Wednesday 28 October 2009

It's All in There Somewhere

Probably the main joy of blogging is the contact with others. Ideas and experiences are exchanged which means you never stop learning. I happened to be reading the blogs of Violet Sky, a Canadian lady who never ceases to interest. The particular blog in question talked of writing on five unconnected words chosen by the good lady herself. An idea that grew on me so here goes. The five words chosen for myself were:
Railroads Smoke Pillars Phobias Fish
As children many of us were avid trainspotters. Plus Derby was very much a railway town. Its all a long time ago but some of it is still there in the mind. The engine classifications, Jubilee and Patriot classes; the wheel formations, 4-6-0 and was it 4-4-2 and the names, Leander and Bahamas.
But more memorable was cycling to a lonely spot away from adult examination. Then placing pennies on the track and hiding behind bushes as an express train roared past. And retrieving the now much larger pennies, hot to the touch, trophies to be secretly admired at home, but unseen by prying grown ups eyes. Stupidly dangerous, unforgivable but never to be forgotten.
The joys of learning to smoke, walnut leaves in home made pipes and nub ends collected in the streets. A dirty, dangerous secretive past time. How did we ever reach adulthood when we could earn money to smoke Woodbines, Park Drives and, when we wished to show off, Passing Clouds.
Plus memories of granny trailing a plastic bucket, bottomless through the house, leaving behind a line of smouldering 'peg rugs' set alight by the hot ashes she had deposited in the bucket to take to the dustbin.
'This modern stuff, rubbish' was her dismissive appraisal of the problem.
A baffling choice, well done Sanna. I seem to remember a dream, or was it just a story from childhood. This chap (was it my dream?) has this enormous Turkish Delight which he devoured with great difficulty but which was tremendously enjoyable. Then he woke up and the pillar was missing.
Intrigued I looked up pillar jokes on the Internet.
What pillar can't hold up a building.
Answer, a caterpillar!
And who spotted the 'deliberate' mistake! The word is of course pillars, totally different. Yet another sign of my declining powers! On a serious note such an error could have major consequences, for instance if the mistake was made whilst dispensing medicines. But what the hell, no need for seriousness today. Remember the girl who wrote 'a pessimist was something her mother bought from the chemist'. And the boy who thought an enigma was 'something you put up your bottom'.
(Both from pupils in my English teaching days) And I had the nerve to be critical of such efforts. Oh how is the biter bit!
PhobiasI don't personally have any phobias that I know of. But I remember as a child a man putting his arm down a rat hole. No way would I do that, but that's pure common sense! My youngest daughter is sensible, mature, level headed and has the most awful phobia imaginable concerning mice. I wonder where such severe phobias come from. Any experts out there?
Again stories of childhood danger. Being orphaned at thirteen I had an upbringing often lacking adult supervision . In my early teens I had a very near miss in the River Derwent, falling into ten feet of water whilst trying to retrieve dead fish from a tree stump with the aid of a stick. (I was a non swimmer at the time, the spot was a favourite for swimmers due to the close proximity of the power station. The water was warm, hence the dead fish.)
I also remember as a young child shopping on dark autumn nights with my mother and taking home her favourite, yellow fish. Never my favourite but I am reminded every time I see it.
I remember too of fishing in the local brook with home made nets, catching Sticklebacks and Bullyheads, otherwise known as Millers Thumb. I wonder if the children of today still do the same.
And there you have it. I believe everything we ever experience is still in the brain, waiting to be retrieved. The real clever amongst you might suggest where all these thoughts and experiences go after we are no longer 'earthlings'. Nowhere I suppose. But what was it we were taught at school 'Energy can be neither created nor destroyed.'. What the hell was that all about! Deep thoughts, and all from five random words. (Which amazingly reminds me of Arthur English's stage act as a spiv. He sometimes ended 'raving' and uttering the words 'open the cage.') Thank you Sanna. If any of my readers out there are interested, the following five words of my choice might stimulate those grey cells.

punctures embarrassing coincidence feet poems


Kit Courteney said...

What a fantastic idea.

I've studied psychology to degree level and found the whole memory/subconscious issue a fascinating one.

I shall have a go when I get a chance... just need to remember to come back here and copy the words!

VioletSky said...

I knew you'd have a good trainspotting story!!
I like the idea that the mind can go in several directions with each of these words.
Pillars was a "baffling" choice - and if you are interested, I was thinking of 'pillar boxes' as you call 'mail boxes' and wondered what you would do with it.

Thanks for playing, as usual an enlightening post!

Jennytc said...

Passing Clouds! I remember those - they were oval shaped.

Von said...

How very interesting Ken...your memories associated with the words and the actual process.
Entropy would suggest the memories and thoughts 'go' somewhere and are not lost..'we are the stars' etc.
Check out my blog The Good Life and I'll give it a go later on.

Von said...

Me again, all done and what a pleasant way to pass some time on Simple Sunday!Now I've knocked off work for Summer my time's my own or nearly.As an artist I know says 'Winter's for work,Summer's for play"
By the way did you keep those flattened pennies?

Grumpy Old Ken said...

The whole thing baffles me. Come to think of it, life baffles me!

How strange, the pillows thing. The sub conscious is odd. i dreampt the other night I was sorting dead cat skins. Now where did that come from!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

You don't look old enough to remember Passing Clouds! Yes, they were oval.

Dee Dee
Will follow your blog with interest but your music choices are way out for an old man!

Goose Breeder
Do look at your blog with interest. Entropy indeed! Very interesting theory.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Goose Breeder
Great. No, mores the pity.