Yesterday on BBC Radio 4 we heard of the death of Nick Clarke, presenter of the World at One, the lunchtime news programme. Nick was diagnosed with cancer just a year ago. The programme was extended from the usual 30 minutes to a full hour. It consisted of a summary of Nick’s life in journalism, clips from various programmes that he was associated with over the years, and a deluge of colleagues, politicians and other public figures all telling us what a wonderful person he was.
It is good to hear how well liked and professional they considered him. But it also made me wonder – How many of those who were so moved to have their voice heard yesterday, ever actually told Nick of how they admired his qualities and skill, when he was still alive? The words may bring comfort to the family left behind, but would have been better said to Nick when he was alive.
I like to say ‘thank you’ when a gentleman holds a door open for me, the service is good in a shop or restaurant or when someone does something helpful for me. The ‘Thank You’ like a smile costs nothing and does no good when kept to oneself. It might be the first kind thing that has happened for that person all week.
Once, I was asked why I smile when I walk down the street. Well sometimes when people see you smile they think you know them and smile back. If they do know me I look like I recognise them. And if I don’t know them they might wonder what I was up to that made me smile! 😀
No, there is no way I am telling you what I get up to!
It is a dark, dreary and wet November day. I so want to curl up in bed and close out the world. Instead I have decided to count my blessings – just 20 things off the top of my head that make life and living worthwhile. So here goes:
1. Elly, who made me a mother and gives me love as well as lectures.
2. Jack my late ‘Soul-Mate’, who taught me how to love.
3. My own front door, that I can open to welcome friends or close and keep out the cold, windy and damp weather.
4. Cooking whatever and whenever I feel like eating.
5. A good warm real fire. It adds life to my home and warms my toes like nothing else.
6. Laughing and the Grandmother who taught me to find laughter in everything we did.
7. Helen, a friend who is like a tonic and makes me glad to be alive.
8. Good Coffee.
9. Sharing a nice bottle of wine with friends.
10. MSN Messenger for keeping in contact with family and friends around the globe.
11. A walk in the woods or by the sea.
12. BBC World Service for the hours when I can’t sleep.
13.Needlework of the creative type rather than repairs.
14. Having a good head of hair, even if the auburn is losing the battle with the grey.
15. That I can eat what I like without wearing it on my hips.
16. Being a size 10/12.
17. Birdsong especially in the morning.
18. Listening to music.
19. Reading, even if I am slow.
20. The person who invented Tissues.
Now I am sure you can do better than this. Go on give it a try!
The daughter wants to to know:
‘Have you ever?’
My answers in blue…
01. Bought everyone in the pub a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain – a little one, Knocknarea in Sligo when I was a little girl
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you’ and meant it – I try to say it everyday
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern/Southern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg – if you count my feet, then yes!
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s nappy
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Got drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment –many times what women hasn’t?
27. Had a food fight – do Marshmallows count?
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger – not telling who!
30. Had a snowball fight – but hated it because I feel the cold so much
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster – in Legoland
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking – along a street when I realised I was in love!
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment – yes for the most part of life but being in love, engaged, married and becoming a mother are highlights
39. Visited all 7 states and territories in Australia
40. Taken care of someone who was drunk
41. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
42. Watched wild whales
43. Stolen a sign – will an ashtray do?
44. Backpacked in Europe – yes I live in Europe!
45. Taken a road-trip
46. Gone rock climbing
47. What happened to 47? –seem to have lost this one
48. Midnight walk on the beach
49. Gone sky diving
50. Taken a train through Europe
51. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love – well I thought it was love.
52. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table, and had a meal with them
53. Milked a cow
54. Alphabetized your CDs
55. Sung karaoke – Motherhood can be cruel
56. Lounged around in bed all day
57. Gone scuba diving
58. Kissed in the rain – Mmmmm!… memories.
59. Gone to a drive-in theatre
60. Started a business
61. Taken a martial arts class
62. Been in a movie
63. Crashed a party
64. Gone without food for 5 days
65. Gotten a tattoo
66. Got flowers for no reason – yes, but preferred chocolate
67. Performed on stage – In a school production
68. Been to Las Vegas
69. Recorded music
70. Eaten shark
71. Buried one or/both of your parents – both
72. Been on a cruise ship
73. Spoken more than one language fluently
74. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over – Wiesbaden, Germany
75. Walked the Sydney Harbour Bridge
76. Had plastic surgery
77. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
78. Wrote articles for a large publication – does a newspaper count?
79. Piloted an airplane
80. Petted a stingray
81. Broken someone’s heart – if I did he never told me.
82. Broken a bone – my right wrist
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
86. Skipped all your school reunions
87. Shaved your head
88. Caused a car accident – a minor one, but whoops….
89. Pretended to be “sick” – part of school days
90. Surfed in the ocean
91. Saved someone’s life
92. Fainted – while doing duty on a flag day.
93. Been in the room while someone is giving birth – yes me!
94. Hitchhiked – from Dublin to Salthill in Galway, way back in another life when it was safe to do so and I was not alone.
95. Adopted a child
96. Been caught daydreaming – favourite pastime in my schooldays, had to make the day go by somehow.
97. Been to Ayers Rock
98. Called off a wedding engagement
99. Donated your blood
100. Become a follower of Jesus Christ- growing up in Ireland you started that way and then perhaps became something else!