Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Little Bundles of Potential.

One year ago today I posted a little painting of a vineyard I walked past. So here today is a very similar little painting of a vineyard I walked through last night. 

Yesterday I moved from one site to another passing many such vineyards and some of the most beautiful fields of poppies I have ever witnessed. Sadly the road was very narrow and I could find no place to stop and enjoy them.

Before we left out last site there arrived on site a school party of children and teachers. They were primary school children boys and girls. They were all so excited and full of fun. The campsite was filled with their song and laughter and my heart was bursting with joy listening and watching them.

There they were little minds ready to be filled with new and interesting things.

Each one so different.

As I watched I became aware that I might be sitting watching a future president of France, a famous author or artist. Maybe there was a potential terrorist there or a bank robber. Maybe one of them would find a cure for cancer or even equally good the cure for old age. 

Those teachers with them had the future hopes and dreams of those children in their hands.

So today I stop for a moment and raise a glass of Rose' to all like Morag one of my friends on here who have given their time to encourage and nurture such young potentials.

Have a marvellous day and a special thanks to all who teach.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Just a little seed.


As I waked this morning my friend made comment about how the grass managed to find its way up through the roads. The tarmac in France is so much smoother than ours at home and yet the grass still manages bit by bit to push to the surface.

A little later on my walk I saw this lovely little wild rose pushing its way up through the weeds and other wild plants.

Those two incidents reminded me of the tale of the boulder. There was a very large boulder that people had to walk around every time they entered or left the village. Many times it had been suggested they move this obstruction bt had always failed to move it.

They had tried breaking it but the hard rock was not marked by the available tools.

So the boulder remained in place.

One day a robin had gathered a rose hip and was busy eating the inner seeds one by one. As he progressed one of the seeds had slipped int a tiny crack in the stone and there it lay.

The rain came and went and the seed began to put out roots and little shoots. That first year it became a little bush. The next year it grew larger. As it. grew so did its branches and roots. 

Eventually the pressure of the roots had made the crack larger and larger until the boulder broke into two parts.

Now it was able to be moved. The rose was left to grow as a reminder of the event and the boulder.

Little actions can have large ongoing consequences for good and bad. 

Take care of little things they ripple out to those around us. 

Have a marvellous day.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Friends and Adventures

One of the best things about holidays is meeting friends. Friends you have known for years and share holidays with and the new friends you meet in the passing of the days.

Another exciting thing is new places. Right now I am in an interesting area for fellow artists. It was here that they quarried for the rock that made yellow ochre paint. They have left behind the signs of their mining. Yesterday I did some exploring in these now abandoned mines

There is a real sense of nervous excitement going into unknown places and wondering where it might lead. Yesterday led to a maze of tunnels and coming out eventually unaware of where I was. Finding my way back involved a good walk.

Friendship is a bit like this. You meet people and just never know what you are about to learn and share.

One or two thoughts I had yesterday putting those two things together.

Do not worry about knowing people just make sure you are worth knowing.

be thankful for the friends you know because if it was not for them you would be a total stranger. That needs a bit of thought.

Friends are those who speak to you after others do not.

The reason a dog has so many friends is he wags his tail and not his tongue.

Have a good day.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Old Bull


I am sitting in the sun enjoying my evening meal. Just across the river there is a field of white cows each with a calf. Also in the field there is a large white bull. Between them and me is this beautiful growth of Iris. The birds are in full song and everything seems so peaceful.

Even the Bull seems content to move among the herd give. A cow what seems to be an affectionate push every now and again. It fill me with a great feeling of contentment.

I am reminded of the tale of the old far,er and his friend. He was telling his friend that his old and very trustworthy Bull was beginning to show his age. He was thinking it might be time to get a new Bull. His friend advised him to hold on to the old Bull and slowly introduce a newer younger Bull.

He did just that. On the first morning of the two being in the field together the young new Bull looked around him. He turned to the older bull and said," look at all those beautiful cows. Why do we not run over there and get aquatinted with a couple of them."

The old bull looked at him and said, " Why do we not just meander over there and get aquatinted with them all?"

The follies of youth and the wisdom of age.

Have a great day whenever your read this and have a peaceful meandering day.

Monday, 15 May 2017


I sat in the sun today in Paris looking at its most iconic image. I had a glass of Rose wine and doodled and watched the world go past. How relaxing, absolutely no pressure just being at one with myself and the world. 

