Still trying to figure out the vagaries of this blogging platform, I inadvertently sent my post published last night into the ether never to be seen again. It had the title Spring. It has given this heading an alternative meaning, and will hopefully prompt any # vulnerableage readers to burst into song about Tulips from Amsterdam.
We have seen signs of spring for a few weeks now. Crocuses and daffodils are brightening verges and roundabouts, with the nae sayers warning of frosts still to come and it’s too early for this and that.
But here’s the thing. The Universe has obviously had it all planned, because according to a reliable Wikipedia source, last Friday was the earliest Spring Equinox for more than a hundred years.
It passed largely unnoticed as attention was focused on more pressing issues. Traditionally Radio 4 has broadcast themed poetry throughout the day but it was listening to a repeat at the weekend that reminded me of a book of poems I had bought after seeing an exhibition at the Central Library.
Gerda Stevenson together with Edges Textile Artists had mounted “Quines: A Tribute to Women of Scotland” and it provided us with an hour very well spent. If Gerda’s book offers more of the same gems on display, then I am in for a treat.
That day two weeks ago, a friend and I went to the Queen’s Gallery too, and our chat, interspersing the comments, observations and discussion about work so far ahead of Da Vinci’s time, centred on the precautions we are sensible enough to take. An old, well traveled and likely beyond its sell by date little bottle of hand sanitiser was produced from the depths of the handbag pre sharing of the huge fruit scone at coffee time.
All very fine looking back now, but there was no suggestion on that lovely day that if the date had been set for further through the diary, the opportunity would no longer exist. In comes my Granny with “Niver pit aff til the morn whit ye should dae the day.”. What springs to mind is that not only will there be no more exhibitions for the foreseeable, but whether the person who bakes the scones was on a zero hour contract, and what will be happening to all the other folk who keep the complex going.
And now the libraries are closed too. Closure of the theatres, cinemas, concert halls and every entertainment venue was, although a shock to the system, understandable in the circumstances. But the libraries! There is something close to heart-breaking to realise that this important resource, free for everyone of all ages, probably one of our society’s few social levellers, is now not available. Branch libraries function as a hub for much more than shelves of books. Warm place to sit and read the newspaper, a free WiFi computer connection to afford compliance with the Universal Credit requirements, activities for children and so much more than the sum of their parts.
Here’s an advantage for #vulnerableage: we must not use public transport so we won’t have to worry about losing the bus pass, or forgetting where we put it for safe keeping. That risk is lifted from us, which is just as well, because a replacement is not available – the library is shut.
I hesitate to say “unprecedented times” because those words are losing impact from over-use, but if we remember that while all this is or is not happening, leaves are in bud and the grass keeps on growing. The yellow is already on the broom and it will soon be time for the pink blossom. What a spectacle those trees, dotted everywhere about the city, in long avenues in many areas, make for us in spring. The petal blizzards if the wind blows is a bonny sight. When I take my legally sanctioned one period of exercise, I will walk with a spring in my step along the road, scattering handfuls of the pink confetti. If someone questions from the regulated distance I will adopt a dotty vulnerable elderly pose as I skip by, with the reassurance that when the time comes to be kicking up the ankle deep golden leaves, this palaver will be over.
Spring – coiled: Pogo stick not recommended. #vulnerableage
Spring – running source of ground water: drink plenty in its natural form but can be enhanced with the occasional addition of a splash of favourite single malt. recommended. #vulnerableage
Spring – to mind: ideas forming while daydreaming, to be given head space to develop now there is plenty time to think. recommended #vulnerableage
Spring – clean 1: concept very difficult to explain to young people who have grown into a life of antiseptic wipes, and every type of wipe imaginable, some for purposes unmentionable. Let them learn for themselves. recommended #vulnerableage
Spring– clean 2: May be a distant memory for the modern housekeeper since the invention of robots who do it for them by way of an App or verbal commands to Siri or Alexa. Don’t judge or wise up and get one for yourself. recommended #vulnerableage
Spring – clean 3: Here’s my Granny again. She used to turn her wee hoose insides oot and upsides doon until every possession and its rightful place was washed or polished or both. Fiendish with a bristled wooden scrubbing brush, the tellin’ aff for stepping on the floor not yet dry was nothing compared to the.. well God help ye if ye cowped the enamel pail of het soapy watter. Happy reminiscing. recommended #vulnerableage
Spring- into action: Get cracking. Give it a go. recommended #vulnerableage
Acting on the spring clean idea which developed enough to unearth the Marigolds from the cupboard under the sink, and the no longer ignorable black mouldy bit at the farthest away corner of the shower, the bathroom was selected as the target. No confession will be made about the well-settled spider behind the blind or the degree of effort required to wield an old toothbrush against the grime in the cracked tile behind the radiator pipe, but it should be shared that a cotton bud works wonders in the tightest corners of the skirting. When were cotton buds invented?
What a sense of satisfaction comes from admiring your work well done. I feel justified in identifying with the lady in the frilly apron, on the telly advert, who heard a ping and saw a sparkly star above her head after she’d washed the floor with Flash or was it Ajax?
Dare I say that now the smallest room in the house is sorted, I might muster up the motivation to tackle the next.
Hope springs eternal!