A Walk in the Park

6 04 2012

Today started out sunny, so Mrs Elephant and I went for a drive into town to VanDusen Gardens off Oak St. Being BC it was no surprise that moments after we’d paid the very reasonable entrance fee and entered the gardens proper, the heavens delivered a little “liquid sunshine”. For the second time so far this Spring I was treated to that unique smell of fresh rain on expectant earth. It only happens when the rain starts gently, and leaves once the rain gets into its stride. If there are short light April Showers though, you can get multiple moistenings. As it were.

Onwards then…

So, much the the annoyance of Mrs E., I took along my trusty box brownie, and captured a few images of the day. We stopped after an hour or so for a bite to eat in “Truffles”, the café in the newly renovated entrance building. I had a very tasty panini (“Italian Sampler”) with a beetroot/goats cheese/pecan nut salad on the side. MOTEAS’s Earl Grey with rose as the tea accompaniment, and all was bliss in the QE GI tract.

Entertainment was provided by the age-mismatched couple on the next table. The younger lady being quite clear that his priorities were (i) work, (ii) hobbies and (iii) her. Words like “nurturing” were being used and personally, I think he’d probably made the right priority choices, given how readily scowls came to her countenance. She was way too caught up in herself, and though he was plainly in it for the fantastic sex (she was no conversationalist, but was undeniably lithe), his calm and measured voice spoke volumes. Subtext along the “I see your lips moving, but am not hearing anything rational” lines. Prior to this, he’d attentively acquired them a table and gathered chairs for a window view. Offered to get tea and nourishment. Yet whilst he was off hunting wildebeest and fine tea she had furtively texted some other party. On his return he’d asked “So what was it you’d like to talk about?” and been bombarded with a detailed list of his supposed faults. As one might expect from his English accent, he just sipped his tea and politely let her talk until her piece was said.

I don’t doubt for one split second that couples with age differences north of 10 years can live very harmonious lives together. In the same way that couples with only months of difference can run out of energy to put up with each other. But from the outset they need to accept that there is not just a gulf in age, but of expectations, experiences, values, and much more besides. These two seemed to share a taste in tea and culture, but she was plainly not interested in providing enough of those “soft” attractions that would move her up his list of things to spend effort on, beyond of course, the purely hypothetical fantastic sex. She wanted to be the centre of attention, and he looked successful and sounded well-cultured (despite being English 🙂 ). Well experienced in gaining stimulation by way of many things beyond a mid-afternoon bed-ruffling, I wouldn’t doubt.

Who knows? Perhaps if she was concerned more about the real him instead of his bank account, he’d naturally be more interested in understanding what made her tick, instead of whether his yacht was ready for the season. Peeling back the layers of her psyche because she interested him as a human being – not just a horizontal acrobat. I suspect in this particular case he’d have hit bedrock pretty quickly though. The veneer looked pretty thin from where I sat, and I suspect there weren’t many layers to discover new aspects beneath.

My view… age can indeed be a barrier in a relationship, but when two souls intertwine, they’re ageless. They’re not interested in getting, only giving, and if the balance isn’t right, the house of cards falls in a heap. If it is equal though, the world stops every time their eyes meet. They might even have sex sometimes. On a yacht.

We left before this couple concluded their discussion. I wish them both well. I suspect they’ll go their separate ways, and both be happier for that.

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I like a thoughtful read as much as the next Greek god

29 12 2011

Just got back from a run with a couple of familial pachyderms, and now need to wait my proper turn in the pecking order for the shower (whilst hoping there’s still some hot water left by then. They’re female. Draw your own conclusions…) So in the meantime, I obviate any need for feeling good about the run by eating a mince pie, listening to Mother Mother in preparation for tomorrow’s concert, and of course surfing the net.

You know you’ve had a good read when you close the book, put down the manuscript, hit “Home” or whatever, and go “hmm…” in a contemplative tone. The words – pored over for hours, days, or even longer, by their guardian, have been herded like so many cats until they made the form always imagined at the outset. They have hit home and made you think. That’s rarely a bad thing. Wandering along the back roads of blogsville, I came across the Raleigh Review. Turns out to be a literary and arts magazine, and nothing to do with bicycles at all.

On its pages, I came across a piece called “Gaia” by one J.M. McDermott: We hadn’t quite invented marriage, so we couldn’t quite divorce when he invented infidelity.

Made me think. (It happens sometimes, if I’m not careful enough.)

If you’re not in an emotionally delicate place right now, you might find it worthy of a few minutes too.

Once again: “Gaia” by J.M. McDermott at The Raleigh Review