Rainy Days and Thursdays

woman in black bra holding big leaf

Photo by Ric Rodrigues on Pexels.com

Well that made you look didn’t it?!! An attractive lady in a black bra is guaranteed to swivel a few heads. Yes, I’m being a bit cheeky. I was trying to find a free photo with a relationship to rain to capture the atmosphere of the day in Canberra today and this one came up in the search. Well, I got the rain part right, eh?

Yes, it’s raining in Canberra. Strong, soaking, solid rain. At last. It’s the first time in some months that I can remember waking up to the sound of substantial precipitation cascading off the roof and it’s always a nice thing to hear. We have had some days over the last few months that have produced a few showers for a while, enough to give the ground a bit of sustenance but nothing like this morning. That being said the cloud is now breaking up and sunlight has touched the windows and we may be clear for the rest of the day. The weather radar shows some more rain heading our way from Sydney but it is questionable if it will reach us.

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down. Well, not me but it’s what Karen Carpenter, that illustrious American pop-star with the gorgeous voice sang many years ago but it’s not the way I feel. I sort of like rainy days. Maybe it’s because we don’t get many nowadays. I can remember racing pushbikes as a kid and going away every weekend and some years it rained everywhere we rode. I can remember one year riding seventeen races and I think it rained in twelve. I can’t remember a winter like that for many years now.

A noticeable sight in Canberra lately is the number of dead kangaroos on the sides of the motorways. On my drive to work up the Monaro Highway, a trip of probably 20 minutes, there are at least six dead hoppers at the moment and driving home the last few nights I have noticed roos feasting on the grass of the median strip as I turn into Tuggeranong. It shows how dry it has been when they are coming into town and getting on the roads. It’s dry in them there hills. But, they are dangerous. No sense. Wander into the traffic without a second glance. And they make a mess of a car too. I’ve often wondered if those that are killed on the roads are missed by their mob. Do they ask each other, “Where’s Bob, haven’t seen him lately? Last saw him heading for the highway……..Oh my God, Bob!” Hmm, I doubt it!

I’ve enrolled in two more units at university. I have to do a second foundations unit, part of the bridging course to get me into an undergraduate program, and a history unit, “What is History”, the first step to becoming a historian. I’m a glutton for punishment it seems. Hopefully I’ll execute my studies with a bit more panache and a little less procrastination this trimester.

As I write it’s clouding over again. Maybe we will get some more rain. Rainy days and Mondays don’t get me down but Thursdays sure do. So close yet so far to the weekend. I can smell it but I can’t touch it. Two more days of boredom to survive before the carefree days of Saturday and Sunday arrive. Hope you all can too.

Advertisements

Like Sand Through My Fingers

alphabet arts and crafts blog conceptual

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I was checking the dates on my blog entries the other day and was amazed to find that “Strange Notations from a Laborious Life” has now existed for seven years! Yes, seven years of blogging and this is the 492nd post that I have written. Man, time flies. It really is scary. I was looking at photos from the trip Linda and I did down the Great Ocean Road a while back and was stunned to see that it is two years ago already. Time is slipping through my fingers like a wealth of fine sand.

There is a work funeral today. A former supervisor who I knew from the start of my employment nearly 31 years ago is being cremated. It’s one of those awkward things. I had a lot to do with him over the years, I mean I was only 17 years old when I started and he was one of my first direct line supervisors, but he was a fellow I never warmed to. I don’t like to denigrate someone who has passed and suffered quite a bit through illness along the way and I suppose I respected him to a point but had a number of personal differences with him in regards to his own behaviour towards the staff and his own devotion to the corporation. At times he wasn’t a particularly admirable person. That being said I know he has a family that loved him dearly and it will be a very trying and emotional day for them. I wish them the best and send my thoughts and prayers. I would feel a hypocrite going to a funeral of someone who I have said harsh words of.

Many who I work with who knew this fellow are going to the funeral and I got a few odd looks when I said I wouldn’t be attending. There are others in the same boat as me. People who didn’t like him who felt they couldn’t go and, unfortunately some harsh words have been uttered and perhaps  some hard truths have been aired.

My current supervisor visited this fellow, who retired a few years ago now, in hospital a few weeks back and was shocked at his appearance. He had been, for want of a better description, a real “man’s man” but was almost unrecognisable in his hospital bed, stricken by cancer, bloated by pain killing drugs, waiting for the inevitable end. He hadn’t wanted visitors from his past seeing him. Perhaps the visage of himself as he was near the end was not what he wanted former colleagues to see. Maybe he was just too tired to care about being nice. My current supervisor  had been to an appointment at the hospital and decided to drop in and see our stricken former workmate anyway. He seemed happy for the visit despite his earlier protestations but muttered that “life is too short”. He was only 62.

