No Gloom

I’m concerned that these postings shouldn’t be inappropriately down-beat. Its true that tracking the process of getting older can be dispiriting and especially so if you want to be honest as I do, and as many others do who bring to the attention of a wider audience the perils and pitfalls of ageing. However, there are many good things about getting older. And of those surely having lost of good and precious friends must be high on the list of positives.

My wife recently had a significent birthday and had the brilliant idea of celebrating it by having a mammoth party. She invited relations from all sides of the family, several of them only having a connection with each other through her, in some cases never having met before. Then we invited friends we have made through the years on our travels, a sort of surrogate family with whom we feel related through affection and shared experience. Two cousins were on a Caribbean cruise and obviously couldn’t come, but everyone else could, and did.

There were sixty two of us. We booked an excellent venue, balloons, music and flowers everywhere arranged by our daughters, brilliant caterers, and everyone it seemed as happy as we were.

It was a more difficult day for four of us. Our ten year old grandson was unwell and needed a hospital check on Sunday and for him and his mother six hours waiting to be reassured was not quite how they wanted to spend so much of their forty eight hours in Bath. Two friends were knocked down by a taxi as they arrived on the Saturday and they too spent some time hospitalised the next day and needed check-ups when they returned home. On the law of averages, sixty people together from all parts of the country and from Spain, unwelcome things may happen. But the casualties were resilient and managed to keep stoical and cheerful.

So often in the past such gatherings as this have been the result of a death in the family.

But this one was about life!! On the following day a group of us had a walk in the sunshine along a canal, ending up at a cousin’s commodious house for drinks and eats. Then in the evening our immediate family were together, relaxing and sharing experiences. Wonderful.

It was a great time, and for those of us who are older than we would chose to be, there was a total absence of gloom!