Looking at life with the man who sees…
Many years ago, my mum used to subscribe to a homely mag called English Womens’ Weekly. Often, when I was visiting from ‘faraway’ and had nothing to read, I would lie in bed reading serial after serial and it was actually how I first discovered Rosamunde Pilcher. But toward the back of the mag, there was a rather nice regular page called Looking at Life with the Man Who Sees.
It was and remains something special for me. In its time, I would cut out memorable quotes and stick them in a little notebook to cart around when I was ‘faraway’ and homesick for family and place. I suspect he was a local vicar or even a psychologist but the whole page would be on a particular subject each week and I would invariably find some sort of inspiration in many of the things he said. Here’s just a miniscule selection of the pieces in my notebook:
‘The more you rely upon yourself and the more challenges you accept, the faster will your feelings of self-confidence develop.’
‘… if the outlook is wintry just now, well, Spring isn’t far behind.’
‘And talking about the Fairy Godmother’s gift at a christening: Bestow if you please, the gift for enjoying life – for that is only the assured happiness.’
‘Keep your priorities intact but have a second place where happy thoughts predominate.’
‘Do you remember that I once wrote about the value of keeping a scrapbook – things you’ve heard or read – that inspired or encouraged you?’
Of course mum, at 86, no longer takes English Womens’ Weekly which does still exist. And I remember towards the end of her subscription, the Man Who Sees finally retired from his column. It was inevitably a sad moment, and I suspect this many years later, that the gentleman with such clarity of thinking may have passed away. But isn’t it lovely that in my battered, exploding ‘This and That’ notebook, I have a mine of gentle texts for support in both the good and the passing ordinary times?