Sorry to any mining or tunnelling fans who have strayed onto this page, you will find little to enchant you here. This post is all about tedium and just how boring the author is. I know this will come as no surprise to the regular reader, but despite having lived with the fool for more than 50 years, I am still occasionally shocked by just how boring he can be.
I will admit that much of the absence of thrills and excitement in my life can be explained by a clear plan to avoid such disruptive and emotionally draining experiences. I have no great desire to place any more pressure on my body’s epinephrine production system. It obtains more than enough exercise when I have placed something important – keys, wallet, phone etc – in the wrong pocket. I have a clear system for where things go and any deviation from it causes a wholly excessive fight-or-flight response from my body when I fail to reclaim the desired item from its assigned home.
So dull am I that even my unconscious mind isn’t interesting. I rarely remember dreams, but the only recent one that has stuck with me related to sliced bread. Not being pursued or attacked by it, no just being given too much of it to fit in the freezer. Is it any wonder I have trouble sleeping if this is the sort of tedium I am exposed to when I finally do achieve that balm of hurt minds (yes, I did study Macbeth for English Lit O level and I’m still struggling to evict it from my brain).
The second piece of evidence came towards the end of yesterday. Before this conclusive proof of just how dull I am, I’d had quite an exciting day. At lunchtime I went over to Lyndhurst for the first time in my adult life and sampled its surprisingly lengthy one-way system: a system which appears to be much larger than the town and which I feel must involve folding in a topologically interesting manner. However, my trip was not just to marvel at the one-way system but also (and more importantly) to see the staging of a friend’s play at the curiously named and historic Vederers’ Court. It’s in the trees by Paul Hewitt was a veritable torrent of words brought quite incredibly to life by Phoebe Swallow‘s acting chops and Ian Nicholson‘s direction in the chilly, but intimate, space of the court. As well as hints of several local legends, I also learned just how far 1500 leaves don’t go…
Whereas a small volume of spilled milk will coat everything within a square mile, you need an awful lot of leaves to cover (let alone bury) a single – quite modestly sized – person. Something to bear in mind if you are looking at an autumnal body dump!
In the evening, a friend and I attended our second ceilidh of the year. This went unexpectedly well: perhaps down to the excellent calling of Barry Goodman and his choice of simpler dances, but I like to imagine our sick dance skillz had their part to play. This time we lasted the full 3.5 hours participating in every dance bar one and I (at least) seem to have survived more-or-less unscathed. It was a very sweaty experience – as well as a lot of fun – and I think next time I shall wear shorts or a kilt (or perhaps a mini-skirt, unless the mini-kilt exists…) for improved ventilation. Nipping out into the frosty air, under-dressed for the temperature, was definitely a (bracing) highlight of the evening!
Anyway, I had driven us to this dance in the hitherto unvisited (by civilised folk, or me) depths of Hiltingbury. The venue lay in a small area with a greater concentration and variety of speed bumps than I have ever previously experienced: is it home to some sort of nationally (or internationally) important collection? The journey back to Southampton took us past an ASDA famed for being possessed of the lowest priced petrol in Wessex (it may have other claims to fame, but these were not vouchsafed by my companion) and as my car was finally running short of its delivery half-tank of ‘juice’ it seemed fitting to pay it a visit. So, having previously (with the aid of the car’s manual) discovered how to de-mist the vehicle and turn on the lights, it was now time to find out how to fill it with petroleum. Having found the little cover which conceals ingress to the tank, I spent several fruitless seconds trying to remove the petrol cap. Very much a fool’s errand as it turns out!
Mercy me, but haven’t the boffins at Ford (and perhaps at other purveyors of the horseless carriage) managed to do away with the petrol cap altogether. Some strange, magical system (no doubt involving valves and flaps) allows the driver both to stick his nozzle into the tank and to later prevent the precious and flammable liquid from escaping – even when cornering hard at Brooklands. I was entranced by this miracle as I frittered away my hard-earned at the fully automatic pump. To any third-party observer, I would have appeared way too excited by this very minor piece of progress which our modern era has delivered. To think I have lived to see the day when a car no longer needs a petrol cap! You can keep your hoverboards and flying cars – frankly, most humans struggle driving while dealing with only two spatial dimensions, adding a third would be tempting fate – I’m quite content with the more mundane modernity delivered by a 14-plate Fiesta.
Truly, I am a very boring man and even my dreams and fantasies are very low octane when it comes to excitement: nevertheless, I shall continue to dress-up this lack as ‘preserving my childlike sense of wonder’.