Yes, I am looking at your obituary now. Tell me, where exactly you are calling from?

Every man dies— Not every man really lives…

William Ross Wallace

_65300595_bodyline-1If ever I reach the after-life— and this really doesn’t hurt thinking about by the way. I’d hate to just turn up, be spoilt for choice or so unprepared I’d have to wing it— I’d like to think that I would trundle as opposed to walk from place to place. Trindle or trendle, I don’t mind. Call me a romantic, but it has an air of clumsiness to it— something, when it all comes down to it, I’m rather fond of. I couldn’t think of anything worse than spending what remains of whatever without even the slightest trip to boast of.

Anyway, If I’d ever find my self trundling across a beach with a wireless stuck to my ear— I’d hope whomever were in charge would have the wisdom to employ the right crowd. None of these shock-jock bastards or flash-pan prats who shout a lot and are generally mean. But people who already have the misfortune to be dead.

These are my thoughts precisely when I tune into Test Match Special during rain delays and listen to Blowers, Aggers and Boycs paint pictures and speak of the mothers— very talented some of them. Unfortunately, I very nearly spoil it by taking a peek outside. It’s can be grey, miserable looking and decidedly home-made. The birds are off doing otherwhiles and of course there’s the damp. I am not to be undone however— not while romanticising about dead people and green fields.

Back to the beaches I thinkback to the wireless. You see, I’d find the idea of owning anything other than a wireless when I’m dead a trifle distasteful. After all, what could you possibly want to listen to that your personal broadcaster wouldn’t have: he’d have wings for Pete’s sake— or jet packs or whatever, presuming ‘he’ was not a ‘she’ and that ‘they’ had passed all their necessaries before taking to the air.

My idea of perfection would be a live, ball-by-ball commentary of from 1932-33 Ashes Tour Down Under. I’d have Blowers in the box with BJ, Arlo and Fingo. Anywhere else of course, this wouldn’t be possible as Fingleton was actually playing at the time; but who better to describe his own batting?

Of course, you might say, it’d be easier to just go and watch the matches myself and yes— you’d be absolutely right, but time-travel’s impossible. Were it though, then this would be my destination one— so what would be better than to drag my favourites along to commentate. The fact that they’re all legendary drinkers and that Arlo would’ve had his wine cellar with him at all times, hadn’t even crossed my mind…

And then there was television

Or just the listings perhaps

Getting lost and making plans: memory, crafts, surprise & the warmth of a friend…

It’s surprising how much of memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.

Barbara Kingsolver

393329_10151214974261041_349311287_nIt is surprising how much we recollect our most cherished and vivid memories around the things we took for granted at the time, but shouldn’t have. These days I’m surprised by how much I seem to go unnoticed by my memory, as it decides to take off and do its merry thing without the slightest hint of decorum, not worried that what I may be doing may be worth a second thought, or were that to seem a little too much like hard word: a glance as one does at the end of the day to ensure we were the same fellow we were when we’d awoken in the morning. This: most ungracious of exclusion, is perhaps the only thing one does notice with time and by then it is too late, or almost too late. You see, I have of late come into the habit of taking a person or persons out and about, with mine, in case I need a prompt with regards to the outing— or as is sometimes the case— the abouting after the the fact in order to fully satisfy my recollecting.

It is and can be, a most frustratingly futile pursuit; paradoxical not quite quixotical; for the ‘time’ in short, makes what time has ‘built … unnoticed’, therefore forgotten, ‘surprising’ only, owing to ‘how much’ can be lost in so short a time— hence the need for ‘persons’ to illustrate what had at the time— riddlewise— been memorable, thus bringing too my day’s end illuminate. So in a rounds-about way, I can be gloomed, or as was the case: brightened and cheered, for the yester-day was, as it turned out, not-one to go ‘unnoticed’, so-by definition— if not unsaid— then by Jove-abouts not unwritten…

It had started as much the same as any other day— ordinary or otherwise, in the morning: I awoke, performed some duties: tea making, online mail and a few alsos of the like I like before taking ablutions etcetera and therefores.

My day had been wiped clean since the appointment I had been due to keep this particular day had in fact been due the day prior, but because oversight generally requires the helping hand of hindsight in order to acquiesce even to its own name, I had inadvertently overlooked my appointments entirely. I was supposed to meet my dear friend PG, or Pidgin as she’s affectionately known, in part owing to her impossibly correct locution. The fact that we had arrangements, had not even been trembled in lieu of the text informing me that, she was ‘on [her] way to Canterbury’ on a not inexpensive ticket when taking the comparative proximity and price with mine; a fact she hesitated little in informing me when on arrival at our agreed destination shortly after politely drawing to my attention that perhaps I required companions, even when talking on the telephone. This was not a fact that has gone unevidenced in the past, but seemed to’ve become an almost daily occurrence.

I had already declared my day to be one of arts and craft and wallpaper paste. I had a twelve inch model of HMS Victory to adjust, as well as a thirty inch model of a Spitfire. D had agreed to don surgical gloves with me and make it a family affair, so much glue flinging and frivolity were inevitable. I had already been amused by Pidgin, as I’d called her, as is customary on a weekday morning to enquire into her well-being, health and other sorts, before the narrative became an unnavigable exercise to circumvent her own attempts at preventing getting any more lost than she already was. She’d only just left her house as she took my call, for the polling station to vote— quite sensibly as would have it— located just two streets away; a distance that should really have only occupied the first of the many intrusions I made of her. However, as our conversation lengthened, as did the pauses and strangely detached nature of her responses, until finally she confessed that she had inadvertently found herself very, very lost.

Were she to’ve been a new resident, the situation she now found herself in may have been quite distressing, but since this was not the case, the peculiar position she now found herself in was as comedic as it was hitherto unknown. I advised her to retrace her steps in order to find her way back to her house, which she did, but found that her house was nowhere to be seen— in fact, she remarked, she had never ‘seen’ whatever it was that should ‘ve been her house anywhere or at any time before. She then decided to return to the point she’d been originally and quite by chance, found her house, if not where she’d left it twenty minutes earlier, but for convenience’s sake, in a place that’d ‘have to do’. She nipped inside, found a map and a minute later— no more and little less— had found her way, her place, checked in, hung up and voted.

So we’d both done our best to create catastrophe from reasonable beginnings. Quite how much the balance had swung away from complacency towards imbecilic and back again before teetering on a verdict which satisfied the acknowledgement of both comedic value and annoyance, is neither mine, nor her indictment to judge upon; for we as acting, if not willing participles in both sets of troubles, were really too close to allow our experiences interfere in such proceedings. Anywise, the now immediate needs were those of swift transport to Canterbury— and thankfully for me, D was on hand to chauffeur. What little mess we’d planned but not created, was cleared up two-fold by he and his shiny blue steed. We mounted his Jag and disembarked.

Canterbury was glorious. It’s one of those little cities that feels, when the sun is high— that the sun is coming at you from all directions— a point of fact that I allow that queer breed, that of the physicist, to mull over and scowl as they do, to doff at one another and attempt to calculate the numerical value of such romantic observations and spoil them. For I care not of such things, preferring to act in inglorious ignorance of the calculaic musings of such people, concentrating as I did do, on more pressing things— scouting for Pidgin. And before too long I’d found her— unlike her and her with her house— exactly where I expected her to be.

“Hello,” I said with a quite unnecessary warmth— it must’ve been 25 degrees C.

“I’ve volunteered you for something!” was the response. Quite what? I could not‘ve said. But I had pretty good idea…

Never, never, never give up

Winston Churchill

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