ZEN+ : Helping you Stay Young and Age Well

4 Short stories with 6 important lessons

By Marcus Santer

Me and Ollie have lunch with my mum and dad most Saturdays.

And a few Saturdays ago I was asking my mum if one of my childhood memories was accurate.

The one about being given 10 pence a week to spend on sweets at Mrs Simpson’s sweet shop down in East Keswick.

And yes it’s true.

Of course back in the 70’s 10p went a lot further than it does today.

You could get quite a smorgasbord of goodies for that amount. But once they were gone, that was it until next week.

Most weeks, by the time me and my sister had walked through the large field separating Bardsey from East Keswick, my sweets were all gone.

Whilst my sister would ration hers out over a few days.

As I was recounting this story my dad chipped in with a story of his own.

Aged 17 he’d gone to meet some of his friends down at The Duke of Wellington pub in East Keswick.

And they got very drunk.

How drunk?

Well, my dad managed to find the gate at the bottom of the field separating East Keswick from Bardsey, but never found the exit.

He ended up spending a very uncomfortable night in the field.

As me and Ollie laughed at my dad’s story, my mum joined in with one of her own.

Years after my dad’s experience, my mum started working as a bar maid in The Duke of Wellington pub.

Now as you’re probably already gathered, back in 60’s and 70’s Bardsey and East Keswick were tiny little villages located in the heart of Yorkshire.


One night, after my mum finished her late shift she took the short cut across the field to get back home.

It was dark.

Very dark.

Bare in mind there were no street lamps back then, the only light came from the stars and the moon.

And with every step she took, she heard a strange sound.

A sound like someone following her.

She stopped walking and whoever was following stopped too.

She walked faster and whoever was following walked faster too.

She started to freak out.

Taking a deep breath and trying her hardest to work out what was going on, she looked at the ground. She could just make out the grass at her feet as she walked and noticed something that made her laugh out loud.

Instantly dissolving the fear she felt.

How come?

She’d noticed the sound that had freaked her out was coming from the zip tabs on her boots hitting against the leather.

As we laughed over mums story, it reminded me of one of my own.

In my 20’s I was working at Nottingham Central Library – were I met Clarabella – and one morning I woke up hardly able to hear.

Long story short I’d had a build up of wax in my ears.

Going to the doctors I had my ears syringed – not a totally unpleasant experience.

But walking home afterwards I thought I was going mad.

I kept hearing a strange noise as I walked, it stopped when I stopped and started when I started. I knew it was coming from me, but couldn’t for the life of me work out what it was.

Then finally the penny dropped.

It was the sound of the material on my trousers rubbing against itself as I walked.

I couldn’t place it, because I’d never heard it, that’s how good my hearing became after having my ears syringed.

Which reminds me now of one last story I’ll share.

A true story about a guy who’d suffered for years with ear infection in one ear. Nothing his doctors or the specialists did would fix it.

His doctor had pretty much given up on the man ever being free from it.

Then one day the man came back and said his ear was fine.

The doctor wanted to know what had happened. And the man told how he’d taken some wax from his good ear and put it into his bad ear.

And hey presto – years of ear infection gone.

The doctor investigated this strange phenomenon and discovered years of antibiotic creams and drops had killed all the good bacteria in the infected ear.

By transplanted ear wax from his good ear into his bad ear the man had also reintroduced the good bacteria.

Amazing huh?

So you’re probably wondering what any of this has to do with you?

Well, I’ve dropped some seriously powerful lessons on you in today’s ZEN+ Daily.

Did you spot them?

I’m sure you did, but just in case here are a few:

  1. Snacks and sweets should be eaten in moderation, not every day
  2. Drinking too much alcohol can have unwanted results
  3. When you feel filled with fear, take a deep breath and see if you’re missing something
  4. There’s so much going on around you that you’re ignorant of. So pay attention <-- The fancy name for this is mindfulness
  5. Your body is amazing

And perhaps the most important lesson of all is how this post demonstrates the importance of social contact.

Of hanging out, telling stories and bonding with your loved ones.

Gee… And you thought I was just telling you stories =)

Right, I’m outta here.

Bye for now


P.S. Social contact is just one activity vital to your health.

There are 13 others you need to engage in if you want to stack the odds of a longer, healthier and more active life in your favour…

They’re listed on page 195 of my book: ZEN+ The Art and Science of Living Healthier for Longer

And the books other 194 pages will give you 120 tips to help you master them all.

If that sounds useful to you…

==> Go here next <==

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