Autumn is now in mid-flight. The Manchurian Pears put on their royal show with their auburn burnished leaves dropping like tarnished silver littering the streets and footpaths. Children are on Easter holiday full of chocolate and loud matinee movies. The mothers already counting the days before a return to school. Our own grandkids now grown into having better things to do than visit old fogeys, especially when urged to read a good book or even just lift eyes up and away from their hand held nervous electronica! I read a sign yesterday at a hotel in Mittagong placed outside on the footpath, ‘No Wi Fi here’ followed by a stern ‘talk to each other’! Most surprising and enlightened publican there. There is hope yet in this world so obsessing with all that instant gratification from swiping and downloading gibberish. They text; “I am in Auburn Rd, shopping”, “where are you”? Text back; “I am near my door, leaving for my Pilates”.Mr Joseph Pilates from Mönchengladbach has a lot to answer for. Millions of followers. It combines both mental and physical exercises. It made me wonder how the mental exercise had enlightened the texting practitioner? She answered; I have lost 6 kilos!
My grandkids would probably admonish me for my hypocritical stance and say; you are always on the computer too, what’s the difference? Rightly so! It must be sign of ageing or at best being, ‘an oft repeated saying slung at me; ‘you are just a curmudgeon.’ Of course I wear this badge with honour. Anyone who know a good curmudgeon knows they are enlightened truth tellers possessing great wit and sharpness of mind. It is a peculiar trait reserved for few men. Oft desired by many but seldom attained. Many believe they are old men, cranky and impatient, loaded up with chagrin till finally finding a fiery end in a glazed urn. With some luck they might get scattered around Parramatta Rd, or ,God forgive along the M5. Their grey ash flung out of the moving car’s window. ‘Good riddance you cranky-pot’ as a final goodbye and wind blown powdery epitaph.
This is what I gleaned from WiKi about curmudgeons and how to become one.
1. curmudgeons are not pleasers! You must not care about being popular or liked. If that matters to you, go to therapy!
2. Curmudgeons are not crabby – that is a myth. We tell the truth, and some people don’t like that. Tell Junior what you really think of his writing. Tell Aunt Ida that she’s got bad breath. Don’t be mean about it, but don’t try to make everything sound pretty!
3. Curmudgeons do not follow ‘trends’! You must learn to think for yourself! If a popular media figure says something is great, you don’t care for it. If most of the people around you like a TV show, gadget or movie, it makes you yawn. You may need to try forcing yourself not to like what’s popular until you learn to think independently.
4. Curmudgeons do not shop! Find something else to do with your time, like go for walks, garden, or take up a craft (it does not need to be a good or useful craft – it’s the process that counts).
5. Curmudgeons do not like new things. Poke around the attic, garage or basement until you find that old thing you used to use, rather than buy something new. Or borrow it!
In the meantime the autumnal season marches on and right now is so beautiful it makes everything worth hanging onto for a while longer. The rain over the last few weeks have been plentiful and this must have giving all trees a final spurt of growth with the foliage blowing out but now relinquishing all that in a glorious final crescendo of warm colours and golden glow. It is Vivaldi at his best and heavenly. You can tell that the trees are listening too.