I suspect my brain is wired a little differently to a lot of other people’s, as I get cross about things that don’t matter to most of you and really don’t worry about things that upset other people. This is not news to those of you who know me well!
Today’s irritation is hearing twice on the radio ‘not a lot of people know……..’ and later ‘well, who knew?’ leaving me with the feeling that half the country would say something like ‘well I never knew that’ while the other half of us are shouting ‘surely everyone knows that’!
I suspect it’s an age thing, although this is a very broad generalisation and I except those who take part in University Challenge! I find that a lot of older people know the most odd things and have retained pieces of non-important trivia for donkey’s years while some younger people know very little that they haven’t been taught in school (and sometimes that’s a bit iffy too. Why else would someone think that Henry VIII’s first wife came from Scotland?) I growl when I am watching a quiz programme (which I often do) and the contestant doesn’t know the answer because ‘it was before I was born’ – although I did love it when the question master on one show said that anyone thinking that was an excuse deserved a red card!
I wonder why this is? I am inclined to believe it’s because we were brought up to talk to each other over meals and in the evenings and, above all, we were encouraged to read everything and anything. I may well be wrong so am open to other suggestions!
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While I’m on this semi-moan, semi-confused post, why have people starting using ‘two times’ instead of twice? It sounds so odd and I don’t know when it started but a phrase like ‘he held the post of Minister two times’ on the six o’clock BBC News just sounds peculiar! I was informed by the news this week that the word fortnight is now unknown to a lot of younger people who always refer to ‘two weeks’ – I suppose the words sennight or thrice is out of the question then?
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On Tuesday I experienced a lovely bit of serendipity. I went for a routine blood test and as I know the usual phlebotomist, M, it’s usually quite fun as we catch up on the news. This week I was greeted by a man – who I knew as a teenager but we recognised each other instantly. We used to both be part of a crowd of young people – late teens/early twenties – attached to the local church who enjoyed each other’s company and had fun together. As we hugged each other, we couldn’t stop laughing and the memories all came flooding back – ‘do you remember’ and ‘what happened to’?
T had been a member of St John’s Ambulance and tended to serve as our first aider on our more adventurous pursuits. During one summer we had all gone camping in the New Forest, with two of the local clergy nominally in charge of us. We went out one night on a night-hike and were dropped off by a visiting adult who had come in a mini bus (and we didn’t even think that was odd). It transpired we were dropped on a disused air-field but we didn’t realise that, and were soon hopelessly lost. After some time, T announced that he knew the way and it was over there……the last word vanishing as he dropped down a hole.
Fortunately, fairly quickly a troop of scouts came along, also on a hike, and stopped to offer help. T was unconscious and the Scout leader demanded to know where our first aider was. ‘In the ‘ole’ came the succinct reply. Help appeared and we were eventually taken back to the camp site where T was found to be none the worse for wear and we all enjoyed the rest of the week. Health and Safety would have had a field day!
Eventually M came along and joined us and, as we knew some of the same people, the story swapping continued. Eventually we realised that it wasn’t meant to be a social outing, I had my blood taken and left – apologising profusely to the waiting queue!
What a joyful experience – and I was thrilled to learn that T had been awarded the OBE for Services to St. John’s Ambulance after serving 60 years with them!
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Days of rain, days of fog – but still things are starting to grow in the garden. The hyacinths are up and smelling beautiful, the plants are in bud – everywhere there are signs of new growth. I love this time of year despite the weather!
Stay well and enjoy your coming week.