I may actually have got that title mixed up with my hat size but, you know trying times and all that.
This is another posting about trying times because, why not? Oh go on you know you want to.
Keen readers with long felt wants (we had one of those once and used it as a door stopper) may recall in my burbling about addictions and the families of anyone addicted to anything, which is an awful thing to be, either party, that I attended Al-Anon family groups for some years.
One of the pursuits that we were encouraged to pursue, that sounds so goody-two-shoes and please-be-sick-in-the-brown-paper-bag, actually works.
It is ending each day by writing a gratitude list. If, however, your government telling you to stop in the house and polish your shoes, is getting on your wick and you wish to rebel, you can write the gratitude list first thing in the morning. It still works.
(Very, very, very long term readers are permitted by order* to do it whenever in the day you like! That’s just how much we don’t give a stuff. Hah! Be yourself (everyone else is spoken for.)
So why am I grateful?
Today I am inexpressibly grateful (first lie, because I am expressing it) that the lift man has turned up today to install the lift. They said he was going to be here at seven thirty, so, of course I did not sleep all night in case I slept in. I do this. I’m an idiot (why am I telling you this if you are a regular reader? Twice as much tautology, that’s what you get round here.) But at seven thirty there he was in his van. I am grateful because he knows what he is doing, is very experienced and is working like a machine. He has not yet looked at the bits and wondered where this goes. By the end of the day I will have most of a lift and already much less of a big hole in the middle of the house.
I am so grateful there is a choice of beverages. I would be deeply unhappy if forced to drink coffee all the time. I just don’t get on with coffee. I like tea. I like a specific brand, which has been difficult to get because of panic buying. Today up at the post office there was a box of my favourite tea bags. Oh Hooray! (I’d let you have a lick, but you know, social distancing.)
It is sunny, the sky is blue. But it is not scorching like Death Valley, or sunny freeze your fingers off, blow on them, oh damn they’ve gone black already like Antarctica. It is sunny, slightly warm, might be quite nice by lunchtime like England. Lovely.
I have two packs of unopened socks. One of the great joys of life is new socks before the old ones have gone crispy. Oh yeah, we know how to live.
There is a charity in Edinburgh called Smalls For All that recycles new knickers or possibly, knew knickers, or even, new nickers, and preloved but still nice bras to countries where ladies do not have access to underwear. I have access to underwear. I have a reason to buy a new bra and the money to do it. I can afford to buy an extra pack of knickers when I go to buy one for me. I am so so lucky.
It looks as if I may have survived cancer twice, still superstitious about saying it, but you know, still here.
I have got approximately ninety seven trillion craft kits, art supplies, dolls house thingies and all the rest and several weeks uninterrupted solitude to get cracking on them. There is no better time to do the stuff you didn’t have time to do. Haven’t we always complained that we don’t have the time, for our hobbies, that we want? And now, what are the chances, really what are the chances, the government has actually given us the time to do our hobbies. Also we are not allowed to encourage our mothers-in-law and other relatives of dubious value to visit us. Whoever it is in your family who is on the phone lamenting the lack of opportunity to arrive, eat you out of house and home, leave when it suits them and in the interim, bore the pants off you, cannot do it now by government edict. ‘I am so sorry Great Aunt Patsy (with the hefty moustache and the flatus problem) The Prime Minister says I have to stay in and play with my dolls’ house.’ Boris Johnson has ordered me to play with my dolls’ house! It’s a dream come true.
The OH is turning back into a human again. Never thought I’d see that. The Prime Minister closed the pubs. I wished for that several columns ago, never thinking it would happen and for lo! It came to pass.
I want to write this, you want to read it. Thank you forever Tim Berners-Lee, who invented www. so you and I could get together. I am grateful for him endlessly. Right now, he will help us to help each other in the present difficulty.
My fingernails are growing again. I think this means I am getting better. All the time I was poorly, they were rubbish, except for when I broke my arm and they were set to GROW for a while.
Me and mine are OK today. I hope you and yours are the same. Look at all the things I am grateful for and it isn’t even lunch time yet.
A gratitude list works because it takes the focus off the things that are not so good and makes you realise just how many reasons there are to be cheerful. (Nine and five sixteenths and counting.)
*One veggie nuggets with hot sauce, one deep fried palaver with a battered sausage, one omelette aux eggs, a pot of tea for two, one cola with a slice and a, what did you want Celia? One chips with no nasty bits and a tomato sauce and a cucumber with no seeds, can the chef do that? You can’t have that Celia, what else? Oh all right, one rainbow pastry with sprinkles. I wish you would eat properly when we go out, and can we have some extra napkins please, and could you wipe the table, just here? Yes, thank you, it’s a bit sticky. And can you leave the dessert menu, we haven’t decided yet. Thank you.**
**Wrong sort of order, sorry, can’t get the staff.