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I seated ugliness on my knee, and almost immediately grew tired of it



I wanted to write about beauty. I wanted to write about beauty because I write about ugly so much that sometimes when I sit down at the keyboard that is how I feel and think and see.  Ugliness just comes easier.

 The fact that I’m in London at stupid o’clock and the commuter train being cut from 8 to 4 carriage, my wife not being around to answer the phone this morning when I rang, kids making a racket in the house all weekend and fears about future security and prosperity and dealing with the incredible uncertainty of life.


If I stop. If I turn and look over my shoulder I can see the most amazing sunrise over the Thames. When I phoned, I spoke to my beautiful little girl who makes my heart ache with love.  Yesterday I listened as my son and his friend laughed like lunatics in the lounge, a sound that brings warmth to any home. In the evening, I sat by an open fire and discussed our “big project” and our future with my wife and partner of 15 years.

Nothing is certain. Nothing is forever.

Everything is real.

Sometimes you just have to be ok with that and see the beauty.

I can guarantee you’ll find it.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. 01/10/2011 08:49

    You got that right. “Nothing is certain. Nothing is forever.”

    I guarantee you’ll find it too, just don’t give up before you get there. I’ve seen too many folk lose faith just before the final bend. They never got to see that sunrise or hear that lovely voice.

    Good work.

    I’m going to stop now or I will either cry or vomit. Or both.

  2. 01/10/2011 09:14

    Sometimes we miss the best because we are distracted by the worst! Its a cliche, but life is short especially when you have kids and I’ve only recently realised that I spent far too much time investing time in someone elsees negativity at the expense of those close to me. It won’t happen again.

    Nice thoughts Theo, thanks fir sharing.

  3. 01/10/2011 09:36

    Can’t remember when a blog post last brought tears to my eyes. Health and having people to love and laugh with are all that matters.

    I am reminded of the moment I stood looking down into the hole in the ground that would soon be my mother’s resting place. It is all over too soon.

    So thank you for a brilliant post and I hope your day continues to be defined by your realisation.

    Anne Marie x

  4. 01/10/2011 09:43

    Life is short, you live it once and you’re a long time dead ! A mentality I thought I lived until the kids came along and now one that resonates deeply and I KNOW I live.

    As for the ‘committee’ that concluded that halving the number of commuter carriages was either acceptable or a good idea I wish them a long time dead….

  5. 01/10/2011 09:49

    This post reminds me of a good friend and colleague PPW. he died from Cancer just over 6 years ago. We had a ball in his last year, and i’ve never laughed so much before or since. just before his last days, Paul said to me: “The real shame of this all is that it has taken me dying to realise that people are essentially good, it’s just the arses stand out.” There is a lot in this that I try to remember. There is a lot more good about than bad.

  6. Will Cleare permalink
    01/10/2011 10:03

    Absolutely spot on!

  7. 01/10/2011 10:48

    Well said. That’s all I can say.

  8. MrAirmiles permalink
    01/10/2011 11:46

    As I went for a walk in Greenwich Park yesterday early evening I stumbled upon hundreds of tourists and thought: Brilliant…Tourists! It’s cold, turn around, go back!

    Hang on, no! I decided to “become a tourist myself” and ventured into the Royal Observatory, where I’d been countless times. By the end, the tourists were the least of my worries – I was enjoying the sunset over london, the evening sun light on the observatory dome, the silvery reflections of canary wharf and this beautiful statue that somehow I had managed to miss so many times.
    I walked back, frozen, with a fuzzy warm feeling inside and a smile on my face.
    GMT – where time begins, but it doesn’t last forever! Life’s too short and you only live once, so make the most of it.

  9. 01/10/2011 15:45

    There IS a little angel in this devil. Theo you made me stop and look over my shoulder today. Thank you for that.

  10. Natalia Alexandrou permalink
    01/10/2011 16:00

    Only the lucky and happy ones learn that the half-empty cup can also be half-full. It’s when the cup run’s out that you’re in trouble…

  11. Corporate Daycare permalink
    01/10/2011 18:12


    It’s interesting that we seem to need the ugliness and mess in our lives so that we can appreciate the beauty and good that is also there.

    “Nothing gold can stay” (R.Frost)

  12. 01/11/2011 08:30

    There is so much uncertainty around at the moment. I think it was always there, but we were just socialized into imagining otherwise.

    Still, instead of getting swallowed up by it, it’s so refreshing to know what we are certain about. As you so beautifully put it, that sky, your child, your partner – they were all there for you and real in the moment. Such a lovely lesson in this…

  13. 01/11/2011 13:53

    I feel a bit choked now. You are absolutely right. We all need a bit of perspective in our lives. We should never forget what really matters. All the rest is just…stuff.

  14. Lena permalink
    01/11/2011 19:03

    “Nothing is certain. Nothing is forever.”

    I loved your post…

  15. 01/12/2011 09:28

    @Doug Shaw – I’d pay to see you do both at once! 🙂

    @Gareth Jones – Kids do shine a light on our behaviour sometimes. A question though, why don’t partners?

    @Anne Marie McEwan – Thanks, “health and having people to love and laugh” I like that.

    @Chris Underwood – Absolutely qualifies as a #traincrime

    @BillBoorman – A great lesson.

    @Will Cleare – Thanks Will.

    @Alison Ashford – 🙂

    @MrAirmiles – A lovely example…..thanks Jose.

    @Peter Hros – I’m a big softie really……

    @Natalia Alexandrou – Indeed….although sometimes it takes a little support from those around you to help you realise don’t you think?

    @Corporate Daycare – …..I don’t know why that is.

    @Christine Livingstone – Interesting, so we become transfixed by the uncertainty? I think we probably do.

    @Jacqui Cookson – Welcome and thanks for commenting. Stuff….and nonsense.

    @Lena – Thanks 🙂


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