Tag Archives: wasted life

Day 9

I’m writing this in the early hours of Day 10. I sat at the computer with several hours of Day 9 remaining and started writing other things.

This is how useless my brain has become. I’ve mislaid a camera, failed to read anything except the internet, and have not written any poetry, despite a number of looming deadlines. On the other hand, I have cooked, snoozed, frittered and researched an article about the recipients of some London School Attendance Medals. Whether this is a good use of my time, I’m not sure. Writing and relaxation are good, but focus is what gets things done.

When I’m eating my ham sandwiches tomorrow (gammon, redcurrant jelly, stuffing, mayonnaise and seeded brown bread), I will probably think that the time spent making them was worth the effort. Same goes for the research. However, when I see another deadline sliding by I may wonder if I should have used my time differently.

This weekend I finally bought a new card for my camera. I tend to use them for storage, rather than clogging up the computer with images, but I’m nearly out of space and keep having to delete things to make more room on the card I use for work.

I’ve also invested in a case to keep them all safe and tidy. It’s taken me about three years to get round to doing that. Fortunately, as I’ve waited, the choice has increased and the price has stayed much the same. It has worked out well.

In a hundred years time when my descendants, if any, look at this to get an idea of what great-grandfather’s life was like, this isn’t going to be one of the more memorable days.

Tootlepedal is building up an impressive cycling mileage, Charlie is writing another book, as is Laurie, Derrick is writing his memoires and giving us daily photographs of the New Forest, and I am spending three years over a decision to buy a plastic box.

LA is asking big questions, Helen is altering her garden, Lavinia is feeding cats and making music, and I am showing far too much enthusiasm for sandwiches.

The photo is from 5 years ago – January 2017. Those were the days when we used to go out, and when we didn’t live in fear of a stranger coughing near us. It’s probably time to start adjusting my way of thinking, though it is a lot cheaper staying at home and eating home made soup.


Schrodinger’s Lottery Ticket

I think the lack of exercise and exposure to fresh air and nature has had a negative effect on my frame of mind. At the risk of sounding pathetic, turning 62 didn’t exactly fill me with good cheer either.

Alexander the Great was 32 when he died, worn out by all that conquering. Napoleonwas 51 when he died and he had ruled Europe, though he ended up poisoned by his wallpaper. Philip Larkin was 63. I’m living on borrowed time and, last time I checked, have not yet achieved anything.

I still have a year to catch up with Larkin, so all is not lost – I could probably manage to become an alcoholic xenophobe, though I think the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry might elude me.

I don’t have time to bring the Persian Empire to its knees, particularly as we will be back at work soon and conquering worlds can’t be fitted into a couple of days a week. Nor, on the subject of knees, do I really have the energy to sort out Europe. That leaves the very slim chance of fame through poetry, but other than that it’s either win the Lottery or go on Love Island. The chances of winning the Lottery are 14 million to 1. Those are not good odds, but they are much better than my chances of winning Love Island.

I did actually have a lottery win last week (having started playing again during lockdown). I had an email telling me I had won a prize, but not telling me how much. The site was down so I couldn’t tell what I had won. When I went to bed I had a potential win of £10,000 a month for the next 30 years (or “the rest of my life” as I now think of it).

With that sort of money I could buy a bungalow in Suffolk (probably chosen for its proximity to a decent hospital and a first class chip shop) and have a butler.

It is a great feeling to go to bed knowing you might be waking up as a rich man. In some ways it’s like Schrodinger’s Cat, not knowing how rich I was until I woke up and switched the internet on.

So, day dawned. I snored my way through it – it’s so early at the moment. Eventually, after Julia had gone down and switched the kettle on, I peered round the duvet and decided it was time to check.

As I’m still typing this myself instead of dictating it to a secretary I’m sure you can guess how much I won. It was a fiver, which is enough for three more tickets. Yes, buying more tickets with your winnings – the mark of a true optimist.

This, of course, drives home a point about the value of money. In times gone by I would have written “in the South of France” after “secretary” in the last paragraph. Now, no matter how much money you have, you can’t outrun the virus. So is money really any use? Well, it would make life easier if I could send the butler to queue for groceries at TESCO…

butler 1