Jeanne Ellin: Roadside surprises, language lessons and day making

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I have a choice of two routes to bus stops and shops. This is good since familiarity helps with poor concentration.

hand holding hellibore leafThe challenge is to find something new to notice each trip. I have had some wonderful surprises, from very complex multiple dew-beaded webs to snail winter sleeping quarters.

My latest delights include some wonderful, complex fungi colonising a familiar wall. A series of saucer-sized fungi-petals using the wall as they would have a tree trunk or stump.

A pale green flower colonises a wall. Shy head hangs down. Hard to spot amid its matching leaves. Perhaps a Christmas Rose?

The latest joy; our exuberant variegated holly tree has a new branch low down on its trunk that has only light lemon leaves. A secret pleasure almost hidden by the shrubbery which also seems to be popular with foxes. A very pungent presence!

A gift of language

Back to finding ways to enjoy the building works, we have a small workforce and I found that I did not recognise the language spoken. I wanted to buy a small Christmas token for those so far from family. Christmas is very expensive and holidays very short.

So I found out that they are Romanian and instead of saying good morning as usual, I asked how to give the greeting in Romanian. I am usually greeted with smiles when I say good morning, but when I asked to learn how to say good morning in Romanian the smiles widened.

My first attempts were unsuccessful but I am persisting with their patient help and hope sense will emerge in time for me to learn Happy Christmas and Happy New Year.

Day and night games

On their latest visit my grandsons made straight for the bed area. This time, instead of just jumping, Q boy decided to snuggle down.

“Night, night.” He closed his eyes. B boy pulled the curtains open, closed for privacy from builders and to conserve heat.

“Wake up!” His brother sat up and rubbed his eyes.

“Morning.” Then he found the bedside light and switched it on and off.

“Night, night.” B boy retained control of the curtains, saying “Night” or “Morning” as B boy changed the time by lying down and closing his eyes or turning on the light.

So they played making night and day very happily for some time.

Jeanne Ellin

About Jeanne Ellin

I am a poet working at living a creative life in a one room flat, companioned by a menagerie of chronic health problems. I began this series of posts after being inspired by two women younger than myself, who, fearful of their imagined old age spent in ill health and poverty, committed suicide. I explore every year as a bonus of adventures, with moments of discomfort or fear, but with unexpected treasure to be found - helped by a sense of the ridiculous, a world perspective and creativity.