I suppose the crux of my post today is that we should try to make the best of our lives and not get too worked up about things that don’t matter or devote ourselves to causes from which we will get no thanks and only frustration and a feeling of a wasted life. This fellow had given his all to the company. A real management man and, whilst undoubtedly very good had his job, had hurt people along the way and never thought twice about it in his misguided loyalty to the company. When the leadership regime eventually changed he was marginlised and after recovering from his first bout with cancer, retired in frustration, never having been given the accolades from the business which he should have enjoyed. A salutatory lesson.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m too harsh, too cynical, too bitter. A man who was loved by his family and died a harsh enough death is being buried and I’m writing a critical opinion of him. Maybe my own mortality looms large in my consciousness as I get older. Which gets me back to my opening paragraph. Seven years of writing my blog. Originally I started it with some hope of doing a bit of professional writing to supplement my income. Of course that hasn’t happened. I’m far too lazy to devote myself to that and perhaps lack the talent. But, I wanted to leave something of myself in this world and I enjoy writing this blog although it really doesn’t amount to much. About a dozen or so views of every post on average and no great following. But I don’t care. I enjoy doing it and I seem to have got a bit of a run on again in the last week.

So, 492 posts and counting. I deleted my old blogger site this morning. It was dormant, having not been used since I moved to WordPress three years ago but all of it’s posts are archived here for all to see if you feel inclined. It was wracked by spam and really of no use but it was sad to let it go. That’s the way of life I suppose.

I face another day of work and the same old same old but, in the shadow of the funeral of an old colleague I feel positive as I settle into this last half of my life. And “Strange Notations from a Laborious Life” will continue. I hope you are all looking forward positively too.

Days, Months and Years

clouds way direction seat belts

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Well. Here we go again. It’s been a quite a while since I updated my blog and I thought I would check in and write a note just to keep the old rag’s heartbeat ticking over. I haven’t got much to say. It’s the same old thing, work, university, life in general happening without much in the way of direction from me. Most people are in the same boat I imagine. Life rolls on. The seconds tick away turning into minutes, hours, days, years without us giving it much thought. Then suddenly, I’ve found myself landing in my middle age with a thud! As a famous Australian larrikin once supposedly said (just before the trap door swung open!), “Such is life”.

I’ve been hot and cold with my Uni study. It’s going okay but I find it hard to get motivated. I’m almost through my first trimester. I’ve been doing two units, one of which I’ve been going reasonably well with whilst I’ve been struggling a bit with the other. I received 55% on my first attempt at an essay in 30 years which brought me down to earth a little but have since found out it’s not  a bad result for a first up crack at Uni. It’s a pass and that’s the main thing. All part of the learning process I suppose but it is quite humbling. Academic writing runs to a system and it’s a bit hard to get used to-at least for this middle aged brain!

I am a little concerned at a couple of quizzes coming up in my archaeology unit. Information retention is not my strong suit. They are open book tests, one on what has been studied in the last few weeks then a final quiz on information we have learned across the whole unit but they are timed. Will have to cram for those. I’m open to any tips from current or former university students on what the best form of study is for these sorts of things. It would be a shame to get this far in now and trip over.

Another birthday is looming. I keep getting asked if I am 50 yet!! I have hoped that most may pick me as mid forties but we can’t hold back the clock forever. But 50? I’ve got a couple of years to go yet! As I’ve gotten older the less important birthday’s have become. Maybe most are like that. I’ll wake up on Monday week and the world will have turned as normal and there will be no bells and whistles. Just another day but it’s nice to have your birthday acknowledged.

So, that’s about all. I don’t think there is much on the television, apart from the Royal Wedding if you are into that sort of thing. Many aren’t but hey, if you are one of those don’t spoil it for others. You may not be enthralled by the pomp and ceremony and wonder at the relevance of royalty in the 21st century but not everyone thinks like that. Let those who like it have their day. It’s no skin off my nose.

Anyway, I’ll keep battling along as I hope you all will. I hope to be back again soon with something more insightful to say but between work, study and other commitments I find it hard to blog. But, I shall return. Have a nice evening.

