Thursday 7 April 2011


Checking below, I see that I have written about dottiness before. I may have used its more formal name,' Eccentricity', but there is so much of it about and I have become so familiar with it that I feel that, now, I can give myself the liberty of addressing it by its pet name: dottiness. In other words, were I to be writing in some other languages, I have come to know it so well I have earned the right to say "thou" to it instead of "you". For example,although I have retired, I occasionally see someone I used to work with for a sort of top-up, or because of a momentous happening in their lives. At a certain moment this morning the door-bell rang and there stood two young women, one behind the other. Oops! Oops, indeed! The one appointment had been set about three months ago and the other two days ago. How to choose whom to see first. I did know that one of them had a very formal professional appointment immediately after and was wearing a sort of uniform appropriate to that work. I asked if the other if she could possibly wait and she agreed that an hour doing nothing in the Thank- God- for- it sunshine would be as therapeutic as talking to me. Oh Dear! At least it underlined that I had done the right thing to retire. The inner world, mine and everyone elses, has never failed to fascinate me, retired or not, but also to stick out its foot and trip me up with a ruthless lack of humour or consideration. I relied so much on my memory, for life as well as work. What happens to it, to us? Why do the brain cells have to wear out? I expected to maintain them at their forty-year old level for ever. Further to compound the confusion, I forgot to go to a discussion group I attend even though it presents one of the few situations where I can exercise my abstract thinking cells now that I no longer delve in to the inner worlds of the troubled and the inquisitive - anyway, no longer for a living. I should say, though, that I do still have some supervising role. Even that skill is going. Last week, I was guilty of saying, "well, obviously....". My supervisee replied, rather drily, I thought, " It's not obvious to me". It does seem to be taking me rather too long to drag myself from the idea to the reality; the idea being that I am forty: the reality, forty in a more than seventy year old carrying case. (I have an image of an ancient early cello in a hard case; the inverse of my situation. I am a modern cello in an ancient carrying case).

The examples are legion. Having spent a restless night, I stripped the bed this morning to find a purse full of small change and a bumpy wallet under one pillow. This non-princess had left them there as a security measure before going out with what the Welsh would call a 'tidy' handbag which had no room for them. In the freezer I found a bag of potatoes. Hours had been spent looking for them. In the end, I had had to run - I use the word loosely - down the road and buy more. What were they doing in the freezer? What had I put where potatoes should go instead of in the freezer where whatever should have gone? Dear Reader, we shall never know. The Guru, who, as you may remember, has often saved me from the worst of the danger I put myself in, has found a place that suits him to move in to. Watch this space for the chaos that is bound to ensue when he has actually gone. The worrying thing is the normality of how things feel. I have no conscious awareness of the ironic, the careless, the bizarre. Conscious awareness is what I am supposed to be good at. What phenomenon lies behind my parking on a Disabled Parking Bay and failing to display my entitlement badge? Age, I hear you say; plain and simple age. You may well have the explanantion. I begrudge the £120 it will cost me for that particular lapse of efficiency, that particular display of dottiness instead of the appropriate document. As you know by now, reality figures highly in my philosophic struggles. The issue of being more than seventy while still operating - at most levels - as if I were forty forms not only the basis of this blog but also the basis of my way of being in the world. It is fascinating to me that a comment left on the last blog post suggests the very opposite. My commentor seems to accept as a given that we all see our 'reality' as what we want for ourselves. In other words, relevant to that post, the reality is that you are a size 12 if that is how you see yourself. There is no relevance in what a manufacturer calls your size. Now, is that dotty or isn't it? Perhaps we are all dotty and friends are those whose dottiness suits you. Until soon....

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