Unlike the three priests sitting about two tables away from me. They unlike I did not seem at all relaxed. They were having a very animated conversation. I had no idea what they were talking about  but enjoyed wondering.

Were they trying to solve the problems of the world of which there are so many? Were they wondering how to solve the problem of dwindling numbers of attenders? I did not have an idea but I did enjoy making up my own tale of their conversation.

The first one was talking about the problem of all the bats in the church belfry and all he had done to get rid of them with no success but he was concerned about the mess they were making.

The second on said his problem was pigeons. He also had tried to solve the problem he had even had the belfry fumigated with no success.

The third said he had solved his problem of pigeons. he said he had baptised them all and made them members of the church. Problem solved he said, like so many people who get baptised and join the church or for that matter join loads of other things they join and then you never ever see them again.

The age of non commitment  I think.

I hope you are all well do not know when or if this will be read but if you do give it a thought. Have a wonderful day one and all. 

Friday, 12 May 2017

A little bit of remembrance.

I added a little colour to my rose doodle.

Seemed that many people liked hearing about the tale of the minister. I remembered this after hearing my best friend tell of an event from his ministry. He was chaplain in the local hospital and was in the midst of visiting one of wards. He slipped out for a little puff of a cigarette. As he was standing puffing away a nurse said to him, "Do you not think you should be setting a better example?" My friend thought for a moment and replied, "You have to know something about sin before you can preach about it." The nurse smiled and retorted, " Please let me know when you are preaching on the ten commandments, especially the seventh one."

I will leave you to that but give you a little help with this other tale of a minister. 

The local minister found it easier to visit in his parish using a cycle rather than a car. Everybody knew him as the cycling minister.  As he cycled past he would have a wave and a kind word for everybody. 

Then one day he was walking. The local police constable asked him what had happened to his bike, he was concerned it had been stolen. The minister said he could not remember where he had left it.

Two or three days later he was back on the bike. The constable stopped him and asked where he had found his bike. The minister said, " God works in mysterious ways his wisdom to behold."

The constable looked bewildered. The minister went on to tell him that he had been preaching last Sunday on the topic of the ten commandments. Everything was going very well until he reached number seven. "It was at that point that I remembered where i had left my bike he said." 

Now if you know your commandments you will now be smiling or chuckling. 

Have a hectic weekend before me so might not be able to be online for the next two days. 

Have a wonderful weekend and remember if you go out cycling to remember where you left it. 

Thursday, 11 May 2017


Everybody tells me I am a talker and I am sure they cannot all be wrong. I suppose I have lived my life kind of like the person who never says something in a few words when there are plenty more words to say.

A bit like the preacher who never knew when to stop. His wife came up with the wonderful solution to this problem. She had worked out that if you put a polo mint in your mouth it is completely gone in twenty minutes with no effort on your behalf, just put it in your mouth and leave it.

So on the next Sunday morning she slipped one in his pocket and told him to put it in at the start of the sermon and he should be finished when it was. he did as she had told him and the sermon still went on and on. After the service she asked him why. 

He told her he had done what she said but had not realised there was also a loose shirt button in his pocket and he had been sucking it.

So what is this all about? I have tried three times to write a blog today and I just have nothing to say. 

So in those circumstances i am going to listen to the wise words of the sage and say nothing. Instead I give you my little doodle of a rose. Every Thursday when I go to catch the bus I pass a little flower shop where the aroma is beautiful. They always have red roses and the scent from them is wonderful.

So to all my friends here is a Rose, and no more empty words. 

Enjoy and have a beautiful day.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

A Matter of Opinion.

I had on my Jean Michelle jar T shirt as I worked on my front garden yesterday. The exciting thing about doing the front garden is that I get distracted all the time as people pass and stop to speak with me.

Yesterday was not unusual except for on little incident. A person passing happened to notice the t shirt and made comment about my terrible choice of music.

" Why do you not listen to decent music" he asked me?  "What would you consider decent music," I asked him?

"The Beatles or the Rolling Stones or maybe even the Kinks, " was his reply.

Now I do not want to bore you with the ongoing conversation but I did happen to mention to him that I did in fact listen to those also. An interesting debate pursued about music and this passing gentleman was obviously very passionate about the music he listened to. He soon became somewhat scathing about some of the music that I listen to in the course of the day.

