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My brother lives in a part of France which is called the Ger and seems to be populated exclusively by English people who went to Eton and now own Chateaus! For the past week I haven't spoken a word of French, which was one of the reasons for coming to France in the first place. My "excuse" for learning French has been that the researchers tell us that as we age, if we exercise and use our brain - dancing, learning a new language - then we can stave off the chances of declining into dementia! Thus it seemed to me a very reasonable idea to come to France, jog/cycle/walk/dance my way through the countryside shouting greetings in French to passing locals and all in the great cause of holding onto my "marbles"! If you can give me some other suggestions that are better, then I will be delighted to receive them and try them out!
All of which leads me onto the subject behind this blog.
One morning the young bride and I got up early and braved the freezing breeze to jog a couple of miles into the local village and back. Going through the countryside, the fields were greening up beautifully, in the distance wild deer ran across a ploughed field and storks circled lazily overhead: all in all a blissful scene and one which filled me with pure delight. But then I had a thought: if the young bride were not there to share it with me, if she were sick or disaster of disasters - dead, then all that beauty would have turned to ashes and the experience would be as nothing.
We who are in the medical profession talk all the time about "healthy lifestyles", and "reducing the risks" of developing chronic diseases, but is that the complete story? Is "good health" the ultimate goal? Being healthy is great and makes living so much more "cope-able" with, but there's not much fun being amazingly healthy and living in isolation. For me, being able to share life with the person I love makes life the wonder that it can be, and leads me to think that the more important goal we should be aiming for is to Live to your maximal potential and to be able to share it with those who are precious to you.
So after I've been for a jog with the young bride (heart, brain and lower cancer risk) and eaten some walnuts (heart) grown from my brothers tree, and then sit and read the French newspaper (reduce dementia) in the shade of a tree (some vit D but low UVB to protect from skin cancer) with sister-in -law whilst she sews curtains (because she can and I can't) I'm using the benefits of living a healthy life to achieve my real goal in life which is to live it to the max, and to share it with the ones I love.
What do you do?