If it is not indigestion it must be gratitude
I think it was Voltaire who said ‘Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well’. Today I have Terry at Spearfruit to thank for nominating me for a Blogger Appreciation Award. Terry writes every day and is gradually piecing together for us his past, his present and his future. He has a very precise approach to telling his story. He has planned out rigidly what to divulge and when and runs separate linear threads that are gradually knitting and fusing to reveal his tapestry. It is the polar opposite of my own scattergun style and it is hugely engaging – I would encourage you to go and visit him … he’s a keeper. Actually I also need to thank Terry for the recent revelation that his name is Terry. Prior to this, when interacting I never quite knew whether it was etiquette to shorten him to Spear. Or Fruit. Or whether, out of politeness I needed to call him Mr Spearfruit. In seriousness, he has battled multiple issues and continues to have rather radical bumps thrown into his path and he is genuinely inspiring. He also shares the music that has patterned his life which I see as an extra perk (you will gather he has taste. If he didn’t the perk would be a punishment). And I appreciate him which means that his journey belongs to me in some way too. I am enriched.
The rules of engagement for this award are very simple (which can only be a good thing). You thank, you tell something positive about yourself and you suggest and notify as many bloggers as you wish to that you are passing the wand or cudgel depending on your personal style, to them.
Having thanked Terry, therefore, I need to write something positive about me:
Like many, I find it hard to write about me. Even though I refer to myself as Little Miss Me, Me, Me I’m not really comfortable banging on about self – I find other’s stories much more compelling and I am a shameless Pinocchio nosing around for the anecdote sitting in the café, passing me on the street, simply living a life.
So instead I will share the wisdom of a friend many years ago ‘find the purpose in the way things are’ …. he said it to me at a particularly bleak time in my life when pushing water up a hill and sticking needles in my own eyes seemed infinitely preferable to the status quo. And I wanted to thump him. But being non-violent, I chose instead to quietly niggle away at the statement and you know what? There is always a flip side. Always a positive to that negative. As Oscar Wilde said in his poignant and tragic ‘The Portrait of Dorian Grey’ ‘behind every exquisite thing that existed is a tragedy’. And that’s another personal positive – people do genuinely ask if I keep a portrait in the attic (I’m 98 if you were wondering) but the fact is that I simply have lucky genes. And I smile. A smile is the best accessory because it makes you feel so much better as well as looking better or at the very least looking fatuous and providing some necessary comedy in the day for the smilee.
And my nominees … all of them terrific and each quite different from the others:
On the road cooking – Pan makes delicious meals in the cab of her truck. Which she shares with Stewie. She’s a delight
Rose Bay Letters – nicknamed ‘the sidekick traveller’ by her son, Janet’s blog is such a pleasure. Whether travelling or at home in New England, she treats us to beautiful pictures and insights. We share a love of Oscar Wilde so the Dorian Grey is for her
Redo Sue – Sue writes, she says, because she has to. I read her blog not because I have to but because what she writes is really very very good
Maison Travers – Nadia is a South African born cordon bleu cook who lived two decades in Los Angeles before settling in le Dordogne where she runs a Chambre d’Hotes and cookery school. Delicious.
Sultana Bun – Lynda is a housewife and describes this as an admission of a dirty word. There is nothing dirty about this delightful blog – just humour and pathos and life. Its a joy.
So there you have it. Feel free to ignore me as the strange woman with the pokey nose who smiles inanely and continues to find the purpose in the way things are.
PS: The title is Benjamin Disraeli – ‘I feel a very unusual sensation – if it’s not indigestion, it must be gratitude’. I believe he said it to his arch enemy William Gladstone in some or other parliamentary debate. In these days when politicians seem so hell bent on throwing rocks and never quite managing to move the obstruction in their throat that prevents them from being gracious to one another or, heaven forbid acknowledging that the other might have some credence, it would perhaps be an idea to cast minds backwards and concede that not all progress is good progress. Manners maketh the man after all. Even when the man (or woman) has designs on great office.
The photos in this post were all taken on a balmy hot day in the Belledonne mountains above Grenoble. My father seemed so close as to be walking beside me that day over a decade since his death. His love, his influence are woven so thoroughly into my own tapestry – I may not be able to see him but I never fail to feel him.