The Blink of an Eye

pexels-photo-258045.jpeg

Blink and you miss it. In an instant it was gone. Nod off for a moment and you wonder how the hell you ended up waking up on Monday morning again. The weekend flies by in a flash and all of a sudden I am staring another week at the “Happiness Factory” right in eye again. And I broke my self imposed rule on Saturday of not sleeping in, only rising at 10am. I figure the more you sleep the more you miss and half the day is over by the time you arise. I hate losing time on weekends. However, I couldn’t help it. I was smashed from the previous night at work having hit the wall in the evening and I only just managed to scrape through to the magic minute of 9.46pm-home time!

Boy I’ve had enough of it. Work that is. Diving into the whirlpool again this week leaves me with an early Monday feeling of dread. It’s not so bad once I’m there and working although things are worse than ever in so far as the running of the place goes. And diving ever deeper. I have even more on my plate now unloading a truck from Sydney every afternoon because I’m the only forklift driver available, other than my supervisor.  Transport are supposed to provide someone to help but it has mysteriously not been available this last week-even after they made a song and dance about me going to my break instead of helping when this new run started two months ago. The hypocrisy makes me mutter then laugh. There is nothing else for it. But wait-maybe there is!

I’m going to jump ship. Well, not exactly jump ship but walk the plank and leap into the ocean of my own accord. My days of mail sorting are numbered and I’m counting down the days. Yeah I know, it’s a steady job, I’m getting older, I have no transferable skills…..blah, blah, blah. But if I don’t shake a groove and take a chance now I never will and the thought of rotting in that place for another 20 years is an unbearable load to carry. I have an iron or two in the fire. I’m not walking into the dark without a light. But I’ve made the big decision and hopefully by late this year will have activated the eject button. Scary times but exciting.

I’ve been studying. Doing a Foundations course and an archaeology unit online at the University of New England. It’s fair to say I’ve struggled. Time management was never a skill I mastered and procrastination is something I’ve made into a personal art form. I also have remembered all the reasons I failed Year 10! Not having the gift of a good memory and a penchant for making the same mistake more than once hasn’t helped. I’ve made it to the first academic break for the year and I’m not sure how I’ve gone with my latest assignments. I’m hoping to scrape through and have a better run in this next part of the trimester. All part of the program of improving myself.

So that’s it for me and my life for the moment. Moving on, planning, hoping, just like everyone else. An eye on the future and kicking the clutch in and hoping I can move forward. It’s still a great life.

Where Have All the Matthew’s Gone?!

P1090044

Port Macquarie NSW

I see a list of most popular baby names in Australia for 2017 has been published and it may be of passing interest to some to know that Oliver and Charlotte are the two most fancied for boys and girls respectively.

There does seem to be a throwback to earlier times with William, James and Thomas featuring prominently for the lads and Amelia, Olivia and Grace popping into the top ten in the pink.

Henry at 13 and Harry at 28, Charles at 77, George at 38 and Edward at 48 also make the list showing the continuing royal influence in Australian cultural life. Fletcher and Christian also appear at 91 and 89 respectively although I can’t be sure if many parents are familiar with the main protagonist in the saga of the Mutiny on the Bounty.

Peter’s, John’s and Andrew’s seem to have gone by the bye replaced by much more exotic sounding monikers such as Arlo (52), Beau (70) and Chase (73). Muhammed graces the list at number 80, seemingly the only non-anglo name present. I’m glad I was born in 1970!

Notable for the girls are Ruby (17), Milla (34) and Aaliyah (88) with some old favorites such as Victoria (86) and Florence (97) just managing to scrape in.

But where have all the Matthew’s gone? What’s wrong with us? Matthew’s once ruled the world! Yes, my own name once dominated these lists finishing first or second for many a year and although I prefer the shortened version and have never really had a particular fondness for the name it was nice to be on top of the heap.

One used to run into Matthew’s everywhere and I suppose one still can if mixing in a certain demographic but just hold your horses. Matthew appears to have finished 69th. Respectable I guess but it seems the halcyon days of the Matty’s are gone. Welcome to the future and say G’Day to Ethan (7), Leo (18) and Hudson (23). Tip your hat to Levi (27), Oscar (26) and Carter (75). Please hold the door for Evie (11), Ivy (20) and Ellie (42) and make way for Maddison (26),  Addison (62) and Savannah (41).

