Monday, May 20, 2019

There Goes a Tenner

I took Olga to the Heath yesterday. I can definitely tell she's getting older. Not too many years ago she would drag me there. I could barely walk through the streets of Hampstead fast enough to keep up with her. Now she takes her time, sniffing all along the way, and her stamina isn't what it was. I shortened the walk a bit yesterday, spending more time in the woods (which she loves because that's where the squirrels are) and skipping Parliament Hill and some of the more open spaces. She didn't seem to mind at all.

This may be the new normal. She was two or three years old when we got her at the beginning of 2013, so now she's at least eight. Time waits for no staffy.

We saw this European Union flag flying from someone's balcony in Hampstead -- a little pro-EU message as Britain heads into European elections. Why are we having EU elections, you may ask, when we're about to leave the EU? A valid question. Basically it was a requirement for staying in a little longer to get our ducks in a row before we depart. (I say "our" even though I personally can't vote here in the UK -- not yet, anyway.)

It seems the danger in these elections is that voters may send a bunch of far-right politicians to the European Parliament, politicians who are openly hostile to the EU, thereby continuing to dismantle it from within. Britain is certainly guilty of that, having sent Nigel Farage back time and again. God forbid we should actually try to make the system work. I'm sure Russia has its sticky fingers in these races.

But on a positive note, look at what I found lying on the ground on the Heath! Now that's a good day.

It reminded me of the Kate Bush song "There Goes a Tenner," about a gaggle of criminals blowing up a safe. The crime goes wrong and money is left scattered at the scene.

I planted a few more seedlings yesterday, and we're going to give some others to our friend Lisa, who just got a new apartment with a garden. Slowly but surely I'm working my way through all of them. I'm not sure what to do with the four dahlias I have -- they're in smallish pots, where they obviously can't stay, but they get devoured by slugs in the garden. (As we know from prior experience!) Guess I need bigger pots to keep them on the patio.

I'm reading Elizabeth Wurtzel's book "Prozac Nation." I remember all the clamor when it came out 25 years ago (!) but I never read it, and when I found a copy in the library I thought I'd give it a try. She strikes me as bright but awfully self-involved, which I seem to remember is the main criticism of the book. The New York Times recently did a series of articles about Generation X, looking back at some of the forces that shaped our culture, and this tome was mentioned. Even though I'm just barely an Xer (having been born in 1966, two years after the Boomer generation ended) I suppose I ought to have some familiarity with it, right?


  1. Congratulations on the tenner! I know the feeling of exhilaration when you pick up free money (from any source) - I once picked up a five dollar note and thought I was a millionaire! Somehow found money seems more real than wages which flow invisibly into your bank account, even though at an average wage, we probably earn $5 less than a quarter of an hour!

  2. As you are an honest fellow and ex-Peace Corps to boot, I trust that you are going to hand that ten pound note into your local police station. If you don't do that how will you be able to sleep at night? Trouble with those new ten pound notes is that they are so darn slippery.

  3. Enjoy your walks with Olga...Staffys don't last long, but as shes had a good non-fighting life with you, she'll go on a bit longer.

    The far right is a danger everywhere, especially when there is voter apathy

    Congrats on the tenner! I saw a ten bob note for sale in an antique shop in Bristol...looks to be worth more and certainly cost more than a tenner!

  4. I remarked to Tom the other day that the 'kittens' feet are sort of flattening out. The used to be plump little things but as they are now all getting a bit old ladyish, lol
    It's so sad when our pets show signs of aging isn't it?

  5. Well, Olga may have many good years ahead of her. Remember my boxer Pearl who lived to be fifteen? That was about twice what a boxer's normal lifespan is. And Olga has such a good life with you and Dave that she may decide to just keep on living forever!
    Oh, if only that was the way it worked.
    I never read Prozac Nation. Give us your opinion when you're done.

  6. So Olga slows down and look what happens! At the old speed you'd never have seen the tenner!

  7. the whole world is going to hell in a, now Australia, Canada is being threatened and now the EU. what the hell is the matter with people!

    found money is always good. my son used to find money on the ground all the time when he was a kid. I'd think he stole it if I hadn't been with him enough times to know.

  8. I wish doggies could live much longer lives, as long as their human companions. That would be the best. I never read Prozac Nation. I'd love to read what you think of it.

  9. Lucky you finding a tenner on the ground! Like some of your other readers, I wish dogs could live longer too.

  10. I think British money is so much more attractive than our wrinkly old green stuff. Are you planning on becoming a British citizen and staying there forever?

  11. I hope Olga has lots of good years and good walks left. As long as she's got you and Dave, she's in good hands.

    I think that those on the trailing edge of a cohort tend to miss a lot of what defines the cohort. That's how I feel about the boomer cohort, anyhow. And to the extent that I do identify with some of the cultural characteristics, it has a great deal to do with growing up with a brother four years older than I am. Much of what he listened to in music, for example, seeped into my life as well. I'm sure I wouldn't have listened to it if it weren't for him. Seems to me that literature would be similar, maybe not what older sibs were reading, but in terms of what books were popular, and when.

  12. I hate it when I see a dog slow down sad x

  13. Our animals just don't live long enough. Hope she had a good check-up and is as healthy as she looks.

  14. I think I remember when you got Olga -- it's so wonderful that we've been connected in this community for so, so long. I'm grateful for it. I remember reading Prozac Nation way back when --