A good day

“A good day, ain’t got no rain….. A bad day’s when I lie in bed, and think of things that might have been.” – Paul Simon, “Slip Sliding away.”

I can understand this. When you’re very down, you can only conceive of good as being barely OK. I have had plenty of days lying in bed and thinking of might have beens, but generally, something restless in me kicks me out while there’s still daylight enough to have any sort of day.

Sunday was a good day. First, it didn’t rain. Second, despite the fact that I had an anxiety attack the night before, I was looking forward to it enough(but not so much that any sort of reality check would have ruined the actuality of it) to get through the anxiety and not decide to stay under the covers.

I don’t get many perks but Sunday was one: a free ride to London and effectively a free day. J and I arranged to meet and due to traffic decongestion, I got there first and was waiting for him at Covent Garden. I planted myself squarely against a pillar on the premise that he’s a sneaky beggar and might try and creep up and surprise me. The Miss Piggy karate chop is pretty lethal and I didn’t want to start our day by decking my friend. I have a hair trigger. He was a bit sneaky and almost caught me out by appearing from the side and not from the front.

We had a coffee and then started to meander our way towards Bloomsbury and the British museum. I can heartily recommend The Thai Garden on Museum Street for a lovely and affordable meal. We headed into the Museum itself and I took J to meet an old friend of mine, Ginger.

Ginger is someone I visit every time I go to the British Museum. He’s getting on in years now and I think sooner or later they’ll have to retire him. He needs a rest and some TLC. He’s been there since I first visited when I was 17 and he’s still there. He doesn’t change much but then at his age, what’s a few decades? Ginger is over six thousand years old, after all. He’s one of the earliest mummies, naturally formed in the sands of Egypt and almost perfectly preserved.

I visit Ginger to put life in to perspective. It sometimes upsets me that people snap away with cameras and never seem to think this was someone’s son, someone’s father, someone’s husband….But I always come away feeling strangely relieved. While I have aged and am not the girl who got threatened with expulsion from the museum three times in one afternoon, Ginger remains the same. He’s come to represent something to me I find hard to explain. The permanence of impermanence, maybe. Or that while we live we make a difference and when we’re dead, maybe even then our works may live on. I don’t know. Anyway, I think J understood why I took him to meet my oldest friend.

Downstairs in the old reading room I managed to upset the lady who was showing exhibits to the public. I did NOT mean to but I did put her nose slightly out of joint by seeming to know more about the artefacts she was handing round than she did. If you ever read this, lady of the Hand Axe and Samian Ware Dish, I am so sorry. I’m actually quite nice when you get to know me. She probably wanted to bury the Hand Axe in my face….

We sauntered off and out into the sunshine and took the route the girl took in Someone’s Watching Me https://zenandtheartoftightropewalking.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/someones-watching-me-short-story/ down into Victoria Embankment gardens where we flopped down on the grass, inhaled the scents of wallflowers and exhaust fumes and avoided being biffed by pigeons. Underground trains rumbled beneath us creating utterly weird sensations as the grass and earth trembled where we sat.

Too soon over, my coach pulled in and we said goodbye and I climbed aboard my ride home, feeling gently happy and very tired from all the walking. 

In my life, one good day is worth ten  bad ones. You have to store them up like treasure to mull over when the grey clouds block out the sun. This was a good day, without drama or over-excitement or  expectations.

Who can ask for more?

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15 thoughts on “A good day

  1. It was such a lovely day, that has left me addicted to Thai Food even though we both managed to throw our cutlery on the floor. Meeting Ginger was quite an experience that brought back memories of a similar 55bc character that I visited in Denmark when I was a lot younger.
    As for the Lady showing artefacts, this was an observation worthy of an entire blog post!!!!
    A beautiful day. Thank you
    xxx

    • I certainly didn’t “throw” any cutlery! I was relieved you didn’t go ahead with the plan of letting me get myself thrown out of the museum finally, though, after evading that fate all those years ago.
      Why don’t you write a post about observing the lady of the handaxe? It would be interesting as I was partially oblivious of what was going on as I was caught up in that little drama myself.
      It was a great day. Another soon?
      xx

  2. Sounds like a wonderful day and Ginger … what can I say? I want to go and find him too. Is there any reason why you called him Ginger?

