Monday 7 May 2012


It seems the tadpoles have spread the word. I now have bells: in my ears, of course. I believe it's actually called tinnitus. And it is not so much bells as sizzles. I have sizzles in my ears. Well, anyway, in one ear. Sometimes it's worse than others. At the moment it is bacon frying. Yesterday evening it was your full barbecue. I have tried discreet plumbing, olive oil and cotton-wool buds. Nothing works. So here I am, 75 going on 40, with many of the age-related disadvantages and few of the young middle-aged advantages. Which reminds me: some barriers are intractable. The other day, the Guru, who now adds running a Jazz Band to his multifarious accomplishments - two Jazz Bands, actually, a big one and a little one - was explaining to me that he had had a "really cool" request for a gig. He was interupted in the telling and, when he got back to me, spoke of something else. "The cool booking?" queried I. "That is age-inappropriate language" quoth he. It was'nt. It was a quote. But, there you are. There are rules about these things and, it seems, 75 must prevail over 40. I think I am allowed 'gig'. Perhaps, if he reads this, he'll be good enough to let me know. I am perfectly prepared to tell him that my musician friends, professional, of all ages, genders and capacities, also refer to 'gigs'; so there. I wonder what the etymology of gigs is. Do, please, tell me. I have several word-smith readers, I know, so I prevail upon you to lighten my darkness in this matter - or any matter, for that matter. As you will have picked up, I really enjoy 'blogging'. The one downside is the number of typos I have to deal with before I can press 'Publish'. There are two categories, at least. One is the simple hitting of the wrong key. The other is the cursor. I don't touch-type. If your eyes are glued to the keyboard, you can't see when the little devil has stepped off the straight and narrow and lodged itself in the preceding sentence or even gone off the screen entirely. Go on: laugh if you like. At my age I have to ask myself if it's a good use of my remaining time to be unpicking misplaced words from the otherwise impeccable tapestry of my thought patterns. There is a solution. I have signed up for a touch-typing course. Several gegabites, or whatever you call them, of information have appeared in my received- mail box. The author makes the course sound more like a day at the Fair than a day of serious learning. Where I pictured a row of desks and blinds at the window, he has described fun and games and not touching a key-board until at least 2pm. Politely, he asks whether stairs would be a problem, so I have to assume his particular catchment is not 18 to 25. Recently, I received two fines for parking in 'Load and Unload' spaces while I did just that so I worked out that, if I could find £130 to pay those fines, I could find nearly £200 to make my blogging life easier.(No euphemism intended). Further, I am in the early stages of writing a book with a friend so envisage even more possibilities for typos. (No, it's not the same as the blog. It is a grown-up treatise on something which affects many of you youngsters out there). There are, however, serious impedimenta to our endeavour. One: she lives in a different country. Two: on the rare occasions when we can work together, she 'writes' straight on to her laptop. I use an A4 'legal' writing pad. I work best with music in the background. She needs absolute silence and would sack the vacuum cleaner,even if deployed by someone else in another room, if I didnt keep an eye on her. I suppose the sizzle in my ear could count as background music at a push, especially if I up-graded it to bells, so, what with one thing and another the typing course couldnt have come at a more propitious time. Prynhawn da.

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