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Come October this year I will have been in Australia 50
years! Of course that sets me wondering just where all those years have gone.
It seems that when we are young we are forever wishing our lives away. Remember
when you told everyone you were as old as the upcoming birthday whereas now we
tend to knock years off our age. Lord knows why I do it, but my sisters have
always lied about their age, so I guess I just followed on with the fibs. It is
just a number anyway and what difference does it make in the scheme of things.
I have very few regrets and can honestly say my life has been full and
rewarding—which is more than some people can boast.
The world has changed at a rapid rate. I did something yesterday
that made me realize I am becoming that old lady who complains about what goes
on in this world. But then again I had plenty to moan about. I won’t go into
details but it was a foolish rant I had, as what I was complaining about is so
out of my hands there is sweet nothing I could do to change things.
But, to be honest, I reckon I have earned the right to voice
my opinion on the state of the world and my country and even the fact that
there are far too many products on the shelves at my local supermarket, and I
have to spend ages searching through the many products that are likely all the
same but just have different names. And then there is the added problem of
finding products that do not contain palm oil, or are gluten free, or don’t
have too much salt, fat or sugar in them<sigh> etc. etc.
Things were simpler in my young days. My mother would write
me out a shopping list and give me probably about ten shillings or a pound and
off to the shops I would go with her cloth bag over my arm. I waited in a queue
for the lady or man behind the counter to serve me (we knew the salespeople all
by name and most of them knew us too). The biscuits were kept on a shelf in a
tin and you asked for the amount you wanted and they would be weighed out and
placed in a brown paper bag. Same
with everything else. No yards and yards of plastic that would find its way
into the sea and then into a poor hapless turtle who mistook it for food. No
ten or more different types of milk that comes in plastic containers, just sterilized or pasteurized or plain milk that had a layer of cream on the top.
Milk was delivered daily anyway by the trusty milkman, who would leave his bill
at the end of the week with the milk and then next morning my mother would put
the cash she owed him wrapped up in a piece of paper and tucked inside the top
of an empty bottle.
My love of horses stemmed from feeding crusts of bread to
the milkman’s and baker’s horse who pulled their cart. Living in the center of London,
this was the nearest I came to a horse until I was old enough to take a bus out
to Epping Forest. My mother would let me keep the change, by the way, which was
usually a penny or so.
Now don’t get me started about the auto machines in
supermarkets that have replaced the cashier who you can have a chat to. The
stupid machine is only worried about whether you have any Fly Buys or whatever other gimmick the shop has going. The machines have diddled me three times now
and if I didn’t have my wits about me and checked my receipt they would have
charged me twice for articles.
We older folk tend to rant on about ‘The good ol’ days’ but between you and me they had a lot going for
them. I would often miss the last bus home from a dance when I was a mere
teenager and have to walk a mile home at around midnight with no fear of being
attacked, propositioned or mugged. Perhaps I was just lucky, or it could be
that we had no social media or TV to warn us about the evils lurking out there.
Perhaps I just was, and have always been, one of those people who look at life
through rose tinted glasses. In that I am fortunate as I’ve never had cause to
view life with fear.
If we had to contact one of our many cousins or aunties who
lived out of London, we wrote a letter. Get that? We actually sat and wrote it
on paper, bought a stamp and posted it in the letter box! We never missed a
marriage or any special occasion for that matter simply because we didn’t have a phone or any other means of getting in touch. If someone popped in for a visit they were
always welcome even though they hadn’t warned us by phone or email that they
were coming over. Oh dear, now I am becoming maudlin, but you get the drift,
things were simpler then but life was a whole heap better—in my honest opinion.
Okay, time to stop my rambling on. I’ve said it before, I am no poet, but here are a
couple of nonsensical rhymes I penned years ago to do with time and how it
affects us with its passing.
Time marches on, it won’t stand still
Relentlessly it forges forever onward
As sure as a flood surges down a hill
Life as we know it is a precious thing
So soon youth is past and dreams are gone
Moving like clouds, forever fleeting
But old age brings chances to find peace and fly
To spread our wings and soar like a kite
With few pressing reasons to wonder why
Shortcomings are trifles of little concern
Worries don’t plague as they did when young
We have the complacence and wit to learn
When young we set out to prove we are strong
Told all we could overcome obstacles many
Could never abide being told we were wrong.
The advantages are many to being mature
Our critics don’t bother us much anymore
We have wisdom and knowledge making us sure
Why waste precious time on ponderous issues
Sit still, procrastinate about where and why
Why bother to fret about time we may lose
There are those around who will try to deter you
Criticize you often with unkind words
But maturity lends us a much different view
We have all the benefits of hindsight and age
Can take critics opinions with style and grace
Lose patience with those who fight and rage
There are still lots of things to do with our time
Places to go and stories to write
Our days we must fill with poems that rhyme
Time will catch up with these fingers and feet
Take away all our strength and our vigor
But while we’ve a brain any problems we’ll meet
Endeavors and dreams won’t lay waste
On and upwards we’ll go to fill that last page
One thing’s for sure we’re in no great haste
Till our last breath we’ll strive to fill the last page
Make statements that sometimes upset
But that’s the prerogative of those near old age
The sands of time run out oh so fast
We must fill our days as much as we can
Till we cross that last hill and breathe our last.
And this one is simply called PC.
(I do love mine and wouldn’t be without it, or my laptop, but oh there are
times when it can drive me insane.)
How I yearn sometimes for those long ago days
of carefree lessons with Miss Aniseed
A living teacher who talked, breathed and taught
the alphabet and sums, and how to read.
With a graph on the wall of the alphabet,
she taught us to know that B followed A
And how to read as if it was simply a game
that we just knew we had to play.
These days the children learn all that they know,
by staring at screens and pressing a mouse
They create data bases in front of these monsters,