Who won the week for me this week is a 60 year old relative stranger called Rod.
We actually only met him for the first time this morning, when he came round to help a friend of his pick up a heavy old terracotta planter from our front garden. We had inherited the home-made garden planter when we moved in to our new house but it’s really not to our taste, so we offered it to the youngest daughter of the family we bought the house from, incase she wanted to keep it for sentimental reasons as a memory of her dad. She decided she did indeed want it, and we arranged for her partner to come round this morning with his friend Rod to take it away.
We had a couple of large broken tree branches (taken down by a recent storm) stacked up in the back garden, topped up with a few more smaller cut down branches and other similar prunings, and as they were leaving with the planter Rod asked if we needed the branches taken to the local recycling centre. I told him we had intended to take them ourselves but hadn’t got round to organising transport yet, and amazingly he offered to come back later and take them for us.
We thanked him very much, and sure enough only an hour or so later he was back with his empty trailer and a large-toothed saw and giant loppers to cut the broken branches to a more manageable length for his trailer. We chatted easily together while we all helped load up the trailer, about the local area and the garden and the house, and before Rod left for the recycling centre we thanked him very much again. He drove off with a friendly ‘beep-beep’ and a wave, and we closed the gate behind him, amazed at experiencing such friendly helpfulness from someone we didn’t even know before today.
Such a random act of kindness from a relative stranger, and one for which we are so thankful. Right now we don’t even know his surname, but for us Rod definitely wins the week, with a huge smile of gratitude from both of us 🙂
My maternal grandmother never learned to drive, so in her later years whenever we were in the car together I would generally be driving, with my eyes clearly on the road ahead. At particular times of the year along the road between my grandmother’s home and mine – or my mum’s for that matter – we would often pass fields of farrowing pigs (mummy pigs giving birth to baby piglets).
One of my grandmother’s favourite silly games during the journey was for whoever saw the pigs in the field first to shout out ‘I see the piggies first!’. Of course, being the passenger in the front seat, she generally always saw the piggies first, but nevertheless the game was played by all in the family with great alacrity.
Roll forward a decade or so since we lost my grandmother, and I recently found myself a passenger in my daughter’s car, driving along that same road on the way to visit my parents (who still live in the same house), and to my delight, although it was foggy I managed to capture a couple of shots of pigs in a field next to the road! Woo-hoo! Finally after all these years I have actual photographic proof that this time, I saw the piggies first! 🙂
Putting up a proper Christmas tree this year has been a real treat for me. I know it’s just artificial, but it’s still more of a tree than we’ve ever had before! Our fake tree is about 4ft high and is comfortably adorned with the few choice decorations we brought with us from our tiny flat in London, plus a few extra baubles donated by my eldest daughter.
As we used to put out only a few small bits and pieces every year, just to mark the season, our motley crew of Christmas tree people have only ever sat on the sideboard before, so it’s hopefully a real treat for them to be on a tree too! The miniature (empty) Tabasco bottles are a nod to my husband’s Cajun heritage, and actually came from the Tabasco factory at Avery Island, Louisiana, and make a fun home-made addition to our little collection.
So this week’s smile comes courtesy of our wooden jiggly reindeer, our felt gingerbread man, our knitted robin, our eclectic collection of various jingle bells, our Merry Christmas sign, our Tabasco bottles, and our smiley little fairy, taking her place on top of a tree at long last! 🙂
Random things that have made me smile this week include:
The brightly-coloured bolts of Harris Tweed stacked high in the Harris Tweed Shop in Inverness – couldn’t resist taking a pic on my phone;
Putting up and decorating a traditional-style Christmas tree for the first time in our new house;
Having an old friend round for dinner on Saturday night, eating and chatting and catching up for hours;
My new art print arriving in the post on Saturday – actually my birthday present from my husband, but one I was more than happy to wait for as amazingly we bought it for half price on Black Friday – so even bigger smiles all round 🙂
Not long after we moved in to our house (mid-October this year) I bought a couple of small Christmas cactuses – I’d really missed having indoor plants at home – and amazingly this morning both have opened their flowers for the first time, in perfect time for my 56th birthday today!
The sun is shining, the weather is mild, and just for the moment the world feels a truly wonderful place to be in 🙂