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New Year’s Eve

That’s original, isn’t it?  I’m not sure of the significance of the New Year in the western Gregorian calendar – that is, I’m not even sure if we  start  in the right place.  And how far do you count back?   I mean, do you start with Jesus, because wasn’t he born somewhere around April, or something, or do you go right back to Adam and Eve?  Can someone tell me when fig leaves are in season?  It is refreshing at least to acknowledge that the grand old tradition of getting abominably pissed and stuffing ourselves silly has a reliable foundation:  the feast of the winter solstice is far older than Christianity and  far more logically anchored  – the last opportunity to use up the fresh produce from the fields before we all had to endure three months of pemmican and pickles on our way to spring.

Personally, I attach more importance to  Chinese astrology:  their New Year is not for some time yet,and involves lots of tempting things like fireworks and dragons:  I, by the way, was born in a year of the Dog, which may explain my attitude to lamp-posts and my slightly eccentric manner when approaching the opposite sex.

New year’s resolutions?  Well, I’ve become of an age when my only firm resolution is a determination to get to the next New Year.  Maybe this year someone will recognise my talent – maybe this year somebody will scrape the dust off this blog and actually read it?   

A brave new year to you, if you’re out there.


Shrinking my head over a title!  Why do books have to have titles?  I hate them!  Am I alone in this?  Hate them, hate them, hate them!

Why can’t I just precis the whole book on the front cover?  Ugh!

Short term memory loss

I’m sure there is a more classical medical term for this.  My afternoon has been dominated by this superbitch of a screen and the very fluid thread of a story I started about three months ago.  But can I get back into it?  Can I construct the next sentence with the same assurance I felt then?  I cannot.   The muse has escaped – its sitting on top of the bookcase, just beyond my reach, doing its nails and ignoring me in the most studied and insulting fashion – I can no more drop back into this genre than I can base jump. (I know my limitations).

But – and here’s Oh What a But!  I’ve just remembered where I put the spare shed key – the one I lost three weeks ago!  Its in the pocket of my summer jacket and I don’t even have to test the theory:  I know its there!

This sort of recall is a frequent feature in my life.  I will drive away from home in the morning, only to forget, four or five miles down the road, whether I have locked my front door or left it wide open for every casual visitor, petty thief or opportunistic vagrant to enter.   So I turn around.  I drive back to my house.  As I turn the corner into my road I get complete flashback – photographic!  I see the key in my hand, remember how I held the latch up with my spare hand, how I turned the key.  I stop outside, and sure enough, my door is locked:  but now I am late for my appointment….

Sometimes, when my brain is being particularly unkind, it will have me re-visit a situation three, or four, or even five times.  I call this compound short term memory loss and it can take a number of forms:  There is single-thread compound memory loss; for example – if I extend the situation with the key – I will drive away again, having seen the door is shut;  three streets after which I will tell myself I did not actually try the door .   Therefore how do I know, beyond doubt, it is locked?   I go back, I try the door.   It is locked.  Three streets later I remember I did not actually check the back door…..

Then there is multiple thread compound memory loss.  This can become enormously complex, as in the ‘equipment I need for my day’ scenario.   I may decide I need my wallet, my credit card holder, my pen and my bank book for a particular expedition, and almost without fail forget one of them.   In going back for it, I will leave another component accidentally behind, and so on.   Its most dreaded form, the Lindemann variation, occurs when I fill up at the gas station, and saunter confidently to the till with my credit card folder, only to find that my card is not inside it.  I have left it at home on my desk.   On these occasions I have almost unfailingly bought sixty pounds worth of gas, and find I have only twenty pounds cash in my wallet!

Old age?   No, this has haunted me most of my life.   And speaking of haunting, I’ve just remembered my next sentence………