I have been munching on Easter cake (thanks, Poppy!), sipping tea and ruminating…… about everything and nothing. I like a good ‘ruminate’. I like to take time out of my retirement to just ruminate! At present I have serious scenarios to consider regarding a variety of health issues among family and friends…..it’s a bit like spinning plates: just when most are spinning steadily, two or three start to wobble and you find yourself being spread ever more thinly trying to keep the momentum going in the attention stakes, the sympathy stakes, the counselling stakes and in the purely practical organisation and running of the daily chores….. but then this is life.
I like to think I am a ‘glass half full’ person… no…. I am a ‘glass half full’ person and only seek to spread a ‘feel good factor’ among my special people. This is not to say that I am never ‘down’. There are still films and music and writing that make me cry. On these occasions I am generally on my own and can wallow (different to ruminating!) in splendid isolation. Experience has taught me, however, that too much wallowing takes you on a deep and downward spiral ……….so beware!
At my ‘great age’ I am blessed in so many ways. I have a great sense of humour and, importantly, I can laugh at myself. I can remember huge chunks of my past life (not all sadly) which I relate to family and friends (ad nauseum) and am constantly surprised (as are the listeners!) when untold tales bubble to the surface. Here is a case in point. Grand daughters are all of ‘drinking age’ now so it’s not unheard of for the darlings to come a-
visiting with the odd hangover…..We started to discuss ‘social gatherings’ recently……. their 2018 ones …. and those from my youth.
‘What were your parties like, Nana?’
‘Well, there were certain games played at parties,’ I ventured, ‘like……’Blindman’s Buff’, ‘Postman’s Knock’, ‘Stations’, ‘Musical Chairs’, ‘Lay the Cushion Down’…… at which point, every word of the latter game came rushing forth, in perfectly remembered melody and verse, from my uninvited lips……
‘The feather bed’s the best bed
The best bed of a’
The feather bed’s the best bed
Made o’ pease straw
The pease straw was dirty lyin’ on the ground
But never mind ma bonnie wee lassie (or laddie)
Lay the cushion down
Lay it down, lay it down
Lay it down at someone’s feet, feet……..’
To be honest I didn’t know what I was singing about then but what I do vividly remember is the perfect circle of boys and girls, sitting upright around the room, singing along excitedly and in great anticipation of the end of the verse…..’feet, feet’,……( the ‘McGonnagles’ of the group would often improvise by adding,…’dirty, smelly feet’)….. The person who was ‘up’, either boy or girl, would walk round the inner circumference of the circle, complete with cushion, and consider who was to be his/her ‘Chosen One’. The choice being made, the cushion would be laid down at his/her feet whereupon ‘The Chooser and Choosee’ would fall upon their respective knees and ‘seal the deal’.
To let you understand, dear reader, this was an offer that could not be refused and so, welcome or no’, the deed was done….. blushingly, disgustedly, gigglingly, mortifyingly, not to mention publicly…..sometimes in the dark (depending upon who was on ‘the switch’) but mostly in the harsh glare of a 100watt light bulb!…..
The family by this time, were in absolute knots! Their sophisticated jibes and comments were coming thick and fast.
‘Nana!!….Singing about feather beds being the best beds!! Pease straw! Whit??!! Lay the cushion down!!!…..and blind men in the buff!!!!….and you were drinking what??? Irn Bru?’
I attempted to inject a little decorum into the proceedings..
‘We used to have musical games too, especially if there was a piano or, joy of joys, a record player :’Musical Statues’…maybe even some community singing….. ‘She’ll be Coming Round the Mountains’, ‘I am the Music Man’,’ I Love to go A-wandering’, ‘One Finger One Thumb Keep Moving’……..
Decorum? The family continued to laugh hysterically!
‘I got my very first kiss at ‘Postman’s Knock’.’ That shut them up. (This was a new and juicy fact.)
‘Ooooooo, Nana…… can you remember his name?’
Another outburst of mirth.
“Well of course, Mum, there just had to be a rhyme in there somewhere!!!
….Was Rab...ab fab???’‘Was it a McNab … grab???’
‘Did somebody else nab Rab at ‘Lay the Cushion Down’???’
‘As a matter of fact…. and I don’t like to blab about Rab …… I didn’t like it one little bit! I used to blush like mad and so found the whole party scene rather stressful – (although the word stress hadn’t yet been invented!) …. I was always the one with ‘the big riddie’ and nowhere to hide! Thank the good Lord that ‘Facebook’, ‘Instagram’, ‘Twitter’ or any of those apps on your state of the art superphones, weren’t around then……Rab and I would yet be accessible to the public at large for evermore, clasped in a passionless embrace, his Brylcream melting with the heat from my burning coupon, eyes wide shut and pursed lips screaming silently …..‘methinks I am in the wrong movie, I hear no violins nor angelic Goldwyn Girls’ choirs, no happy little bluebirds flying over rainbows, no happy feet tap tapping over glossy floors no….GET OFF ME!!!!!…’ and so, we ‘broke up’ before we had even properly met…… awwww!….. but at least in those days of yore there was still time to grow up(!)………..I hope that Rab, like me, went on to live happily ever after or as happily as this existence allows.
There is so much I want to say about life today but like me, you are probably sick to the back teeth of reading and listening to the subjects and minefields of ludicrous niceties that must now be observed in order that every single human being be labelled according to their gender and sexual preferences, religious, political, environmental beliefs, race and food in/tolerances ( have I left any categorie out???). Dissatisfied as I am with the same soundbite that brings comfort to no one…...’lessons will be learned’..….I am even more concerned about those poor, hungry, destitute souls in all corners of the globe, (including those in our very own backyard), who continue to scream silently for the aid and comfort which this world of plenty, has not, as yet, found to alleviate their misery. Shame on us.
There is One Golden Rule in my book: Treat others the way you would like them to treat you.
That about covers everything don’t you think?
Lumen Christi. x