Kung fu days and autumn

I went training on Saturday, having not been for a week. Dave said I have more colour than before. At the end of the third class (hard style), he looked at me and said, ‘Have you noticed you’re not dropping by the end of the class, now?’ ‘Oh, yeah!’ I wasn’t. I was tired, but still had energy for one more push before we finished. Then I spoke to Gareth and Nadia and Gareth told me how much stronger he thought I looked. Oh, really? He didn’t know I’d been eating meat for a fortnight, so it was a remark which came without that information, meaning it was a real observation based on what he could see, rather than what he thought he should see. If you see what I mean.

So that made me feel quite chuffed, obviously. As we were leaving, Sharmin asked if I wanted to go for coffee, so we did. We talked business much of the time, as she’s recently started her own business and she wanted to sound me out about a few things. Not only that, of course – it’s always nice after weekend training to go for coffee together – but also I’ve been self-employed for five years now and it was good to be able to offer advice about bits and pieces. Sometimes I’d like to be able to take my own advice, but that’s easier said than done, isn’t it? Anyway, we then walked along Upper Street, just talking, and then said goodbye as we went in different directions at Highbury and Islington Tube.

Yesterday was a chilled day, which kind of fits my mood at the moment. Things are happening that I shan’t discuss here because it’s too boring, but apart from that, it’s good to be in autumn again. I love all the seasons, of course I do, but autumn is the end of the year, when things start winding down, leaves begin to turn red, yellow and brown before falling, carpeting the ground with muted golden colours and filling the air with a musty scent. At the end of the month, when people are celebrating Halloween (Samhain), I shall be heading outside to look up at the sky – searching out the moon, certain constellations, planets (at the moment, Jupiter is very bright, outshining most other things you’ll see – if you’re looking for it on a clear night, you can’t miss it) and feeling the smallness of our little planet, whizzing round the edge of the galaxy, the vastness of which we mere humans have no concept. It’s all very pagan and earth-worshippery, which is how and who I am. Like it or lump it, what you see is what you get.

I have now one more month of being 36 – I’ll officially be in my late-30s. But scary as that may sound, I don’t feel it. I’ve always been told I look younger than I am, and I put that down to staying young in my heart and mind – never losing my fascination for the natural world, giggling at silly things, always daydreaming and making up stories, questioning constantly. It’s only when people start behaving in a way they think they should, “appropriate” to their age, that age starts to get a firmer grip on them. Be silly. Keep yourself healthy. Stay young.

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