Tuesday 16 April 2013

Round and Round in my Head

It's been a funny week. And not particularly funny ha-ha. I had a pre-op medical to set getting a new knee in motion. Only a problem came to light. My heart seems to have some sort of murmur, irregularity, not evidently present a couple of years ago. Strangely enough my wife has always maintained I stop breathing in my sleep (sleepacchnia). Scary stuff. So what happens next; You tell me!
This getting old malarky is a bit of a drag at times. You spend most of your time visiting doctors, dentists or hospital.  So much to do, so much to remember. Do you have nights where you lie in bed with a million and one things on your mind; I'm not the only one surely. And that leads to even more things going round and round!
I have always, always believed that everything that you've always experienced is still in your mind, right until the day you die. The difficulty is in recalling it, in any meaningful way. It took me years to recall my e-book (A Childhood Revisited) and that only covered fifteen years. I reckon I could do another but I haven't the heart. As an experiment last week I lay in bed and recalled anything that came into my head. The following surfaced:
My motorbike TNU137  1957
Derby County playoff versus WBA at Wembley 2007
Ruby Murray, who I reckon sang down her nose. My first love. 1955 (Softly, Softly)
Mundesley school camp in 1953
Little Miss Muffet junkets. Around 1950
Grannies funeral, the snow howled down at the graveside, just like a scene out of Dickens.  1978
A real football, one up on the rich kids, courtesy of an uncle in Derby.   Around 1951
Arriving on Chesterfield station to a new job, very reminiscent of High Noon.  1965
I started to wonder how much could the mind actually store. Stephen Hawkins reckons it can store 10,000 Oxford Dictionaries. Somewhere else I read it can store one trillion gigabytes of memory. I've studied it a bit but it soon loses me when it starts talking about petabytes and synapses. Some clever devils suggest the brain can grow with how much it NEEDS to grow! Thats a bit convenient, surely!
This all gets a bit deep but its partly an age thing I suspect. It all gets a bit personal when you reach seventy!
So many, many things to ponder. I wonder why we have spells of going round and round and spells of comparative 'sanity'. If I was mad, would I know I was mad or would I need someone to tell me? Here we go again. As Arthur English used to say 'Play the music! Open the cage!

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Fame or Infamy

    I'm just an ordinary person who has lived mainly in two places. By coincidence both have been in the news for completely different reasons; both will be immortalised for ever.
I live in Derby, a midlands city that houses Crown Derby pottery, Rolls Royce aero engines and Derby County Football Club. Very much a railway place originally, an industrial city that limps on in hard times. Home of Joseph Wright the painter and few others. A place that from now on will be infamous as the home of the notorious Mick Philpott.
    Mick was well known in Derby. He fathered seventeen children by five different women. He lived with a wife, mistress and eleven children in a council house not far from my house in Derby. He appeared on the Jeremy Kyle Show and in a documentary with Ann Widdicombe. He had plenty of time to do so as he had not worked for many years. He amused himself by playing snooker in an extension to his house, amusing others on a pub kareaoke machine and 'dogging' with his wife and best friend Paul Mosley in and around Derby parks. On occasion he appeared in the media demanding a larger house from the local council and stated in no uncertain terms that 'Britain was going to the dogs.'
    Mick Philpott would still, I imagine, be living the proverbial 'life of Riley' were it not for a tragic, stupid, horrific mistake he made in May 2012. He and his friend Paul Mosley hatched a plan to set fire to his house. He, Philpott was to rush into the house and rescue the six children. He would appear a hero, the council would supply him with a bigger house and his mistress Lisa, who had left the house recently with her five children would be blamed.
    The deed was done, the fire got out of control and the six children in the house perished.                
    In March 2013  the despicable trio were sentenced for manslaughter. (Mairead his wife may not have taken part but was complicent.) Mick Philpott was sentenced to life in prison, Mairead and           Mosley seventeen years.         .
    There is so much more one could say.  Suffice to say Derby will be forever immortalised for the existence of a dangerous, feckless, bullying braggart whose whole existence it would be hard to justify. We in Derby have had months of publicity we could do without. I would be amazed if, irrespective of where you live  in the world, you haven't heard of Mick Philpott. He is, I assure you, not typical of the place.
    I lived in Grantham, Lincolnshire for four years. Nothing much happens in Grantham. They had a railway accident in 1906. They still talk about it! Mind you, both my children were born there; there wasn't too much to do of an evening! Isaac Newton was born just outside. A very clever man indeed but I'll take you a bet. I reckon Mrs Thatcher's fame will eventually outshine that of dear old Isaac.
    There's a statue dedicated to him in the town. There's no statue of Margaret Thatcher in Grantham, yet, but I've no doubt it will come. They don't rush things in Lincolnshire! I used to reckon the Lincolnshire motto was 'Never do today what you can leave 'til tomorrow.'
     Lady Margaret Thatcher died this week, aged eighty seven. Her father, Alfred Roberts kept a grocery store in the town and was also Mayor.     .
    His daughter Margaret took an interest in politics, became an MP and eventually the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Love her or hate her, there has been an outpouring of comment that will no doubt continue for many moons to come.  The Philpotts of this world become infamous; the Thatchers, I will be kind and say, probably famous. The only certainty in life is that we all eventually die and eventually leave some sort of legacy.What memories are you going to leave behind and what is your town or village famous for?

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Sod's Law.

    The news has been dominated by the policewomen in Norfolk who tripped over the curb whilst investigating a possible burglary. She claims she injured herself so she is suing the garage owner. Pathetic is the most moderate language that springs to mind. If you want an easy life don't join the police force.
    I wouldn't normally be interested except that it reinforced a theory of mine that the world is ruled, not by a mysterious god on high, but simply by that mysterious force, known as Sod's Law over here and Murphy's Law by our American cousins.
Most of you will know the axiom 'Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.' Its a perfectly NATURAL tendency for things to go wrong wherever possible. Plus things don't just go wrong, they do so at the most annoying moments. (or when you least need it.) There are mathematical formulas for all this. It's all a bit clever for me, but if you are interested, look up NULL HYPOTHESIS; very scientific, very intriguing.
    When I was a small child I 'borrowed' a bike. I was going to take it back, honest! Only I wasn't very good at riding it as I wasn't used to riding one and I fell off. I broke my arm; definitely Sod's Law. I wasn't as big as the other kids. So I tried extra hard to do what the other kids did. I swung from the cricket roller like they did; only I fell off and broke my arm; definitely Sod's Law. When I worked for F W Woolworths we were all young and daft lads together. We sent the empty lift back down with a matchstick in a buttonhole. Only the lift came off its runners and there was no-one in the lift to stop it. One very broken lift and five very scared, hard to find stockroom boys; definitely Sod's Law personified.
    No doubt the policewomen is after a 'payout'. Its a legal situation, involving money, money and more money. But note I mentioned the legal situation, and the law is a funny thing; not 'funny ha ha'.   IF, note IF her lawyer can get Sods Law incorporated, officially into the British Legal System she's laughing. Everything and anything from hence on will be attributed, officially to 'Sod's Law'. Look at the possibilities; look at the potential! (Falling over a curb, no problem, it was bound to be there.) This is the future, remember, you've read it here first. 
    Stick your head outside the door, step outside and wait for something, anything to happen. Life will never be the same again. Hurrah for Sod's Law to be made official; I can't wait.......