16 August, 2014

Worry -- a symptom of middle age?

I spend an awful lot of my time worrying. About work. About my career. About my elderly relatives. I know that this worrying is all pretty pointless. I work hard. I dedicate as much time as I can to my family. I know that I've done pretty well career-wise as well as relationship-wise. And worrying won't change anything.

But this is me being rational. And the funny thing is that I can be rational; I can stand outside myself and know perfectly well that it is pointless to worry. I can tell myself that. But none of this actually stops me turning the things that concern me over in my mind.

Interestingly, I don't remember worrying to such an extent when I was younger, in my twenties. In fact, back then, I thought I could do anything, achieve anything -- and I did, with very little angst.

I wonder, then, whether worrying is symptomatic of middle age. After all, I'm now in my mid-forties. Perhaps all this angst is what defines a mid-life crisis.

Maybe as I move towards older age, my worry levels will decrease. But I was speaking to my aunt, who is in her eighties, the other day -- and she said that she, too, worries about anything and everything. Yet she comes across as utterly calm and collected -- and people frequently tell me that this is how I appear too.

I suppose everyone worries -- it's just a case of how clever one is at hiding it.

09 August, 2014

Abingdon open air pool

With this lovely weather and with it being school holidays, the kids and I having been partaking in al fresco activities as much as we can.

We are very lucky to live close to the Abingdon open air pool, which we recently visited. This is a lovely swimming pool on the banks of the Thames, which is open during the summer months. It boasts a large L-shaped pool, a baby pool, free sun loungers, and an ice cream and drinks concession -- all set in grassy grounds, surrounded by trees.

We were fortunate enough to visit during a very quiet session -- there were only five other families and us. This is pretty unusual -- usually, as soon as the sun comes out, the pool is mobbed, even more so during the holidays. I overheard the lifeguards chatting and they reckoned that the low numbers that day were due to the prolonged sunny weather. They thought that people were bored of so much sun and had 'done' the open air pool. Lucky us!

The open air pool is a great Abingdon asset. It has a long and interesting history too, which you can find out about here.

02 August, 2014

Mobile phones versus land lines

I'm not a fan of mobile phones. Never have been. Never will be. In fact, the only reason I have a mobile at all is (a) so that the kids and their schools can get hold of me if needs be, and (b) in case I find myself stranded in a broken down car and need to call for help.

There are two things that I particularly hate about mobiles. First, the fact that you are continually 'available'. People can ring you any time, anywhere--and what's more, they appear surprised if you don't answer or don't immediately return a missed call. Second, the reception is generally dreadful on a mobile. I spend my whole time saying 'Sorry, I can't hear you...' I mean, what on earth's the point?

I remember the good old days of landlines-only with fondness. For a start, you could have a proper conversation because you could actually hear what was being said. It wasn't a case of making an educated guess about what someone was trying to communicate to you. And, more importantly, you had choices. If you were out, you were out. People either had to leave a message or call you back. And there was no expectation that you would call them back within the next few minutes.

I wonder if anyone else feels the same way?