Sunday, 13 January 2013

Sunday 13th January - Being Grateful for large and small mercies

My word, first post of the year and it's already the 13th. I can report that the New Year's Resolution regarding chocolate is going very well indeed, and I am accumulating a supply of "stuff" for the January charity bag.
I promise that none of contents of the charity bag are rejected Christmas presents. It seems just a tad ungracious to unwrap, inspect, and lob a gift into the recycling all in one swift motion.

There has been so much packed into the first fortnight of the year that I can hardly remember what has happened. What with one thing and another, there has been no time for reflection, and without time and space to revisit, remember, reassess the events of the day, important experiences are ruthlessly discarded just like unwanted gifts.

Even the "bad" things can enrich one's life... for instance...

The cooker STILL isn't fixed, in spite of two engineers and one electrician.

The bathroom light bulb went, last Monday morning. On trying to replace the bulb, we discovered that the whole fitting had given up - well, after more than 20 years, that seems reasonable. However, at this time of year, we get up, and go to bed, while it is still dark!

So, what can be so good about this? I admit to stomping about and saying snappy anglo-Saxon words which are short on vowels and long on consonants. BUT, Pollyanna-ish, there is a bright side.

It is unbelievably irritating not to be able to use your preferred method of cooking food. Especially if you had done your weekly shopping on the assumption that the cooker would be mended. Our freezer is now solid with foods that are best cooked in an oven, or on a hob. HOWEVER, I have discovered how easy it is to cook fish in the microwave (put frozen fillets on a dinner plate, add salt, pepper and a knob of butter, maybe a squeeze of lemon, cover with cling film and zap for a couple of minutes. Mmmm delicious). The slow cooker has come into its own - as I type it is full of vegetables and minced beef (I have cheated and used a jar of ready-made sauce). In about 5 hours I will have a huge vat of chilli con carne which will provide meals for two or more days.

Bathing by candlelight, brushing your teeth by the light of a camping lantern, maybe has a certain amount of romantic charm. And, thanks to yet another visit by the electrician, we have a super new bathroom light fitting with THREE BULBS; note the THREE BULBS; in future, when a bulb goes, we will no longer be instantly plunged into darkness. That has to be better!

Chrome & White 3-Plate Bathroom Spotlight 25W
actually this isn't the one we chose, but I can't find a picture of it. And I'm too lazy to go upstairs and take a photograph. And anyway our bathroom isn't anything wonderful to share. Not until we decorate and maybe change the 30-year-old horrible, horrible bathroom suite. But it gives you an idea. Of the light. Not the bathroom. Obviously.

I know that my determination to look on the bright side of things can be infuriating. It is my way of dealing with what gets thrown at me. Looking at my life, taking everything into account, I AM privileged, wealthy, cosseted, safe, secure. To be sure, I have health issues; but last week I learnt that the latest addition to my list of pills and potions costs the NHS the best part of £10 per day - £3,500 per year! So I don't think that I will be grumbling about prescription charges!

My cooker isn't working - but I can afford to buy and cook food. I can go to the chippy when I'm just not in the mood to construct a meal using the slow cooker and microwave. At our church, there is a box for collecting groceries for "Ark", a local charity helping people in our town who have difficulty affording food. Memo to self: take a substantial contribution next time.

The bathroom light doesn't work. Hang on a minute before moaning - I have hot and cold running water, and reliable sanitation! That puts me in a wealthy minority when you look at the rest of the world.  I think a donation to a suitable charity is in order, as a thank-you for the new bathroom light.

Primitive toilet in Indonesia
 If you have rad all the way down to the bottom in the hope of an update about my mother's progress, sorry! That will come in the next post!

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