Tempus Fugit

Published by: Jill on 17th Mar 2017 | View all blogs by Jill

(Excuse a second blog in quick succession, but, to my mind, this follows directly on.)

Tempus Fugit

Born in the deep midwinter snows of 1947, 2017 therefore marks the passing of seven decades of being me and, hopefully, I have gained wisdom as I’ve aged through these years. Since the milestone birthday, early mornings have found me lying in a half-awake state reflecting on the past as I hastily push away any black thoughts of time passing too quickly; time running out.  We can, after all, only live in the present and try to make the most of each day we are given.  But I have enjoyed living in the past for a while and have felt a sense of warmth and gratitude for the love and friendship that have always been there for me.  

In this world of rapid change, the global dark side is all too present still, with wars, atrocities and natural disasters. Each of us goes through our own challenging, stressful, sad or, perhaps, tragic times when it is not possible to appreciate the simple pleasures of life or remember the good times.  However, on my trips down memory lane it was the simple pleasures which came to the fore with the bad times fading into the background.  The perfume of a beautiful rose; the song of a blackbird or sunshine after a storm are cherished.  The cry of a newborn; the laughter of children at play; a rainbow are all to be treasured.

Cat Stevens sang about remembering the days of the old schoolyard – “‘we used to laugh a lot; we had imaginings; we had simplicity”.  I do remember and I also remember the trepidation of the first day at school and the distinctive smell of newly polished floors and chalk; trepidation which was soon replaced by a love of reading and writing which has remained with me throughout the decades.

Many other memories have come flooding back of the first  ten years of  childhood,  when I grew from a shy little girl who was happy playing and imagining by herself in her father’s garden, to a confident ten year old with friends, ready to go forth into a more expansive future.  There were the pre-school days when I followed in my father’s shadow as he worked in his garden learning from his actions and observing nature.  There were, too, the weekly visits on the bus into town with my mother; the fascinating sights and sounds of the colourful market and the enchantment of the ephemeral balloon on a stick which was always my treat. During those years, a third sister was born and we were all gifted with the beginning of a life-long close relationship with one another.  For our family holiday week each year we travelled with Mum and Dad by steam train to the seaside and no crowded airport and tightly packed aeroplane going to far-flung places can ever compete with the excitement and magical sounds, smells and sights of our train journeys.   In those days when violent crime was not so widespread, we enjoyed freedom to play and explore our environment on our own.  Parents were confidently able to give us ‘roots and wings’.

Tempus Fugit and, when I was eleven, we moved to another part of the country where I experienced the ups and downs of secondary education and the hormonal upheavals of puberty.  Yet it is the good times with close friends which remain uppermost in my mind.  The images are plainly recalled.  We still had our freedoms and could indulge our dawning interest in the opposite sex, although the ‘Swinging Sixties’ were slow to reach our community!  Aged seventeen, I met my future husband and began to enjoy shared life as a couple.  Life remained uncomplicated and we embraced the simple pleasures of dancing, walks in the park or trips to the countryside and coast in his car.

The next decade, my twenties, saw my first ever holiday abroad and my first aeroplane journey giving me a sense of real adventure, unlike the jaded resignation I feel about air travel nowadays.  This decade also brought many significant changes, not least marriage and our first tour on the island of Cyprus.  They were heady times full of youthful laughter and a zest for life.  They were full of hope and anticipation.  Being caught up in the Cyprus Troubles of 1974 could not diminish the deep joy of becoming a mother.  Watching our son exploring his world with freshness and wonder enabled the reliving of our own childhoods.  It was good to enjoy again with him the fun of collecting beautiful shells, frolicking in the sea or running carefree in wild meadows.


Later decades brought me a different type of satisfaction as I furthered my education and retrained and I began writing in earnest.  Empty nest syndrome descended; further bereavements and illness were experienced, but comfort was found as we gardened, created meals in the kitchen, spent quiet times with friends and family or holidayed as a couple once more.  There was pride and joy to be found in our son’s achievements and his gift of choral singing. 

