Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Happy 50th Birthday Mr Grumpy

It was 5.00pm on Wed 11th March, Mr Grumpy sat in his office, contemplating the results from Cheltenham, and looking forward to the Gold Cup on Friday the 13th. This auspicious date was to be his 50th birthday, an occasion he could well do without, and didn't want anyone to know or to notice.

Into the drive came parents-in-law whereupon the realisation that a proposed meal of decadence at The Stag at Titley was not really going to happen. Mr Grumpy complained bitterly about a) missing the Gold Cup and b) wanting to see his three sons on the Sat night.

Told to take the dog for a walk, he did as requested, with many chunters. So after as much grumpiness as he could possibly muster, he was scolded haughtily and sent to bed early. "But prepare a case for an early start tomorrow" said Mrs Grumpy (who wasn't really grumpy at all, she was just unlucky enough to have married Mr Grumpy. In fact, before she was married she was called Miss Happy).After the promised early start, Mr Grumpy was taken right out of his stride when the taxi dropped them off at Heathrow, and was starting to show worrying signs of an improved demeanour when guided towards Club Class seats to New York ! He hadn't guessed a thing even in the departure lounge, because Mrs Grumpy had worked her happy magic in grave secrecy.

What a lovely surprise to saunter into Manhattan for dinner on Thursday in a small but perfectly formed (slightly like Mr G) Italian restaurant. Mr Grumpy was taken sight-seeing on Friday - the Empire State building, then went out on the Statue of liberty ferry and onto Ellis Island.

Back at the swanky apartment Mr Grumpy got ready for dinner, thinking he was losing his grip on his rancourous attitude, when the now retitled Lady Grumpy went out to get some crisps ?

Anyway, by now he was missing his boys on his 50th, so maybe he could be grumpy about that. Crisps, he thought ? She hates them. Then a loud knock on the door. Who the bloody hell is that he thought.Surprise ! There at the door stood the missing teenage sons, Harry, Jamie and Joshua who had flown from Bristol to Newark on Continental and then enjoyed a limo to town and apartment in the same emporium, all arranged by Lady G. Completely knocked over by this arrival Mr G could not hide his joy and shed a (quickly wiped away) tear.

They weren't finished there. Fantastic food in Soho, a helicopter ride over Manhattan, Madison Square Gardens, the site of the Twin Towers, Wall Street. Followed by dinner in a jazz club which had a really typically schmoozy atmosphere

Next day to Times Square and then on to Central Park and then flew back to UK.

What a week end !! And all because Miss Happy thought "Life's short, do it now !"

Mr Grumpy has since had his name changed by deed poll to Laughing Jonny. The spirits - they did it all in one night !

Life is indeed short, too short for anything other than regular doses of fun and good times.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Life is today, not tomorrow

I get plenty of circular emails and most of them I delete without reading, but this one was from my Dad, and he'd got it from my cousin who now lives in deepest, darkest France. Circular mails often feel insincere, unfunny, American, cheap. This one, whatever it is, is an image-laden expression of Lifesshort, so I've avoided decorating it with pictures - let your mind see them :-

Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they
haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know itwas coming or are too rigid to part from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word 'refrigeration' mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, 'How about going to lunch in a half hour?' She would spit and stammer, 'I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain.' And my personal favorite: 'It's Monday.' She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because we cram so much into our lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!

We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet... We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of 'I'm going to', 'I plan on', and 'Someday, when things are settled down a bit.'

When anyone calls my 'seize-the-moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Roller blades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord...

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream.It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-Decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to......not something on your 'SHOULD-DO' list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask ' How are you?' Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, 'We'll do it tomorrow.' And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say 'Hi'.

When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift....thrown away..... Life is not a race take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.

'Life may not be the party we hoped for... but while we are here we might as well dance!

David x