Sunday, 24 May 2009

Death of a Little Black Flying Thing........... :o(

I was just sat here in the sunny garden, reading Jeremy Clarkson's book “For Crying Out Loud”, and a Little Black Flying Thing you could hardly see landed on the page. I brushed it off, and quite unintentionally killed it. It died quite horribly………… well, on its own scale, it was quite horrible, but at least it was quick I guess. The poor little blighter left a green smear about 15mm long and 2mm wide on page fifty-one, the only trace remaining that it had ever lived at all.

It got me thinking, partly out of respect, and partly from regret that I had carelessly snuffed the life from it………. I know not whether it was a he or a she, so have regrettably to refer to it as ‘it’.

The Thinking led to consideration of how little most of us leave behind as a trace that we ever were.

(Brace yourself, dear reader, we’re going in,………. As in ‘In Real Deep’)

That Little Black Flying Thing, (Which was black on the outside, and thus as far as the inverse insect world is concerned, not one of a minority group.), at least left a mark on page 51 of my book, which will forever remain as a reminder of its Last Day Flying.

I will, in all probability, remember the moment for at least Quite Some Time, and will hereafter refer to this book as the ‘Memorial Edition’. I’m like that; I remember the detail of life, commonly regarded by most successful people as unimportant. Pity about the Big Stuff, more commonly regarded as important, and which I pay little heed to then, isn’t it?

That nearly leads me down another track of tangled thought, so I’ll get back to the subject that was in mind…………. How little remains of us when we’re gone.

I guess the most long lasting evidence for most of us is perhaps a headstone in a churchyard. It may be something quirky enough, and perhaps with a similarly quirky inscription, to catch the eye of someone wandering through the graves. It may make them stop and wonder of the life that boiled down to those few words, before moving on to continue weaving their own life-tapestry, having soon forgotten what they saw there. Most likely it will be a small, comittee-designed, standard issue, Politically Correct marker in the grounds of a faceless crematorium, individuality being snuffed out by the controlling will of the faceless weenies. It may be a small and oh-so-tastefully-discrete-flat-on-the-ground marker of the life it represents, and also easily grown over until it can never be found again without a shovel.

Family photographs will maybe remain floating about for several generations, although diluted amongst it’s numbers of inherited keepers, and long since lost in dark boxes and drawers. The stories that accompanied them will soon be forgotten, as will the names and position in the family hierarchy. Inherited possessions too will wither as they are handed down or lost completely through loss, breakage, sale, .......... or worse, .......... simply thrown away.

Modern photographs, now taken digitally and mostly never printed, will last not even half a generation now, and those that do will be lost amongst thousands of others on hard drives, or discs, never to be looked at again. The boxes of photographs that many have, are already a passing tradition thanks to this digital medium which, quite ironically, has made recording the past easier and cheaper than it ever has been in history. Maybe that proves a theory, that the easier and cheaper anything is, the less permanent or valued it becomes?

Those lucky enough to have had the gist of their lives recorded in the written word will have their stories preserved perhaps for a thousand years or more, but they are the very fewest of us all.

Both my Father and Stepfather, both gone some eighteen years ago now, have little left already to mark their lives. My Stepfather’s laid-flat, tiny grave marker has long since grown over, much to my shame. Many living close by him, and one in particular, swore to keep his grave tended, and I for one never expected it to have gown over so quickly, nor how easily I could forget it’s exact position. I shouldn’t have trusted the word of those who promised they would keep it tended I guess.

I keep some mementos of both of them close by and always visible in the house in areas I sit or stand, and from time to time handle, use, or find one of the few of their tools I inherited. They were the diminishing generation of men who made, repaired and modified things in their garages and workshops, and the wear on those tools linger like an echo of their toil, skill and efforts. I think of them often, but when I’m gone so too will they be gone. No one else knows the stories they told me, my Father in particular, and I have been meaning to write their stories down. Those stories to at least hand on to my only niece in the hope it will mean something to her, but knowing it probably won’t.

We all, even the most mundane of us, have led complicated and different lives, and it all goes out like a light on our passing, just like my Little Black Flying Thing this morning. I guess, the scale of things being taken into account, its green smear of life’s juices spilt, and these thoughts, written and then sent out there in this blog, is the equivalent of a funeral with full military honours to accompany it.

