Perhaps I had ambitions to be an MP - or an undertaker!

Friday, January 16, 2009


The hardest years in life are those between 10 and 70. (So said the American actress Helen Hayes when she was 83)


I’ve often thought that the worst month in the year is January. At New Year time we exchange good wishes with family and friends, and look forward to a “happy new year.” And then, the big “let-down.” The weather is usually bad, colds and flu everywhere, and oldies like us are pretty well confined to the house.

So I’m attempting with this week’s blog to cheer myself up, and do the same for any other folk needing the same treatment.


Let’s begin with this, which a friend sent me. (Thanks, David.)

Botox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts, hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favourite things.

When the pipes leak, when the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favourite things,
And then I don’t feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Back pain, confused brains and no need for sinning,
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinning,
And we won’t mention our short shrunken frames,
When we remember our favourite things.

When the joints ache, when the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I’ve had,
And then I don’t feel so grim.


This is a clip of Joe Loss and his Band from 1937. Born in 1909 he formed his first band in 1930. He held the record for the longest working band leader in this country - he carried on till the year of his death 1990. He was a frequent visitor at Green’s Playhouse in Glasgow, and I enjoyed listening to his band there one Saturday afternoon.


A poem

That man must lead a happy life
Who is directed by a wife,
Who’s free from matrimonial chains
Is sure to suffer for his pains.

Adam could find no solid peace
Till he beheld a woman’s face,
When Eve was given for a mate
Adam was in a happy state.

Now read each verse again like this -
1st line, then 3rd line, 2nd line, then 4th line



Harpo Marx 1888-1964 of the famous Marx Brothers was the one who never spoke in their films. He contributed a great deal to the comedy routines, but for me he was always the brilliant harpist. Here he is, having fun with Rachmaninov’s 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody.


Two gardeners were working in the park.
One would dig a hole and the other would follow behind and fill it in.
They worked up one side of the path and down the other, one digging a hole, the other filling it in.
A puzzled onlooker noticed what was going on and asked what they were doing. The hole digger replied, "Well, I suppose it probably looks odd because we're normally a three-person team. But today the chap who plants the trees phoned in sick."


Finally, this is a remarkable video “Buddha with a Thousand Hands” performed by the China Disabled Peoples Performance Troupe. The dancers are all deaf. It lasts nearly 7 minutes but it’s well worth watching.


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