“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?