Curiosity! A free gift for a rich life?

      Curiosity! A free gift for a rich life.

“Curiosity” definitely needs some outdoor exercise.

We can go out!  But only locally. Where to go?         

“Curiosity” is my best ever gift. Suspect that my Mother gave it to me. 

This is how: Each  week as bedtime reading she read us a column, from the Daily Mail. I think it was by Bernard Wicksteed.

It’s title was “Its Fun Finding Out”. Do any of you remember that? 

We had to have a go. No money, but whenever we could scrape
together a few pennies, we caught a bus, to anywhere, then got off, and explored.

Her phrase was “Lets see what’s interesting here”. And even in Industrial  Yorkshire there was always something! An odd road name. Why?  Old chapels, a weird gnarled  tree…Then you hear a noisy factory..”What do they make there?” Mum always found out!

Sometimes we discovered a tiny beetle or a new flower hidden on wasteland. 

And people! We asked questions, were told local stories, shown hidden ruins.  Always came back with more questions to look up. Off to the library or our one encyclopedia. 

Children are naturally curious arent they?  But sometimes the freshness of it  gets lost among the pressures of work, family and mortgages.

However, in retirement it is back, intrigued as ever, and with the  time to use it. 

One of the most popular areas for curiosity is family and local history. Many internet  sources out there now. And always attics to empty. With grandmas photos and a great great Uncles letters from India it becomes a search project for the whole family.

One friend is creating a book of each parent’s family tree to pass down to grandchildren.  Another has created a hanging tapestry with embroidered scenes from her family history based on tales she has discovered. Our Community club created an exhibition telling the stories of the streets and houses in our neighbourhood.

My delight is still to explore somewhere new.  So on moving to Glasgow (Married a Scot at age 74) I had a whole new City to explore. 

Out came the maps.  Being from Yorkshire I love green spaces. To my surprise Glasgow turns out to be one of the of the greenest of Cities! 

All these parks!   Choose one and go.  Take the phone camera and explore

“The Knees” arent up to much these days, the rust is a bit limiting. They tend to moan at having to do a mile or so. But they need a regular outing.

So the three of us “Curiosity,  “The Knees” and Me set off to discover Glasgow, on foot. Of course, many complaints from “ The Knees” if “Curiosity” and I got too excited!

It was just magic.  Felt 6 years old again! Such fun. 

Soon realised  that most parks have histories to discover. And special places like secret grottos. One in Glasgow has a petrified forest!

 And the River Clyde itself has so many stories.  Clydeside is where the Queen liners were built and Singers had their huge factory.  Found a museum dedicated to those marvellous sewing machines. And another to the Clydeside Blitz. Wow!

 Back home I wrote up what we had seen.

If you would like to follow our wanderings have a look at my blog : 

(Some typical ones listed below)

Then came lockdown! Time for a different kind of exploring.

Felt so lucky being able to use Google. You have the whole world there for you, dont you? Wickipedia, images, maps – just dip in and follow stuff up. Start off  by asking any simple question and  see where it gets you to!      

Curiosity” definitely needs some outdoor exercise. 

We can go out! But only locally. Where to go?          

Now, back to our first trip after lockdown. It was to search for a mysterious distant wooded hillside.  I had seen it from our balcony but couldnt find it on the map.

Turned out to be this:


An old cemetery, long avenues of beautiful mature trees and all those fascinating inscriptions! 

The answer to the puzzle was that cemeteries are not coloured green on maps!

Curiosity is a magic gift for us all. And for free!

Curiosity about Clydebank : Cunard, Singers and the Blitz.


  1. Lynda
    May 15, 2021 / 11:02 am

    Nice to hear from you again Joyce! I so agree with you that curiosity is important to keep yourself active and learning. With the internet it is so easy to follow up on stories you hear and people who interest you. We usually take a couple of UK short trips to explore a new area, it’s history and sites of interest. In 2019 we were somewhere in the west country (name escapes me!) and discovered unexpected links and shared history with Winchester where we live. It was actually part of the ancient lands and influence of the Bishop of Winchester . I can’t wait to be able to do this sort of thing again as there is so much we don’t know about our own country. We have only ever been to Edinburgh so loads to do there. Some friends moved to Scotland recently so an extra incentive to visit.

  2. jemima
    May 18, 2021 / 4:34 am

    thank you joyce. a delight to see your voice again. and a timely reminder about the curiosity muscle. i packed mine away neatly at the back of the wardrobe over a year ago. so thanks for the reminder to dust it down and get it moving again.
    and okay, that’s an exaggeration. curiosity’s been doing indoor exercise. but there’s nothing to substitute that exercise in the fresh air feeling. some of us may need to re-start with “baby steps”, but i wish everyone a few happy outings into “the world” to lubricate the thought processes we’ve all been forced to close down.
    it feels weird. but we can and will overcome that feeling.
    my best wishes to the whole of the grandma williams “crowd”.

Leave a Reply