I was going to write "happiness is boring," but I'm not sure that is true. I'm not even sure that it is true that happiness is boring to other people. For example, I enjoy Facebook posts by former classmate who regularly posts photos of her horses and most recently of her holiday with her husband at a famous Ontario inn and spa. It might be, however, because my most vivid memory of her in high school involves her crying. She was a very nice girl, and someone treated her very badly----and today she has horses, a husband, children and enough money for this snazzy inn and spa besides. Excellent story arc.
Meanwhile, our clean closet is still clean, I've been reading Stuffocation (which, at £3.33, cost less than a round-trip bus journey to the library), and we bought a new lawnmower with our downstairs neighbour. That is all our news.
Well, if you are interested in the minutiae of cheeseparing life in Scotland, I will explain that instead finding someone to sharpen the blades on our cranky old push mower, Benedict Ambrose conceived the plan of offering to mow our downstairs neighbour's lawn in exchange for the loan of her electric mower. She agreed to this plan, but on B.A.'s second or third session with her mower, it died. It was, after all, 10 years old.
So that very day, B.A. clambered into our neighbour's car and they drove together to B&Q to buy a new lawnmower. ("Buy some compost while you're there!" I shouted.) The neighbour chipped in £20 and her discount card (not to mention the ride), and B.A. returned with a spandy new Bosch lawnmower and a bag of compost. Everybody was happy, for B.A. will still mow the neighbour's lawn, and the two households own the mower in common, and (now that I think of it) it gets plugged into her electrical system, not ours.
Occasionally I dream about living elsewhere, but who is to say we will get along so well with our neighbours? And I must say that in this age of internet relationships and rarified communities, it is a joy to be part of the geographical community made up of four flats and, to a more limited extent, the flats beyond.
Naturally, we do wish the Council would be rather quicker about picking up the mattresses, fridges and other discarded items that appear in the alley, lowering the tone. However, since I spend my work life messaging people no closer than Glasgow and my social life mostly depends on a small group of busy people who love the Traditional Latin Mass (and is largely restricted to Sundays), I am grateful that our nearest neighbours are not the kind who "keep themselves to themselves."
Actually, one last piece of news. Canada has decided to stop violating the Charter right of some of its citizens to leave the country, so I am contemplating going back for a visit. Unfortunately, I have organized my summer in such a way that it wouldn't make sense to do this until late October, and by then it will be flu season. Therefore, I shall wait and see. We'd love to come for Christmas, but I doubt that will be possible. Meanwhile, I must find out how I can go about voting from abroad. I wonder if the cheesed-off expat vote could make a difference.