The Small Joys

I’m pleased to present you with the very first (other than my own) submission for the #BlogSmallJoys series. Submitted by Jane Palmer, a friend I’ve had for more than a decade yet never met in person. I’m so honoured she sent this in. Enjoy!



I’m sitting here, slightly squiffy, drinking Pimm’s No. 1 Cup (colloquially known as “Pimms”), listening to the rain fall outside, the cars drive past, and thinking, yeah. Life is good.

I live in one of the most vibrant cities on earth – London. This afternoon, Mum and I went to a concert in the Royal Festival Hall. It was a concert to commemorate the First World War – we’ve got a lot of that going on this year. We are remembering and remembering and remembering. A sea of ceramic poppies is floating round the Tower of London, one for each soldier who died. The last poppy will be added on Remembrance Day, 11th November.
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2014-09-22 17.17.05We’d gone to this concert because one of my school chums was singing. Lizzie has always been an amazing singer – most of my class gave up singing at school after one music lesson. There seemed to be very little point in the face of such amazing, raw talent. Some of us kept singing. We knew we’d never be in her league (we never thought that her league would be singing a solo at the Last Night of the Proms), but it was fun to sing with her, to blend voices, to be supported by that talent. I love that I can listen to her sing. That her talent hasn’t been squandered, and, that she’s a wonderful friend too. She sang in the congregation at my wedding – and, I can honestly say, we rarely hear such a joyful noise in our church. I wish all our services sounded as wonderful as that partly-filled church, full of friends and family and love.
So, I sit, I sip my Pimms (vintage 2007, full of memories, bought as part of the “Brit Club” stall for an international festival at the university I used to work at). I admire the flowers on my table. I remember the concert, and I think how lucky I am that I’m not directly affected by the wars that are going on round the world now.
Some days it feels like the world’s going to hell in a handcart.  Some other days, it feels like I’m lucky to be alive.
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