Tag Archives: dancing

The Inevitable

“There is a land of the living
and a land of the dead,
And the bridge is love.”
from “The Bridge of San Luis Rey” by Thornton Wilder

imageRip Jon Alastair Craig
1941 – 2015

It doesn’t seem possible that just 8 weeks ago we were enjoying life and making plans for another trip. But now, what became inevitable, has happened.
After only one round of chemotherapy, it became apparent that this invader in the Architect’s head was stronger than any modern medicine.  My darling lived for only another five weeks.
Surprisingly, he was in no pain except at the very end. The consultants and staff at Wellington Regional Hospital were fantastic. Initially, the consultants thought that this could be fought with large doses of chemotherapy, but it became apparent after only one round that this was not to be.  So that he was not alone I slept at the hospital in his room with him for the 17 nights leading up to the transfer to the hospice.
The last 10 days of his life were spent at Te Omanga Hospice close to home.  What a lovely place, set in beautiful calm grounds and staffed by such an amazing, caring, loving group of people.  Again I stayed with him and I too was cared for by this incredible group of people. I cannot thank them enough: Then quietly and peacefully on Sunday, August 16 the Magic Carpet Ride came to an abrupt end. My second love died.
We had only two years together, but what a fabulous two years.  Thank you thank you for sharing this time with me my love.

“To live in lives you leave behind, is not to die.”
Judith Baxter, Blogger & friend 1938 –

A Weekend Away

Imagine a group of friends, all well into their senior years enjoying themselves in a rare weekend away together.

Not for them the quiet talk around the fireside but instead a joyous celebration of life culminating in their opening the doors onto the deck on a cold winter’s night and all joining in dancing and singing to Cole Porter’s “Let’s Misbehave”.

Every one of us felt invigorated to be in the company of our peers, each of whom has decided that ‘age’ is a frame of mind and there is still time to sing and dance.

Those memories will remain.

This post is in response to the 100 word writing challenge from Velvet Verbosity where we are asked to write 100 words inspired by a single prompt. This week’s word is MISBEHAVE

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Waltzing Matilda

My family and most of my friends know that my favourite song is I Hope You Dance.  This song sums up my attitude to life and I love it.  And I have chosen it to be played at my funeral.

Imagine my delight then when I received an email this morning with this video embedded – please watch it.

This unbelievable 94-year-old dancing the Foxtrot with a young man.  Whatever she has been doing for the past 94 years I want to do – and whatever she is on I want some.

And here are the lyrics for you to sing along with Lee Ann Womack.  Yes, yes I know I have given you these words before, but in case…

“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.I hope you dance….I hope you dance.I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.)I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.Dance….I hope you dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance..
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone)”
Songwriters: Tia Sillers, Mark Daniel Sanders
Copyright: Soda Creek Songs.

2 old ladies

Maybe this is why I can’t dance like Matilda.

Bears Dancing

But these bears are having a good try

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I Can See Clearly Now..

I can see clearly now the rain has gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s going to be a bright, bright sunshiny day

Have you ever had a song stuck in your head and you just can’t get rid of it.  If so you know just how annoying it can be.  This is also referred to as an earworm.  According to Wikipedia Earworm is a loan translation of the German Ohrwurm, and is a portion of a song or other music that repeats compulsively within one’s mind, put colloquially as “music being stuck in one’s head.”

Like yawning, catchy tunes– especially those with words– seem to be contagious. Just mention a song like “Dancing Queen” from Abba, or how about “Bye Bye Love”?  Immediately someone within hearing distance will get it stuck in their head.

Well this is just such a song.  I Can See Clearly Now played on the radio at the weekend.  It was most appropriate.  The rain had stopped, the sun was shining and hey presto!

After the rain

After the rain

Look all around there’s nothing but blue skies
Look straight ahead nothing but blue skies

If you don’t know this song listen here.  This is a version I hadn’t heard before but listen and then it will then bug you too.  (I do like to share with my friends).

What to do to get rid of the song?

  • Call a friend and talk about mundane, every day things – great while the conversation lasts but shortly after the song returns.
  • Read a book and have a cup of coffee – my most likely response to any stress
  • Take Lotte (my Tibetan Spaniel) for a walk
  • Do some laundry
  • Housework – my least likely response to any stress and while I am walking, doing laundry or housework the song is there still.

