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No regrets. Tuesday May 23, 2017

No, no regrets (apologies to Piaf)

Our UK vet, recently deceased, said 'If you don't learn something new every day you have not lived'. He was passionate about Percheron horses and the local Agricultural Show, but had acquired a wide knowledge of the most esoteric subjects. He always admired my articles for the local 'Rag' and the local church, so I miss him.

Another friend, said, often 'I wish I had done so and so (piano playing among them). She had time, money and opportunity, and although she worked diligently for the church I don't think she ever attained any 'personal' objective.

With my husband we went to a 'Commune' for a course on 'Technique for solving difficulties'. I've never met such a discontented lot – all women (except Mr G, who could not wait to go down the pub). Half were married, and convinced that their husbands and kids had deprived them from being financial wizards, great artists etc. The other half were single professionals who bemoaned the prospects of old age without children. A local farmer's wife (in UK) said if she had her life over again she would never have married him.

So, am I content?

I would not mind having a little less hassle at the moment. I would have liked my books to have been read by a wider audience – they are liked (in English and French) but cannot face the trauma of marketing them.

I have been much inspired today (19th May) by Radio 4 'Book of the Week', Henry Marsh, a famous neuro-surgeon, whose enthusiasm for life encompasses still doing operations unpaid, keeping bees, walking 25 miles a week, trying to keep dementia and Alzheimer's at bay (even he does not have the answer, just follows perceived wisdom).

And, I have a dream. The unit where Mr G goes daily is light, bright, and well-staffed. It is built round a courtyard, full of weeds. I want to build a 'garden of peace'. What do I need? More years, money, volunteers, permission, generous plant growers.

My 'fame' is in the photo – colours changed every year, photos world-wide, but I can't sign a wall of flowers, so will go un-sung.

Is there anything you regret?

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Molly Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 2:47am

Hi Gardener. I don't see the point in regrets really. Everything happens for a reason, and when we look at it, we can normally find something good that came out of anything bad. My husband is very unwell at the moment, he cannot hardly walk, this has caused him depression for the first time in his life and with my depression as well, we are a jolly team right now (struggling alot) still fairly 'young' and he feels like he is a real burden on me but regrets, no, luckily I fail to have them, even though I threaten to leave him (cruel I know) but this is more because I need support from him that he is unable to give at the moment. We are both housebound really, and I rather envy people who are getting on with their lives. But another good thing about Moodscope is that you hear that many people have their own struggles. I hope for you, that you achieve that dream, what a lovely dream to have, to create a garden around the courtyard of the unit, and get rid of the weeds! Molly x

Lex Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 5:41am

Hello The Gardener, I do enjoy your passion for plants... it resonates. As for regrets... I regret ever having any!

Molly Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 7:18pm


Orangeblossom Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 7:06am

Thanks for the blog The Gardner. My life was full of regrets at one time, usually because I had made the mistakes which couldn't be put right.

Molly Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 7:18pm

We all make mistakes but they are part of the whole experience of life x

Sally Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 7:32am

Lovely photograph, TG. Evocative of the France we love. Lovely blog.
No, I have no regrets. Everything has been a learning curve and experience is most valuable. I just hope I have learnt to be a better person through experience. And that life foes go on, with better days just round the corner.

Sally Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 7:32am

Does, not foes! Sorry!

Rupert Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 8:19am

So true The Gardener my life is one big regret! Was only walking into my office this morning thinking I regret not progressing my career! TBH I thought having regrets was part of the depressive mood and is particularly bad for me first thing when I am generally at my lowest. Does anyone else experience that? Rupert

Leah Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 9:05am

Rupert, I also thought having regrets and questioning every decision I have ever made goes with depression. When you say first thing do you mean first thing in the morning. If so I have so many self doubts first thing in morning when i am in a depressive mood.

