Yesterday was, amongst many other things, a friend’s 50th birthday. I had already made two birthday cakes for the event: One was chocolate with buttercream filling and icing with Smarties laid out in rainbow-order circles; the other was one of my infamous multi-coloured cakes, with yellow icing and my pal’s name and age picked out in gold balls.
This being a fancy-dress event, I then had to struggle with lack of sartorial confidence and pick, as I thought at the time, the one (of two!) possible costumes which would make me look the least hideous! So, it was a toss-up between the very short scarlet devil’s costume and my Magenta (from ‘Rocky Horror Show’) one, which includes bright red fishnets! I opted for the second and, having lobbed a small amount of make-up in the general direction of my eyes and mouth, set off for the pub in which the festivities were taking place.
The party was sheer delight from start to finish: Lovely Shadow of the Tor members and others I had never met before; much laughter and quaffing; full blowing out of candles and singing ‘Happy Birthday’ song for the Birthday Girl ritual; wonderful atmosphere and, perhaps above all, a feeling, which touches me hugely, of being part of a large, loose tribe and of being accepted just as I am.
For too long, I have allowed people to say things like, ‘You’d be quite pretty if you lost weight…’ So now, I stand up and yell to the rooftops, ‘You’re WRONG! I’m good-looking regardless! Bugger off!’
If losing weight is part of the package of acceptability held out as clear emotional blackmail by some people in our world, these are not people I want anything to do with. If I have to conform to their stereotype of what constitutes attractiveness, acceptable gender choice, sexuality (and so on ad infinitum), well, there’s the door and it ends in ‘off’!
I looked pretty good, in an unconventional and maverick way, in my Magenta outfit. Just goes to show that you don’t have to be svelte and toned to deserve food, fun, friendship and compliments!
This morning, I wandered into the garden, to commune with nature in one way whilst Jumble communed in another. It was very early, rather grey; Pippa was somnolent, though she hoppity-skipped over to have her nose stroked eventually. Jumbs was busy leg-cocking and performing what I describe as the Canine Poo Dance. You know the one: Paw-stamping in ever-decreasing circles while in the hunched squat prior to dropping a dreadnought upon the grass.
I wandered, cloud-vague, away from the dog and stopped…
Under-slept as I am, it took me a few seconds to focus clearly on what glowed and shimmered before me: Three small ripe raspberries, the first to reach perfection, and, as an additional treat, a pink rose, freshly emerged and tremblingly beautiful.
I ate the raspberries straight from their now-multi-leaved canes, and they were luscious, such a taste of summer and hope.
I have two huge posts to write in the next two or three days – but am very tired today, after a busy (though fun) weekend, so will content myself today with this, perhaps somewhat fragmented, series of thoughts, reactions and signs of loveliness outside.
Sometimes, it really is the little and quiet things which touch our hearts the most.