Life is Forever an Adventure


Life is Forever an Adventure.

Here I am heading back to the Uk after a 4-week break over Christmas in SA.  I decided to take this next job as a favour to a friend who needs a break.  The job sounds interesting, looking after a titled gent in a beautiful part of Buckinghamshire, what’s not to like?

I arrive at a country pile complete with Butler, Housekeeper, Cleaner, Driver, Gardeners and me as PA.  I am hopeful this will be. one of my better choices, my friend tells me he is a ‘Charming Gentleman’.

I am sort of prepared for this next adventure.  Given my recent incarceration in Chelsea working for Lady Foo Foo has equipped me with a full set of armour and some knowledge of 2016’s version of Downton Abbey living.  

Oh yes, it still exists, there is still a very definite divide between the downstairs versus upstairs.  

Life is Forever an Adventure

The hours are long.   I am used to this, the life of a servant in the UK in 2017 are quite archaic. 

Being grateful for small mercies, it is is a life and an opportunity to look behind the curtain into the lives of the Elderly Aristocrats many would never enter. 

So here I go again waking at 6 am dressed and ready and present in the kitchen by 7.30am.  Lucky me, this time I am accompanied by a ‘Baby Monitor’ that is in my room and on all night. 

This monitor I take it with me to the kitchen,  so we can hear his Lordship and be alert for his descent.At 7.30am the kitchen is alive with activity, the sleepy Manor converts into a well run Boutique Hotel.

The housekeeper and butler are up and about opening up shutters, tying back curtains, taking the dogs out for morning constitutional, fetching the morning papers, squeezing fresh orange juice. I lay the table for our breakfast in the kitchen.The moment we hear his Lordship making noises via the ‘baby monitor’ we know his descent is imminent.  

We all make a mad dash for the bottom of the stairs and line up tidily. 

Life is Forever an Adventure

His two dogs, a pair of well trained elderly Daschunds line up too, happily wagging their tails excited to see their Master and the love of their lives.  

The staircase is magnificent, wide and rounded reaching up to the third floor, large oil canvases line the walls depicting many past relatives, some attractive others decidedly ugly.His door opens and he makes his way to the top of the stairs. From there he bellows greetings to his dogs and keeps up a running commentary, whilst he descends.  

We watch his every move very carefully, almost holding our breath.  He is 98years old and walks with a stick as his only means of support.I strongly admire this man, he is always so cheerful and loves his dogs passionately.  

The feeling is mutual and together the two dogs start a chorus of greetings eagerly awaiting his petting, it’s like Christmas morning every morning for them.

This makes me so happy, here is a wise old man who has found love in his life and something to celebrate every day. Note to myself:  Remember this.

Life is Forever an Adventure

I think this man has a secret.   His secret is that he is grateful for each day he is alive. This is real, not just words.  I genuinely believe that when he first opens his eyes he is surprised to still see his familiar bedroom, feel his body, look out of the window, hear the sounds of the house and know that his dogs are not far away.  

At the grand age of 98yrs, there is no guarantee on tomorrow.  

If only I can adopt this mind frame. 

It is the joy of living that gives him pleasure. He constantly marvels at the world around him. It’s as if he is noticing things for the first time. He sees the world alive with a thousand colours, notices the birds in the sky, fresh blooms ushering in spring, each detail important.

As the audience, we the slaves nod our heads in agreement. However, we don’t really get his appreciation. We think he is wasting time.  We are eager to get him into the dining room and ready for his breakfast so that we can have ours. 

This is where age makes the difference.  

Like a baby hearing a dog bark for the first time, or touching his fathers’ beard, the child absorbs the details and enjoys.

It’s sad but I a member of the ‘Sandwich Generation’ am too busy in the living of life according to my detailed plan, to notice the details of life. 

Why am I so blind?

There is a lesson to be learnt here and a big one.

Life is Forever an Adventure if we know how to play.

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