Thursday, 1 March 2018

The best of times, the worst of times.



It was Summer, and it had been a sweltering hot day and evening. We had just eaten at the legendary 'Hotel des Voyageurs' (chez PoPaul) in Beaumont du Périgord (now closed). There was a fête in the village, so we stopped to dance a while. It was probably one of our best days for years.

We've all known times like this, whether they be in Tottenham, Torremolinos, or Trinidad. They become days we don't forget.

When I was younger, and still occasionally today, I tried to fix such moments firmly into my head, so that I could recall every detail at a later date. I imagined it would see me through times of illness or frustration. Of course it never did.

But what else do we have? The good times are there to counteract the bad times. On balance we can but hope that the former weighs heavier than the latter. For some, sadly, they don't.

Some might say 'if we didn't know the lows, we could never appreciate the highs'. I'm not sure about this, but no doubt it makes certain people happier with their lot.

We all meet people for whom the bad times seem endless (I imagine certain trolls feel thus), and it must be hard for them. Some live with constant pain, others with unrelenting mental issues. None of us are responsible for the woes of others, but we can at least sympathise.

The above photo hangs at the side of our fireplace, where it is on open view. It reminds me constantly of life's variety. A mélange of hot and cold, peace and war, laughter and tears, even living and dying. 

Grasp the nettle and enjoy the sting.



37 comments:

  1. Your photo and post remind me that my husband and I had many adventures in our twenties, especially the entire year when we traveled the world on a budget. I like that you display your photo near your fireplace, good idea.

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    1. Some have wedding photos on display, I prefer this one as it represents what I considered (and still do) a perfect day.

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  2. You and lady M are a beautiful couple and you have a lovely family. Life gives us more positive ups than the negative downs.
    Your family has given you a lot to be proud of.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. We are a very ordinary couple, blessed with three nice children, and six very nice grandchildren. No more than that.

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  3. We danced in St Marks Square in Venice at midnight. The last strains of a cafe band in the distance faded away. And the moment was finished, or so we thought, but quickly from the shadows a young man approached. Perhaps a waiter on his way home, I thought. He smiled and handed us two roses he was carrying. For you, he said, it was wonderful to see. You've made my day. And then as suddenly as he had come he was gone, back into the shadows, and the only sound were his footsteps fading away.

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    1. That sounds even better than our Beaumont day. I hope that everyone has such memories.

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  4. I get a bit sad and nostalgic when I think of 'happy times' but I know there will be more to come in the future and I will cherish them.

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    1. We can all hope, and I'm sure our hopes will become realised.

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  5. Photos remind you of the good times!

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    1. They do; not that we don't have plenty now!

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  6. Dear Sage of Lumberjack,
    Once again I have forgotten the 'White Rabbit'. Can it be said at just after midnight? In these parts (with Fr time) should it be after 1 am? Should I say Lapin Blanc?
    Bemused of Bergerac.

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    1. As soon after midnight as possible, and absolutely before you utter any other word. I almost forgot this morning, and it was nearly 4 am before I gave Lady Magnon a good 'nudge' to remind her.

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  7. I totally agree with you Cro! Your photograph brought to mind a magical evening shared with friends. It was my birthday, a glorious August evening back in the late seventies. We sat out late in their garden for supper, the evening just never got cold. We all, in the intervening years remarked and remembered with fond affection that night. Sadly no photograph, the memory lives on. Roger, the host died just before Christmas and his wife is now in France with very little money trying to sell up and come home.

    LX

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    1. A rather bittersweet tale. I hope your friend gets herself sorted. My one bit of advice to all prospective ex-pats is to keep a bolt-hole back in the UK, and be prepared to walk away from any property ownership without it affecting you financially. Very few follow my advice; many wished they had!

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  8. While it it is clearly a posed photo, I like that none of you had big cheesy smiles.

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    1. The photo was taken by one or other of the younger children.

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  9. The days of wine and roses...

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  10. Good times..working closely with a friend I'd known for 44 years, too busy for photos..fantastic memories..then he died suddenly..and all of us involved in his world realize how few photos we have of him.
    However we have a myriad of inspiring memories to keep us gong through the bad times.
    You have a good photograph to inspire you

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    1. We were just saying recently how stupid we were not to have taken group photos at college. A very silly oversight.

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  11. Anything else would be like 'The Stepford Wives'.

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    1. Give me the potion and I'll accept perfection.

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  12. I have a little 'plaque' made of wood which my first husband once gave me instead of a birthday card. It is of a child playing the piano (I was an accomplished pianist in my younger days)and underneath it says 'a moment enjoyed is never wasted'. I have lived my life agreeing with that philosophy.

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    1. I'd go along with that Weave; my photo says the same thing (without being written down).

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  13. My memories are saved in mementos. "I got this when we...". I downsized two years ago and had to make choices, which I am pleased to see about me now. But what I did not keep remains with me, too.

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    1. My 'mementos' tend to be food related. Plates, salad bowls, food, glasses, etc, and bring back memories on an almost daily basis.

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  14. One of my best memories was in Paris. It was a warm August night and we had a lovely day. My youngest granddaughter who was about 7 ran up to me in the garden and and threw herself into my lap and said "This is the best day of my life, I want to live here." I told her I hope she has many best days of her life. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day for me. May all of us have those memories.
    That trip was worth every penny to me. Lovely post Cro. Oh, and she still wants to live in Paris.

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    1. I hope your granddaughter's dream comes true. Paris is a beautiful city; everyone should spend some time there.

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  15. The new generation seem not to hold onto such things, it amazes me.

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    1. They will Doc. There's a time in everyone's life when memories become extremely important.

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  16. There are times when I can remember a moment who I was with, were I was, the way it looked , smelled and even the breeze. It is a photo in my mind. I wished I had a photo like you.
    These memories are just magic.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I agree. I can also remember almost complete conversations from many years back.

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  17. A good photo Cro, and a good mindset to carry through life. Is that Mrs M next to you?

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  18. It was a summer midnight, 1982, and we stood on the beach at Salerno and reflected on a month of travelling around Italy. We talk about it still, but have never been back.

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