I was the only train passenger heading for the “Valley restaurant” in Corbridge on Monday evening after work. Food superb, service impeccable and my friend and I had the restaurant to ourselves. The only negative is that in the midst of winter there is so little to observe from the train as I headed out and back. The beckoning lights of Newcastle a welcome home return from the blanket of darkness of the muted sleeping countryside.
My Age UK befriending programme continues on Wednesdays and has been a regular fixture now for over 4 years visiting the same person. Years do fly so rapidly as we age but we ourselves not getting older as subjectively judged unless it’s the creak or grumble from within or a grey hair or two atop. Happy to continue as I am with this Programme but uncertain about what a friendship would be like with someone else. This has been somewhat special, frequently eye opening, sometimes challenging to mind-set and always enjoyable.
One unsuccessful interim role job application including preparation etc. this week which increases the impetus for get myself into permanent work asap for which a programme continues with an Employment Specialist. Am pleased with progress and at least in current role till end of year.
Saturday was a joyous delight of events and activities.
After a challenging rewarding and perspiration cup filling Yoga session my brain was let loose upon the writings of Marilynne Robinson/; an American writer now into her seventies and with four good books of fiction as I learnt. Nearly all in my class of 15 or so were keen fans or recent reading inductees to the power of her writing, the story sculpting, intelligent word usage and the forceful requirement upon the reader to read and not skim as mea culpa too frequently. Either “Housekeeping” or “Gilead” is now on the reading list and will join a pile upon the living room floor that grows as “Explore” unpacks its 80+ boxes of literary works inherited from a programme whose shape has changed but Phoenix like continues to enthral and at £1 donation each too good to side step and on floor too.
After 3 hours of mental improvement it was across the road to Tyneside Cinema to enjoy a wonderful pairing of Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett in “Carol”. Many of the reviews talk of Cate and it is her name that pulls in many but for me it is the loving chemistry between the two that is so special in this movie. The camera work, lighting, scene setting and mood creating techniques add so much to this movie too. Set in a time where lesbianism could be cured by a good Psychotherapist and a woman could lose access to her child because of the type of person she loved. Progress made and in movie subjects too and not about good time.
After a brief lull in activities it was off to St George’s Church in Jesmond for a performance of a selection of the music of JS Bach by the Newcastle Bach choir who turns 100 this year. The acoustics were wonderful in this building, the variety of singing and playing varied and most entertaining.
Today I turn my mind to New Year resolution setting which is not a 1 day but a relaxing casual 3 -4 week long annual process. This has been a great year for me on a personal level, a poor year on the work front although at last I have a robust plan to improve and last but not least a year which has seen good progress on the family front. And I have lost weight this year, got healthier via yoga, and developed a wider range of interests. As I get older I wish to grow as a better human with an increasingly diverse range of interests rather than live in an increasingly narrow focused world which provides solace and comfort to many. By the last week of December I will be ready for the year ahead.