Thursday, 6 January 2011


On Sunday evening I lay in bed, listening, as I always do, to David Jacob's weekly programme of 'Our Kind of music'  on BBC radio 2, to midnight. His smooth, beautifully modulated voice with it's marvellously British intonation introduces the Great American  Songbook. Seldom does he play a song I do not know, but this Sunday night he did.  Now usually, when I hear or think of something that I want or need to remember, I must write it down...there and then, or it is gone for good. But no paper or pen were to hand and so I made a supreme  effort to remember, and using visuals and constant repetition it was still there the next morning. And it is still in my head now, Wednesday evening, and must be stilled.

The Song comes from a Broadway Production of Ben Franklin In Paris   and the singers were Robert Preston and Ulla Sallert. It is a ballad, not a thumping show-stopper,but sweetly sung  lyrics with a  simple message. Don't ask for too much, be happy with small pleasures. And that message resonated with me to an extent that had me bothered.

Then I remembered.
Sometime last week I read a post that had been suggested by Hilary in her Post of the Week spot. It was entitled Humour and I urge everyone to go over there and watch the video.
You will find it here.

I'll not spoil the surprise - it starts slowly and then...

It started me athinking.
Where is the humour in old age?

A serious question seeing how it's going to happen to all of you should you live long enough.

I thought long and hard and realised that there is not a great deal to laugh about in old age..
We ache.
We're shorter.
Invisible most of the time.
Bits of us are metal.
Or porcelain.
Too many of our sentences begin with 'when I was young'.

And so on...

And I realised that my sub-conscious mind had been playing with the subject, and the song had given me the answer:-


For example....

Someone new has climbed into JP's skin...someone who does not argue every point. When he said, last Friday, 'It's warmer today' and I replied-[because I'm always looking to have the last word and thus starting a great debate that ends with both of us stomping off in different directions] 'It isn't warmer it is just less cold' he smiled, shrugged that Gallic shrug and went off whistling. Small pleasure.

When I saw that Downton Abbey was being repeated over the Christmas week and I would be able to see the final episode which I had deleted...Small pleasure.

Waking up, stretching, and nothing hurts. Small pleasure.

Completing the Alpha puzzle in less than the given time. Small pleasure.

And the greatest humour in old age is in the fact that 'We Got Here' we can see the funny side,and it's coming to all of you.


  1. Sharing your wisdom and experience with those who haven't made it as far as you have yet - small pleasure.

  2. I think the humor in old age is getting here. and in seeing the irony of life. and in finally seeing and enjoying the small pleasures.

  3. I can't remember how I found your blog. Old age I guess. But I enjoy it very much. I especially love reading blogs that are in another country. They are very different than in the US.

  4. I love this, and try to always have a bit of that mentality in the back of my mind (although it often gets pushed aside with impatience and frustration). It is similar to something that my husband and I try to do when living in a 'foreign' country. We call them Little Victories. It is those times over here when just as everything seems to be different and foiling, your luck changes and something goes your way. That is when our Little Victories makes us feel right at home. :)

  5. I started writing blogs and now i too have found this place as where i can put my thoughts,i went through urs and really found lot of life learnings in them thank you.

  6. I can see why you got blog of note, congrats! I love (and respect) your perspective. Like you, if I don't write down an idea or a thought, it's gone. Also like you, I treasure the small pleasures.:)

  7. i have a dear friend who says the only virtues are awareness and gladness. seems you are cultivating them well ;)

  8. Ah 301!! WTF?! jammy moo...

    great post, as usual....great start to a new year eh?

    love you lots Ma!!

    saz xx

  9. this read was a not so small pleasure.
    gift of gab...what a wonderful gift.

  10. Thank you for reminding me of this.

    Another blogger said a simiilar thing yesterday and I think I will try to find something of pleasure every day and notate it in my journal. I often go back and read the previous year's day on the current day and I think finding a pleasure reported will be a good thing a year later.

  11. I think we all should look at life and enjoy all the small pleasures in life.I enjoyed your post. I am looking forward to your next 1

  12. What a great read today! Another small pleasure! Yes, I've been thinking in the same vein.

  13. I am 55. My hubby is 61. We have found that if each day we think of something we are grateful for, we are much happier, and have fewer aches and pains. I also have a blog, and for three years, I have been trying to do just that....find something to be grateful for in each situation. Sometimes, it's hard....sometimes impossible. But that is kind of like your small pleasure. Something that makes you smile and makes you happy to be alive.

  14. Love it! I have already started practising :-)

  15. I found you, under "blogs to read" or something like that, and am quite impressed with the way you word things, so I thought that I would come follow you, if that is all right with you!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this posting, and think that it is a great idea: to enjoy small pleasures. I, for one, am always in awe when I see a pretty sunset. It never matters how many I have seen, or that it happens every single day (though not always as pretty), but every time I am outside, and catch the sunset, it takes my breath away. Small pleasure.

  16. Love this, Moannie. I gave my favourite quote, which was stuck to my fridge, to a friend and just printed it out again yesterday.
    "In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways." I try for the other things but it's the happy in small ways that I try to keep alive. I'm sure it's the secret to contentment.

