Modern Life!

It was a beautiful morning as we drove to work, with great light quality, plenty of potential pictures and a superb sky. Of course, I couldn’t stop to take any of the photos, and I hadn’t taken my camera anyway. I had to drop Julia off at 8,30 and get to a meeting for 9.00 so there would, I decided, be no use for a camera.

As I pulled up for the 9.00 meeting, I noticed a distinct lack of life and cars around the house. The mystery (OK, not much of a mystery) was soon solved by reference to my phone – the appointment had been cancelled by a text in the early hours of the morning.

Don’t you just love modern life?

Later, whilst watching TV, another sad comment on modern life, I saw a quiz contestant who was training for a very unusual job. She was doing a web-based training course to become a professional cuddler.

Yes, it’s a proper thing, with a professional association and everything.

Just when you think you’re catching up with modern life (and I did have avocado for breakfast) something like this crops up. I’m off for my rearranged meeting now, though I may spend a moment banging my head on the wall.

 

A Day With Few High Points

I’ve just spent several minutes trying to remove an unwanted comma from a piece of work. It’s frustrating when you can’t get a computer to do what you want it to do.

It was even worse when I realised the “comma” was a mark on the screen. Laptop screens seem to attract more detritus than the screens on ordinary computers.

That’s been one of the highlights of the day.

The second was my blood test. The blood was not flowing well today and it felt like they were having to dig it out. When they removed the needle it suddenly decided to flow. Fortunately it hit the chair arm rather than me. Having changed specially for the visit I was glad that it didn’t go on my clothes.

It seems I passed the blood sugar test two weeks ago. Unfortunately I had a phone call from the anticoagulant service this afternoon to tell me that things had not gone so well. I need to go down for testing again next week: they do that when things don’t go well.

The final high point was sitting in a chair making demands for constant hydration (tea). Number One Son is back from Portugal and has been working well with the kettle. He even put a couple of sausages and some beans together for a light lunch.

I had to pay for this attention by listening to his views on nutrition and where my diet is going wrong. As his first degree is in Sports Science, including nutrition, he has the moral high ground.

Apart from that, I just sat here gently recovering and shouting at the television.

Another Note on the Relativity of Time

On the last post I used a picture of my watch. It was fortunate I had a picture to relate to time. As I’ve only got one picture you’ have to put up with it again.However, I do have some confessions to make.

I have several watches. When I’m not wearing them I pull the winder halfway out – this stops the watch and saves the battery. I also need reading glasses, so though I can reset the time easily enough I have trouble with reading the date, so never bother. In other words, the date on the watch was wrong when I took the picture. And is never right apart from by coincidence.

Somehow I get by.

Time, as I say, is flexible.

Does anyone else have this problem with the date on watches?

A New Theory of Relativity

This morning Julia’s alarm, as usual, went off shortly before mine. They are both on our telephones, which are presumably;y linked to an atomic clock somewhere,¬† so I’m at a loss to explain the difference. My car clock is set from my watch, which I keep two minutes fast,and it agrees with neither phone.

In the days before mobiles we had a time signal on the radio, and everyone seemed to take punctuality more seriously.

So, having had a disturbed night lay there waiting to fall asleep again. This half hour delay allows her to use the bathroom without feeling hassled and allows me to avoid making breakfast. This is either the mark of a caring husband, or a lazy sluggard. I have censored her actually words, but the last three letters are the same. In another example of relativity I prefer not to subject my readers  to profanity.

Anyway, back to the relativity of time. Normally I fall asleep for my extra half hour. Today I didn’t. It seemed to drag on forever. I started to wonder if I’d been in such a deep sleep that Julia had left without me. But no, When I checked my alarm the “hours” had passed in 23 minutes. The remaining seven minutes also dragged…

Normally I’d love an extra half hour in bed. This morning, mainly because we are resisting the use of heating, I decided to tough it out under the duvet as luxury turned into an endurance test.

And that, if I may be so bold, is my Theory of Very Ordinary Relativity. It’s not about things like time travel, or time moving slower at the tops of high buildings. If it was I’m sure that geriatric scientists would live in tower block, not bungalows.

It’s about very ordinary things, like not all time being of equal value and a week on holiday passing quicker than a week at work.

Unless (a) your wife starts worrying about whether she locked the door properly, or (b), you are spending it in Berwick-on- Tweed. But that is another story.

 

 

A Waste of a Day

I spent a lot of yesterday in bed with a fever. It came on shortly after I finished my last post and lasted until the early hours of this morning.

As a result I’ve been sitting round the house recovering and doing little else. Even typing seemed like too much effort.

By 6 o’clock I felt well enough to go shopping and at 9 o’clock I went to Trowell Services on the M1 to pick up Number One son on his return from Portugal.

I am now going to publish this, go to bed and prepare for a more productive day tomorrow.

The Carus Brothers at War (Part 3)

W D Carus (2)Only one of the other three brothers seems to have served in the war.

Thomas, the oldest brother, was a Labourer in a Print Works in 1891, a Cotton Mill Oiler in 1901 and a Corporation Labourer in 1911. According to his obituary (September 1938) he joined the Clitheroe Fire Brigade in 1911 and served for 26 years. I’ll leave that for another post.

Albert, who was unmarried, and a Print Works Labourer in 1911, died in 1913. I don’t know anything about the circumstances, so that’s another avenue of research. In 1911 there was someone else in the Carus household too – Margaret Evelyn, a grand daughter aged seven. She was born in Aldershot, and that is part of Walter’s tale.

In 1911 Walter was living with wife and two younger children in Aldershot, where he was working as a carman for a furniture company.

There is little military paperwork, just an index card (pictured above) for a Walter Carus indicating that he went to France on 18th August 1914. On the back of the card is a Clitheroe address.

Adding Aldershot to a soldier who went to France within two weeks of the start of the war, I decided that it was likely that Walter had been a regular soldier before the war, and he had been called back from the Reserve (they mainly signed on for seven years in the army and five in the Reserve).

And that, as I often say, was that.

Looking through the papers, I was able to find this article in the edition for 3rd August 1917. The superimposed blue frames are part of the search process.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

From the mention of artillery, it looks like he may have been in an artillery ammunition column, delivering shells to the front. I can see that three years of that would produce “some exceedingly narrow escapes”.

The next time he appears in the paper is in 1955, when 50 members of the family took part in a reunion, when a son and a daughter, and their respective spouses, returned from overseas military postings. The full family was three sons, seven daughters, 34 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Plus in-laws. One of the sons-in-law produced cakes for the party – he was a prize-winning member of the Army Catering Corps so they were in safe hands.

His final appearance in the paper is a short obituary in 1957, which reveals the additional details that he served in the Army Service Corps for 19 years and was an Old Contemptible and member of the British Legion. He was a joiner by trade and retired from his last job, at the Ribblesdale Cement Co Ltd when he was 65.

I had three other relatives working there around that time, all from different branches of the family tree.

An Old Contemptible, in case you aren’t familiar with the term, is a soldier who served in France and Belgium with the British Army in the first phase of the war – 5th August 1914 to 22nd November 1914. They were referred to as a “contemptible little army” by the Kaiser.

It’s true they weren’t a very big army, and they didn’t have great equipment. If you subscribe to traditional views of history they may even have been badly led.

But they did what was necessary.