I often wonder if one has had too much at the start of life it evens out at the end? Does one feel rather lost because there have been so many times when there were not enough hours in the day? I guess so in my case at least.
So what would you have done, or what did you do when suddenly you found yourself rattling around instead of bustling around? I did find my darling cats a bit restricting. Time was when I had a girl friend who would willingly come and stay, but she is no longer an option. So I have resigned myself to not going anywhere too far. Try to keep busy within the perameters of home sweet home. So you look around.
I found out about The University of the Third Age. Third age is anything over 50. There seemed to be a lot going on there. So I joined a Bridge class and a Computer Club. I am not too good at the Bridge and I really wish I liked it more, but I will persevere. Actually it was almost enough last year because I also did a private course of lessons at my house for Bridge every week. These things plus the fact that there was a bumper crop of everything in my polytunnel in the summer kept me somewhat occupied. My little swimming pool got more than its fair share of use too, bad summer or not. The previous year Darling Feri had not been well enough so we hadn't used it too often. Even when we'd gone on holiday to Cornwall he hadn't wanted to move from the hotel. Not that it mattered because the Nare, near St. Austell is so completely comfortable there is no need to leave it if you don't wish to.
But now we are heading towards winter. The frosts have taken their toll on the last of the annuals in the garden and I must start to look ahead. How to fill the days? I decided to expand my interests in U3A. Thought I'd carry on with the Bridge but go again from the beginning, because I hadn't really got the hang of it when I started. As well as joining the second year class!! Ambitious or what? A bit of French conversation caught my eye, so I'll do that - only once a month. And then another thing I had never considered, for myself anyway, "Writing for Pleasure" Hm don't know how I'll make out at that, but I like the sound of it so I enrolled. Instead of telling you all about it I will simply lay out my first 'offering' so that you may judge whether or not I should continue. Here goes: Funny title but that's not my fault.
"There I was, sitting in, and part of a group whose intent was “writing for pleasure”. Only my second attendance and I had been impressed. I had listened to some very interesting renditions of various ideas given the session before. I had not at that point contributed anything, thinking myself totally unable to compete. (The previous session had been absolutely brilliant). Never could I ever hope to compete with such imagination. Anyway, there we were and at the end of the 2 hours a short list was read out for our next session. (Homework, like we were back in school) I couldn’t of course find my pen to write the instructions for the next session down, but I did remember one – 38.
Weird thought I. 38? What the heck did he imagine we could do with that? Man’s potty. 38!! You might as well try to remember what you were up to at the age of 38, quite a long way back, but even so by then I’d been at my present house for ten years and my son was already 18!! Cripes.
What about the 38 bus? Used to take me from
Then of course there was 38 shillings. There I stopped. That figure was something life-saving to me once. How? What had led me to think that? Well I was in
I, had been engaged to play young leads. Tall and blonde I had passed the severest of tests at the home of a Mr Harry Hanson, owner of a huge number of repertory companies around the country at the time, Hastings, Bradford, Skipton, Keighley, with his star company being in Leeds. He lived in Warlingham in
But upon arrival I was given a copy of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. This, I was told, was Mr Hanson’s favourite play. I had a warming cup of something and then leafed through the pages preparing to read the leading role (after all there really is only one young woman’s role) The young –unnamed heroine. But no. To my dismay Mr Hanson read those lines and I filled in with all the rest. Stage directions and all. Took two hours and several cups of hot milk and Horlicks because he thought I needed fattening up at the time. But I was IN! We discussed salary – no one used agents in those days for repertory work, and we discussed my domestic arrangements since D was already up there in
My Mother had agreed to take the baby and I was to travel up to
Our producer was a dear man called Laurie Storm.
He was a kind and thoughtful man as well as a delightful producer. He could see what was happening to me privately. So he spoke to Mr Hanson and a scheme was devised whereby I would finish one play on the Saturday night, then not be cast in the next one and turn up to rehearse the one following that for the Tuesday morning. That way I could go to
And my baby is fifty something!!
By the way, if I had posted this to you it would have cost me 38 pence!"
So now you know what I am trying to fill the days with. There is also the computer club, but that is just a bit of technical keeping up with the Jones's so to speak. We usually get a speaker who will discuss something to do with everyday computing, like the full use of "Word" or we might spend time visiting members' favourite websites!! I really think I will like the writing best of all. But time will tell. I will only ever be able to write about something I know. See what subjects they throw at me and learn from everyone else I expect. One subject tackled in many different ways. Hope they don't pick Bridge! All humour will disappear if they do. Dreadful attitude, pull yourself together girl!
So now I shall sign off and think about what the next subject might be. In a couple of weeks or so. Till then keep well and keep smiling.