Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Ghostly Monks and bad behaviour

For the second time in a couple of weeks, I and one of my grandchildren, crept about a bit in the crypt at Oxford Castle looking for 'Bernard' the ghostly monk who likes (it is alledged), to play tricks on visitors. We were told that sometimes ghostly images turn up on photo-shots... not on mine! Although, some of the electric lighted candles went out while we were creeping in the crypt. I assume it must have been Bernard's day off!

Two of my four grandchildren are embarking on a new scholarly term at 'big' school and both, this week have been very nervous. I cast my ageing mind back to my first day at 'big' school and remembered the fear and then the feeling of inadequacy when trying to find my way along endless corridors, dodging very tall and grown-up pupils who seemed a world away from my childish experience. I don't envy my grandchildren, but, it is one of those necessary steps towards adulthood, which some never make successfully. And on the subject of growing up, I am constantly dismayed by those around me who haven't managed it!

Today at Green Gym, we dismantled a crumbling dry stone wall in order to repair and rebuild it. And what happened? As usual, when it came to assembling, the men took over! We mere women who have been trained, (and got the certificate I might add), were sidelined. I tried to get close with my chosen bit of stone which looked as if it might fit... but was told "We've already tried that"! So, I watched as one of the men repeatedly hammered away at a rock to make it fit. Then the instructor in charge, appeared, assessed the protruberance of an old tree root and proceeded to rectify it, before finding the proper stones to fit. Inwardly I punched a fist in the air at the intervention of an expert. So, I raked up some prunnings, pruned a bit more Ivy off the walls and poured the Teas and coffees. It wasn't worth the argument, but sometimes, I wish dominant people would just let the rest of us 'have a go'. The sun shone, there was a light, fresh breeze and a French Camera Crew filmed and interviewed us... hmmm, perhaps that's why some were more dominant and visual than usual!

I often compare my lovely man with those I have to work with now. No comparison. My lovely man was not overly dominant and always put others first. He did not boast about his achievements, nor 'muscle in' on a group task. He empowered his staff and praised constantly. He was just lovely. Having said that, he had many faults (none of them major) which I do not gloss over, and neither do I put him on a pedastal - a common mistake and occurrence of we the bereaved, thus preserving them in perfection.

In my three years' of grief, I have analysed myself and others repeatedly and no longer get too annoyed at people's failings or idiosyncrasies. If I get annoyed, it doesn't last long... I move on and let go of my feelings, letting them drop off me like raindrops - something I could not do just a few years' ago.

It's not age that has made me wiser. It's the shock and loneliness of losing my soul mate which has put everything else in the shade, hence I don't get so emotionally upset as I used to, because the worst thing that can happen, has actually happened. Nothing else matters so much any more.

1 comment:

Richard said...

Hi Jenny, typical blokes! generally getting in the way and thinking they know EVERYTHING. Seems to be a common thing with men of a certain age.