Monday, 5 January 2009

Three Things That Make Me Happy

Who would have thought that I would be writing a list, on a machine, whose workings I don't understand, at the request of a lady thousands of miles away, all at the age of sixty nine. But why not, indeed!
Taking it for granted that family and friends need no listing being precious beyond mention, in no particular order, Things that Make me Happy.
1 Attending Derby County Football Club matches.
I expect few to understand. Its an occupation, a leisure activity sometimes without rhyme or reason. In winter it is often cold beyond belief. The seats are uncomfortable, it is impossible to leave the car park within forty five minutes of a match ending, it is also expensive and the team is frequently terrible beyond belief. (Last year we were relegated from the Premier League with the least points ever in the leagues history.) Yet our ground is called Pride Park.
It is also real, live, as opposed to television, always intriguing and sometimes exciting. We live primarily in hope and expectation. It is both tribal and traditional. I have a brick alongside hundreds of others set in the pathway outside the ground. Going from memory mine is inscribed 'The best of times, the worst of times.' (Hard Times?)
My wife attends with me, as do over 25000 diehards. Bellicose ranting and sabre rattling is not for me. I don't 'hate' the opposition as many scream weekly. But I love my football, have attended since 1948 and hopefully will continue to do so until I die. I might even consider having my ashes scattered in the penalty box.
2 Collecting.
I have what could loosely be called a 'museum'. It houses a multitude of objects, of little value in the main, but a source of pleasure and education to many. Some exhibits have been bought, some given, some retrieved from roadside skips. There is no theme, I collect anything that takes my fancy, size and space permitting.
For example:
Puppets, Jack in a Box, an Etch A Sketch and Sindy plus horse (and pram, and scooter, caravan, dog, etc,etc.)
Sewing machines, valve radios, wicker basketed child's weighing scales and cameras by the half dozen.
Butter makers, Victorian bike lamps, treddle boot and shoe repairer and magic lantern.
Victorian bottles, cut throat razors, and a grappling iron. (used for fetching bodies from the river.)
Gas masks, WW2 helmets, field telephones and Morse Keys.
The list is endless and is added to on occasion. Finding a new item gives satisfaction, I love it, the local school 'borrows' and we are all happy. Last 'in' so to speak, an old type blood pressure monitor in a wooden box. When did you last see one in use? (Bought at the car boot in Hexham Cattle Market)
You start with one item and a pattern emerges. I acquired a ceramic 'potty, to which was added a pot bedpan; along came a pot urine bottle and a stone hot water bottle and now the blood pressure monitor. This little group incidentally fascinates the infants at my daughters school. (And I suspect the young teachers who have not experienced the joys of using such objects.)
3 The Purchase of Anything New. New to me, that is, as opposed to new 'new'.
I suspect this is a throwback to a childhood that was poor in the extreme. (Poor but not unhappy.)
I remember an early Christmas toy; a tinplate, wind up toy jeep maybe five inches long.. Then a small toy cannon, even smaller that fired matchsticks. A huge leather football that gained immense brownie points with other 'kids on the block'. A second hand bike for passing the eleven plus (bought by a relative) and a Raleigh bike with Sturmey Archer gears bought from the proceeds of a paper round, aged fifteen, 7/6d a week.
A 9mm gun, surreptitiously hidden away from adults when I was around sixteen. (I now abhor guns, aged sixty nine.) A second hand 197cc Francis Barnett motorbike and later an old minivan which I lovingly brush painted. Plus a Mini Cooper S; boy did that car get me in trouble but how I loved it. Ladas, Moskvichs, Fiat motorhomes, all passed through, all appreciated, all eventually superseded.
Marriage and our first real home, a draughty, rented semi-derelict farm cottage, but we were in heaven. Five houses later and we are in the first year of what will almost certainly be our last home.
The pattern is obvious. Toy jeeps for pennies, bungalows for many thousands. all treasured but all temporary I fear. But in this material age 'retail therapy' is still as good as any drug to banish the blues. (Perhaps it is a drug.) I can buy virtually buy anything I want within reason at this stage of my life. And thank goodness I still get pleasure from the ability to purchase 'something new'. I am not known for my sartorial elegance but I must admit I do like my new corduroy trousers I bought last week. Plus my wife says my new jacket bought in the sales looks very smart. It ought to, she chose it!
Now comes the tricky(for me) bit.
I am being instructed/taught tagging by one my mentors, Frogdancer hence this blog 'Six Things That Make Me Happy.' Or in my case three! I've tagged six people, and I've probably done that wrong. The joys of getting old, technology never was my strong point even when I was still alive! Anyone can take part, feel free. If anyone out there responds, that too will make me happy.


Mad Asthmatic said...

well i have just made you happy!!! Have done my meme now, come over and check it out.


hmmm - the word verification reads psych - is blogger trying to tell me something.

Anonymous said...

There you go!!

(Your wife must be a gem.... I'm the opposite of a collector so I'd always be trying to make you select only 'the best' of your collections and to get rid of the rest. Can you imagine the battles royal we'd have???)

Robert said...

Thanks for the tag, Ken. I'm way slower than Mad Asthmatic, so it might be a day or two before I do the meme.

