Now and Then

As one of my great reader-friends would say, ‘Here’s the haps’.  I have been on holiday for a few days – apologies for lack of comments, likes etc during that time – and I decided to write my blog, as normal, but from the beach.  In fact, I wrote six short posts, none of them with any particular point or direction, and each of them took about as long to write as I think they will take to read – and for that I apologise.  However, whatever their shortcomings, I have decided to publish them exactly as written over the space of the next six days.  I hope you will forgive me…

In keeping with my normal routine, by the time you read this, ‘now’ will be ‘then’ – I almost always allow myself at least a week from writing to publishing which does, on occasion, allow the world to overtake me, but also allows me something of an airbag against the possibility of saying something so crass that it does not belong even in my blog.  I do read this stuff, so believe me, I feel your pain.  Anyway, in the ‘now’ as I write, I am on holiday and hoping to maintain my bloggy routine from a sunbed with a beer and sunglasses dark enough to ensure that nobody knows what I am really looking at.

It is hot here: the sky is cloudless blue and the sun has forced the world into a protective haze of factor 30, ice and alcohol.  While some gamely undertake listless lengths of the now tepid pool, most fill the moments between one bar closing and the next one opening by reading.  The only conversation a gentle murmur of weather appraisal: cooler tomorrow apparently, less breeze and, yes, get some peanuts while you’re there if you can.

The bodies around the watery margins are a glorious salmagundi of the human form.  Some inordinately proud of such flesh as they can decently expose, strut and flex in the sun whilst others, less certain, cover themselves in loose fitting T-shirts and huddle in the shade of sun umbrellas that require the attentions of at least four weight lifters to erect.  It is a strange example of the human psyche that only those who really should never wear a pair of Speedos, do. 

It is the same sun that turns some of us a glorious brown and the rest of us salmon red: that means that the more ripped amongst us appear sickeningly fit whilst the rest of us adopt the appearance of peeled beetroot.  Being of the beetroot persuasion myself, I generally smear myself in more cream that the average profiterole and, in an attempt to prevent curdling, head for the shade of a bar.

We are approaching the hour when the pool empties and everybody heads for shade and food, leaving a single child in a unicorn inflatable, obliviously spinning round and splashing to their own tune.  Life for them is long, but still not a moment to be wasted, whilst those of us with precious little of it left stare at the sky and wonder ‘Why?’  The main problem at times such as this is that inspiration does not lie in the majesty of the infinite, but in the man trying – unsuccessfully as it goes – to clamber aboard a pool-bound inflatable in the very middle of an otherwise empty pool.  It lies in the diminutive elderly grandma who has decided to join the muscled youths for a game of volleyball.  Possibly local, she clearly speaks a different language than the boys, but they all laugh in the same one.  I pause in the hope that she might be better than them all, but she isn’t.  She is, none-the-less, fully included: a triumph of human spirit and a restoration of faith, and it cheered me up no end. 

Now, if I can just find some inspiration…