Springingtiger's Blog


The Happiest Days

I awoke in the early hours dreaming of of my old school, the school I left about forty-three years ago. They say your school days are the happiest days of your life; I wouldn’t go that far, but from this distance I appreciate them much more than I did at the time. What were the happiest days of my life? I don’t know. Actually, if I am honest, my happiest days are always changing.

I think I can safely say that yesterday would count as one of the happiest days of my life. My wife and I took our grandchildren, our daughter and her fellow to the IMAX at the Glasgow Science Centre to see the new Star Wars film, ‘The Force Awakens’ followed by a show in the Planetarium on the science of Star Wars. After which I walked along the Clydeside to participate in the quiz at the Admiral pub. It would have been an even better day had we won. However I had a wonderful time. I had worried that my older granddaughter who is not a Star Wars fan might not enjoy herself, but she did. During the session in the Planetarium the speaker described the Ewoks as “the Marmite of Star Wars. You either like them or hate them.” At which  ̶  to the amusement of all  ̶  my younger granddaughter exclaimed, “I love Ewoks!”

When I look back on my life it occurs to me that almost every day sometimes manages to get in among the happy ones. Sometimes it only takes a small moment or a chance remark to change a day’s ranking in the memory. I think it was after my grandmother’s funeral my aunt commented, as the family sat together, “This is nice. It’s a pity there always one fewer every time we get together.” Ouch, but it stamped the day as a happy one despite the circumstances. Of course it’s much easier for a funeral to be happy when it’s a celebration of a long life, but every funeral is an opportunity to deepen family ties and to share happy memories. The problem with funerals, like school-days are that they are often improved by the passage of time.

It is possible to look back on the Scottish Independence Referendum with a degree of disappointment because it failed to remove Scotland from England’s colonial rule. A little over a year later Scotland is a land transformed. The unionist parties have almost been wiped from the Scottish political map. Were it not for proportional representation in the Scottish Parliament there might soon be no representatives of the English government in Scotland, Scotland has now a greater sense of her identity as a nation than for generations and a drive to create her own destiny regardless of the will of her neighbours. For many the Independence Referendum and its aftermath represent some of the happiest days of their lives, whereas for others their narrow victory for colonialism has turned to ashes in their mouths.

I was recently watching a program about the Second World War, a terrible time. However many of the ex-servicemen looked back on their experiences as being happy, Despite the death and destruction they had had a camaraderie and sense of purpose that many missed after being demobilised.

I suppose every day is both good and bad. After any disaster or tragedy in any community people seem to be left with a mixture of sorrow for their losses and appreciation for the way people  ̶ sometimes strangers ̶ pitch in to help and share. After many a funeral when people join together to comfort each other sadness is somewhat displaced by happy reminiscences.

I suspect today will be a good day…I spelt reminiscences without correction from the spell-checker, that augurs well!

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