Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Heading for Scotland

At Christmas, we drove up to visit my Dad in Keith in the North of Scotland from here in the London area. The temperature was well below freezing and there was a lot of snow. Some of the driving was difficult. Very difficult.

In February, I flew to Aberdeen again for a weekend with my Dad. The return flight was cancelled because of snow at Luton and I had to take a long overnight train journey instead.

Tomorrow we again head up to Scotland by car. It is Easter. Summer time has arrived. Tomorrow is the first of April. What can go wrong? Well, once again the weather! Last night over 12 inches of snow fell in Keith. Even more in the Central Highlands. We are due to drive up on the A68, A9, A95 & A96. This morning, all four roads are blocked.

Time to cross our fingers.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Melancholy in Malaga

We are spending 6 days in our small flat in the centre of Malaga. We were here for a couple of days at New Year, but otherwise have not been here since October.

It is great to have a base over here. Although our flat is tiny, it is located right in the centre of town, an area I love. We also have a supply of clothes over here as well as toiletries and a reasonable supply of food in the kitchen. So we can travel very light and just take up here where we left off a few months ago.

I always intend to do more than I do. But somehow I just relax into life in Malaga - beers in the bars at lunchtime, trips to the beach, shopping in the Calle Larios and just generally strolling around. I have grown to love the city of Malaga. On Saturday evening we went to a concert in the Teatro Cervantes which is a couple of hundred yards from our flat. This time it was the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra who are seriously good. The programme included Saint Saens, Vaughan Williams and Tchaikovsky. On Sunday we had a meal at the Vino Mio, our favourite restaurant. Sunday was flamenco night.

The weather has been dry but rather cloudy and cool. Which is a pity. I could do with some sun. But I have been to the beach each day and have caught up with some reading.

Yes there are a thousand and one things I should be doing back in the UK. But I do enjoy being over here. And I shall be sorry to have to head back to the UK on Wednesday.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The Lottery of Life

I don't really believe in fate. And I do believe that you get back from life what you put into it. As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

But the randomness of life is the factor which I find increasingly difficult to ignore.

My father is 93 and is finding it difficult to motivate himself each day to what is now, because of his frailty, a mere existence. Today I am bemoaning the fact that I have a cough and a cold and don't have the energy to do the things that need doing. Are we being selfish?

There are people in Chile or in Haiti whose whole world was destroyed in a few seconds. One of my tennis partners died suddenly last December. My Cousin lost his wife to cancer just last week. The carer who looks after my Dad's sheltered housing complex buried her mother last week; and had had to return to working with people who are 30-40 years older than her mother was when she died. Stephen Gately died last year. A few weeks ago, Alexander McQueen took his own life, aged 40. Today I read that Kristian Digby was found dead aged 32.

Yet I worry about work, about my pension about my future. I worry about whether my relationship will still be in place many years down the line rather than whether we are going to have a good time together this evening. I worry about tomorrow rather than today. Even though I do not know if there will be a tomorrow. It isn't logical. Guilt and worry - the useless emotions.

Let's return to Buddha. 'As you walk, and eat and travel - be where you are. Otherwise you may miss most of your life'. I am at home with a bad cold, a sore throat and a cough. Not pleasant, but not something I can change. So I must just be here, accept that I am here, and take life from here. And live it.