A new life at 67.Can a woman start all over again?

Archive for September, 2008

Thailand Revisited

Today is the big day. I am booked on a flight to Bangkok tonight.

The stamp in my passport says I am allowed to stay for a year in the land of smiles,and my life is now in one suitcase.

I’m not sure I like the feeling inside of me.

I will take my laptop,and I have paints and paper to last me through till someone comes over.

Time,will be my own.

I hope all my blogging colleagues will look in now and again,and I will try to keep you all informed of my day to day life in Asia.

Advertisements

Tea Drinking Hens

Living and working in Switzerland,wasn’t so easy in the beginning.The cultural differences between the swinging city of London in the late sixties, and a farming village in Switzerland,even though only twenty miles from Zürich were enormous.

It was my Mother-in-Law, probably taking pity on me, who told me I wasn’t the only English speaking woman there,and she gave me her address. That was how I first came to meet the. witty Scots girl,with a light Glaswegian accent, and was introduced to the “Hens”.

More than thirty years of water has passed under the village bridge since then.The village is now a small town,my friend hasn’t lost her Scots accent,and I still go every two weeks to a meeting of the “Hens”

Thirty years ago it was where lost souls met.Someplace where homesick, or otherwise, ex pat women of English mother tongue living in and around Zürich could rant on without their husbands hearing about their opinion of life in Switzerland,their Mothers-in-Law,their children and if need be even their husbands.

It was a little piece of our Homeland,served with a strong cup of tea and a slice of cake.

The club meetings saved many a visit to the psychologist,and many a marriage.

We were never more than fifteen,because we took turns in meeting at each others’ houses. More members would not only have posed seating problems at some places,it would also have been too damned noisy. Thus the name.

Three members left and went back to America, Canada,and Australia. One was terminally ill and went home to England. Two rowed with us about something long forgotten and left the pen.

There have been three divorces,and three re marriages.

The rest of us,apart from have been meeting every second Wednesday in the month for over thirty years. We have had three new members.

We have all grown old together.

Conversation has taken a different turn. We don’t rant anymore.

Husbands? We have learned to live with them, and even invite them to a get together twice a year. I can almost say the men are freinds among themselves now too.

Everyone seems to be suffering from some medical disorder which is always a good topic,the children are fully fledged,the in-laws few in number.

In our hearts we might like to go “Home”,but none of us would take the step now. Our countries have changed too.

Last week a hairdresser member brought along a lot wigs for us to try, just to see if we wanted to accept our roots so to speak, or at least see ourselves in another colour.

If laughter is medicine we certainly took an overdose on Wednesday.

I’ll miss them all in Thailand.

Encouragement

Yesterday was one of those perfect late summer days,and my watercolour painting class took off to capture,or maybe not,the beauty of the nearby lake.

Although we are now only four pupils the course still started again last week.

My teacher congratulated me on my new size block of paper and large brush,and was indeed very generous with his comments on what I had painted at the end of the first lesson. Can you believe it,I was even quite pleased with it myself.

So yesterday I was full of confidence as we went to paint the lake again,from the other side.

No problem,I thought,but there was.

Firstly that side of the lake enjoys the full afternoon sun,and yesterday everyone was out enjoying what well might be one of our last really warm days. Families with crying babies, loud youngsters on cycles,walkers making a din with their unnecessary sticks in the gravel, and of course countless pensioners who had nothing better to do then to look over my shoulder and ask if I minded them taking a “gucksle” Oddly enough I didn’t mind it quite so much as I used to which must be a step in the right direction.

Concentration wasn’t easy.

The real problem though for me were the boats. It didn’t matter what viewpoint I took to paint, the colourful boats got in the way. An accomplished Artist would of course have welcomed the colour of the little moored sailing boats in their in their composition but to me they were an unsurpassed challenge. I couldn’t get the perspective quite right,and they moved all the time in the wind,so you couldn’t really copy them, not to mention their important shadows in the water.

I was getting really frustrated at my inability and the noise around me, when my mobile phone let itself be known.It was only a message,but it was something that I certainly didn’t want to read at that moment,and I hoped it would go to sleep, but they don’t do they, the infuriating little peep kept reminding me that I hadn’t read whatever it was,and I eventually had to rummage around in my rucksack until I found it.

Odd how certain things happen, and especially at certain times that really count.

The message was from an Artist friend of mine in England, who I hadn’t heard from in a long time.

He hoped I was O.K and persevering with painting.

Tag Cloud