Tuesday, 13 January 2009


The more I amble gently through life, the more I am convinced that happiness - or at least contentment - is an inner state of mind unaffected by the buffets of the external world.

This was rammed home to me recently when it became obvious that some people, regardless of the apparent enviability of their lives, find it necessary to complain endlessly about things which really should be the cause of no complaint at all.

I catch myself doing it occasionally, in particular complaining about being woken up at ungodly hours by a crying baby. While this puts a certain strain on one's moods, it is nothing compared to the heartache of losing said baby or having been unable to conceive said baby in the first place. I have resolved not to whinge about it ever again. Children are good, and wonderful, and I love both of mine more than I can ever say.

It's like that with anything I can find to complain about:
The gearbox on my car is thoroughly grendled and has moods of refusing to go into first, usually at a busy junction with a queue building up. And my exhaust pipe has just exploded and will need replacing. But I have a car.

I find it tiring to get home after work and have to set to cooking supper. But we have food to eat.

The heating system needs an overhaul to prevent it going on an off at random and making strange noises. But we have heating.

Everything that bugs me from time to time is something that would be an enviable blessing to many others - my job (I have one), the untidiness of my house (I have a house and posessions with which to be untidy) and so on.

Therefore, I have resolved not to complain about my life any more. I am lucky. I am, basically, a happy man.

Henceforth, I shall only complain about other people who annoy me. Is that a plan or is that a plan?


Mrs Pouncer said...

I felt exactly the same way yesterday morning, when I went to the vet's, London Road, just down from the Royal Berks, to have the dog castrated. Guilt, you see. But then, I reasoned, at least I have a DOG and at least the dog has BOLLOCKS and I am ludicrously WEALTHY so can afford the fee, and the dog won't be able to impregnate any bitches at Dinton Pastures, which is more than can be said for some, let's face it, so all in all I counted my blessings, and had another DRINK.

Gyppo Byard said...

Mrs P - anyone who can use the phrase "impregnate any bitches at Dinton Pastures" ought to be a rapper. That vet's is too close to Cemetery Junction for my liking. I use the one opposite the bike shop just off Loddon Bridge Road in Woodley, personally. When I say personally, of course, I mean that's where I take our animals to, not that I personally need the attention of a vet. which is another thing to be thankful for, I suppose.

No Good Boyo said...

Gyppo, you ought to consider joining the clergy. "I thought I was unhappy, then I saw a man who had no blah blah".

This is not the sort of talk I expect from a middle-class Englishman. You ought to be complaining about the agony of affluence.

Gyppo Byard said...

Boyo - as the Polish proverb says "I cried because I had no shoes, then I realised I that I would still be Polish even if I had a pair."

And maybe my confounding of your expectations is because I am not, in a deep and meaningful sense, a middle-class Englishman. And I couldn't be a clergyman because I'm an agnostic. Oh, hang on...

scarlet-blue said...

Hear, hear Mr Gyppo, or here, here... whichever...

Gadjo Dilo said...

More an idyl than a plan, Gyppo! Mrs Dilo and I also remain cheerful for similar reasons, though in my case "at least we have food to eat" is debased to "at least we have Romanian food to eat".

Gyppo Byard said...

Scarls - thank you! I think it's the former, but who cares?

Gadjo - I'm from the West Midlands, and grew up in an age of Angel Delight and Cadbury's Smash (aka 'The 70s', now viewed as ironically glamorous by people who didn't have to live through them). Even Romanian food sounds gourmet to me.