So for the rest of today I have to just put up with it.  However, it could be much worse.  Think of the ghastly songs that have been recorded.

I think I can make it now the pain has gone
And all of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is the rainbow I’ve been praying for
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day

Rainbow

The rain has gone

And from Oscar Wilde – “If one plays good music, people don’t listen and if one plays bad music people don’t talk. “

So excuse me now while I go to do the laundry – ugh!  Or another thought, perhaps I will read my book.  This is a much better option.


And the best friends of all are sisters….

Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters -never had to have a chaperone, “No sir” – I’m here to keep my eye on her.
Irving Berlin 1988-1989.  Composer and lyricist

Today, sitting here on the far side of the world, I have been thinking of my sisters.  One in London and one in Los Angeles  If we had set out to do so we could not have settled so far apart.

Dancing class

Dancing class

Sisters have a special kind of relationship, particularly as we grow older and move away.  But a sister is also a very special kind of friend.  Even if we do not see each other often, we know we are there in spirit for each other.

When my husband died my sisters were there for me although at a distance.   I felt their love and sorrow, just as if they had been here with me, holding my hands.

And then when their husbands each died, I was there for them.  Sending all kind and good wishes, knowing that although they had been divorced from their spouses for several years, they still shared a past with these men, and that past had produced their children.

When we were growing up in London all those years ago, we had our fights as all siblings do but we always were there for each other.  And we showed a solid front against Mother if one or other of us was in trouble. Mother as the common enemy.  Where else do you find this kind of loyalty?

Mother and girls

Mother with her three daughters

We did everything together and went everywhere together, in some part because our Mother always took all of us wherever we were going.  That is until we were old enough to make our own way to wherever.

Over the years our friendship has grown and I often think  the quote by Christina Rosettie (English Poet1830-1894) was penned for us:

For there is no friend like a sister, in calm or stormy weather, to cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch one if one goes astray, to lift one if one totters down,
to strengthen whilst one stands.

And there are many instances of famous sisters in history and to this day:

  • The Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Ann, all much-loved novelists
  • The Mitford sisters, six celebrated and sometimes scandalous sisters
  • The Gabor sisters Magda, Zsa Zsa and Eva again celebrated and scandalous
  • Linda and Loretta Sanchez are the first sisters to serve together in Congress.  Read about the sisters here.
  • The Andrew Sisters.  Patti, Maxene and La Verne were a close harmony singing group of the swing era.
  • Abby and Ann Landers – two sisters who each wrote an advice column for two different newspapers.
  • Sarah and Angelina Grimke – 19th-century American Quakers, educators and writers who were early advocates of abolitionism and woman’s rights.

And the list goes on.

So if you have a sister or sisters, count your blessings and if you don’t well I offer my condolences and suggest you find a special friend whom you can adopt as a sister.  Here in New Zealand, I have two as my ‘real’ sisters are so far away.

And one last quote for the day from Clara Ortega

To the outside world we all grow old.  But not to brothers and sisters.
We know each other as we always were.  We know each others hearts.
We share private family jokes.  We remember family feuds and secrets,
family griefs and joys.  We live outside the touch of time.

And a note to my friends out there – if anybody can tell me anything about Clara Ortega I would love to hear.

Shall we dance?

Today, being the first day of the rest of my life, I am going to start a new routine.  I used to love to dance.  As a child having tap dancing and ballet lessons; as a teenager rocking to Bill Haley, Elvis Presley and Tommy Steele among others; as a young wife and mother at balls and now…

Well it has been a while since I danced.  So today I am starting to dance to the music on the radio.  OK so I have to find a station that is more music than chat.  And if that fails, I will find a CD to dance to.

The dance and a person learning or teaching others to dance has been the subject of several memorable films.  Did you see the film with Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez and Susan Sarandon.?  Click here to see a short video. And earlier, Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr in The King and I.

Not only does the act of dancing release energy it leaves one feeling re-energised.  All constraints fall away and a fantastic feeling of freedom is found.  This is what we should be looking for particularly as we age.  The positive reinforcements we receive whether dancing alone around the living room with one’s small dog for company, or with others are so uplifting and beneficial to our health and well-being.

I will add dance to my daily routine, of 5 Tibetan Rites and walking.  I am sure that in this way I can halt or at least slow down the changes that inevitably happen.

So today I shall find the music and start to dance.  And as always

If you get the choice to sit it out or dance;
I hope you dance.