Losing and Winning


Hello and how was your weekend? Mine was very mixed, with some truly lovely parts clouded by a loss.

Bluebells still beautiful, sheep looking fed-up.

Saturday started with a run down the lane, the bluebells are still holding on and the field was full of some grumpy-looking sheep. Am assuming they’re pregnant and fed-up (I remember that feeling).

The afternoon was spent at Lingfield Races. We were invited to a summer party, and we donned our smart clothes—so hard to walk in heels when you haven’t worn them for a while—and joined some friends at the racecourse. They had booked a private suite, which was rather lovely, with a buffet lunch and a balcony overlooking the course. I scoured the race details, trying to pick the winner for each race, and failing completely.

Enjoying the races. My horse was last.

It’s very hard to predict which horse will win (which I guess is why there are so many bookies). After each race, I compared the age, weight of jockey, distance they had travelled, last time they had run, trying to transpose the information to the next race. It didn’t work, I lost. After a few races I switched strategies, and backed the favourite. That didn’t work either. Nor did choosing the prettiest jockey colours, nor the best named horse. We walked down to the training ring to see if we could spot the winner there, but it was empty except for a man in dirty jeans—and I didn’t think he was likely to be winning any races! In the end I backed whichever horse was grey, which I believe was my grandad’s strategy many years ago. He never won anything either.

Trying to ignore the uncomfortable heels. (If my mother had been there, my hair would look less scruffy.)

Sunday we went to church. We have joined Holy Trinity, the little anglican church in the village, and I love it. It is full of friendly faces, and I find the words of the liturgy to be beautiful, the building inspiring, and taking the sacrament is being part of something holy. Having been raised a staunch baptist, I am noticing the differences, and revelling in approaching God from a different angle. Perhaps everyone should change denomination mid-life, so they can understand the good parts of both.

After church we always have brunch, which is another new tradition (since Covid) that makes me look forward to Sundays. (I used to dread them—they were all about being uncomfortable and doing my duty and working hard). We had banana and walnut and cinnamon pancakes with orange juice and coffee. Doesn’t that sound good?

Then we did some gardening, with my old dog beside me and the cats pouncing on the weeds I dug up, and the sunshine smiling on us. A peaceful day.

I needed a peaceful day, because a much-loved uncle died recently. He was the sort of uncle who you knew would smile if you turned up unannounced at the door, an uncle who told amazing stories (which you were never entirely sure whether they were true), the sort of uncle who wanted to be part of my life. When my children came along, he wanted to know them too. He was part of the stability of my life. I have been very lucky, my childhood was built on love and family. I will leave you with the wedding photo of my grandparents, which is where that stability and love started. Losing an uncle is sad, but mostly I feel grateful that he was my uncle, because family is precious.

My Granny and Grampy on their wedding day. Those heels look uncomfortable too!

Hold on to what is precious this week, and let things that don’t matter evaporate. Life is too short for anything else.
Thanks for reading. Take care.
Love, Anne x

Thanks for reading

anneethompson.com

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