I suppose it could be worse. Matthew could have gone the way Clarence or Horace, names which are never used anymore. We are still in there fighting. This is a call to arms to all Matthews. Let’s make something of ourselves. Let’s push those barriers and aim for the top ten once more and put ourselves back where we belong. Our challenge, our mission for 2018.

Bring back the Matt!

The End of “Strange Notations”?

P1080796

Into the sunset for “Strange Notations”?

It’s been a long time between drinks. I haven’t written a blog post for nearly two months and so much has happened in that time that life has been a blur. I’ve been on leave for five weeks, been back at work a month and have had plenty on my plate to ponder.

I once heard it said (in fact I read it on the internet!) that all blogs eventually die and for some time I have been fearful that “Strange Notations from a Laborious Life” is in a death spiral of it’s own with posts dropping off in regularity and my enthusiasm for writing waning-all things I’m sure which contribute to the death of other blogs.

So, is “Strange Notations” heading off into the sunset? Will this be the last you hear from this earnest blogger? The truth is-I don’t know. For five years I have wanted to put my personal story forward to whoever might want to read it. I wanted to leave a small mark on the world, just so there was a piece of me left floating around when I am long gone. I think I have achieved that and I am quite proud of some of the content I have written on this site. I hope a few people somewhere got something out of it occasionally. But I have been wondering-is it time for a change? A freshen up? A new beginning (I’m starting to sound like George Lucas writing the preamble for Star wars!)?

I was thinking of starting a new blog with more specific content, a narrower reach and perhaps a larger audience. Although it would be a shame to kill off “Strange Notations” the truth is that nothing lasts forever and to grow and broaden our horizons we sometimes have to move on and leave behind the labours of our love.

I was thinking I may do some freelance writing and concentrate on producing more short stories. Something new, something different. Should I leave this blog behind to wither and die? You tell me. I am open to suggestions and welcome comments from anyone interested enough to make one.

The truth is I may soon have plenty of time on my hands with which to write. I can’t go into specifics at this stage as I am not sure of them yet myself but my life, one way or another is about to get a big shakeup. It’s an exciting but nervous time for me as I move forward. Every now and then an opportunity arises to improve yourself and that opportunity is looming for me now. I won’t make a mistake this time.

So, it may not be the last you hear from me. Or maybe it will be. I’ll keep battling ahead with laborious life and try to make the most of it. I hope you all do too!

Losing My Pen and Other Strange Stories

Fiji 2012 288

Fiji 2012

 

I am losing things. For the first time in my life I am losing things. A few weeks ago I lost a texta I used at work. It almost certainly fell out of my pocket while I was leaning over and I didn’t notice but it perturbed me nonetheless. I never lose things. And, I had to steal another one off a machine we work on. Can’t do without my texta. But I never lose things.

Yesterday I lost my pen. It was in my shirt pocket and disappeared as assuredly as it would if it was sailing through the Bermuda Triangle. (Not that pens can actually sail through or disappear in the Bermuda Triangle, but you get my drift I’m sure.) I have no idea where it went or how. I thought I may have actually forgotten to take it to work but it wasn’t here when I got home and I haven’t been able to find it today. I never lose things.

Then there was my box of cotton buds. In the bottom right hand draw of the bathroom vanity. It’s gone. It’s been there for months (actually years!) and suddenly it’s gone. How will I get my ears clean now? (Yes, I know you shouldn’t stick things in your ears but I am very gentle I assure you. My hearing is still okay, I think.) It’s very disconcerting. I never lose things.

Of course the fact that there are other people living in the house may have contributed to the sudden absence of my box of cotton buds but Linda assures me she hasn’t seen it, touched it or otherwise been in contact with it. Hmmm. It may be that all of her stuff which is packed tightly into the vanity draws is obscuring my view of it but I don’t think so. I never lose things.

Walking to my car last night after knocking off work I found myself wandering around the car park in circles. For a brief moment I thought I had lost my car. I never lose things! Of course I hadn’t lost my car. I had just parked in a different place than usual and eventually I found it. I never lose things but see how paranoid I am becoming?!

A few years back I went through a period of leaving things in cafes. I would be out shopping, stop off for a coffee with my newly bought wares, then leave them behind. It’s lucky that on each occasion the items were recovered because I never lose things.

I was driving to Wagga Wagga one day a few years back and stopping in Gundagai for refreshment I took my sunglasses off and lay them on the cafe table. They were expensive. My mother had bought them for me. I was halfway to Wagga Wagga from Gundagai before I realised the reason the glare off the sunbaked farmland was killing my eyes. I had left my sunglasses behind. I didn’t go back for them. I never lose things.