Has anyone ever squidged something so small and most common, and yet thought of it so deeply? Probably very few in the history of the written word. :o)

So, dear Little Black Flying Thing, I salute you, your tiny life, and all it meant to those around you (sniff), and will remember that you remain forever, a green smear on page fifty-one……………

K.x :o)

Friday, 8 May 2009

Rambling on the beach.............. :o)

Well, I’m on the beach here at Axmouth………. Rattled down on the Harley, after starting to get some work done in the workshop, as The Harley’s due it’s Mot on Thursday and the damn belt-drive is scuffing the tyre somehow. I stood there looking at her, canted over on her stand in the sun, and she looked back at me and said, “Fuck it, run me down to the coast man!”

So here we are…….. she’s up there in the sun basking in the attentions of those who pass her, and I’m down here listening to the surf tirelessly rolling the pebbles around in it’s foamy caress. Poetic, that doncha think? I’ve been reading James May, the Top gear columnist, and he’s very good……. Right up my street………. Unafraid to fly in the face of convention and the barricades of bullshit everyone hides behind these days. A very funny man.

The beach is pretty well deserted, apart from a few people so far away it’s hard to make them out. The nearest to me is over a hundred yards away, and is a bit distracting in that she’s divested herself of all clothing except what may well be a tiny pair of knickers. Can’t quite see to be certain, given that I only have the luxury of a sidelong glance, but she sure whipped the top off quick enough.

I’m bleddy sure they do it on purpose y’know. Never mind, I’m pretending to nonchalantly be uninterested, as she’s pretending that I’m not too. It’s all a bleddy game isn’t it? Every single woman who gets her kit off within eye-shot of some poor bloke, knows full well she’s distracting the poor bastard from his reading matter. I don’t care who you are, or how much you say you’re not bothered….. you bleddy notice at the very least. you just tell yourself not to look, but it's a helluva job not to let the eyeballs swivel in their direction. :o)

Where was I……….. being poetic about the foamy surf, rolling ceaselessly up on the shore, turning the pebbles like a giant polishing machine, she just turned a moment ago, making sure she was looking over here as she did so, to make sure I was making sure I wasn't looking. Jees, what games we all play. Sweetheart, is it really necessary to fling you’re lovely long hair about like that, let alone your Items Of Distraction?

Bollocks, I’m not going to give her the satisfaction……… besides another one has beached herself to Starboard, and is at least keeping her kit on in consideration for the poor old bastard sat over here. :o)

Shit, lookout, ..........her friend is manoeuvring down the beach, a big lass, but very pretty, and has just smiled nicely, and so I smiled back. Nice and civilised it is too. Look at us all here……….. all on our own, and who knows what stage of life we’re all on, each with an entwined story, uniquely complicated and unimaginable, but nevertheless we're all separated by convention. Unwritten rules of separation, long since written in stone.

Yup those rules made for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men (Douglas Bader, Reach For The Sky), but what courage it takes to break them. A beach, is still a very private place. Only a very few would transgress, and sit nearby especially in such a wide empty space, and rightly so. How many would welcome the company though? Maybe more than you would think, our society being so high in numbers of unattached and single people. We are so wary of people these days too…….. strangers, and especially women wary of single men, weirdoes every one of us.

How did we ever get to be so afraid of each other unless reliably introduced?

I can remember, years ago, sitting on a beach with a girlfriend I had at the time, and a deaf bloke walked up, sat right down beside her on the far side from me, and started chatting to her. He could communicate quite well, and was soon sat down beside her nattering, and signing away. What pissed me off, was the bloody nerve of it. He was definitely blatantly ‘chatting’ her up, and there was I sat on the other side of her not included in the conversation one bit. It was exactly as if I wasn’t there…… he didn’t even say “Hello” to me in any way whatsoever, right from the start. The girlfriend said later that she didn’t like to be rude, especially since he was deaf, and maybe, she thought, lonely. I didn’t say anything either, as I didn’t want to seem petty. I was certain he was well used to using this as a chat-up technique, but, with hindsight kinda had to admire his balls……… (as in ‘courage’, you understand!) Courageous enough in approaching a single girl alone on a beach, but when her boyfriend is sat there right next to her, well, it was going to get him a slap one day.

Anyway, that’s kinda besides the point……….. it being, why not try to engage someone in conversation? What’s there to lose? If they don’t like it, it’s going to be obvious enough, and easy to just politely disengage and walk away. These constraints, especially seemingly the British rules of engagement, are soooooo powerful though. I would love to have someone’s company here, preferably female it has to be admitted, although not for the obvious reasons you, dear reader might think, but pretty well nothing would get me to approach anyone here to start a conversation. Not unless it was very easy to do.