He found it difficult to comprehend that I often moved from Jazz to Classical then threw in a bit of Opera.

Oh dear such rubbish he said.

Beginning to wonder how I could bring this convention to an amicable conclusion I said to hime that one of my most favourite of all pieces of music was synced to my apple watch and I had been listening to it on my AirPods just before he passed.

He wondered what piece that was.  I told him it was a piece written by a man who had a doctorate in astrophysics. That he had written a thesis on, "A Survey Of Radical Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud."

Well, at that point I could almost see steam coming from his ears. That must surely be the most terrible ever piece of music. Anybody who could right such stuff as that thesis must have his head in the clouds. Maybe a bit like the lad in the painting above.

I told him the man's name was Dr. Brian May and the music was,  "Bohemian Rhapsody," and the album was an album comparing the music of The Beatles the Rolling Stones, and Queen, Dr Brian May being the guitarist of Queen.

All of the above mentioned by him as music worthy of listening to.

So my gardening spell did not teach me a great deal about plants but it certainly taught me a great deal about opinions and how they are something we all have and maybe we have to learn to respect the thoughts tastes and opinions of all.

Wondering what music might help me find a hole in one this afternoon on the golf course?

Have a marvellous day enjoy it before the predicated rain brings midges back to Scotland this weekend.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017


Weeds can be things of beauty

Technology is a marvellous thing, I have always thought this. I always find it amusing when I hear those on the news who keep saying they are concerned abuts oldies who are not so tech savvy. I find this so patronising when the reality is that the larger number of us are far more savvy that many other groups in society. 

Today I will be setting up an apple watch for somebody a lot younger than myself and I will be the one who will instruct and show all that can be done on such a piece of hardware. 

Yes, there are some who need help among us oldies  but that is often not because they do not know it is because they have forgotten.  There is a difference. 

My friend ended up telling a chat technician how to do something a lot faster than they were trying to tell her how to do it. 

Now here is one for the records I read about two days ago. It really did happen.  A technician, or as he likes to be called and it says all over his van, a computer doctor, receives a call from a lady. 

Caller: “Hello! Can you come here get my computer to fix it? Or repair it here for me?”

Techy: “Sure! What is your address?”
Caller: “It’s [Street], [house number]. It’s right at the junction. It’s a two-floor yellow house.”
Techy: “I will be there very soon, it seems easy to find. I am on my way.”
He drives to where he was directed. He sees the number but it is certainly not a yellow two storey house. There seems to be nobody around. He decides to give the number of the caller a ring to check he is at the correct place. 
Techy: Can I just check with you that I am at the correct place.
Customer: “Sure! It’s [Same Street and number], a two floor yellow house.”
Boss: “There’s just a red house at that street, and no one answered the door.”
Customer: “Oh, yeah. It’s yellow, but we painted it red last month. Ring the bell again."
He does and the customer says, "Hello I will be right with you. 
So to all those people who keep thinking we old people live on a cloud but not a data cloud, check out that you know where you are before you point the fingers at us unsay old timers.

That bit of technology awaits my attention. Have a marvellous day. 

Monday, 8 May 2017


A Ballet Tulip.

I had reason to visit the hospital yesterday due to an emergency in my family. I so hate hospitals having had some happy moments and therefore memories of them.

This relationship with hospitals has caused some funny memories and some not so funny.  I suppose my dislike began when I was a very young lad. It appeared that when I went to the loo I was passing blood. My mother called the doctor who immediately sent me to the hospital. I was kept in of course being such an emergency. I hated this imprisonment. 

How pleased I was the next day to be told I would be going home, the blood turning out to be nothing more than an over indulgence in stolen beetroot, that my mother and neighbours had been cooking and I had been eating behind their backs. 

A more serious event that again kept me from hospitals was when I was older. I was using a very sharp butchers knife and took the top off my finger. It was wrapped in  a towel and I was taken to accident and emergency. After being asked what was wrong with me, which was rather obvious with all the blood dripping down my arm, I was asked to sit and wait. 

Around my feet began to be drops of the blood from my arm. A cleaner lady asked me to move to another seat while she mopped it up. A time later another nurse came and asked me what I was waiting for, I could not resist saying i was waiting for the other bit of floor to dry. 

