Sunday, August 30, 2009


Happiness is so many things, most of them small. I read recently that we folk at the bottom of the world were a pretty happy bunch, all things considered. And, when I consider all things, I know I'm happy.

Our circumstances have changed astonishingly over the past nine months. I was made redundant, which is a blow to the ego, then Jenny was made redundant, and we lost our house and savings and fortune and everything. But we've made it through the other side, to the point that we're back into employment, and I realised that despite the way our lives have changed I am extraordinarily happy, and have been for a long while.

Things that are making me happy today:

The smell of an excellent sausage or seven slowly baking in the oven. They're pork sausages, and they smell delightful. I love a hot sausage, and a cold one makes the ends of my toes tingle. I understand vegetarionism, and do eat a lot less meat than I did ten years ago.... but I'll immediately turn carnivore when there's a sausage on the menu.

Why is it that Shakespeare never wrote "How do I love thee? / Let me compare thee to a hot sausage.."

Terry Pratchett understands sausages. If you've never read Mr Pratchett's work, you are missing a real treat.

I have a cup of tea cooling, waiting for me. Tea is the great healer. It's a far superior drink to coffee, comes in a multitude of flavours... it can be gentle and delicate, or it can fetch you a wallop behind the back of the neck that'll have you seeing stars. Mmmm. Tea.

I've been to the gym, and feel fantastic. The slight fright my heart gave me last week is now nothing but a memory, although there has been one completely unexpected side-effect: two weeks ago I could put in a hard and fast twenty minutes of the exercycle, and drive my pulse up to 125. Now, I can't crack 95. My standing pulse was in the late 70s, early 80s - it's not in the late 60s.

Jenny will be home soon, and that's always a happy-making thought.

The cats both check up on my every once in a while: Cleo to see if I'm good for as few cat biscuits, Granny because she's lost again.

I have Stevie Ray Vaughan playing loud on the 'pooter: there's something about the blues that makes one happy.

The weather's good, warm and windy.

Happiness. It really is the simple things.

READING: a Popular mechanics magazine. There was an advertisement for the best looking tool for pulling walls down. I want one. I'll never have a use for it, but it looks soooo mean and gnarly.

LISTENING TO: Stevie Ray Vaughan, "Live in Chicago". Great.

WORD OF THE DAY: Friends. Really, it's friendship that does it.

“Seen your headlights,” says this mirage. “Figured you could use a hand.”
Henry doesn’t know it, but he is a mess. His nose is bleeding, his eyes crazed, and all he can do is wave and say “Mary,” and the cowboy looked, and said a well by golly.
“Name’s Walter Cochrane. Let’s get the rope off the boy and get him in the vehicle, and then we‘ll see what we can do about your missus.”
“Thanks. Thankyou. I’m Henry. Henry Talbot.”
“OK, Hank. Let’s get this show on the road,” says Walter Cochrane, this genuine by-god cowboy, with his boots and coat and hat, a man who is amazed by the grin on Henry’s face.
“What did you call me?” asks Henry Talbot.
“Can’t stand here beating our gums, Hank. Let’s get this rope over to your Missus.”
And so they did. And so it was that two minutes later, Mary was where she belonged, at her son’s side, weeping and laughing and living. They left the Chevy where it stood. “God ain’t made a wind strong enough move that sucker,” says Walter Cochrane. “You just get yourself in my vehicle. You the folks from where the hell is it, New Zealand, staying at the line-shack on 44?”
And so it was they all made it back to the cabin, and Adam and Walter attended to the horses, and Henry and Mary went indoors.
Henry crashed the door open, swept his hat off his head, and picked Mary up with a yee-ha! or two, kissed her in a way he hadn’t managed for a few months, told her he loved her - which she knew anyway, damn fool - and passed out, hitting the floor like a sack of wheat.

The next day, battered, bruised, scraped, and exhilarated by the fact that they were by-golly, by-Henry, and by-Walter alive, Mary, Adam, and Henry decided that they’d be booking tickets on the next flight home. The flights took them three days, and Henry arrived in Northridge in an ambulance.

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