I trained myself out of that habit. The habit of leaving things behind. But losing things is another matter altogether. It just doesn’t happen to me and it’s a worry. I never lose things.

There is no history of dementia in our family but I have wondered if I will be the first to start a trend.  But then a friend once told me losing your car in the car park is not a sign of Alzheimer’s Disease. Forgetting you have a car is! Perhaps I am just going through a bad patch where I don’t seem to be able to hang onto my property?

I can only hope this trend will soon dissipate and I will return to normal…safe, reliable… my property always intact and where it should be because…I never lose things!

Have a nice day.

The Thursday Curse

P1080524

Melbourne City from Treasury Gardens

Monday, Monday! They sing songs about it but for mine Thursday is the day for a mournful tune. Yes, Thursday! Thursdays really get to me. We are so close to the weekend that we can almost touch it, but……we still have to do it all over again tomorrow! What a tease Thursday is.

The one positive thing about Thursday for me is that things start to run down a little at work. Everyone seems to have gotten their important mail off on Monday or Tuesday hoping to get their article to it’s recipient by the end of the week. By Thursday it seems that mailing is an afterthought. “Ah…I’ll pop it in the post. It will get there by sometime next week” most will be thinking by today. Conversely, if you are waiting for a letter today you can only hope it was posted on Monday.  Ah Thursday. What a day.

I’m actually counting down the days. I have next week and the week after to endure before I am off on five weeks of leave. If you hear a roar rumbling over Canberra at about 9.46pm on April 21 don’t be fearful-it’s not the sound of rolling thunder or the end of the world coming upon us, only me exiting the sliding doors at work with a shout as I hop, skip and jump my way  into the sweet lazy days of my holidays. Best thing is that I also have Easter between then and now. Ten working days to go. Can’t wait to cross another number off my calendar when I get home tonight.

My leave will be a little different this year. I will be a little anxious. I have applied for another job and won’t know if I am being considered for it until after April 25. Nerve wracking. Well, not really nerve wracking but the situation is making me a little uneasy. It’s a bold new world for me should I get the job. A friend of mine nailed it on the head when she said applying for another job is at least a start, a proactive step towards improving my lot and I think she is right. I may not get the job, I may not even be short-listed but by doing up a resume and writing an application I feel I have crashed through a barrier. Working so long in the same position can make you feel institutionalised and sap your confidence. I feel it’s time to move on and broaden my horizons and work with amazing people. We should all strive to improve ourselves. Wish me luck.

Anyway, it’s a golden autumn day here in Canberra. Other parts of the country are suffering due to natural events but, apart from having to work, I can’t find a fault in this warm and lovely city today. Hope you all have a great day and don’t let the Thursday curse wear you down. The weekend is almost here. We just have to do it all again tomorrow!

Life as I Know It: The Adventure Continues!

p1080266

Apollo Bay, October 2016

It’s been a while (again!) and I can make no excuses for the lack of productivity on my blog. Yes, I’ve been busy but the words, thoughts and feelings just haven’t been coming. It’s seems to be an accumulating situation which has been manifesting itself for a couple of years now. The degrading of my imaginative output is reaching crisis point. Is it possible I am past my best before I even got there?!!

As I said, I’ve been busy. Work (as usual!) has been hard and taking it out of me. The bathroom at our investment property is in dire need of repair and we have been scraping together our finances to ensure it’s done. My computer blew up, our phone line gave out and our wi-fi has been choppy. All in all more of a frustrating time than anything causing us great hardship. Most of these things have been restored although a few minor adjustments still need to be made to ensure my life maintains it’s usual comfortable status.

My cycling has suffered. Just a couple of rides over the last few weeks and I really need to make the effort to get out even if it is just every second day.

The perfect job came up for me at the Australian War Memorial which I intended to apply for. Just a gallery assistant, no great shakes and something I may even have been considered for. But of course the more I thought about it the more I second guessed myself for a variety of reasons. I looked at my resume and couldn’t get it up to scratch and eventually time passed and so did the deadline for applications. Sigh!! I really need help with this part of my life. I’m not sure if it’s laziness, timidity or the institutionalization of my life due to working the same job for thirty years or a combination of all three but I dillied and dallied and made excuses for myself as to why I wouldn’t be cut out for the position until it was too late. And breathed a sigh of relief when time ran out. Pathetic.

