Thursday, 14 August 2008

All in the Mind 3

Thursday Number 3
I was eating breakfast recently, bacon and egg when I felt something unusually hard in my mouth. I manoeuvred it away from the food, retrieved it and was surprised to find the tip of a very sharp knife. Unusual and potentially very dangerous, large enough to do serious damage to ones inners. It must have been my lucky day, so to speak and undoubtedly luck plays a part in our lives. Some believe in Fate, everything in life being preplanned but that is not a theory in which I have any conviction.
When I was around fourteen years of age I used to join others, some older near the river at Spondon, Derbyshire. The other boys swam, the water was both warm from the power station emissions and deep. I was a non swimmer at the time so amused myself in other ways. One day I crawled out on a tree trunk and fished dead fish from the water with the aid of a long stick. (The fish were killed by the sheer warmth of the power station discharges.) Only the tree trunk was dead, broke as I reached the point farthest from the bank and pitched me into the water. I was down stream from the swimmers but someone, I can't remember whom immediately spotted my plight and unceremoniously hauled me to the bank. No damage was done, except to my pride and I spent the next hour sitting on the riverbank naked, to my embarrassment and passing train passengers amusement.
In the same era, two miles down the river, at Borrowash a young boy and his father fished. The river was high, the young boy fell into the river, his father went in after him and both died. Stark contrast to my lucky escape.
I recall both instances clearly as a result of my 'breakfast' incident. But in a way they don't count as random recall, I have written of both instances before in an autobiographical work I intend to publish at a later date. But it brought to mind an incident from the recesses of the mind long forgotten.
We had as visitors all of thirty years ago, a friend and her son aged around six, the latter a pain of some significance. He lacked the proverbial 'common sense', had a short attention span and took some watching, so to speak. I noticed he had one of our daughters glass marbles but thought little of it until he embarked on a coughing fit of some proportion. Red in the face and apparently choking his last breath he was an alarming sight. I quickly assessed the situation, grabbed the young man by the feet and hauled him upside down while my wife rapidly thumped his back. He was not amused, coughed ever more, his face even redder, no matter, that we were saving his life. Only beginning to despair we were too late, I glanced to one side and espied on the floor one shiny glass marble he had lost interest in minutes earlier.
He never did visit us again and I noticed he was in the local papers on occasion in later life for various petty criminal offences. I hope his treatment at our hands was unconnected with his future development.
Three recalls in three days. Now it gets interesting. Is my old damaged brain up to it I wonder.

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