A Good Catch Up

I had an unexpected phone call from one of my oldest friends today. Someone I have known for almost 58 years, since we started senior school on the same day, in 1963.

Since moving to Norfolk, I haven’t seen him, and we have only spoken a few times. So a very long chat of three hours or more was needed for a good catch up.

Much of the conversation was about our teenage years in South London. The people we knew, the places we frequented, and the pubs we used to drink in. Family members on each sde that we were familiar with, a few notorious characters we used to come into contact with. Many are long since dead of course, and others have moved away and dropped off of our radar.

Family chat featured too. Who is doing what, who is living where, and memories of those family members now departed. He keeps himself busy with an exercise regime. Running around the quiet lanes in the East Sussex hamlet where he lives, or cycling long distances around the South Downs. He didn’t want to get a dog, as he was reluctant to be upset when it died. He has a long history or riding horses, and being involved with Racing Stables, so that is still part of his life too.

He was interested in what I fill my time with, and surprised that I spend so much time every day blogging. He remarked on that. “You do it every day then?” No fan of social media, he doesn’t have any accounts on those platforms, and their undue influence on modern life makes him angry. But he got back to blogging, something he has little knowledge of. “What do you write about every day then?”

I told him the gist of the blog. Ollie, dog-walking, fictional stories and serials, and occasional serious pieces about things on my mind. It felt strange to explain it like this, and it made me think about the fact that so many people have never even read a blog, let alone written one.

We live in our blogging community, where this activity seems not only desirable, but completly normal. We know that there are tens of millions of bloggers all around the world, churning out stuff on a daily or weekly basis. I realised after chatting to my friend today that the blogging world is a complete mystery to equally as many people. I had forgotten that, after eight years of blogging almost every single day.

Lesson learned.

But that didn’t stop me emailing him links to some of my fiction stories. 🙂

Tumbleweed Blog

It seems that one feature of the start of 2021 is a distinct lack of blogging activity from the 100+ bloggers that I follow.

Some of you appear to have posted nothing at all, others just entries in ‘challenges’, and those usually prolific bloggers seem to have cut down their output drastically too.

With bad weather outside, and an early dog-walk under my belt, I have had plenty of time today to peruse both the world of WordPress, and even spend more time on Twitter than I usually allocate.

But there is not much happening, and I can feel the proverbial tumbleweed drifting across blank screens and unused keyboards. I even got to the end of my Twitter feed, for only the second time in eight years!

I have made a fair contribution, as this will be my third post today. And I have written up part one of my new serial, if only to give myself something to read. That will appear tomorrow morning, for anyone interested.

If this carries on, I will be having a ‘Blogs Followed’ clearout, and following some new people this year.

In fact, let’s all do that, shall we? Follow someone new, in 2021.

Another Twitter Thank You

I haven’t been very active on Twitter during the last few weeks. No idea why that is, it just happened.

But I try to check in from time to time to retweet some of your tweets, and regularly share posts on Twitter too.

Logging on today, I noticed more than 30 notifications of retweets and likes on some of my Twitter activity. So I would just like to thank you all again, as I don’t seem to ever get around to individual Thank You tweets.

You know who you are. 🙂

Best wishes, Pete.

Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Sundays.

What better to think about on a Sunday, than Sundays?
When I got up this morning, I had forgotten it was a Sunday.

At one time in my life, Sundays were a big deal. Getting up late, reading comics, my parents relaxed after a long week at work. My Dad would get ready to go to the pub for midday, while Mum started preparing everything for the big meal we would eat around 2:30 when he got back. After eating, they usually went for a ‘lie down’ in the bedroom, leaving me to my books or toys.

It was a long time before I worked out what that Sunday ‘lie down’ was all about.

By 5:30, Mum would have prepared a meal called ‘Sunday tea’. In London, this usually consisted of assorted fresh seafood, bread and butter, and slices of a cake she would have baked earlier. Fortified with this, my Dad would leave again, to get to the pub by seven when it opened. This left Mum and me watching television together, until Dad got home around midnight. It never occurred to me that he was drinking and driving. Back then, everyone did that.

By the time I was married, the Sunday tradition had altered for us, but not much. Reading huge Sunday papers in bed, followed by a bacon sandwich and more coffee downstairs. As there were no shops open in those days, we would usually visit my Mum in the late afternoon. She was on her own by then, and still preparing the big traditional dinner, followed by cake. If we stayed home, we ate later, and had anything we fancied, not always the British Sunday Roast. With work the next morning, there was rarely anything done late at night, so we were usually back in bed by eleven.

To be honest, I found Sundays really boring.

Once I started to work shifts as an EMT, I had to work at least two Sundays a month, sometimes three. That completely shattered any notion of a traditional Sunday in my life, and it soon felt like just another day.

When I retired in 2012, I discovered that Sundays here in Beetley were seemingly frozen in time. People mowed their lawns on Sundays, washed their cars, carried out some DIY tasks, and mostly still ate that traditional Sunday lunch around two in the afternoon. By then, shops were open from ten until four, so younger people might go into Norwich or Dereham to look around the shops, or to buy some food from the supermarket. Traffic here on a Sunday can be worse than during the working week.

In less than a year, Sundays lost their rediscovered novelty for me. When you don’t have to go to work on a Monday, or rush to get home from work on a Friday, the weekend starts to feel like any other day. Ollie has to go out for his walk, and I can prepare anything we want for dinner, eating at around the usual time for us of seven in the evening.

Other people do different things of course. Religious people still attend church, though in fewer numbers than in the past. Those with small children might take them to the park, or drive them to a regular activity, like a football club, or dance class. In better weather, many flock to the coast, enjoying the beaches and activities in the sea. It is only thirty minutes away by car, but you have to get there early to find a space in the car park.

Once winter arrives, few people venture out. They stay in in front of the fire, or the warmth of central heating. The huge choice of entertainment provided by television, phones, and computers these days means they are not bored, as I used to be in my teens. For them, it is school tomorrow, or work. That ‘Monday Morning’ feeling as the day draws to a close.

But for me, Monday is just another day, as is today.

These days, I have to be reminded it is a Sunday.

Tired

Do you ever feel really tired?
I don’t just mean ‘late night’ tired, or ‘been busy’ tired.
But really tired. Drained, and lacking any energy.

It is that inexplicable tired, the sort that kind of worries you.
No matter how much sleep you had the night before, it didn’t seem to be enough.
My phrase is, ‘bone tired’. When your very bones seem to yearn for rest.

There is no identifiable cause. No thinking, ‘It’s because I did this, or that’.
Or because you did a lot of housework, or gardening, or had a busy day out.
There’s no reason whatsoever, just the feeling of being overwhelmingly tired.

It doesn’t involve undue exercise, workouts, running, or a lot of walking.
You may not have done anything out of the ordinary.
But you feel really tired, and cannot shake that feeling.

As you might deduce, I am feeling a bit tired tonight.