Anyway, there is still plenty to look forward to in life. I have holidays coming up in two months and I am deep in thought as to where I might go. Originally Linda and I planned to go to New Zealand for a couple of weeks. We have been there on a number of occasions, Linda having connections there and thought we may go again. You can never get tired of New Zealand. Plenty to see and do and in many ways it is a softer version of Australia (and for any Kiwis reading I mean that as a compliment!). More progressive than us on some issues and possibly better governed at this point in history. Perhaps being a much smaller nation they have to make do with less and have to be smarter and think outside the box in order to progress and prosper? I’m sure there would be many in the Land of the Long White Cloud who think they can do better but it seems to me they are travelling okay.

Anyway, our looming outlay of cash for the bathroom at our investment property has put the kybosh on that so I am thinking in miniature now. A drive out to the Grampians in central Victoria may be on the cards. A bit of dribble through the countryside stopping where we like terminating our western advance at Halls Gap in the heart of the Range. That’s what I’m thinking but will keep you posted. No doubt if I go I will fill these pages with pictures and stories from the trip.

Until then there is some life to live and I’m hoping some fun to be had. A trip to Melbourne in a month with our best friends to see the British singing star Adele in concert should break up the monotony brought on by work and life in general. I’m looking forward to it. Who couldn’t or wouldn’t look forward to spending time in the great southern capital?

So that’s it for now. My life as it continues. It’s a bit of parry and thrust as I’m sure it is for most but we keep plugging along. I hope all is going well for you wherever you are. Take care.

Live Life and Love It

 

Got up this morning feeling a little battered and bruised after a hard night at work. Flicked the computer on to catch up with the world and immediately read two stories about fellows who had succumbed to heart attacks aged 45 and 47! Gawd. Good morning Starshine. The earth says hello!

I manage to thread the needle between these two men being 46 years old so it was a bit of a sobering way to shake myself awake for the day. The funny thing is, and I’m sure anyone who is around the same age will agree, you find yourself in middle age before you know it, not really being sure how you got here. One day you are young and carefree, fit and able, next you are dodging heart attacks and bowel problems! Hhmm. Time sure does fly.

The jist is that I don’t feel any different to how I did twenty years ago. I do feel I’m more mature. I occasionally say and do stupid things nowadays but it’s but a sliver of the time when compared to my loose mouth of decades ago. Physically, there are a few more aches and pains and perhaps I am just starting to feel the wear and tear on my body a little-I’m certainly not as lithe and agile as days gone by but I ain’t a cripple yet!

Illness and incapacity can strike at any time without warning I know and my doctor, the last time I dared to go, marveled at the fact that I don’t attend the practice very often. That must be a good thing though, right?

A few years back I took a trip to Europe with Linda. I’m a mild history buff and although I had been to Britain and Turkey before I had never been to western Europe. I was getting older of course and the thought had occurred to me that I didn’t want to die without having seen the fields of France and Germany. You never know what the future holds. So, we went in the spring of 2013 and had a great 6 week trip. Of course, two years later Linda is seriously ill with cancer and life was put on hold for a year and for some time in 2015 we were gripped with some uncertainty as to where the road in front of us would lead.Linda is now well thankfully but since then several extended family members have passed away due to cancer and my little world is getting shaken up just a little.

I’ll be 47 in three months. Well on the road to a half century. I can’t believe I’m here. Life is good and I have been very lucky in so many ways and pray it holds for a good 40 or so years yet.

In October 2013 I stood in a military cemetery in a farmer’s field in northern France and gazed upon the headstone belonging to a great uncle I never met. He was 20 years old and died of wounds at a place no-one outside a certain radius has ever heard of. Grevillers, France. I guess there is some nobility in dying for your country but that sort of thing is roundly mocked now particularly by those who lean to the left and lying in a lonely grave in France so young is certainly a waste of what would probably have been a good and fruitful life. But I think I owe it to him and the rest of my family and Linda to live strong and long and we owe it to ourselves to enjoy life to it’s fullest.

I have to go to work today and put in eight long, boring hours but it’s only a means to an end in order to keep living and enjoying my comfortable existence. Don’t take work so seriously. Do what you have to do and embrace the other sixteen hours of the day when you can do something worthwhile.

Embrace life and those you love. Life as you know it could be over in the blink of an eye.

Have fun and take care.

e5539-mattandlindaeurope20131736

Grave of L/Cpl JF Robinson. DOW 23 April 1917. Grevillers France