So, you think that I am going to talk about my adorable and lovable wife, Rachel. Well in a roundabout way. In fact I wanted to touch on the hit US series 'The Good Wife'. We have been followers from the very beginning and hooked but we don't have a set schedule every week to watch it, that would be so passe'. We record it on our state of the art box and then we have one of those cosy evenings in, with maybe cheese and biscuits and good wine or maybe nibbles. Its our version of hygge. The phenomena that will sweep in from Dan land that relates to wellbeing. We will be told it is something of a deep enduring heritage over there that might relate to the superior levels of happiness. That may well be a sound argument but I suspect a bit simplistic. However, it's not unique to them. I think both we as a family and many in the UK also do hygge. I certainly see my older girls doing a lot of hygge with their friends. We love to throw dinner parties and we invite different combinations of friends. Its good food, people and conversation. It is sharing in the pleasure of others and the small details as well as the big issues of our collective experiences. Its about the looking back at challenges and successes, the anticipation of the tomorrow but all embedded in a 'now' experience with people we have become to value and trust and those we are on a journey with to discover what friendship can give us.
Anyway, we were watching The Good wife. Our little hygge. Three episodes in one go. I will not go into the storyline too much. It does all the right things as a good formulaic series. One episode stories, an underlying unfolding plot with twists and cliff hangers. It has tried and test characters and moral, political and social topics. However, it has something else. I am not sure if this is something you have observed. The movies and TV is embracing the power and influence of women. The Good Wife revolves around a central female character. But there are lots of female characters, some have stayed and some have gone. This current series is building on a central premise of what would a all female partner law firm be able to do from a commerce perspective. So for us this has all sorts of spin offs as we discuss the merits of the story and plot and what if scenarios for the wider world of business and everything else. And what does it mean for our travels. What might we look for and ask of the things that we will see and hear.
So, The Good Wife, as a vehicle for our regular ritual of hygge, is good story telling, food, intimacy and conversation/debate. Then we realised something this week. There are two episodes left before this one ends and we go away for 6 months on our #familyadventure. And the last one is the night before we fly. So filled with excitement, fear and constant list ticking to try and make sure we have packed the right things but also left the house sorted. The sadness of leaving our dogs with friends. The parents. The children. The grandchild. Our wonderful friends. The recounting of underwear, just how many micro-bacterial fighting pants should one take on a 6 month journey. Will 34 books on my kindle be enough. Will I survive with 2000 songs on my touch. Can 300 gb be sufficient storage for the photos. Will I be able to actually sit down, have my last hygge with the last episode, with my wonderful partner and wife.
For fuck sakes lets do a hygge approach to trip planning and make sure that for us this trip will be about our big
Local places, local people, local conversations.
So this is the dilemma. I know we will be on the road for 6 months and that there are a trillion cultural music experiences to breath and hear. In fact I want to find the festivals and hopefully downtown halls and village centres where the local bands tread. I want to put the radio on and hear southern counties folk, although we are not there but maybe the equivalent. What do they play on the radio in outback of Quebec. I just tried it and it was all foreign to me, literally, its in French. So maybe tune into some west Californian vibe.
Anyway, I know that along with the sights, smells, taste and the local people, its the music that one has to embrace. But I am defined by my music and to not take some on the road is like leaving my personality at home. Yeah, I know, not a bad idea if I am not to offend the locals. But music is the food of life. So I have been re-editing my playlists to try and get that right balance for our road trip. I thought this might be a good starter as we are a family out there trying to navigate the highways and the low days. Missing our bigger family and friends. So why don't you take it for a spin and let me know if its a good choice.
I also thought that might fit in with the initial Canadian ambience and the long stretching journeys up into the mountains. But it is only a part of me and does not represent my diversity and eclectic music choices. So I thought what else would comfort me. This song would be for the times I need to remember what Rachel does but also all those other people in my life that touch you and remind you, that maybe music is the food of life but people are our oxygen.
So lets here some suggestions. The impossible task. Two songs for a road trip with family or your friends or yourself.
out When you set out a mega travel plan there are a lot of lists and in our case the 'what we need to do with the house 'one was more of a challenge. Well, we have successfully secured a tenant to pay the bills while we are away and we have cleared loft, garage and emotional baggage that has been tucked away in various nooks and cranies about the house. I moved my brothers ashes to the loft so he is safe and can't wait to respond to the next "so what happened to your brother" ...."oh, he passed away and he is now - me pointing upwards - safe and secure".
So today, I have been cancelling all the bills and sorting insurance and updating the council and answering calls to the advert for our car, which has not yet sold, so might need to go to storage.
However, as you progress through the list you come to realise that time is running out and the list is shrinking, which is clearly the point but the anticipation of what you have embarked upon grows. This can have different effects, it can be excitement or it can be a kind of edgy foreboding twitchy restlessness that can tip over into snarling and snappiness. Whats the remedy....bring on the 24th June for f**ksake!
I was going to log in and try to complete our Indian visa applications but I have been so frazzled by the sheer complexities of taking ID photos on my phone to upload, I decided to come here instead. How is it that such a simple thing can defeat us. If you go to the app store there must be 100 and 1 apps to do this one task, why? When you download them you discover that at the end of the process of taking the picture they want you to send it to them so they can charge you for sending you the picture. No, I want to save it to my phone so I can then upload it to the Indian visa place. Anyway, after some minor lighting alterations and perching Fred on a stool so he had no shadows cast across his face and the background was the appropriate white, I proceeded to take the picture. However, a 9 year old perched on a stool with up and side and back lighting, to avoid shadow, finds it practically impossible to keep a straight face. In oder to reduce the smile I applied stiffing gaffer tape to the rear of his head which effectively disabled the muscles operating any facial expressions. I left it on far too long and Fred now has a rather gormless grin and was unable to break into smiles when grandma arrived. Which lead to all sorts of questions, " you sure he's ok ". Removing the gaffer tape did reduce the barber bill, as the number one cut we had planned was unnecessary as he now has a bald patch at the rear of his head! I guess I should now go and upload the picture.
[its not the case I applied gaffer tape to his head. It just made it sound more fun than it actually was.....]
I retired about 5 years ago. I had been in the Mental health industry for my whole working life. I put my spare time into art, writing and photography with mixed success. I found that I had a great capacity to be idle and I would love to teach this to other people. The opportunity to spend this amount of time together as family in these modern times is rare. I will miss my older kids and Buddy and my close friends.