02 October 2023

back to routines

Monday, October 2nd. It is a hot day, despite the occasional cool breeze. I don't remember days like this in October and neither can anybody I have spoken to. Still, there could well be frost by the end of the week. 

All of the summer visitors have left and are by now safely tucked in at their respective homes. I am slowly realising that for some time now there will be no more large gatherings at the dinner table, no more cooks noisily creating gourmet meals in the kitchen, no more obstacle courses designed around the house and garden, no hide and seek hysterics or story reading before breakfast, changing of towels, filling the fridge, the dishwasher, the washing machine and that for now we two old geezers will have all that time to ourselves again. For what it's worth.  I am only slowly catching up on blogs. Bear with me.

The last load of towels and sheets is drying in the garden next to the brambly bit of the hedge where I pick blackberries every morning now.  

Early mornings start to feel somewhat autumn-ish, but barely so.

There are ten more working days before my official retirement. I go from, oh no only ten more bike rides through the forest, to, thank goodness only ten more climbs up that hill - and this in spite of the e-bike which I got reluctantly - thank you chronic illness - after cycling up there for 12 years, all sweaty achievement.

Today I had the prep day for a three day/two night hospital stay next week to check whether I did actually have an allergic reaction to the local anesthetics during the skin cancer surgery last November. I had to sign a document declaring that I am now fully informed about the risks and that while I will be supervised at all times, cardiac arrest could be one outcome - in which case I have agreed to immediate defibrillation procedures. I mean, who wouldn't. In fact, I was told that my attitude today was a tad too la-di-da. This by a junior doctor who reached maybe up to my shoulder, at a stretch, and please don't think I am putting her down, but I had to fight a smile while I apologised, almost said, sorry mum.

So, on we go into autumn and winter and all it will take is one wrong decision in the Kremlin and we could become refugees. We can only do what Anna did in Frozen - believe me, I have watched it several times by now and know my stuff about Anna and Elsa and Olaf  - which is, move forward step by step. Trust our intuition, follow our body's feelings, keep feeling, keep groping, take risks, keep thinking, always keep thinking, not with a view to miracle technology or technocratic solutions, but with a view solely to the good life for all on our planet.

If you are a pessimist, human history is a history of failure, a history of empires unable to respond to crises. If the glass is half full for you, you see an amazing resilience of humanity to disasters, whether natural or man-made. Probably the second perspective is the more rewarding.

Peter Frankopan


Linda said...

That quote is perfect. I often need to be reminded that it is how I look at things that causes the big emotional reactions. There is a book (Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature) that has proven that we, as a whole, are far less violent than in the past. It is sure hard to see from that perspective. I only have my lowly perch from which to view.

Trusting our intuition requires many of us to find it again as we lost it in a childhood of survival or pain. I look for it and sometime, magically, I find it waiting to give me the wisdom I need.

Pixie said...

Well, lets hope you don't need CPR:)

I'm glad you got to have a visit with your granddaughter. I forget how old she is now. Does she have a kiwi accent?

Happy retirement. I hope to do the same in the next year or two or three. God, who knows. I love the quote and although I think of myself as a pessimist, I also think that humans are resilient, at least the ones that survive:)

Ms. Moon said...

I'm with Pixie- no cardiac arrests, please!

Colette said...

I hope you will love retirement as much as I do. Everyday is an indulgent pleasure. You are a better woman than me, I didn't start riding a bicycle until the summer after I retired.

Barbara Rogers said...

Good to hear your plan to retire...it's a wonderful opening up of life again, much as we had when we walked out with degrees or diplomas. Where to next? What do I really want to do with my life now? Hope your tests go well, and have decisive results. Allergy stuff is always good to figure out.

ellen abbott said...

wow, sounds like the cure could be worse than the disease. I hope whatever this three days of tests is does not send you into cardiac arrest. and you have to give them permission to defibrillate? I should think that would be automatic. unless you are very old and sick and have a dnr.

I'm really an optimist and I agree, humans have been resilient and overcome all kinds of disaster but never before have we turned the entire planet into a disaster that if left unchecked (and it may already be too late) will make the planet unfavorable for human life.

lovely garden and I think you'll enjoy retirement.

am said...

Happy to hear that your retirement date is approaching. I know you'll still be riding your bicycle. That is how I picture you. It was October 17, 2017, that I retired. My favorite time of year. I turned 74 on October 1. If my R were still alive, he would have been 74 on October 2. Thank you for the link to Peter Frankopan.

NewRobin13 said...

Retirement is delightful. Just thinking about it reminds me that I was not much into photography or blogging before I retired. A whole new world of creativity and connectivity opened up. I wish for you a truly wonderful new world of retirement.l

Anonymous said...

We've been resilient. But I learned from a friend via a Coast Guard person -- so this is 3rd hand mind you -- that here in the USA a trait of many young recruits is that they are NOT resilient. So, guess what, special courses are being created to teach them resiliency. We've definitely become "softies." Kim in PA

Roderick Robinson said...

Ah, the intellectual conundrum that lies at the heart of drying the laundry. Yet another obligation I have taken over recently. Men (husbands especially) deserve to have to make these discoveries late in life, you will say

Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer... the risks of rain falling almost immediately after one has ceased pegging out intimate garments on the line. Or stick it all in the watts-guzzling dryer and have done with it. Or unbeauteously decorate the central heating radiators with piteous knickers and ruin the planet's expectations.

When as a mere youthful amateur - and very infrequently at that - I pegged out the line I took pride in ensuring the symmetry of the dangling stuff. Looking for a display that would please the neighbours' sense of propriety. Now the damp clothes go up any old how. And then I'm back in the kitchen heating milk in the microwave while contriving to twist my head away from the mug to avoid the emetic potential of that sickening smell. For VR's coffee. Once - though I must then have been an entirely different person - I too drank milky coffee. Utterly unbelievable but true. At some time there must have been a damascene moment when I said no but faulty memory defeats me. Black ever since, whatever the physiological dangers. At 88 one may say one made a bet and won it.

In the interim clothes pegs have changed, however, and are more efficient. The older ones made of two pieces of wood held together by a wire spring used to dismantle themselves to lie like discarded wooden pea pods on the lawn. But I'm maundering and will close.