Monthly Archives: April 2014

Changes

Have I got you singing?    Inside your head is there a little voice going “ch ch ch ch changes”?.

As a schoolboy I had a friend who believed that every single line of song that David Bowie wrote had a second and deeper meaning.   We played along with him for sometime but eventually he just became too pretentious for his own good so we asked him to provide a detailed assessment of the hidden thoughts behind The Laughing Gnome.  It probably ruined his life.

I am not overly fond of changes.   The daily prompt has changed its format and while I can see it has many benefits and looks a lot sexier it took me a while to find what I was looking for.   To be fair, this is probably a reflection on me rather than the new look as the phrase “Have you never been mellow” was staring out at me in 40 point font size (Arial I think, or something very close to it).

The prompt is wondering how we wind down after a hard day at work or at school (or perhaps both if you are a teacher, it doesn’t mention that).    I think if it was rephrased to ask “how do your friends think you wind down…” then there would be a unanimous shout from around the UK.   In fact, let’s try it.

Hey everyone.   How does Robby wind down?  What does he do to chill out when he’s not at work?

 

Did you hear it?  They all shouted “GIN”.

 

Nothing could be further from the truth of course.    Whilst it is fair to say that I enjoy a very small beaker of Mr Hendrick’s finest occasionally I don’t constantly totter around with a bottle of Tanqueray No. Ten at my lips. No, no, no.   I sometimes have a glass of sherry instead.

Relaxing is one of those things that I occasionally excel at.   If I thought I could get away with it I’d put it on my CV.  “In my spare time I sit around and do nothing” but it’s probably not a wise thing to do, I haven’t updated my CV in years mind, I think on the part where I suggest my salary requirements they are listed in pounds, shillings and pence.

Thinking about it, I don’t actually do nothing.   I’m always doing something even when it looks like I’m ready for embalming.    I may be reading a book or I may be sketching a picture (usually in my head, the pictures that I draw in my head are invariably  better than the ones that come out on paper, although whilst sketching a tree in the park recently a very kind -and possibly blind- old dear asked me if I would mind submitting a drawing to a charity auction).

The one thing that I will always be doing is listening to music.   It fascinates me.   I don’t mean classical music, pop for want of a better word.   Almost any pop at all.    It takes me away, it soothes my soul and mends my broken bits.   Regular readers will know that after an unfortunate encounter with an asparagus fern my music centre ceased to function and for a brief while I was singing with no accompaniment.    This is the one area where change has been good, change has been spectacular in fact.   The purchase of a tablet thingy and a healthy investment in some blue tooth speakers has brought Spotify to my kitchen.  I now have all of the music in the world and it is all on a little device smaller than an A4 piece of paper.

The only slight downfall of having all of the music in the world in the palm of your hand is choosing.   With the CD’s you just look at what you have and think “Yup, I’ll listen to S Club Seven’s greatest hits” or “Today won’t be complete until I hear Barry Manilow singing Mandy”.   Where do you start?

I’ve started with Motown.   I think I shall work geographically around the world but what better place to start than Detroit.   This means that whilst you have been singing ch ch ch changes through my little blog I have been Gladys Knight.  Or more accurately I have been The Pips.  There is surely no better thing in all the world than to sing the backing vocals to “Midnight Train to Georgia”, find a copy of the song, get a copy of the lyrics and just sing the words in brackets.   You’ll sing  “Guess who’s gonna be right by his side” and know that you have the glorious “Whoo whoo” coming up soon and a little bit of you will thank me for giving you such joy.

 

 

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Filed under Getting old, music

Don’t do it

My leg is falling off.

Slowly, it’s a very drawn out process.   If I was a betting man then I’d wager that as I stroll down the High Street tonight I won’t get home and think “Where’s that leg gone?” and have to follow a bloody trail back past Lidl and the myriad betting shops searching for a missing limb.   There’s a possibility that it will never fall off of it’s own accord and somebody will have to take a hacksaw to it and leave me with a stump.   I shall forever after go to fancy dress parties as a pirate.   I may fashion different prostheses to suit my needs.  I shall have a disco leg with LED lights up the side and I shall have a swimming leg with extraordinarily wide feet.   The possibilities are endless.

Of course it isn’t a foregone conclusion that my leg will fall off.    There is a good chance that it won’t.    If one imagines one’s body as road map then there is a serious accident blocking the route down to my southern extremities.   The arterial highways agency have had one go at clearing the route but it was a bit of a failure.   They may have another go one day or they may decide that it would be better to build an alternative route using synthetic materials.   A trunk road in my trunk perhaps.

The question is, who can I blame for this?   I need a scapegoat.   It can’t all be my fault…

The daily prompt asks us what would we do if we could turn back the hands of time.   I’ve been thinking about this whilst annoying colleagues by singing R Kelly songs (I know it was originally Tyrone Davis, I’m not that old though) and decided that I would chose to never meet Ellen Cole.   That would do me just fine.

Ellen introduced me to nicotine.   Roll-ups to be precise.    She could roll a cigarette one handed with her eyes closed.   Probably on one leg whilst balancing a pile of books on her head.   It was the most elegant sight to behold.   How could I not participate in such a beautifully crafted  thing.   I came quite late to the world of smoking but took to it with gusto.   Soon I too could make a smoke that didn’t look carrot shaped and I could strike a match on my fingernail.   How cool is that.

I eventually stopped when the boy was born.   It was easy, both adults in the house at the time smoked and a quick discussion led to an instant cessation.   I chose grapes as my nicotine substitute and consumed half of the Sauvignon Blanc supply in the first month or so but it worked and I was free of the demon.     I remember after one overly fractious row just prior to me leaving I went to the local shop and purchased 10 Benson and Hedges.    The hit after 11 years without was instant and I was straight back in there.

The first time I fell over was on the golf course.   Bag on my back and walking up a hill.   I knew that my leg had been behaving in a curious manner but wasn’t expecting to keel over and find myself doing a passable impression of a dying fly.   The doc found it hard to believe I was suffering from intermittent claudication.   That only happens in old men!   Old men and me and probably another million smokers around the world.   A blocked artery means that the oxygen delivery to the muscles in my leg is not up to scratch and so when the muscles get more active and need more fuel they can’t get it snd go on strike.  From then on I limp (and sometimes topple).  Rest for a while and everything goes back to normal.  How weird.

The medical equivalent of a dynorod team have been in and shoved the medical equivalent of a pipe cleaner through the artery but it seems to have met with limited success and so the build up continues.    One benefit of course is that I am really very good at walking in circles (as long as I only go anticlockwise).  This takes no effort whatsoever.

So there you go.   I am a walking example of why people should not smoke.   Without some serious intervention at some stage I can look forward to weeping and festering ulcers on my leg, stinking gangrene, my toes turning black and dropping off and the rest of my life in a wheel chair.

Please feel free to use this to remind your children why smoking isn’t clever.

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Filed under Getting old