Saturday, 27 January 2018

Life and life only

Well if things had gone to plan I would be on the train home from Manchester now.  My introductory post  for 2018 described, in some detail, my beer-related itinerary for the first eight months of the year, and a long overdue visit to Manchester and Salford, including time for a visit to the Manchester Beer Festival, was the first item on the list.

Still as John Lennon famously said, Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans”, and Retired Martin reminded me that You can overdo planning, of course”, so yes,  life certainly ended up dealing us a particularly nasty surprise.

There are two lessons learnt here then; the second one being,  never take your health for granted. We all think we are indestructible, especially when we are just starting out in life, but even after the years have started creeping up on you, there’s a tendency to think we can continue to burn the candle at both ends, and just carry on living our extremely busy and often over-complicated lives.

So without resorting to the old clichés about waking up and smelling the coffee, the experience of the past three and a half weeks has definitely taught us to slow down, and take time out from our busy days.

There’s a major life-style choice ahead for Mrs PBT’s, involving giving up a particularly unhealthy vice. She knows this and I too have learnt not to be too blasé when it comes to turning a blind eye under the pretext of “live and let live”.

So no immediate travel plans for the time being, just time to spend getting our lives back on track, reflecting on the future and learning to take things a lot easier!


Anonymous said...

A poignant piece, Paul, and lessons for us all. Best wishes to both of you, and to Matthew of course. I did think of you at Manchester. There'll always be another time.

Russtovich said...

Agree with Martin (and my apologies for using Mrs PB without the T in an earlier post!) (blush)

I completely understand where you're coming from. My darling wife had major surgery last year to remove 50% of her colon (the only way to get rid of pre-cancerous polyps that apparently were well on their way to bringing on the big C). This year she may be facing major surgery yet again for similar polyps in a different area (sigh).

At times like this I can but have a beer; and virtually enjoy the various pubs of Britain through bloggers such as yourself and others. :)


Professor Pie-Tin said...

Hi Paul,
Good luck to the missus trying to give up the fags - Mrs Professor Pie-Tin is three weeks into her latest attempt to give them up.
It's not easy - she's tried hypnosis,Allen Carr,vaping,gum and anything else that's going and always succumbs.
This time hopefully she'll succeed.
It's a bastard to do but even the short-term crankiness that comes with her giving them up is worth it to see how quickly her health and fitness improves.
Best wishes,
Professor Pie-Tin

Sheffield Hatter said...

Yes, a very thoughtful post. Thanks.

A couple of thoughts of my own: was the title of the piece inspired by the Al Stewart song of the same name, or the line towards the end of Bob Dylan's It's alright, Ma?

And was the phrase "turning a bland eye" a new twist on an old phrase, or simply a typo? I like to think it's the former.

Good luck with slowing down and I hope your wife's health continues to improve.

Paul Bailey said...

Well spotted on two counts, Sheffield Hatter. “Life and life only” is indeed the title of an early Al Stewart track, from his Love Chronicles album; his second LP, and the one Jimmy Page played on as a session guitarist. Also, congratulations for spotting the typo (now duly corrected), before Russ did!

Russ, even though I don’t know your wife, please tell her I am thinking of her and sending her positive thoughts. To have to face major surgery once is bad enough, but to have to face it again must be awful. If it’s any encouragement, a colleague of mine fought, and won, a similar battle three years ago, even though his condition had progressed to full-blown cancer.

I am also thinking of you Russ, because I know that feeling of helplessness when you have to watch a loved one battle it out. You want to be there for them, and whilst you give them all the love and support you can, you know that in the end it’s down to them and the medical team, and you are just an onlooker; albeit an extremely concerned one.

Glad you are still enjoying the accounts posted by me and my fellow bloggers. My pub jottings, pale into insignificance compared to those of Martin, Simon and even Mudge, but I enjoy my pub visits, especially the ones where I come across a real gem, so I will keep looking.

Professor, thank-you for your kind wishes, and good luck to your wife with her mission to quit the dreaded weed. Mrs PBT’s knows she has had a lucky escape, and whilst the cigarettes were not the cause of the pneumonia, they did not help, and may even have masked some of the symptoms – quote “I’ve always got a cough, so there’s nothing to worry about”.

She’s been off the fags for nearly four weeks now, so any carvings should have disappeared. It’s just the habit of lighting up, and having something to do with her hands that needs dealing with.

Martin, as you so rightly point out, there’s always another time, as far as Manchester, or anywhere else for that matter is concerned. Thank-you too for your good wishes, and for thinking of Matthew. Children, however old they are, can sometimes feel left out in these situations, but he has been very supportive and we have been there for each other.

We have also indulged in a bit of food “naughtiness”, (kippers, the odd fry up, and a few other things not on the “approved” list), to say nothing of watching what we want to on the TV.

Russtovich said...

"Also, congratulations for spotting the typo (now duly corrected), before Russ did!"

Mea culpa (blush)

And thanks muchly for your kind words Paul, and apologies for "stepping on your toes" as it were. This is your blog, not mine. If I wish to expound on my problems I should start my own. I just wanted to show solidarity as it were.

As for getting off the fags, it can be a bugger (as Prof Pie-Tin has indicated). My wife finally gave up her pack a day habit back in 2010. She had tried a variety of ways; Nicorette, patches etc. but what finally helped her was Champix/Chantix:

I think the biggest thing is the person has to want to do it. Best of luck with that.

And with regards to enjoying your postings (and others), let me just say it's a delight to pour a beer and see what's happening on the other side of the pond. :)


Professor Pie-Tin said...

By the way,ace T-shirt.
Hop Back Brewery is one of my favourites.

Paul Bailey said...

My lucky T-shirt, Prof! I got "chatted up" whilst wearing it, by a woman in Germany. I was sitting by the side of a lake, enjoying a beer - as you do, when the lady sitting behind me struck up a conversation based on the writing on the back of my T-shirt.

The text reads "Refreshingly Hoppy Beers", and repeats for around 20 lines, and for some reason, this Frau found it fascinating. It turned she lived on the other side of the lake (Ammersee), and had cycled round the perimeter with the intention of taking the steamer back across to whence she came. Being Germany, she naturally stopped for a beer after her exertions.

A nice way to spend a hot summer's afternoon.