Sunday, 1 February 2009

Blast from the Past no 1. (See blog dated 23rd Jan.)

Reasons For Choice.
It was only the sixth blog I ever did. I have chosen it because it epitomises so much of my blogging 'career' to date. I came into blogging completely ignorant with no preconceived ideas, and little prior knowledge, just the desire to write; a lifetime ambition mainly on hold due to other commitments that life inevitably thrusts upon us. At sixty eight ( sixty nine now) years of age I realise time is no longer on my side.
I had no real idea as to what I was about. I have no desire to become a 'sage' or to show others how clever I am. I suppose in a way I see it as 'thinking out loud' and if it amuses or entertains, so be it.
I have few technical skills. Thus my early efforts were unparagraphed, until others put me right. Indeed I still find much of the technical side frustrating and virtually impossible to fathom. I am not helped by TGA (see blog 18th May, Hooray for the NHS) and I suspect increasing senility. I still do not know how attracting new readers really works. (This was yet another blog from my early days that gleaned no response whatsoever.) In other words I am still not too far removed from the clueless geriatric of nine months ago. All this I hope is reflected in this early blog. What is not reflected is the generosity of spirit, encouragement and kind help of many I meet along the way. I have plans for the future, God willing. The words that come to mind are long time favourites but drive my youngest daughter to the point of distraction. I shall still aspire to gradual mastery of this blogging phenomenon, but it's 'Softly, softly, catchee monkey'.
(By coincidence my last blog was my 100th blog.)
Sunday 27th April 2008
An OAP let loose in the 21st century
Like a weasel to a rabbit I am transfixed. Hours spent trying to master the technology, mainly unsucessfully yet the urge to continue is overpowering. What was it Albert Einstein said, "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." My incomprehension is unsurprising when you consider I even find an Idiot's Guide impossible to understand. Please tell me I am not the only one, or am I uniquely stupid when it comes to modern technology. And how strange I find myself posing questions to a screen, a substitite for the real world. An unreal situation akin to making love to a blow up doll or our childhood habit of smoking rolled up walnut leaves in an oakcup pipe. Both unsatisfactory substitutes for the real thing but better than nothing. I hasten to add I am not speaking from experience on the former. Now I reckon my problems in the main stem from three sources. One, at my age I'm a bit long in the tooth to learn new technologies but I can but try. Two, I have recently been informed I am functioning on half a brain, maybe a bit more to be honest but some missing all the same. More of this at a later date but imagine what I could do if it was all there, so to speak. And three, I need my eyes testing. My ninety nine pence glasses from Home Bargains are good value but hardly the result of considered professional examination. But at least you get to try them out. Which is more than can be said for the local Lidl. A fierce gentleman, Croatian I think he is patrols the isles, and can spot from over twenty yards a customer opening the goods. As their glasses are packaged you therefore buy pot luck, so to speak. Their car park is full of wrecked cars or at least it deserves to be. Any day now they'll be selling white sticks. I've thought my eyes needed testing for some time but a family function in The Devonshire, a posh pub in Baslow, Derbyshire finally made the fact inescapable. After a pint or two, or three, or four the need for the toilet was dire. Not surprising but at least it would suggest the old prostate is still working, if nothing else. Panic over and a might bit relieved so to speak, and, educated by frequent notices exorting us to 'Now wash your hands' I did as ordered and visited the hot air hand blower. Only posh as the pub was, the machine was totally ineffective, pathetic in the extreme. No rush of air, hot or otherwise. As I pondered so useless an apparatus and contemplated my next move I noticed a young man quizzically eyeing me from the urinal. Fearing I was about to be propositioned, I hastily withdrew my still wet hands from the machines orifice. It was only then I made out the wording on the machine, blurred in my case but cringingly embarrassing. The immortal words read 'Contraceptives, all colours and shapes, two pounds for three.'


Kitty said...

Well thanks for the education Ken ... I didn't previously know that contraceptive machines are crubbish at drying hands. I might have hazarded a guess at that, but still, it's good to have it confirmed by someone else's experience. ;-) x

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

That made me laugh out loud Ken. A great idea of yours to "Blast from the Past" and that post was definitely worthy of being "published" for a second time.

Can sympathise with and understand your sentiments regarding age and its accoutrements, OH and I are from a similar era. A

Annette said...

I, too, did not know what to write about when joining this blog site two years ago now. But you soon find something. Sometimes things that annoy you, and some funny things as well.
Other times just things in the news that you feel strongly about and you just want to express your opinion. It's good to get comments back and other opinions as well. Makes it interesting.