Rupert Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 9:47am

Hi Leah sorry yes I mean first thing in the morning. It is weird because even the slightest thing can set me off. For example if I see a headline on a newspaper saying house prices rise again I can go into a spin of anxiety and regret that I didn't invest in property so the children would have some chance of owning something. Illogical but very wearing before you have even got to work! R

Leah Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 10:55am

Rupert, I tell my partner no bad news before lunch because he often reads from BBC website or Facebook sad news and it really affects my whole day. I try to do that gratitude and be thankful for what I have no not what I dont have. It works on good days.

Molly Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 7:28pm

First thing in the morning, is the worst time for me. I will wake up and think about how I feel, and it is either terrible, or 'not too bad today'. When I finally manage to get out of bed, it might be a bit easier as I am not laying there with all negative thoughts going through my head. It is certainly part of the depression Rupert, as some days things really bother me and the 'what ifs' and then on a better day I will see the positive from the negative. I believe that things turn out the way they do for a reason. I am not relgious but I like to think that 'this is the way it was meant to be'. Small things trigger me too like when I see babies and never had one for myself. Is that a regret, or it was not meant to be? Your children will appreciate your love much more than anything financial xx

S Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 8:38am

Lovely post gardener- thank you

Anonymous Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 8:40am

Thank you, TG. You continue to impress and inspire me.Go well.

The Gardener Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 9:16am

After a particularly bad night (following delightful TV, Chelsea and history of the Riviera through artists eyes) I opened the computer to my blog. Joy. Then I opened another computer for radio on the internet and heard the news. Despair. And now a real regret. I was 15 in 1950 - recovering from war and FREE. There were big crowd events, football matches, Festival of Britain, Queen's coronation - all ages attended without fear. When I was 40, in London a lot, I seemed always to be minutes away from an IRA bomb. I was in Dublin the day Mountbatten was murdered, and our delegation were entertained in the city hall. The Mayor of Dublin was in tears - we were all scared of repercussions - but we felt that if it had been any other Englishman there would have been joy, not tears. Then I was in my car on a ferry to Sicily - next to me was a high-up Red Brigade member - machine guns all round me, and another motorcade of police fully armed coming down to the port. If they had tried to 'spring' her (a wild, beautiful girl) it would have been the end of me. But now. I have a 15 year-old g-g-daughter - her wish will to be among a crowd of her pals, being young, screaming their joy at the current pop idol. I regret, bitterly, that for all she has that I did not have at her age, I was 'freer' than she will ever be. Please excuse diatribe - think many may feel like me today

Rupert Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 9:49am

Yes so senseless and worrying for the future generations.

The Gardener Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 12:23pm

Interested in early morning news, and how it affects people. We do not take a newspaper here in France, but listen to BBC Radio 4 every morning (and usually early evening) keeps us as up to date as possible. Big problem is Mr G and concentration - he's pretty 'spaced out' re date, time and place - but he 'pounces' on bad news, even if it's only talk of an anniversary of a terrorist attack, or natural disaster (now pale into insignificance). We came in the middle of 'Today' today, then found that the item was current. I used to love early mornings, a fresh page - the day is YOURS, things might even go well!

Tutti Frutti Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 5:22pm

Hi Gardener I like to keep up with the news but I am not sure when the best time to hear potentially stressful stuff is. I tend like others to be a bit low first thing in the morning, but if the 10pm news makes you anxious it can stop you sleeping. In practice I don't get as sensitive as i think some people do to general bad news so I do listen to/watch the news a lot. Hearing the parents of missing teenagers on the radio this morning certainly shook me though. I am feeling a bit fragile today and I am sure it is partly down to the awful news, although there's also a lot of uncertainty in things in my own life at the moment (eg changes afoot at work). I am not sure about regrets. I kind of regret chickening out and letting my husband deal with stuff between us and our neighbours after a tree fell in a storm last year - because things certainly didn't turn out very well. However it's not clear that I was in a fit state to deal with it at the time without making myself really ill, that I would have ended up resolving anything any better or that I could have taken over without offending my husband. So who knows. Thanks for the picture of your lovely flowers. Love TF x