I was training to run the London marathon when I began to get a pain in the groin. MY best friend Bert knowing my dislike of doctors and nurses said he would give me a good massage and I would be fine. He did just that and the next day i ran the marathon. Two days later I had to be rushed out of school to the accident and emergency and that night an emergency operation for a hernia. 

Yesterday I overheard a strange conversation between a nurse and the patient behind the screens of the bed next to my son. 

Nurse: “Yeah, I have chickens and they’re about to—”
Patient: “What do you have chickens for?”
Nurse: “They lay fresh eggs that my family and I can eat.”
Patient: “You eat the eggs out of a chicken’s bum!?”
Nurse: “Uh… where do you think eggs come from?”
Patient: “I buy mine from the store. They’re store eggs!”
Nurse:“They come out of a chicken’s butt, too.”
Patient: “But… but you said the ones you have are brown. The ones I get are white.”
Nurse: “ Some chickens lay white eggs and other lay brown. That’s not how—”
Patient: “I guess I’m just never having eggs again… like, ever. That’s disgusting. Thank goodness I am having rump steak for dinner."
I suppose we all see hospitals so differently but I rejoice and say a big thanks to all those who work within them. We really should rejoice that we have them all and be more appreciative of them. 
Have a happy and healthy day. 

Saturday, 6 May 2017


My apologies that this story is a fairly longish one but it is a true story and well worth a read. It really does make you think, well at least it did make me do so.

Carl was a quiet man. He didn't talk much. He would always greet you with a big smile and a firm handshake.
Even after living in our neighborhood for over 50 years, no one could really say they knew him very well.
Before his retirement, he took the bus to work each morning. The lone sight of him walking down the street often worried us. He had a slight limp from a bullet wound received in WWII.
Watching him, we worried that although he had survived WWII, he may not make it through our changing uptown neighborhood with its ever-increasing random violence, gangs, and drug activity.
When he saw the flyer at our local church asking for volunteers for caring for the gardens behind the minister's residence, he responded in his characteristically unassuming manner. Without fanfare, he just signed up.
He was well into his 87th year when the very thing we had always feared finally happened.
He was just finishing his watering for the day when three gang members approached him. Ignoring their attempt to intimidate him, he simply asked, "Would you like a drink from the hose?"
The tallest and toughest-looking of the three said, "Yeah, sure," with a malevolent little smile.
As Carl offered the hose to him, the other two grabbed Carl's arm, throwing him down. As the hose snaked crazily over the ground, dousing everything in its way, Carl's assailants stole his retirement watch and his wallet, and then fled.
Carl tried to get himself up, but he had been thrown down on his bad leg. He lay there trying to gather himself as the minister came running to help him.
Although the minister had witnessed the attack from his window, he couldn't get there fast enough to stop it. "Carl, are you okay? Are you hurt?" the minister kept asking as he helped Carl to his feet.
Carl just passed a hand over his brow and sighed, shaking his head.
"Just some punk kids. I hope they'll wise-up someday." His wet clothes clung to his slight frame as he bent to pick up the hose. He adjusted the nozzle again and started to water.
Confused and a little concerned, the minister asked, "Carl, what are you doing?"
"I've got to finish my watering. It's been very dry lately," came the calm reply.
Satisfying himself that Carl really was all right, the minister could only marvel. Carl was a man from a different time and place.
A few weeks later the three returned. Just as before their threat was unchallenged. Carl again offered them a drink from his hose. This time they didn't rob him. They wrenched the hose from his hand and drenched him head to foot in the icy water. When they had finished their humiliation of him, they sauntered off down the street, throwing catcalls and curses, falling over one another laughing at the hilarity of what they had just done.
Carl just watched them. Then he turned toward the warmth giving sun, picked up his hose, and went on with his watering.
The summer was quickly fading into fall. Carl was doing some tilling when he was startled by the sudden approach of someone behind him. He stumbled and fell into some evergreen branches.
As he struggled to regain his footing, he turned to see the tall leader of his summer tormentors reaching down for him. He braced himself for the expected attack.
"Don't worry old man, I'm not gonna hurt you this time." The young man spoke softly, still offering the tattooed and scarred hand to Carl. As he helped Carl get up, the man pulled a crumpled bag from his pocket and handed it to Carl.
"What's this?" Carl asked.
"It's your stuff," the man explained. "It's your stuff back. Even the money in your wallet." "I don't understand," Carl said. "Why would you help me now?"
The man shifted his feet, seeming embarrassed and ill at ease. "I learned something from you," he said. "I ran with that gang and hurt people like you. We picked you because you were old and we knew we could do it. But every time we came and did something to you, instead of yelling and fighting back, you tried to give us a drink. You didn't hate us for hating you. You kept showing love against our hate." He stopped for a moment.
"I couldn't sleep after we stole your stuff, so here it is back." He paused for another awkward moment, not knowing what more there was to say. "That bag's my way of saying thanks for straightening me out, I guess." And with that, he walked off down the street.
Carl looked down at the sack in his hands and gingerly opened it. He took out his retirement watch and put it back on his wrist. Opening his wallet, he checked for his wedding photo. He gazed for a moment at the young bride who still smiled back at him from all those years ago.
He died one cold day after Christmas that winter. Many people attended his funeral in spite of the weather.
In particular the minister noticed a tall young man who he didn't know sitting quietly in a distant corner of the church.
The minister spoke of Carl's garden as a lesson in life. In a voice made thick with unshed tears, he said, "Do your best and make your garden as beautiful as you can. We will never forget Carl and his garden."
The following spring another flyer went up.  It read:
"Person needed to care for Carl's garden."
The flyer went unnoticed by the busy parishioners until one day when a knock was heard at the minister's office door.
Opening the door, the minister saw a pair of scarred and tattooed hands holding the flyer. "I believe this is my job, if you'll have me," the young man said.
The minister recognized him as the same young man who had returned the stolen watch and wallet to Carl. He knew that Carl's kindness had turned this man's life around.
As the minister handed him the keys to the garden shed, he said, "Yes, go take care of Carl's garden and honor him."
The man went to work and, over the next several years, he tended the flowers and vegetables just as Carl had done.
In that time, he went to college, got married, and became a prominent member of the community. But he never forgot his promise to Carl's memory and kept the garden as beautiful as he thought Carl would have kept it.
One day he approached the new minister and told him that he couldn't care for the garden any longer. He explained with a shy and happy smile, "My wife's just had a baby boy last night, and she's bringing him home on Saturday."
"Well, congratulations!" said the minister, as he was handed the garden shed keys. "That's wonderful! What's the baby'name?" "Carl," he replied.