Mean Mom said...

I don't know. You men. No wonder the birth rate's increasing, if you all keep confusing the functions of the machines in the gents.

Troy said...

And it was truly a politically correct condom machine.

Saz said...

brilliantly evocative could have taken the words right out of Moannie's mouth..!!

Thanks for coming over to mine, I'm sure l've seen you there before!! But I've definately seen you over at Billy's...which is more than likely where you've seen me before...

Robert said...

I wasn't expecting this comedic gem! Thanks for resurrecting it!

Constable said...

Hello Ken,
thank you for your words on my "paint still wet" blog. It still squeaks when I type on it you know.

With reference to the depression subject when talking about the departed I suppose if I am to be truthful I have become somewhat desensitized to it. Don't get me wrong I have human emotions and feelings but have learned to switch them on and off and whilst understanding peoples grief or misery understand that it won't affect me in the long term. This is probably how I was able to deal with all the details for my father's funeral last year but that one has affected me in the long term naturally.
Sorry for the off topic post but thank you for your comment again and I have had a chuckle or two at your posts.

BeckyG said...

Being a relative new-comer to your blog it's great to have some of your past blog posts coming up again, and for me for the first time. I can relate to your comments about the difficulty sometimes in knowing what to write about, and also the frustrations of technology. I'm a bit of a computer numpty so don't do anything very complicated at all on my blog, but I enjoy blogging. As for the hand-dryer story - very funny :o) It made me laugh out loud. Thank you for the smile :o)

Lakeland Jo said...

hilarious post, and I applaud your technical skill

Gill - That British Woman said...

Thanks for the laugh..........there is always one!!!

Gill in Canada

VioletSky said...

...and now you will always know where to turn should the need arise...


i think you are dong really well
just blog about whatever takes your fancy at the time
congratulations on your 100th post
your blast from the past post was great
keep up the good work

Marian Dean said...

Definitely a read to cheer myself up. And I thought I was the one going a bit cuckoo.
I also was in retirement when first faced with a computer... what did we need one of these for? I exclaimed to Hubby when he suggested it (.. for the grandchildren said he! ) He soon abandoned any notion of doing anything on it ( no patience ) so it was left to me to 'make use' of this monster in the house. Now he rues the day, it is my toy and joy everyday!
Love Granny

cheshire wife said...

Good for us ladies to know that they have contraceptives in the gents. I think that 'Blast from the Past' is a good idea.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

I'm past my sell by date I guess but I get the feeling I'm not on my own!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Will repeat a blast next month on the first. care to join me?

Grumpy Old Ken said...


Some blog everyday of course and good luck to them but I couldn't do it.

Meam mom
I havent got demensia, I suffer from decrepidation.


I visited Moannie. I think I've well and truly joined the over fifties club!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

I visited Moannie. I reckon now I've truly joined the over fifties club!

Thanks. Are you going to join me next month.

You are doing fine. re comments, you say what you like, its a free country.

Thanks. You are doing ok. Some blog everyday and good luck to them but you find your own level.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Thanks but what technical skill!

Not always but I have difficulty writing serious pieces. In many ways life is serious enough.

True and thanks

Thanks. Mind you, 100 doesn't mean much at the side of the hardened professionals!

Iknow the feeling. When I left teaching I swore bling I would never use a computer. Now look!

cheshire wife.
And none in the ladies?

The Blast from the Past has been well received. I will repeat another on the 1st March. Anyone who wishes to join me is welcome. Maybe we could get those who join to read each others. (How would we do this) It would encourage a dozen or so new readers to each others which might be welcome for those who struggle to attract readers.Perhaps I'm being silly, remember, hardened pros, I'm only
a novice.

Carah Boden said...

Oh Ken, as ever, you kill me! Found myself laughing out loud again in the last few lines, the whole post building nicely to an unexpected crescendo!
How funny, too, that this first blog of yours mentions the Devonshire at Baslow - Baslow being a relatively short drive from where I am and a favourite little haunt of mine (there are a number of good eateries there - Rowleys wine bar and the Cavendish Hotel to name but two). Funny to think the situation you describe was happening so nearby!
Have read your earlier post about blogging and agree totally. Good idea re the recyling of posts. As you say, there is such good writing out there and in the beginning, when you are speaking into an enormous black hole, it is interesting to see the humility with which people begin, the tentative steps that are being made and, as you so rightly say, some fabulous writing which has gone missed and uncommented on. Personally, if I find someone I like to read, I nearly always delve back at some point to see where and, hopefully, why they began. It is fascinating. (I'm also incurably nosey.)