Wednesday 21 October 2020

Wheels Within Wheels.

Hello, dear readers!

I have a habit of reviewing the topics I’ve visited of late. It helps prevent repetition which, especially in these days of staying in and doing nothing, is a distinct danger.

There are times, however, when fate keeps dealing out the same hand. Patterns emerge. The circle of life returns to the same point, ready to begin again. Of late, that cyclical nature has become apparent and ironically, it’s thrown up the thorny subject of wheels.

Wednesday 14 October 2020

The Heat Is On!

Hello, dear readers!

There is a phrase, originally coined in French by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr (I had to look it up) which loosely translates as ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same’. I think it’s a phrase which sums this year up nicely.

2020 has been a year of many changes. Different rules. Different emotions. Differing values. All have combined in an ever changing landscape which leaves this onlooker dizzy. It’s also been a year of frustrations. Stagnation. Opportunities to go out, explore, and socialise a rare and valuable commodity.

Yes, 2020 has been a strange dichotomy of a year. Thankfully, it seems to be crawling to a close.

Wednesday 7 October 2020

A Titch In Time

Hello, dear readers!

Today I feel old.

Admittedly, this may be because I am a little more advanced in years than I was, but today I feel every one of my forty-six years.

There are reasons for this. Of course there is. Big reasons. Valid reasons. There’s the current world situation, which I think has started (started?) to be a drain on everyone. There’s my pernicious Anemia which, thanks to an outstanding case of personal negligence and an injection I should have had two weeks ago, means my energy levels are somewhere in the region of a three-toed sloth on a go slow.

Neither of those are the real reason, though. No, the real reason is a big birthday. A landmark birthday. And it wasn’t even mine.

Sister Act
From time to time, I may have mentioned my family in these poor scribblings. I know my wife, Tina, is a frequent flier, and my mum and dad have both featured from time to time. I don’t think I’ve mentioned my sisters much, though. It’s an oversight I’d like to correct.

I have two sisters, both younger than myself. There’s Janine, two years my junior, and Leanne, who, as of today, is six years younger than your esteemed blogger. Janine will no doubt get her moment in the sun in a future post, but as you may have guessed today is Leanne’s birthday and as it’s a biggie, it is she that get’s the spotlight.

Memory Lane
Leanne is one of the few people I can honestly say I’ve known all their lives. In fact, one of my earliest coherent memories is going with my dad to visit mum and my brand new sister in hospital. When I say I can remember, I have a very clear recollection of the hospital, and my somewhat exhausted looking mother. The wrapped up pink thing? Well, I’m not sure that got my full attention. It wasn’t an action man, or an ice-cream. It can’t have been that important.

Again, I’m not one for the early memories (or the late memories. Or what I had for tea two nights back). I can remember Leanne as a chubby little thing who earned the nickname ‘Titch’ growing into a tall skinny thing we still called ‘Titch’. I can remember the feeling of being slightly outnumbered by the women in the family. I can remember my sister’s bedroom being completely off limits while mine (along with my all my stuff) was fair game (and yes, I do still resent that). I remember books I’d read becoming books Leanne was reading (we, along with my mum, were always the readers of the family).

As we all navigated our teen years, I remember the enthusiastic, possibly inebriated, and not-at-all-embarrassing-in-front-of-your-mates shouts of ‘buy me a drink, Mark. Buy me a drink’. Oh yes, I remember those well. They do say repetition aids the memory though, don’t they? As we got older, I remember the Corned Beef Hash Leanne made me that was missing the Corned Beef.

Take The Cake
These days we’re all older and potentially wiser (it wouldn’t be difficult). Leanne has two kids of her own to embarrass and be embarrassed by, and a loving partner (hi Darren) to stand by her. We might live twelve miles apart these days rather than on each other’s doorsteps. We still take the time out to meet up for family events, the increasing number of birthdays, the odd meal… or at least we used to.

Covid, and my self isolation from it, means I haven’t seen either of my sisters, my nephews, or my nieces in months. In that time, birthdays and anniversaries have slid by, but this one I’m feeling. Like I said, this one’s a biggie, a landmark in any person’s life, and it feels like I should be in the family's midst, sharing food (Cake), conversation, and laughter. It feels like this one shouldn’t be sliding by. It feels like Covid has taken the day away from us.

Mark Time
So yes, I know it’s not my birthday, but it still makes me feel old. Not just because my littlest sister is forty (although that has a huge amount to do with it) but because time seems lost. Spent without being marked. I think we all get the feeling time is moving too fast as we age. This year I think we all appreciate that lost time more. 

Happy Birthday, out Titch

Until next time...