Life is full of surprises, when you think that the whole world has gone to Lucifer’s party someone will thank you for opening the door to allow them to enter the doctor’s surgery first, a car will give way to you as you try to cross the Zebra crossing or the supermarket shopper will give you the first pickings of the last remaining Greek yogurt on special offer.
But surprises do not come any larger than when your better half takes you shopping to select and purchase a pair of brand new walking boots in your size.
Now do not get me wrong, it is not that my wife is slow to shower me with gifts, the opposite is true, in all our married years and there are many I have been blest abundantly.
It is the nature and the timing of the item.
At my time of life and bearing in mind that autumn has now arrived (yes it can be applied metaphorically) surely it should be carpet slippers, a thermal vest or a new pair of woollen pyjamas not a pair of well shod hiking boots with a pedigree fit for the Cuillin Mountains.
Once the astonishment had diminished, I was left contemplating that there is a lot to be eternally grateful, for one the landscape of the fens in which we live is flat and inclines are limited both in nature and size, the winters in Cambridgeshire are never as severe as a December evening in Leith and last but not least my soul mate still thinks I am good for a few miles yet.
Is it not human nature to justify a mistake or an error of judgment, although nine times out of ten it feels as if you are being wrong footed and on the defensive.
It takes a skilled practitioner to handle the argument that what was said had been misconstrued or taken out of context. Should it be defined as a form of courage to be applauded and encouraged when all it does is to polarize opinion?
Surely it would be more courageous and laudable to apologies as soon as we are aware that offense has been given and defuse a pointless battle that will only divide loyalties that should be strengthened and cherished.
Then there is no accounting for Human Nature it is primitive instinct.
There has to be a place where you can retreat in comfort and experience peace, tranquility and a pace of life that is not performed at the speed of sound.
Traveling has to be at such a pace these days that even a quiet drive in country is achieved at motorway speeds. A walk in the dales, on a hill-top or a valley can be fraught by the sonic boom of the swooping aircraft practicing their military manoeuvres and if you believe a walk along the sea-shore would be any better, do not be surprised while walking around the Wash in Lincolnshire you encounter jet formations looping the loop.
Some people believe that the only place to seek peace is within the precincts of the cloistered temples of middle England. I hate to be a Job’s comforter but be prepared at some point in time as was our experience the other day while seeking sanctuary from the mayhem of the A1 road network, that the parish priest has called in the builders and you cannot get near the altar for wheelbarrows, lifted rotten floor timbers and mugs of tea and the clamour of hammering is hardly an aid to inner peace and penitence.
This only leaves one place for retreat, beneath the duvet at night. Don’t count on it as the cat snores and dreams of mouse manoeuvres.