24. Off-Key Plus and Minus

Minor things that truly bug me

loud music which kills all conversation in a restaurant

bicyclists when I’m driving in a car

cars when I’m a pedestrian crossing a street

nuisance telephone calls

the endless possible symptoms on prescription medicines

the illegibly small listings of additives on food labels

thickly sliced bread

the endlessly long advertising on American television

processed orange juice passed of as “fresh” in bars and restaurants

women who will not look at me nor smile in the metro, subway or tube

the new energy saving light bulbs which make reading difficult

having to take off my shoes, belt, and watch strap at airports

endless full page ads in magazines and newspapers for Swiss watches

the over-abundant use of anal expletives by Germans

and of the f-word by Americans and Britons

the passing off of dirty beds as modern art

incredibly polluted beaches strewn with plastics and rubbish

the cacophony of 20th Century “classical” music

the stale daily repetition of “have a good day”

What gives me delight

a ladybird landing on my hand

eating luscious mulberries from my tree

the brilliant full Moon on a clear night

frogs mating in my pool in March

J S Bach cantatas sung in all their glory

eating fresh Dutch herring

seeing the Northern Lights

swimming in warm and clean Mediterranean waters

observing the initial snowfall of the season

meteors flashing through the sky in August

attending the photographic openings of Henryk and Erwin

the first tiny violets in the spring

breathing truly fresh air

a little robin eating my crumbs

a flaming cedar log burning in my fireplace

walking my dog in the meadows

picking ripe apples and quinces in the fall

watching a hedgehog drink milk in the morning

wandering in the medieval streets of the Marais in Paris

seeing Helaine’s marble sculptures in Salisbury Cathedral

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