Best wishes.

Marian Dean said...

I am as Frogdancer. I'm the opposite to a collector, so my husband and I are like chalk and cheese as he hoards anything and everything. He can't resist a 'bargain' or 'might be useful one day' item at any boot sale and his weekly poke around charity shops ( Thrift shop for those over the pond) I dread to imagine a house move anytime soon. I keep dropping hints of a 'downsize' as this house is too big... for me anyway, he just fills any space up he can.
Sorry, just glad to get that off my chest!!!

Kitty said...

Derby County? :-O Good Lord, you poor man. Still, I admire your loyalty and optimism. I'm a Villa girl through and through, so well understand the ups and downs of supporting a team through the decades.

We moved house this year, so I had a good clear out of extraneous 'stuff'. I think I'd like to make it an annual 'thing' - it was quite liberating.


Anonymous said...

for me used motorycycle driving makes me happy !

Stinking Billy said...

ken, Burnley are leading at Spurs as I write. So what chance tomorrow night, bonny lad?

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Well I hope young Nigel does half as well as Brian did for The Rams - except when you meet The Tigers.

Troy said...

Ken, I am so with you on the first two. No, not Derby County, but the pleasure of supporting a team live through thick and thin. And you are very lucky that "Mrs Ken" shares your passion - I attend alone (well, you know what I mean).
As for collecting...most of the space in my house is for the many varied items I've picked up but never discarded in my journey through life.
Finally I too have joined the corduroy trouser brigade - so comfortable and warm in the colder months.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Very thoughtful meme, do you call it. As aslways.
Still didn't get it all right but interesting all the same.
With your busy life it's good of you to have a go.
Great. We house moved every day for six weeks less two days. Amazingly blood pressure checks on my wife at the end showed her pressure the most normal for many years.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Martin O'Neill is the best manager in this country bar non
We have a house near here (Calke Abbey) where they never threw away anything for CENTURIES. Well worth a visit.
2-2 ? Welcome to Nigel.
Yorkshire Pudding
Thanks, very positive! At least we will enjoy the ride. Was dreading a nondescript like Dowie etc getting the job.
Are you wavering re your manager. I bet we have had more managers than you in, say, the last twenty years.
What have you 'retained' from your travels.

Sue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue said...

I checked back on Polergirl's blog post about 40 as I know she often replies to comments, (I could tick for a feed . . . I just don't remember too)!!!

I read her replies, then laughed out loud at your comment :-D

Thanks for making my day . . . I am still giggling now.

Sue . . . whose brother had one of those matchstick canons . . . I'd completely forgot about it.

Mean Mom said...

My father has supported West Brom through thick and thin. He stopped attending in person, when the fans became a bit too boisterous for his liking. Of my 3 lads, the only one who follows my father's liking for sport, is my student son.

You're a collector? Noooo! All of the men in my family are collectors. Being surrounded by 'stuff' makes them feel cosy, whereas it makes me feel claustrophobic! I do understand your interest in old things, however.

I had a small green tank, which fired matchsticks, when I was a child. I loved it.

Your new trousers look very smart, but do they have an elasticated waist? Essential for the over 50s you know!

Congratulations on completing your first tag.

Clippy Mat said...

ken: nice post. but your collections make me feel anxious. i wonder who dusts everything? who organizes it and where do you put it all? does your wife approve?
haha, i'm just being nosey.

Stinking Billy said...

Hey, ken baby, what price the rams for Wembley now, then? Tremendous show!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Well done on the post Ken and a Happy New Year to you! are speeding ahead on the blogging front. Excellent!

Yes...we are collectors too and vastly running out of space. Hexham market is a good one. I try not to go for obvious reasons...maybe we should set up stall and try to offload some stuff...there's a thought!

Kitty said...

Had to laugh at Troy saying he goes to matches alone. Attendencies at Ipswich have gone right down the pan, then? ;-) x

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Sue Nicholson
Anything technical I'm ashamed to say my wife does it. (went on a course!)Thanks for visiting. Will keep my eye on your blog.
Mean Mom
Saw WBA at Wembley V Derby of course. But they persevered and look at them and us now.
Dusting, what's dusting.
I actually have an outhouse that is mine only, complete with bar and 'museum'. very much in my doteage and don't I know it.
I'd love to think Wembley but doubt it. But the new ride under Nigel puts a spring in the heel.
Thanks for your kind words. People like you give us novices encouragement.
re Hexham car boot come market. They were queuing to get in. Is it somewhat deprived area? It was all very interesting. We can't wait to come north again.
Don't let Troy catch you laughing at Ipswich! Football is changing though it was never static. Individual clubs being over rich worries me.
Once parked near Villa ground and was surprised the vehicle was still there when we came out. Don't know where we were but it was not unlike the old Baseball Ground.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Mean mom
Re your little tank, I wonder what happened to all our own treasures of the past.
re trousers, my weight and waistband is perfectly correct for a man of six feet one. Unfortunately I am five feet four and a half. Don't forget the half!

Sam said...

Ken, still haven't seen any movies on your blog yet...give a holler if you need more help.

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