Hope you enjoyed this tale as much as I did it restores faith in life.

Have a great day. 

Friday, 5 May 2017

Where is it all going?

Had a very busy day yesterday one way and another, and somewhat exciting also. In the morning I collected my motorhome after having a satellite dome fitted to its roof. Then my rush to make the bus for my trip to Dunfermline.

Now should I go and get a haircut before my meeting or leave it until after? Fortunately I decided to get it over and done with, being such a lover of haircuts. 

Went in to meet my friends in the Inn next door to the hairdressers and all seemed well. 

Then we got caught up in a bomb scare.  The street where the hairdresser was cordoned off with police tape and there were police everywhere. Ambulances stood around as did police cars. Police were  all armoured up.

I began to wonder if somebody got a bad haircut! Mine seemed ok.

Oh for the days when the only scare you got in life was a backlash from your mother. This growing old, and this kind of thing makes you ask where it is all going. 

This all got me thinking about the journey of life and some thoughts on how we got here. 

If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, it's full potential, that word would be "meetings."

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

No matter what happens ... somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.

When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that person is crazy.

The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.

Your friends love you anyway.

Another busy day lies before me I just hope I do not end up surrounded by police cars.

Have a great day. 

Thursday, 4 May 2017

From the mouths.

I often just sit like the Buddhist I drew on my iPad yesterday and just think.  A lot of those thoughts grow from the many interactions I have had over the years with young people. They have touched my life is so many ways and I hope in turn I touched theirs. 

One of the things I often smile about is the many many different descriptions I have heard of what we mean by love. It came with the territory as a minister and teacher of ethics and philosophy to discover what love meant. 

I am sure I have shared some of those in the past but I hope these are others from my memory bank.

From the mouths of children.