    I have been having a bit of a downtime recently, yet a trip to my local town today completely shifted my perspectives. Nothing massive happened … the sun was simply shining, I found a parking space easily and had the right money for the ticket machine. Then I had tea with a friend. It was enough to make me feel aligned with life (just for once!) and happy for the little things.

    Great post and great blog. Thanks!

    • Ah Ginger is the name the curators refer to him by simply because his hair is a ginger colour, whether it was in life, I do not know. He’s on the first floor gallery of ancient Egyptian stuff, in his own climate controlled case and surrounded by his goods and chattels as he lies curled on his side, looking as if he were asleep.
      Funny how sunshine helps. I went to London again today, this time to meet the Eurostar and collect a new group of students from Germany; their teachers have become old friends now. We stopped for a few hours in Colchester, a town replete with history that the locals seem not to care about, and had time to have fun in the park. The sunshine put smiles on tired stressed faces.
      Glad you had a good day too and thank you for your kind comments. It’s nice to have you visit.
      x

  3. Hey I sing that song a lot.
    I have no radio in my work truck so when I am alone I sing, it goes like this everytime:
    John Barelycorn
    Slip slidin away
    Rank Strangers

    then repeat or anything is possible.

    Here is another lyric I think you will understand and hope you will like:

    “think how good just normal feels ,a helmet on my head,constant flow of ice cream in, i’d be as good as dead”
    another world – the roches

    who could ask for more? 🙂

    a good day is hard to beat.
    I am trying so hard to accept a good day. I always always
    think something bad waits to squash it .

    thank you

    • I had a feeling that was a favourite song of yours, Mark.
      It was the sound track about 30 years ago to one of my most lifechanging dreams. I may write about the dream to one day.

      • In response to your comment to Sherry above I do agree with you about the expectation part.
        For me, the pessimist, it works the other way.
        Truly ,I am amazed and dumbfounded each day when the sun comes up. Rarely disappointed and often surprised but I think somethings broken in all that.

        I love the book(I am a painfully slow reader). A little less than half way through.
        I wish we could just fly down the river all day and visit and fly . Those are my favourite parts so far. My wife and daughter have read that kind of stuff before but it is a new way to me.
        When you describe people and places you do it with certain precise details that hold the reader and dont bog him down.
        I imagine a little blonde guinea pig at a desk straightening papers, tapping them upon the glossy desktop and filing them away neatly, contented to move on to the next description.
        I have been contented too.

        peace

      • I am so glad you are enjoying the book Mark. Slow and steady wins the race, you know. And thank you for the feedback of why you enjoy my writing.
        Your comment about me as guinea pig made my daughter laugh out loud and reminded me I need to scan the picture which means I need to buy a new scanner….
        peace to you too
        v

  4. I couldn’t agree more with you Viv, a good day is worth ten bad ones and I’m so glad you had one of the good ones on Sunday!
    Wow, I’m truly touched by the relationship you have with Ginger- the ties between the people who are gone and the ones that are still alive always has an impact on me. Maybe it’s because most of the time I see that the relationship is deeper and stronger than most relationships I witness between two people who are still alive…
    I can’t wait to visit Ginger next year 🙂

    • I shall take you along and introduce you!
      There is a poem in my poetry archive that is called Mummy, about another Mummy but it could have been about Ginger…..

    • I guess you’ll have read all the Agatha Christie novels set in Egypt; there is one that is set under one of the pharoahs, an ancient murder mystery.
      I do so love that era!!
      thanks, it was a great day!

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