Weird, huh?

Yup, pretty damn weird.

Hey, lookup, some chick approaches now with a dog in tow……….. nope……. I gave her a smile, said “He looks keen to get in the water”……… she smiled very slightly as if to say "You've got a bloody nerve", and looked the other way. Never said a word in reply. Shit, man, I must be a real bleddy ugly guy. I might as well have asked her to lose the dog, and come over and sit on my nob for the way she reacted. I guess "He looks keen to get in the water" sounds like "Fancy a shag".

Maybe it amounts to the same thing for a woman. I suppose you'd have to be one to experience being hit on all the time, and when you are, you hear words differently. Conversations take on a different slant. I think I could hack it though. I'd far rather have to turn opportunities down than have none at all.

Would ANY man ignore a woman who politely spoke to him? I think not, and if he did, what a rude pig he would be. Women sure do get licence to be as rude as they like. I guess it goes with an abundance of choice and opportunity. It’s as if speaking will get you raped. Maybe that’s what it’s all about. She knows getting into a conversation may well result in something she doesn’t want, so it’s simpler to just ignore a guy's approach. I guess I can see the logic, but some of us are decent enough not to push their luck beyond acceptability.

It really is all to do with looks, and don’t bother telling me otherwise……… boy am I ever sick of hearing that it’s all about personality. Take my buddy Mad Eddie in the States…………. Some three or four years younger than me, but waaaaay better looking……… man, he has women crawling all over him. Waitresses giving him their number, smiles galore on the street, the works. A few years ago, I had far less trouble engaging women in light conversation, getting eye contact, smiles etc. I’m not saying it was an everyday thing, but it certainly wasn’t difficult. Now…………. It’s got so bad that one single acknowledgement of the briefest duration is notable. Since I turned fifty it’s all gone tits up.

Not about looks?

I think it is all about looks.

Tha's not as bitter and twisted as it sounds......... I do undersatnd how it works, i just wish others would admit that looks do count hugely that's all. :o)

Hey ho, (half an hour later now) just had a nice chat to another woman walking her dog……… I’d walked down to the water’s edge here, and was kicking stones into the water as she came along……….. she had a watch, and I was wondering at what time it was, so I asked. Said her dog was nice, and had he been in the water yet, and we had a nice long chat. Nice. And guess what, I didn’t rape her, soon learned that she had a husband, partner, whatever, and that was fine. We chatted, and as soon as she seemed to want to move on, I went with it, and off she went. Just a nice chat. Proof, if you need it, that we’re not all monsters.

Yes, it would’ve been great had she been free and available, suddenly thought I was Mr Wonderful, and begged me to introduce The Ferret there and then, but she wasn’t, she didn’t, and I was just fine with it. Why wouldn’t I be. :o)

Maybe some women just don’t give you the time of day because it’s like doing you a favour, and I have to say, it's usually the good looking ones. Well, there’s a saying, that the mark of a man (woman) is how he (she) treats someone who is of no obvious use to them. By that standard, the woman I’ve just spoken to is a far nicer woman that the snooty one with her nose in the air. She may not have been as pretty, but sure was far nicer.

Mind you, I guess, too, it’s all a big skill, talking to strangers……….. so shyness could be the deal with Miss Snooty, so I guess I’ll cut her some slack. no, soddit, she didn't look very shy to me. you can kinda tell. :o)

Maybe I should make it a new hobby kinda thing, starting conversations with strangers, and not just women because, God knows, I could do with some more friends. (Sigh)

Never mind, its’ the way it goes I guess, and anyway, it’s a glorious day here.

It’s about 5.40pm now…….. wind’s getting a bit chilly, AND Topless over there has slipped her bra back on, so things must be getting real nippy.

When I win the lottery, I’m gonna do this every damn day! Cruise around, and sit on beaches. Well, not just on beaches, but I guess you know what I mean.

Ok, that’s it……… another ramble about bugger-all, and all raw straight-from-within thoughts too, so don’t judge me too harshly dear reader. Y’all think weird and politically incorrect thoughts too, (oh yes you do!!) I just openly express them, that's all. Bear that in mind when you’re sniffing haughtily at what’s written here in this blog. :o)

Topless is getting dressed, ……………….. and I guess I should be hustling the Harley home too.

Bye for now.............

K. :o)