Reasons to be Cheerful

If you are of a certain age you will already be running a set of Ian Dury lyrics through your head. If you aren’t, you’ll be wondering what I’m talking about. It’s amazing what a few words can bring back to you. They have just taken me on a 400 word digression, which I have removed and repackaged. They will appear in my next post where I will pretend that I always meant to write a post on nostalgia and British cars.

Blame Charliecountryboyfor this, he mentioned the smell of vinyl seats in a recent post and that came together with thoughts on Ian Dury to form a post that took me back to the age of 19 and the late 70s. As the two thoughts came together the words flowed like automatic writing. Unfortunately they wren’t words about reasons to be cheerful, which was what the post is supposed to be about.

Anyway, back to the subject. I rose from my bed a little before eight, feeling relaxed, reinvigorated and ready for a day of hard work and creativity.

This is not usual.

After catching up on my blog reading (which is still weak and sporadic, I’m afraid) I made breakfast as I heard Julia stirring. Monday is currently a day off for me under the new shop rota, so we take a relaxed view of mornings). After bacon cobs and tea I decided what to do. I decided to watch TV for a while. Then I fell asleep. I have no ideas why, because I wasn’t tired, but I think TV might have switched my brain off.

The I read, made Welsh Rarebit for lunch and wrote and edited. The reason for the editing was that I managed to write 400 words of digression, as mentioned above.

Welsh Rarebit on sourdough toast – the bits are from the Dijon mustard – I use one spoonful to add texture then a couple of spoonfuls of English to add a bit of flavour. 

Reason to be cheerful number one is a blog post from Laurie Graves. Actually it could be one of several, but I selected this one because it cheered me up. It has pictures of raindrops on leaves and an iris. If you don’t cheer up when you see them you probably don’t like pictures of kittens, and there is no hope for you.

Reason to be cheerful, number two. I am breathing and “dum spiro, spero”, as the Romans used to say. They were very big on mottoes. This one, for those of you who weren’t condemned to do Latin at school, means “while I breathe, I hope”. It is an appropriate motto for a man who is approaching a stage in his life where he has to beat his trousers into submission and take a breather between socks when dressing in the morning.

I had been considering writing one of those lightweight humour books you see in charity shops, taking old age as my subject. Unfortunately, the more I looked at old age, the less funny I found it. Probably the worst bit is that I think I’m getting old, but the literature on age thinks I have years to go before I reach that state. I have turned into one of those crabby old gits who is old long before his time. I probably ought to dislike myself, as I have always said I will never become one of those people.


Summer’s Day – looking over rooftops

Reason number three. It’s sunny. I like it when it’s sunny at this time of year as it’s generally quite pleasant. Though I often say I’d like to live in Arizona when I’m having trouble with arthritis, the reality is that I’m English and in times of great heat I am genetically programmed to turn pink, sweat and complain. Actually, the English are genetically programmed to moan about any weather, only the degree of sweating and the colour of the visible flesh varies. The Scots (I don’t want Tootlepedal to feel left out) are genetically programmed to complain about the weather, and to blame it on the English. He has some first class irises on his blog too.

Reason number four. I’m not losing my dress sense. I’ve noticed that as people get older some of them find it tricky to strike the right balance between fashion, age-suitability and taste. So far, I have not had that problem. The fact that I have always looked like I selected my clothes by a random rummage in a crepuscular charity shop means that it’s unlikely that declining sartorial standards will be noticed.

Reason number five. The Magic Rabbit. I only discovered this creature existed due to a quiz question answer this afternoon. It is a cheery thing just to see, and the name just makes it better. It really is adorable, and that is a word I hardly ever use.

magic rabbit

Magic Rabbit

They are already dying out, even though they were only discovered in 1983. Scientists blame climate change, though I think the fact that (a) they live on barren rocky mountains and (b) the Chinese will eat anything that breathes might have something to do with it. In terms of China and rare animals, the likelihood of extinction merely puts the price up. See the stories of the Passenger Pigeon and the Great Auk for proof of that in Europe and America. See my post Hitler and the Avocets for links to the stories of those fine, but extinct, birds.

24 thoughts on “Reasons to be Cheerful

  1. Pingback: 10 Good Things About Breathing | quercuscommunity

  2. Helen

    Now, I’d never heard of the Magic Rabbit! Will have to follow you link and find out more….

    Personally, I hope it rains soon as I’m bored on the heat and sunshine 😊 Funny how I never felt that when I lived in hot, sunny countries.

      1. Helen

        Well, it does look like there will be a blip at the weekend… But the weather is always subject to change, is it not!

      2. Helen

        I digress slightly as our conversation reminds me of the subliminal training I gave my last group of students in China. At the start of a webinar I would ask them about the weather and in the end they would just tell me without prompting 😊

  3. Pingback: Random Thoughts III | quercuscommunity

  4. Lavinia Ross

    That is a lovely yellow iris, Quercus! I never was a fan of rarebit, though. Probably never had good rarebit. 🙂 Keep writing, I learn many new things here. That Ili pika is a cute fellow We have a pika here in the U.S., too.

    Rick and I are very lucky to have the farm, the green space and fresh air, along with the all work that goes along with it to keep us busy. We have felt our own stresses associated with the pandemic, but it can be hard for us to appreciate what others have gone through with lockdown who have no such escape. Stay as positive as you can under the circumstances. Keep writing, it is a good release.

    1. quercuscommunity

      The pika is a complete revelation to me – completely new. It shows how educational blogging is.

      My ambitions regarding land are limited to a small, flat, accessible garden with room to sit in the sun and offer advice to Julia.

      1. Lavinia Ross

        That is a perfectly admirable ambition! Rick offers lots of advice. Sometimes I take it. 🙂 He does maintain a good wine cellar, and he is a good cook, even if there are bug butts in it sometimes. 🙂

  5. Laurie Graves

    Thanks for the shout-out, Quercus. Glad my blog post cheered you up. Your description of the battle with the trousers and the socks made me giggle, that’s for sure.

  6. tootlepedal

    Thank you for not leaving me out. I want to point out that as I married an Englishwoman, I wisely never blame anything on the English. I blame the upper classes for everything, including the weather….though people who fly to Spain to go on holiday come in for some weather blame too.

    1. quercuscommunity

      🙂 I’m sure the bastions of privilege are quivering at the idea of us blaming them for things. After reading some back issues of Punch I am seriously thinking of ‘eaving ‘alf a brick at all top hat wearers.

  7. charliecountryboy

    Haha, thank you, does this make me your ‘muse’ 👩🏻 The Welsh Rarebit looks divine and so glad you’re getting lazy Monday’s. I can’t say I am a kitten fan, they grow into cats and shit on my lawn. Picking cat shit up wasn’t on my bucket list as a teenager 😂 But the Magic Rabbit? It’s so adorable, I used to wonder how anyone could eat a bat, but a Magic Rabbit? By the way I did Google it, you never know with you northern blokes and your teasing 😉


Leave a Reply