The Lemming Report — 8 — Thoughts on a Birthday
So, I am 88. I guess it is true unless mother falsified the date and I am only 18. However, she said I was born in a heat spell near midnight and the place was a kitchen table. All of us had been home births, I suppose it was the norm back then. And it might explain, the place, that table and my lifelong connection to cookery and food
The food for my party is almost ready, my elaborate showing off menu. Drink to the ready and last clean up and setting to complete. Wind up the cat and we’re off. Has my care and concerns about what I consume resulted in how I am physically and mentally? If we are what we eat (and drink) perhaps being self considerate has been beneficial. If as I do, I like the effort it has paid off; the body copes, the mind functions.
Cooking proved my salvation shortly after my tenure in Britain began. Cooking professionally became a career following those of architectural and interior designer, writer/journalist, art gallery director, photography stylist, adventures in theatrical activity and more. I, who had never cared for restaurant dining moved from food manufacture to catering to creating two restaurants. Then back to art gallery management and now “retirement”. It all seems to have happened more on impulse than from planning. I consider that it is Timing not Luck that rules us. Sometimes good, sometimes not, Time is a tricky clock.
I regret little — no make that Nothing. Mother in one of rare emotional break outs once said to me, “You are happy”, as if that was a disease. She then added, “I have never understood you. If that’s what you like, I hope you will always have it”. “Top of the world ma!”, as James Cagney shouted at the end of the film, “White Heat”. I repeat the statement, but I won’t blow myself up (yet). I have known happiness, I am happy now. I have had more ups and downs than a yo-yo. That’s life.
Friends: I hopefully will be seeing several today. I like friends, long time ones, newly acquainted ones, even ships passing briefly whose names I never knew. I like people which is a good thing as any remaining family is not connected nor contacted. My choice and theirs. We are born alone and had best like our own company. Sometimes I found I was most alone in a relationship. Keeping friends is a good remedy against ageing as are new interests, worthwhile activities and most of all — Make The Effort! You may as well enjoy fatigue from doing rather than tiredness from boredom.
I am a culture snob. I deserve the title as I have concerned myself and my activities in most of the Seven Arts. Two art galleries, two restaurants, theatre and music productions are among my accomplishments. A rare week passes without my attending or viewing some manifestation of what is called art. At present that which is called art can be rather dubious. Amateurism seems to rule so I will say no more here.
It’s been a good ride. Hopefully there will be more to come.