Friday, 28 May 2010

Life is Always Worth a Gamble

I ended up yesterday laughing with old Archie. I have told you him before and shown you his portrait. He is now in his eighties and loving every minute of life. He is, as you might expect a bit set into his routine, but nevertheless he is able to spring the odd surprise.

Our vegetable plots are down near the side of the railway line, so no need clocks or watches. Archie organises his times around the coming and going of the trains. “That will be the 10.45am to London, time to head up the road. He will then walk up to the village place a small wager on a horse. He will pop in for a wee dram then head home for his lunch.

He began to tell me about the horse he had put a wager on. “No use telling me Archie,” I said, “I have not got a clue on odds or anything.” I have never ever gambled on anything in my life. I would rather give a donation than even buy a raffle ticket. When I explained that he looked at me all serious. “Your maybe right,” he said, “I might be in danger of becoming addicted.”

Now at his age I would not have thought that mattered. He then went on to tell me a story of when he had a young apprentice. Archie was having a good run on his wagers. The young man had asked for a tip. Archie gave him one he new would surely lose. The young lad was upset when it did. “But,” said Archie, “just think if it had won I met have set you on the road to ruin.”

The young man is now head of a large company and often tells Archie he is glad he never won that first and last bet. Who knows what might have happened had he won?

One day a young student was on a journey, he came to the banks of a wide river. Staring hopelessly at the great obstacle in front of him, he pondered for hours on just how to cross such a wide barrier. Just as he was about to give up his pursuit to continue his journey he saw the master on the other side of the river. The young student yells over to the master, "Oh wise one, can you tell me how to get to the other side of this river"?

The master ponders for a moment looks up and down the river and yells back, "My son, you are on the other side".

There is always more ways than one to look at the events of life. That will be the 8am train I had better go and get on with the rest of this day. I wonder what side I might end up on or what smiles this day will bring. But whatever, I will ponder it and smile.

THis blog is linked to my other:-Jackie


  1. That's how I imagine my life in the future - except for the wager and the dram, probably more a large slab of chocolate cake and a cup of tea. But I want to be working my plot and tending my animals ... And be up and out for 8am.

    I think I have a lot more to learn about life yet ... Thanks for another inspirational post Ralph.

  2. Oh my...what a blogful of wisdom today, Ralph. I am so happy you record some of Archie's stories. I cannot tell you how many times I've lamented not being able to remember the stories of the "olden" days my grandpa used to tell when I was kid. I so wish I knew what he was saying now.

  3. Good Morning Ralph, I am alive and even better today! I am such a creature of habit. I am so happy that I found this blog and look forward to checking it every day. Only today I have discovered your "other blog", why I wasn't curious before I will never know. I assumed it was a dry art discussion. I was surprized and very pleased with what I found! Another window to you. Thank you, and I will be checking both blogs from now on!

  4. i am happy to see you haven't stopped telling stories! i read your earlier posts...the abstracts especially speak to me. hard to belive you've been painting only two and a half years!

  5. Hi Ralph

    I'm so pleased I was able to find your blog. Enjoyed reading and will continue to follow. I intend to check out your other blog right now! I love inspiration ... that's what I expect! Write on!

  6. I cannot tell you how many times I've lamented not being able to remember the stories of the "olden" days my grandpa used to tell when I was kid.

  7. Great stories today..hope you are having a great weekend Ralph.