Carol Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 2:17pm

Hi when I read your blog the Frank Sinatra song I did it my way. Regrets ...for me is negative..pessimistic..I've done many mistakes in my life and I've learnt life lessons , some were harsh but without these experiences I wouldn't be me ?
I've shed many a tear even laughed through them tried to see the humourous side .
I've had many conflicting battles with situations inner self abusive marriage etc.. I won these battles so maybe I regret allowing myself to be nearly destroyed..optimistic side of me I've learnt my strengths I won the war .If we pondered and fretted over Regrets it makes you bitter ..twisted and to be honest for me personally I won't allow that. Like the song says I did it my way.
I reflect on things I have done experienced I've been lucky I've seen Mount Everest I lived in Nepal for awhile no I never tried to climb . No Regrets about that.. ( have you seen the size of it )
I know I ramble I apologise for this I try to let you see me in your minds eye . Take you on hopefully pleasant journeys also for me too...
I'm beginning now to feel been numb for weeks I guess that's a regret. What have I learnt though to see things ..feel the good happy times .. I'm ready to give myself another go dust off ..start again.. OK maybe they'll be a few false starts but it's all lessons..x

Molly Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 7:32pm

I had that song in my head too :-) Yes they are all lessons, and the more you experience, the more you can relate to others with similar issues.

Jul Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 6:51pm

Thank you for your blog today Gardener. I used to think I regretted nothing but I do have one. And that is that I continued in a relationship for nine long years which was wrong for me right from the start. There were many opportunities during the nine years for me to end it and I did many times but went back. When I did end it for good, that person had had nine years of a confidence boosting relationship. I had the opposite experience. I still think about revenge but not as often as I used to. All this pales into insignificance however in the context of the horrific news from Manchester. I wonder if ISIS/Daesh will ever have regrets in the future when they think about the atrocities they have committed. ISIS/ Daesh is a collective noun but surely some individuals who direct these attacks might one day have regrets and hate themselves. But I don't understand it all and I doubt I ever will. Lovely photograph Gardener. Julxx

Molly Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 7:41pm

Hi Jul, I was in a bad relationship once and I think 'do i regret it?' I don't because it was what I wanted to do at the time and there was alot of good that came out of it, even if there was alot of bad, but I don't think necessarily things are a choice, it happens how it principles went out of the window, but that is the way it was at that time. I came to my senses, when the time was right. As for Manchester, no I doubt there will be any regrets there. SO SO hard to understand but regret, on something of that scale, no, these people are sick !! They would not know what an emotion like regret even is xx

Jul Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 8:32am

Thank you for this Molly. I've only just seen it. I suppose I am looking back and my comments reflected hindsight which is a silly thing, not helpful at all (hindsight). For years afterwards I felt like you that I made the choice at the time to enter into the relationship and therefore how could I have regrets.. This is a fact because it was my choice. However the more I got sucked into the downward spiral of what this relationship was doing to me, I lost my ability to see clearly and see the relationship for what it was. I should have stopped it after 6 months as I knew it was so harmful but 9 long years??? That's what I regret. I'd like to punch the guy or worse. Oh well thnak you Molly again. Julxx

Molly Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 7:55pm

Thank you for your response Jul. Similarly I kept going back, but it was never a proper relationship even though I couldn't seem to let go. Bad guys are exciting I suppose. I wish him no harm but there are definitely a few people who would have liked to have punched him at the time ! Try not to be bitter, put it down to experience. Unless we have been through something ourselves, we cannot help others who might go through it. I wonder if hate is an easier emotion than love? There is a whole new debate! Love from Molly xx

