Lil considers the real pleasures in life of people and love as she gives up on the heavy weight of personal possessions and rejects the commercial desire to possess.
If the bungalow burns down, what would I miss? Lilla’s pictures and Malcolm’s pictures because they are painted by my daughter and brother, two people I love. I would regret the jewellery made by Frances, the pieces are beautiful and she is my friend. The stuffed fox now belongs to my grandson but is housed by me until he builds his own nest, and my photographs, I love looking at my family, happy with hair brushed and grinning smiles. As for the rest? Conflagration do your worst. My emotions are wrapped up in people; family and friends.
My family are a source of great joy. Even their disasters (this has been a bad summer), I share with love and at times sorrow. My large, noisy band of grand children are adorable. Often more in retrospect than when I’m actually parrying the banter of six to twelve year olds. Over twelve, they have views, capitol punishment, age of consent, that clinic in Zurich.
I have just heard of a fifteen year old boy who has pushed his grandmother from Syria to Hungary, but as much as I love them I think a couple of hundred miles is all I can expect. I love the young’s zest for life, their catastrophic mistakes, there euphoric moments – my heart goes out to them all. I watch as my great grandchildren, Malachi so far, arrive and the new mums and dads try to work it all out all over again. How to work, be parents, be human and true to oneself. Each generation follows on and my wisdoms can’t protect or save them the heart aches that each must learn.
But it’s not only about my family that I want to write. People, not possessions, are what give me pleasure. I become more and more in love with life and the support I derive from friends. I’m not talking about hour long phone calls, girlie shopping trips, nights out on the tiles. I’m talking about a helping hand with the computer, my book group, walks in the Dales with the five milers and with the heartier group. The infinite kindness of people coming from totally different places who share activities and reach out that hand of friendship that makes daily life infinitely precious. I’ve reached the age when I’m expected to reminisce and sigh about days when one was desirable, chased rather than chaste. But life today is wonderful, family and friends are wonderful, even buying bacon from the co-op is fun with the lovely ladies who recognise me and know also my two daughters, and ask after my grandchildren. Long may it go on, thank you all.