Welcome to this Saturday Saunter. This is being posted as I am on my way to work. Today is my last day before an incredibly welcome period of time off. I’m going to be off for about ten days which is the longest I have had off since Christmas. I don’t have all that much planned save a couple of football matches and a day trip or two. I plan to have a few lie-ins, read and take it as easy as I possibly can. One of those day trips will be next Friday, which is my 30th birthday. Not sure where we’ll be going yet but rest assured it will be a good one.
I am writing this on Wednesday night. It has been exceedingly warm today and even at twenty to ten at night it is still warm. The sky is a pale blue as the sun sets and white puffy clouds breathe on the tree line. It is to be even warmer tomorrow (Thursday) and maybe a bit cooler by the weekend. Even with the heat here, we are getting it better than down south. It was ever thus.
I did plan to write a post about turning thirty and my hopes for the world in ten years time but the draft got very ranty. We don’t do politics here and avoiding the news has been very cathartic this particular day with the confirmation of our new Prime Minister. The comedian Richard Osman put it best on Twitter the other day: ‘It’s so hot outside, it’s almost as if the yawning gates of Hell have chosen to open up on this particular day from some reason’. Even if Hell is really only a place in Norway, that’s probably about right.
Another particular bad place is Edinburgh during the month of August. I tend to visit the capital only when necessary in August when the Festival circus is on. I’ll be there for the football and a couple of things at the Book Festival and that’s it. I read an interesting thread on Twitter the other day which asked autistic folk in Edinburgh what their top tips were for avoiding the Fringe. Noise cancelling headphones, disappearing into your mobile and wearing an official lanyard were good suggestions, as well as the Don’t Take A Flyer game, which I’m down for, involving pretending leaflets just don’t exist. Knowing alternative routes which avoid the Old Town is also useful. Last year I employed earplugs as well as my usual fast speed and looking down, plus of course heading as far away from the city centre as humanly possible. It is just a massive overload. The people, noise, posters, folk shoving leaflets in your hand, the whole drill. Unfortunately Edinburgh has gotten busier during the other 11 months of the year so what August used to be like 10 years ago is what it’s like all the time. Avoidance is the key.
Before I move off the subject, Wednesday’s Child published a post satirising the Fringe the other day so have a read at that.
Talking of reading, I wrote the other night about my to-read pile. The book I was reading earlier was Fitzy: The Story of My Life by Tony Fitzpatrick, player, manager and now Chief Executive of St. Mirren. Usually football memoirs tend to be much of a muchness but Tony Fitzpatrick’s is interesting. One passage which nearly brought me to tears was the bit about his young son dying of leukaemia. Tony Fitzpatrick’s book captured the feeling well of losing someone so close and so young. There are some feelings which never go, some wounds which never heal and some moments which knock you sideways, regardless how much time has passed.
Turning thirty has been difficult for me. Like most people I have regrets, things I haven’t done and things I would do differently. Recently, however, I adopted a strategy, which is ‘screw 30’. It is just a number. Life is what you make of it and it takes you in all sorts of directions. I mentioned earlier my hopes for ten years time. I would rather treat my impending oldness as an opportunity rather than something to be resented.
There is a bad moon rising right now and it might get worse. Hope is important and I hold to that today. It is cliched. It is crucial, today more than ever, to remember history. Light can often follow darkness. It’s important to hear, and listen to, a diverse range of voices, even if you don’t agree with them. So too is it crucial not to lose hope that there will be a brighter day, if not tomorrow or the next day but soon.
On that note, it’s time to end. With my time off comes a hiatus for this blog, starting in a few words time. We will resume on Wednesday 7th August with the July digest. Thank you for reading my drivel, whether you have come here by chance, or as a regular reader, commenter or follower. Have a very nice weekend and I will see you soon. Peace.