The Gardener Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 7:16pm

With you Jul on destructive relationships - a daughter stayed in an awful relationship through pure inertia - it nearly destroyed her - binge drinking, putting on weight, never seeing friends - even causing chaos in the work-place because her heart was not in it. The atrocity in Manchester always reminds me of the holocaust - we have two half-Jewish grand-children - another time, another place, and people who CALL themselves human would have sent them to the gas chamber. What ARE these people hoping to gain? The perpetrator was young - surely they've got families? Are they so dedicated to their awful cause that they are oblivious to the fact that they are destroying families? Politicians, in theory, are fair game in the modern world, but kids? I have my own hell tonight, Mr G has decided that he is terribly distressed by the news - I shall have to get him to bed like a baby - go in peace all you people here, let's all find some good, somewhere. Hugs all round xxx

Molly Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 7:46pm

Brainwashed I think TG. Like you say, they must have families of their own. When they die themselves, then what was the point? So hard to understand. My husband also got rather emotional about it. I think we have to look after ourselves as we cannot control what happens in the world. Very Very sad but there is little we can do about it xx

Jul Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 8:38am

Thank you too Gardener. I am sorry to hear about your daughter too. I do hope she feels happy and healthy now. I just can't understand the attack in Manchester. Some people are saying that ISIS went for the very thing they want to eliminate, very young going to a pop concert, the essence of our culture and freedom which they see as alienating to male domination of this world. I worry for all young people now, and by young I mean 5 to 16 years olds. Their joie de vivre is lost but hopefully onlytemporarily. Bon courage as always Gardener. Julxx

Mary Wednesday Tue, May 23rd 2017 @ 9:40pm

I was woken at three this morning by my Anglophile American friend who had heard it on BBC online. As the American view of the UK is that we all live within 5 miles of each other (in terms of scale, understandable I suppose), she was concerned that my youngest daughter (a fan) and I might be caught up in it. Harrowing news indeed.
As for regrets? Well there's a song with the lyric "if she had to do it all over again, it would be a photograph and she would wear a wide grin." The song is Mona Lisa by Michelle Shocked. We are where we are today as a result of our choices. If I had to do it all over again you may be mighty sure I would not have made the choices I did. But I would have made different choices, and they might have also been mistakes. My choices have brought me here. Here may not be perfect, but it contains perfect moments. Here has a set of the most wonderful friends, many of whom I would not have known if I had not made that first, disastrous marriage. Here has my sweet and lovely husband. Here has my daughters. Here has Tom, and Richard and my darling Raz. There is no point in regrets for what has gone before. We need to go on from now. Having said that... I kind of regret not travelling to the States with Raz when he asked me last February. My husband might not have been best pleased (although I promise you my honour would have been in no danger) but at least I would not have fallen off that horse in Tenerife and smashed up my ankle!

Orangeblossom Wed, May 24th 2017 @ 8:39am

Hi Mary, I wonder if your ankle has mended completely or whether it continues to cause difficulties and excessive discomfort sometimes? I heard of a chap who had an ankle replacement last year. In rural West Wales. Maybe it could be an option for you if it continues to impede your mobility. Love & hugs!

Anonymous Fri, Jun 2nd 2017 @ 5:53pm

I have so many regrets. People always say, if I didn't make the choices I made, I wouldn't be the person I am today. Well, what if you don't like the person you are today. What if life is full of bad memories and missed opportunities that stalk you like a hyena. I regret not getting the oil leak in my car check before my engine flooded, sure I've learned a lesson, but I also had to sell my car for junk. The car I'm driving now is horrible because it is the only thing I can afford. I regret going into five-digit credit card debt buying things I can't even remember anymore. I regret buying a house that I now cannot afford the upkeep on, I have only eight pieces of furniture and cannot have friends over (and don't tell me true friends wouldn't care; I would not subject them to the environment I live in). I regret spending 10 years in a relationship that wasn't balanced. I'm a worse person today and further in depression than when that relationship started. I have regrets, real regrets....

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