  17. So glad I found your post the other day. First off, I loved Robert Preston. His voice was just so strong and powerful and he was such a handsome man with a beautiful thick head of hair. Loved him in Victor/Victoria.

    Since turning 50 recently, I have been focusing on the things that make me go oooooo in life and they aren't material things. It's beautiful sights in nature, like waking up to finding two donkeys in our years the other day. WE live in South Carolina. There's no desert. Or seeing a bald eagle soaring and landing in a tree not far from where we were standing. Or hearing my granddaughters say Hi Grandma when I answer the phone. It's all about the small pleasures. Great post.


    I'm glad I found your blog!

    Common Cents

  19. That is the second time that I have watched that video.What a marvellous lady.
    I am glad you wrote this post as I understand it perfectly.
    Sometimes you can laugh and others its not so funny. Its a good thing to turn things into blessings though.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  20. My dad, who is 74, seems to think that old age means he no longer has to follow all the rules, like he has earned the right not to. They are only little rules that he breaks but they give him great pleasure and we, his children, such a laugh. And believe me, we are laughing with him and not at him :)

  21. great post - i don't think it matters how old you are, small pleasures are important at every age!

    a day argument free with my husband - small pleasure! :-)

  22. It's ALL about the small things in life. For me, I find my pleasures in the world around my. Any beautiful sight, sound, or smell does is for me. Life, in my world, is what you make of it. I have just created a blog that caters to outdoor enthusiasts, and for people who find beauty in our everyday world. I would love to hear your input Thanks!!

  23. How lovely your small pleasures were, Moannie. That's all that's left to many of us and, fortunately, there's never a day goes by that I can't find several.

  24. And it sure beats the alternative.

  25. This is a wonderful post. I've seen you on MLS's blog from time to time but now I wish I'd visited earlier. Wait, is that another sign of getting older, starting my sentence with "I wish" more and more? You made me think, and that's no small pleasure.

  26. cool blog u got man

    check out my blog:

  27. Isn't there a song from Oliver sung by Nancy where the first words are 'Small pleasures'? She sings it albeit swigging gin...!

    I have just checked, there is. 'It's a fine life'. And here are the opening lyrics:

    Small pleasures, small pleasures,
    Who would deny us these?
    Gin toddies -- large measures --
    No skimping if you please!
    I rough it. I love it.
    Life is a game of chance.
    I'll never tire of it --
    Leading this merry dance.

    There is another line later on I rather like, and I suspect this is the one that will resound in my head today:

    "And keep the candle burning until it burns out."

    I kept my grandfather company towards the end of his life. A quiet and very special time, and I know that he seized every moment of every day...gently, appreciatively, happily. He kept his candle burning knowing it could be blown out at any time (as it could for any one of us, of any age)and concentrated on the Small Pleasures. Lovely post Moannie, thank you.

    Happy New Year!

  28. Some background information with regard to this post. Or maybe something unrelated, regardless of the phrase "with regard".

  29. This is a wonderful post Moannie. Thank you for the "small pleasure".

    Blessings to you today.

  30. I hope you know what a HUGE pleasure it is to read your posts.. always.

  31. I found you via blogger's blogs of note. I knew from what you wrote on your "about me" that you are a keeper :)

  32. Wait a minute! We get SHORTER?? !! You're just talking about memory right??

  33. Your post was absolutely heartwarming. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the video. It truly made my day.

  34. Moannie, how wonderful it is, to be featured on Google's Blogs of Note?

  35. your words are really touching ma'am. I read word by word. You grasp the whole essence of your life's experiences within your words. Touching! It's great!

  36. I'm very grateful I found this post today, It is just what I needeed, it fit my situation I'm in perfectly. thank you, very well worded.

  37. You post on ageing was timely. I posted this about my 83 year old mom recently. I think you and your readers will really enjoy it. It's called Being Bea and tells the tale of my mom dressing up in a bee costume for my sister's 60th birthday. It will provide a wonderful laugh and feelings of love.

  38. Moannie,
    Ijust love your style&your hobbies do echo mine.I am 66 &my husband is 75.We live so far away but the issues that matter at given ages are the same world-wide it seems.I have taken up counseling to be of use to society...At your other blog the poem in black was so perceptive.Here is one that i have loved since my childhood--
    Oft in the stilly night,
    Ere slumber's chain has bound me,
    Sad memory brings the light,
    Of other days around me.
    The smiles ,the tears,
    Of boyhood"s years,
    The words of love then spoken,
    The eyes that shone,now dimmed &gone,
    The cheerful hearts now broken,
    I remember all the friends so linked together,
    That now around me fall,like leaves in wintry weather.
    Oft in the....

  39. I like your optimisim! You are a good writer!

  40. I read ur Post very nice
    Best of luck
    see u again

  41. I've been reading through your posts via Blog of Note and chose this one to comment because it speaks to me. I, too, collect these small pleasures and find that sometimes they seem large indeed! Your writing flows - my small pleasure for today.

  42. hi moannie.just came across ur blog. its simple,lovely and true.u made my day.god bless you.

  43. great post! love how you said someone new in JP's skin. someone new is in my skin nice to shrug instead of wasting time arguing, as I did when younger. so very nice.