. See I also know what you mean about the fingers and keyboard taking responsibility for the least they should :)

... said...

Happy, Happy Birthday, Malcolm! Glad you made it back home safe and sound :)

Fran said...

Happy Belated Birthday Malcom, I'm so sorry to be late, but all my relatives are born on June and I have to keep a Great memory, to remind birthday of everyone, June seems to give good persons on this earth.
Take Care.