The seventh decade all too soon arrived, but it also brought the welcome arrival of grandsons.  As they go about their explorations and learning, we, too, are able to view the world again with fresh eyes.  Once more I can enjoy a writerly delight in making up simple stories and  silly rhymes.

Who knows what this eighth decade might bring for me, but, whatever, I hope not to lose childlike awe and appreciation of the simple pleasures of life.  After all, the name Jill apparently means ‘Forever Young’.  



  • Jaxx
    by Jaxx 1 year ago
    How lovely. My best wishes to you.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 1 year ago
    Oh, Jill. Tricky one this. So perfect. A life summed up and a good one too. But you aren't done yet, obviously. I wish I could be as content as you.
  • Jill
    by Jill 1 year ago
    Thank you, Jaxx and Alan. Best wishes to you also. Haven't always been completely content and gone through some very bumpy times, but, yes, I do feel content at this stage of my life. :)
  • Sandra
    by Sandra 1 year ago
    As many points of similarity as there are disparities, Jill. Unsurprising as we weren't born many months apart and that was how Life was then, Wishing you good health and further contentment.
  • Jill
    by Jill 1 year ago
    Thank you, Sandra. Wishing the same to you. I think we were fortunate to be born into the era we were... Fortunate, also, not to have been born in a country where the struggle to survive and eke out an existence are the overwhelming elements in life and preclude such luxuries as good times and reminiscence.
  • bazbaron
    by bazbaron 1 year ago
    Delightful reminisce, Jill, this will be me in three years. I have recently started a my own reminisce in a different style:

    Beef dripping sandwiches won’t hurt you. I know that because my mam told me, and my mam knew everything. Except how to knit. Mother could sew, though not like a seamstress - she used to sew with love. I know that because as a child I could see it in her eyes as I watched with great zeal, the way they crinkled at the corners while threading a needle and the way the blue turned into sapphire when she smiled. And she smelled of love too, a fragrance only mothers and newborns have. A perfume whose richness lasts a lifetime. I loved my mam like no other, and she loved me back as though I was the only baby in the whole wide world. My mam was special, and she made me feel special too. Connected. A connection you sense from that moment in time when your heart beats its first beat – a state of enlightenment until the last.
  • Jill
    by Jill 1 year ago
    Big smile on my face, baz as I read your words. Charming reminiscence where the love between mother and son practically oozes from the page. :)
  • Stephen Mark
    by Stephen Mark 1 year ago
    Oh dear, another wonderful blog. And this one brought me to tears. After reading Alan's blog about Sister Dora it was all too much. Silly ol' me. Such a positive take on getting older you give us here, Jill, and a reminder that we must make the best of every day granted to us. I wish I could see it in the same light. Maybe that will come. Of course, Baz couldn't help but add to my moment of melancholy with his perfectly observed memory. x
  • Jill
    by Jill 1 year ago
    No shame in tears, Stephen Mark. :) I am not always positive about getting older, but, as there is nothing we can do about that process and there is only one alternative (which I've diced with on more than one occasion!!) then acceptance and making the most of it seems the best way forward. Yes, Baz's memories of his mother have certainly added further substance to my blog.
  • Giselle
    by Giselle 1 year ago
    *Blows nose and wipes eyes* This is such a lovely blog, Miss Forever Young. And Baz's comments so striking as well. Such beauty in the reminiscing, such love, acceptance, and willing to keep on going. You're definitely on a roll Jill, I sense more stories to come...
  • Jill
    by Jill 1 year ago
    Your comments much appreciated, Giselle. I will try to live up to your sense of more stories to come. :) You, too, seem to be on a roll ~ more stories like that of the crane, please!
  • Monica Handle
    by Monica Handle 11 months ago
    I had no idea that Jill meant 'forever young'. How nice!
  • Jill
    by Jill 11 months ago
    @ Monica Handle :) The mirror doesn't necessarily reflect the meaning of the name, but I guess it is what is inside that counts! Welcome to Cloud btw.
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