"When my granny got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather did it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love." 
"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth." -- Billy - age 4
"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other." 
"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your chips without making them give you any of theirs." 
 "Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mum and Dad are like that. They look gross when they kiss"
 "Love is when you tell a boy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday." 
"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well." 
 "Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day." 
  "You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot.  
Forget to note down the name of this one.
And here's the final answer to "What does Love mean?"
 The story that really sums up love for me is this true account.
The old man next door from young James had been to the funeral of his wife. later that day he was sitting in the front garden.
James, seeing the man cry, went into the old gentleman's garden and climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. 
When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbour, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry"
Have a marvellous day.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Ten ways to stay young.

Yesterday I walked in woodland for just short of three hours without a stop or a break. Did I enjoy it? Of course I did, but if I am really honest I was hoping maybe it might help to keep me young. If not in body, then most surely, in my mind.

Am I a dreamer ? Of course I am but, I do feel one hundred percent the better of it.

So what was I thinking during this three hours?  I was of course thinking what are the most important things I can do to stay young.  I tried to draw up a list of ten. 

Here they are. 

Throw out nonessential numbers. This  includes age, weight and height. No real point worrying about those.
 Keep  only cheerful friends. The  grouches pull you down.
Keep  learning. Learn more  about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain  idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." Or so I was told when I was not old. 
Enjoy  the simple things.  
Laugh often, long  and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
The tears happen. Endure,  grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves.  Be ALIVE while you are alive. 
Surround yourself with what you love , whether  it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.  
Cherish your health: If it is  good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help. 
Don't take guilt trips. Take a  trip to the woods, or get the bus or car to the next  county; to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.
Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. 
That was the ten I came up with in three hours. Now please do not tell me that was a waste of three hours.

Life  is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by  the moments that take our breath away. 
I am almost tempted to say if you do not send this to ten people. But I am not I am laughing out loud and saying who cares what you do with this list, just do not print it off and bin it. 
 Have a day full of Life.  I am heading off to the golf course to spoil a good walk. 

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

What an Answer!

Yesterday I had a number of those annoying calls where you are advised of government schemes or you get nothing but heavy breathing and somebody then snatching at the call. The other ones I get are from companies looking for somebody who has owned my number in the past.

Yesterday I had a fun half hour thinking up some of the answers I really should put on my answer machine other than what I have, "Your call cannot be taken at the moment leave a message after the tone."

Here are one or two others instead. 

Hi, this is Ralph I am not at home right now why not talk to my answering machine instead?

This is Ralph's answering machine what are you?

Hello if you leave a message, I will call you soon. If you sound sexy I will call you sooner.

Hi Ralph's answer machine is broken this is his fridge. Please speak slowly and I will stick your message to myself on one of those magnet things.

Hi you are talking to a machine, I am cable of receiving messages. My owners do not need double glazing, their carpets are clean. They give to charity though a charity bank. They do not want their picture taken or heating fixed. if you are still with me leave a message and I will get back.

This is not an answer machine. This is a telepathic thought recording device. After the tone, think about your name, think about your number, and think about your reason for calling. Then I will think about returning your call.

Hello I am probably at home. I am just avoiding somebody I do not like. Leave a message and if I do not get back to you, it is you.

Hello this is Ralph. Sorry I cannot answer. Leave a message and sit by your phone until I call back.

Please leave a message. However, you have the right to remain silent but everything you do say will be recorded and may be used by me. 

Irene and I cannot answer the phone right now but if you leave your number we will get right back to you as soon as we are finished. 

Hello you have reached the phone of Irene and Ralph. We cannot pick up just now we are both doing something we enjoy. Irene likes doing it up and down I prefer side to side. So leave a message and when we have finished cleaning our teeth we will call back.

Have a wonderful day, I promise not to call and try to spoil your day by trying to sell you something you know you do not want. 


Monday, 1 May 2017

A little drop of advice.

The Joy of Youth.

As I get older and I see around me young people making all, well a lot of , the mistakes I made how I wish I was still able to share some words of wisdom. But the days of standing before a class of young eager students have long gone and I doubt if I will ever be invited to address such a group again. 

Given the chance , what would I have to say?

I encourage anyone over 26 to try this and thank you for indulging my attempt.
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of  2017.  Wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. 
Nevertheless I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. 
Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20/30 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. 
You are not as fat as you imagine, and the spots are not really noticeable.
Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing, chewing gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
 Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
 Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
 Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees and ankles. Trust me you will  miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
 Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander,  and lie . You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasise that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen, wish I had.
Have a wonderful day.