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Only yesterday …

Life passing in an hourglassI was sitting on a tram on my way home the other day and idly looking out of the window.

We pulled up to a very crowded stop where I saw all the hopeful faces of people waiting to board. And the thought suddenly crossed my mind … “Wow …. they’re all younger than I am!”

A young woman climbed aboard, dressed to the nines for a night out. Surely it was only yesterday I was as young as she is now, full of fun and hope on my way to a party. Some fashions haven’t changed all that much. Mini skirts and wedge heels are back in!

There’s a serious-looking Uni student, laden with books, presumably on her way home. Only yesterday I was at Uni too. Of course I didn’t have a smartphone in those days. But I recognise myself in her worried look. I guess there must be an assignment due.

I also find myself smiling when I see a wee girl in school uniform, juggling her heavy bag and moving down the tram to find a seat to hold because she’s too short to reach the overhead bar. I remember that very well! Hmm … though lots may have changed, my stature hasn’t. I’m still too short to reach!

And surely it was only yesterday when, at family gatherings, I saw all the ‘oldies’ sitting around the edges of the room, watching with smiles on their faces as we young ones mingled, danced and exuded energy. Now I’m one of those oldies myself.

Only yesterday, it seems, I could leap out of bed without a single muscle twinging or complaining. And only yesterday, I could see my reflection in a mirror without any if those wrinkle-shadows cast by an overhead light.

Only yesterday – just a heartbeat ago – I was much younger.

To forget is the secret of eternal youth. One grows old only through memory. There’s much too little forgetting.

(Erich Marie Remarque)

Perhaps Remarque was right and I need to do more forgetting! :)

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Things My Grandmother Taught Me …

My Grandmother

If someone gives you something nice, you should probably “keep it for a better thing”.

You need no more than three of anything anyway – one on, one clean and one in the wash.

Always remember to wear clean underwear, in case you get run over by a bus and have to go to hospital.

And if you’re going anywhere, be sure to have a clean hanky!

If you can’t be nice, then hold your tongue.

Sometimes rules are made to be broken.

And remember you can’t always trust a Sassenach! (My granny was Scottish …)

Staying in bed after 7.00 a.m. is sheer laziness …

Nature needs five
Custom takes seven
Laziness nine …
And wickedness eleven!

Finally … she taught me a very important lesson! How to make tea …

  • Warm the teapot first
  • Put in one for each person and one for the pot (spoons of tea leaves)
  • Take the pot to the kettle, not the kettle to the pot
  • Put milk in the cups first (for those “contrary enough” to take their tea with milk)
  • Let it steep for at least two or three minutes before pouring …

old_teacosyThat last is absolutely necessary if you’re making tea for someone who appreciates a decent cup!

I remember Granny commenting disgustedly about visiting someone where she was served tea that was “nae mair than a cup o’ hot water wi’ a couple o’ tea leaves floatin’ in it!”

My grandmother died a very long time ago, when I was only 17.

But all these years later, I still hear her voice. :)

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Books: Windows on the World

I’m sure anyone who has been following my blog for a while will know reading has always been one of my life’s delights. I’ve shared some of that joy through blog posts such as Widdershins, Holding the Centre, Revisiting BridesheadThe Book Thief, or Audiobooks, E-books and Old Friends

My First BooksI don’t remember the process of learning to read. But I actually do remember not being able to read. And I have the evidence! :)

Two of the books on my laden bookshelves are the very first two books I ever owned. One is a collection of nursery rhymes, with gorgeous illustrations by Hilda Boswell. The other is a book of stories about a family of teddy bears: The Teddy Bears’ Picnic, with images by Dutch illustrator Willy Schermelé.

I still have a very clear memory of only seeing the pictures . Large slabs of each page (the text) meant nothing to me. But the illustrations – Hilda Boswell’s in particular – were a wonder-filled world to explore while the nursery rhymes or stories were read aloud to me. I can actually remember that time when I needed an adult’s voice to interpret and share the stories that went with the pictures. [Read more…]

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Princes Bridge Station

Some time ago I wrote I Remember – A Boomer Tribute, a blog post that definitely revealed my age. :) Well this is another one that will do the same.

Train Ticket 1975The other day, among some stuff I was clearing out, I found a ticket stub tucked away in a book. The stub was from a 1975 train ticket! Yep, we were issued with solid cardboard tickets in those days. The date is on the back. On the front are the train lines it served: Princes Bridge to … Glenroy … Holmesglen … Hughesdale … McKinnon … Rosanna.

[Read more…]

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Oldies but Goodies

Well, I think so anyway … :)