Daybook: 24 November 2018

24 November 2018
When Fred mentioned an acquaintance’s latest blog, it stung me. And her blog is very good, with observation and great photos and a touch of humour and irony. Damn the woman! Bless the woman! Got me writing again.

After a week of sunless days, this morning the skies are blue and the genial sun sets off a million carats in hedgerows and orange groves and everywhere there is green. Everything rinsed and quenched in a week of steady healing rain. Not the usual big storm with rushing streams of rain damaging trees and tracks.

I try to channel the joy I feel from Eddie, snorfling along in damp leaves and worse, the sun on his white back, enjoying this very moment. Find the joy in this life right now, not in some other where or when that is always just behind or before.

In the high street, a coachload of Cordoban elders have just disembarked. They stand outside waiting for their friends, faces turned to the sun, drying out damp bones, simply drinking in the light and warmth. Others linger over café con leche and their morning tostada, yet others stop and chat to friends in the street. It’s like a theatre stage where the lights have come back on. And even I, always a fugitive from the summer sun, even I walk on the bright side this morning.

30 November 2018 – MADRID
I’m at Starbucks Café, Principe Pío rail station (think Liverpool Street as a London equivalent). Munching a modest turkey sandwich and crisps, sun shifting in the skylight above. A notebook, three 0.7 tip blue pens and a renewed faith in the joy of purpose.

Divine intervention? Reading Anne Morrow’s diaries and letters (her beautiful mind and great heart on every page). Carlos surely channelling an angel to give me new energy as we talked. He is pursuing his dream of professional football coaching – at 57 years old; while doing right by his 90 year old Mum and even by the sad old dog he is caring for.

People pass my table in a constant stream. Many are dressed in drab navy, grey and black on this cold Madrid morning. Some are elderly and infirm. Younger people hurry past, still living in the world of hustle and have-to – what keeps them from despair?

Maybe now, with different eyes, I can see better. Maybe each of these commuters has a dream. An elderly woman next to me in the newsagent was looking for a particular type of goody-bag, one with the right cards her granddaughter needs for her collection. She found the right one, and smiled at me. Purpose doesn’t have to be heroic! She was anticipating her granddaughter’s joy at getting the cards. Suddenly the busy mall seems not tense, but jolly.

As the world’s troubles darken and deepen, I have been seeing through dark glasses too, all doom, all downhill. But just for today, I will allow myself to believe again, in friendship, joy, fun – and the pursuit of dreams.





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