That’s Life

Normandy countryside
grassrootsgroundswell, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I was interested to read 1O210ken’s piece: it is good to read and perhaps learn from other peoples’ experience. I had the same question put to me by my father when I was 15. I was at a good grammar school in the South of England and imagined I was set for a bundle of O Levels and then on to University.

My father had re-appeared after many years’ absence – I was with foster-parents – and he asked did I want to go (with my younger brother) to live with his unmarried sister at her fish and chip shop in Liverpool; the eldest brother was already based there as he was in the merchant navy.  So off we went on the train each with our worldly possessions in a brown paper shopping bag. The family is Northern Irish.

Nine months later – my father went off again!

The three of us had a grand time in the pubs, clubs and dancehalls of Liverpool;  young and carefree in those heady days of mid 50’s to early 60’s.

Now I am a little old chap but I’ve seen a bit and done a bit and had an interesting life but with many twists and turns. Summed up by my poem.

The Past

I do not tread the straight path,
That would be the death of me,
My life has been a voyage
As all I know agree.

I aim for there, I end up here,
but that is how it goes.
If I had not then gone that way,
I would not now repose,
at where I am, and what I do
and how that works, who knows?

My life is full of big events
all leading from the last
at least it keeps me on my toes
how can I curse the past?

By happenstance I am lodging with an English friend whom I met here in Normandy when I moved to France three years ago

He bought a run-down small farm which obviously has not been farmed commercially for many years and had been unoccupied for three years. We understand the last crop (apart from hay) was by a British couple growing cannabis who got out just before the police caught up with them!

For the past four and a half months we have been working to get it liveable and I have been head gardener – carving out new vegetable plots from a wilderness with a pickaxe, rake, fork and spade. We are already eating some of the quicker growing produce and aim for a good degree of self-sufficiency; we also have pear, apple and a few plum trees.

Lovely spot close to a small medieval town; lots of calm restful evenings sitting on the patio listening to the birds singing and hoping for more glimpses of the local wildlife.

I shall be eighty-three in a few months and expect to go on for a fair bit after that. The health provision here is fantastic; I can get a GP appointment within days, I have seen various specialist consultants and had scans and an MRI within weeks of the request from my doctor.

I was pretty fit when young and am now around only a stone heavier than at age twenty-three. I have followed a keto based diet for years and that, combined with intermittent fasting, is a great way to lose some flab.  About twenty years ago I was close to three stone heavier.

Like many I sat out the covid scamdemic on my backside. The work here has brought me back to a better level of fitness.

I write about health in the hope that what I say may strike a chord with some Puffins.

A brother died , eventually from renal failure, after being diagnosed with very high blood pressure – he was thirty-four. Watch your weight, get blood pressure checked regularly, give junk food and coca cola type crap a miss, cut out sugar. Follow some of the people on the net – Dr Sven Ekberg talks a lot of sense and there are several others who can point the path to follow. I am not a nut, a vegetarian nor a vegan. Try to eat what the human race ate since we first appeared (sorry, mammoth and dinosaur not now available).

You know it makes sense! Good health and a long and prosperous life to all you rascals out there. Bless you all.

© Gillygangle 2023