Thursday 26 January 2012


Have you noticed how your memory works in pictures? Well, anyway, mine does. What brought it to my attention, was that that particular camera appears to have a fault. The other day, I lost my handbag. It would, actually, be more accurate to say I had lost track of it. I had lunch with the Father of my children before going on to the cinema. A delightful outing, incidentally, to have late lunch and afternoon cinema, or early evening cinema then dinner. Three treats: a meal, a film and not too late a night. I digress. Normally, I would offer my passenger my bag to put in the footwell in front of him/her to have it accessible for extracting the Blue Badge which allows some freedom of parking in the EU. (Seriously, it works in every corner of the EU. Across the Pond, I would have to rely on luck, I suppose.)On this rainy occasion he had brought his own car so no impediment at all to the footwell. And I put it - where? Panic: I struggled to picture myself at the restaurant picking up what my Doctor, after a consultation when he gallantly bent down to retrieve it from the floor for me, called the weight of a small toddler. I could 'see' that. I could 'see' it, indeed, 'feel' it on my shoulder but there the film faded. Himself was in his car so there was I, alone, with the shutter gone and all the undeveloped film inside. At that point, The Good Lord send a blast of rain so I leaned in to the back of the car for my umbrella preparatory to crossing to where I could see my companion, to tell him I was going back to the restaurant for my bag. Well done! You've guessed. There it was in the footwell of the rear seats. Cross my heart, I would have sworn on my life it could not be there. I had no picture of putting it there nor any reason to. I suppose if a camera has been working more or less non-stop for more than seven score years and ten you would expect it to have faults. But that's the trouble - one of them - with age: one fails to anticipate the fallability of things as one use to. Does any other of you oldies say to her/himself: "I must be careful to capture the picture of where/what I have done with my bag, those bills,my keys,the butter, the cat."? No, I don't suppose you do.

Locally, my AmDram group is putting on "Under Milk Wood". Next to Messiah, it is probably my very favourite work of art. Well, it would be would'nt it. I am co-opted to help with Welsh accents. And pretty hopeless it seemed at audition. This is where what you need in your head is a recorder rather than a camera. I have the feeling that nothing can really teach an English man/woman the Welsh lilt but the words themselves are written in a Welsh accent so I have every hope that things will right themselves, Willy Nilly,when we get to the actual read, semi-staged performance. We shall be visible though it was written as a play for voices, unseen, on the radio. Thus the Director was put under some casting pressure. There were ladies of a certain age pointing out it was written for unseen voices, who wished to play the nubile Polly Garter, and very few looking as if they may pass for Welsh. It would be nice to have reached an age where I could stop 'yes-butting' and sacrifice the image for the substantial.
As it happens, I should very much like to know if image-making works for your memory,too. I cannot 'see' where I have put my special occasion jumper. It is bright red and border-line saucy. I shall need it for the land-mark birthday of one of my young in a few days. I started to look for it as soon as I realised I could no longer count on my inner-eye camera to tell me where, safely, I had put it. I can't find it. I can't see where to look, the forty-year-old has gone to sleep and it's too late to go digital. Help!

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