Sunday, 23 August 2009

Are you haunted too?

Yesterday I spent a very pleasant afternoon with my ancient uncle, pruning trees and cutting grass. He has lived in his bungalow since he had it build 49 years ago. I've been visiting since then so the place is important to me too.

As he's aged (he's now 85) the large garden has gradually taken over, hence my frenzied strimming and sawing. Over the years, a housing estate has been built around him and what was a quiet unmade lane is now a well lit thoroughfare. His bungalow rather stands out, an oasis of history amongst a modern urban sprawl.

The problem started when the paper boy refused to deliver. 'It's too scary,' he said. Then maurauding youngsters started throwing pebbles at his windows after dark. He won't admit it, but he's become rather worried by all this, keeps his door securely bolted and spends little time in his front garden.

To his neighbours, I suspect he's viewed as an oddity. A tall, gaunt old man who likes to wear short shorts with long green socks - a style he developed in India during WW2. He lives alone, which in these 'stranger danger days' means he's also treated with some suspicion.

What gets me, is that here's a man who who prefers his own company to that of others, who now through no fault of his own is feeling increasingly a prisoner in his own home.

Wouldn't it be nice if his neighbours, talked to their kids, explained that getting old happens to us all, and now and then, offered to help him keep his roadside verge as neatly trimmed as their's.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

To blog or not to blog . . that is the question

Blogging is unlike almost anything else in life. It's something once started you feel almost honour bound to continue, even if you're getting no feedback from your readers.

I'm lucky in that I get lots of feedback, on and off line, but for some it must be a real challenge. Of late, I've simply not had time to post anything, despite having lots to say. I try to take it easy in the summer, less work, less noise and more time with family.

Does blogging do it for you? Are you busy because of your blogs or because you're busy blogging. Is it the next big business thing, or simply much ado about nothing?