Tag Archives: posterity

My Life as an Inaction Hero

I had a lazy day today, to rest after my hard day packing parcels yesterday. Did I really work six days a week at one time? Or even five? I feel like a friend of mine who,,years ago, detailed his activities shortly after retiring and said plaintively “It’s a good thing I’m retired, or I’d never be able to fit it all in.”

He had, of course, made two cardinal errors – said “yes” when asked to go on a committee and allowed his wife to get involved with planning his day.  Wives are wonderful things, but they are, unfortunately, not to be trusted with a man’s time. That’s why I intend having a shed or workshop when I retire. Ideally a shed with a moat and drawbridge. That way I will be able to call my time my own and find things even years after putting them down.

I’m actually thinking of making that my First Rule of Lethargy – an object which is at rest will stay at rest unless it is acted on by a wife, or the kettle is out of reach.

This is the first proper saturday I’ve had off for a while,a nd I was able to devote the middle portion of my day to watching Sharpe and the bits at either end to eating. Murder She Wrote served to fil lthat awkward afternoon gap. We are now about to eat vegetable stew and watch some quiz programmes.

I see on the news that Donald Trump is threatening to start a new social media platform and that the Queen and prince Philip have both had their Covid vaccinations. That’s nice to know, as we really need a new social media platform, and it brings my vaccination date nearer.

To be honest, neither really affects me as much as the fact that we are nearing the end of the Christmas biscuits and are likely to be reduced to eating Digestives by then end of the week. It’s just that I am sometimess eixzed by the need to write for posterity.

Pepys, Posterity and Parmesan

Here’s another of those posts I sometimes write so that history will be able to compare my blog with the Diary of Samuel Pepys. It would probably help if I was a senior civil servant but at least I have now lived through some interesting times. He had the Great Fire of London, where he distinguished himself with the efforts he made on behalf of his Parmesan. I have lived through lockdown and I ordered processed cheese slices by accident when shopping online. The horror of processed cheese slices will stay with me for years to come. Whenever I think of the global pandemic I will think of rubbery orange cheese.

In years to come, I wonder if scholars will discuss me alongside Pepys when talk turns to amusing cheese anecdotes in times of National Emergency.

This is assuming that blog posts will still be available in a hundred years from now. The survival of a paper diary for several hundred years is remarkable, but will a random series of pixels, or whatever they are, survive any better? It all seems so fragile when you stop and think about it. While I dream of immortality for my anecdotes of 21st century life, should I actually be printing my blog posts for preservation. Probably, bearing in mind the poor quality of paper, I should be sharpening a quill and writing the whole thing on vellum.

If I did write it on vellum will vegan academics of the 22nd century refuse to acknowledge me, and pull down any statues of me that may have been erected in the meantime? Aiming for posthumous fame has many pitfalls and although you can try to imagine the future, who can really tell.

open pages on brown wooden table

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I really don’t know whether the UK of 2120 will even have vegans. As we move the limits of our diet, will we all have become vegans by default? Or even, as we live on a diet of bugs and Soylent Green will vegans have become irrelevant and be in the waste bin of history alongside farm animals.

Another parallel between our stories is our bladders. Pepys, at the age of 25 had a bladder stone the size of a tennis ball removed without the aid of anaesthetic or antiseptic (which is the reason that if I ever do perfect my Time Machine, I won’t be travelling further back than the late 19th Century. I’d rather not travel back to a time before antibiotics, but that’s within living memory and seems a bit unambitious as time travel goes.

My own bladder stones were discovered during one of the several camera insertions performed a few years ago. As a twentieth century man I actually had anaesthetic just for that, without any cutting. They were going to remove the bladder stones as part of the second part of the procedure but in the months between the two procedures (supposedly seven weeks but after two cancellations it took eleven weeks) I self-medicated with lots of drinking and a large amount of lemon juice. There were no stones by the time they went back to look for them.

My current challenge is pollen. Levels are high and my eyes have been watery and itching for two weeks now, accompanied by random attacks of runny nose. Fortunately I haven’t been sneezing much as this is currently frowned on, being a well-publicised way of spreading disease. It does mean that I am rubbing my eyes more than I should be, as that is also a way of spreading the virus. However, it’s only  away of spreading it to me, rather than other people so that isn’t so bad.

We went for a drive in the country yesterday as our personal way of marking the start of a less rigorous phase of lockdown. It looks like everyone else had decided the same thing as it seemed to be as busy as it was before lockdown. How soon we forget…

That will be the subject of the next post.

close up of open book

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