I found another one I’d totally forgotten about the other day

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I wrote down what happened when I was thinking out loud about my life a few years ago back in New Zealand. I admit it, I talk to myself. So what, some of the most intelligent and frank conversations I’ve ever had have been with myself. 😉

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The Conversation

I sat on the hard wooden bench on the deck looking out towards the harbour entrance. “So why have you come down here to live Jack?” I asked myself.

“It’s as good a place as any,” I replied, rolling a smoke. I put down the pouch of tobacco and reached for my lighter. “Why do you want to know that?” I asked, lighting the hand-rolled cigarette.

“No reason in particular, most people wonder why someone your age is still footloose and fancy free, so to speak?”

I inhaled and stared out towards the harbour mouth. Small barely perceptible clouds of smoke were released through my tobacco-stained moustache that drifted in a hazy grey-blue cloud around my head. “I guess the only reason I came here was to find peace and quiet,” I said, finally exhaling the remainder of the smoke through the baleen-like strands of hair that make up my moustache.

“I’ve travelled most parts of this beautiful bloody world of ours. I came to this country back in the late fifties with my parents as a young boy,” I went on, flicking the ash from the slow burning roll-up onto the deck, before pushing it between the planks with my shoe. “It’s taken me a while to realise that this place is probably as good as anywhere else. So here I am,” I added as I watched a fishing boat heading out for a day’s sport as I picked up my mug of coffee.

“That still doesn’t answer my question,” I said, pressing the point. I never waste words on idle conversation. I knew I would sit and think for a long time before saying anything more.

“I’ve spent most of my life working and earning just like the rest of the poor bastards in this world,” I said, at long last. I put down the mug, flicked the short stub of my spent roll-up in the air, and started to roll another. Lighting the new one, I inhaled. The now familiar slow release of smoke through my moustache signalled the beginning of my answer. “Think about it Jack, I collapsed and was hopitalized from stress back in ninety-one – remember?” I began. “Since then I’ve realized that all the things that most people spend their entire lives working and saving for are a bloody pointless waste of time. You come into this world with nothing and you damned well leave the same way. So what’s the bloody point! After that little episode I realised that all the things that seem important, simply aren’t anymore,” I continued, through a haze of smoke. “Since that time, I’ve never been able to stick a job for very long. As for possessions and the like, I’ve given most of mine away. When I’ve got no more use for something, what’s the point in keeping it?”

I looked back through the door into the room. A small battery powered travelling alarm stood by the bed. A couple of books were on the floor among the pile of dirty clothes. A bag was slung in the corner with clean clothes poking out over its sides. A small transistor radio and a library book lay on the bed. “Why have you given everything away? Why not sell the stuff instead?” I asked, as I gazed across the harbour from where I sat.

“Why not?” I finished off the remainder of my mug of coffee and put the empty mug down beside me. “The job I’ve got brings in just enough for me to live on,” I continued, while the familiar cloud of smoke drifted slowly away, “I’ll keep going for as long as my health holds out. These days I take each day as it comes. There’s no point in planning too far ahead, you never know what’s round the corner waiting to bite you in the arse.”

I sat for a moment before I asked myself, “What about family? Surely they must wonder about you?”

“The old saying about you being able to choose your friends and not your relative’s pretty well answers the question, don’t you think? I replied, shifting my gaze back out towards the harbour through those far away eyes of mine. I continued watching the boats. “My old man was a total bastard. He treated my mother like a skivvy. They say you inherit a lot from your parents, good and bad – mostly bad in my case. If that’s so, why in hell would I want to inflict my bloody genes on someone else? I was an only child. I’m used to being on my own. I don’t crave companionship in the way you’re talking about,” I quietly reminded myself.

I sat for a moment before adding, “I met my old man’s first cousin once. It was like travelling back in time. He was a nasty spiteful control freak just like my old man! That’s what I mean by inheriting stuff. If it wasn’t for the fact that dad’s cousin was in his eighties, I’d have hung one on him for the way he used to speak to me! He not only looked like my old man, he treated his own close family in exactly the same bloody way! I was warned about him by distant cousins before I met him. But I always tend to look for the good in people when I meet them for the first time. Even so I wasn’t prepared for his vicious little outbursts of bile! Although thinking about it now, I damn well should have shouldn’t I?”

At that point I had to stop. I was stirring up too many bad memories, so I just sat in total silence for a couple of hours, enjoying the early morning sunshine…

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😉

Beware – Idiotic Marketing Ideas Are Here!

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A Typical English High Street

Yesterday morning I took delivery of an electric air-pump, which I need to inflate my new airbed. Now all I’m waiting for are those highly idiotic ‘please rate the product’ emails from Amazon UK. While they will expect me to rave on like a two bob watch about both products, I think on this occasion I’ll refrain. Hell’s teeth, we’re only talking about a blow up mattress and an electric air-pump, nothing special.

I hate to tell you this Amazon, but we’re a nation that still likes shopping in small family run businesses in our high streets where you get friendly courteous service. Yes there is a place for large concerns like yours where we can buy almost anything we care to name. Undoutedly the prices will be cheaper than any high street shop, but what we don’t need is all the hype and BS that goes with buying anything from you.

There is another thing which has crept in from across the pond, the sheer lunacy of sales days like Black Friday where total idiots with money to burn literally battle with one another, often violently, over products, and Cyber Monday when the emphasis is on equally insane online buying of those self same products.

I honestly don’t know how any of you feel about sales days like these, but when US based companies think that what works back home, will not only become accepted practice, but also be welcomed with open arms by the vast majority of the population of other lands, I’m sorry Amazon etal, but while the young may see nothing wrong with American sales tactics being employed more and more these days, the older generations, which is by far the majority here in the UK, usually steer well clear, preferring the peace and quiet of small shops.

Why an airbed? Two reasons. First of all because as a pensioner on a low income I can’t afford to buy a new soft mattress, necessary for a comfortable night’s sleep. Secondly, my back and other places, one of which I sit on, is now covered in various types of skin cancer, a legacy of spending forty-two years exposed to direct UV radiation from the Sun within the hole in the ozone layer down south in New Zealand. As for the ones on my back, which despite being benign are never the less painful, especially if I lay on my back at some point during the night, the doctors will only treat them if I submit to the knife once more. Or allow them to use focused radiation to fix the problem.

Will I let them near me ever again? Hell no. My previous experience with the local mob of medical specialists, was to say the least, far worse than putting up with the damned cancers. And another thing, it was radiation that caused the problem in the first place. I don’t need the side effects of any other form of radiation to add to my woes, thank you very much. Some people’s bodies are covered in freckles. In my case its skin cancer.

Rant almost over. What do I really think about rating anything? What do you think?

Bah Humbug!

PS – I can honestly say that I had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in years last night, even if the airbed tended to crackle when I turned over, and I sank into it. Why on Earth didn’t I buy one much earlier? LOL

😉

Winter is Just Around the Corner, I Can Feel It!!!

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Well, its that time of year again. The temperature is dropping making it neither summer nor winter. Looking on the bright side, at least the Sun is still shining. Before you start, yes I know autumn hasn’t officially arrived yet. But my body says different. Its already showing all of the signs of winter.

It’s not as if I didn’t have enough to contend with being covered in various skin cancers, like the festering hole in my lower right back (benign) that started out as a small multicoloured mole thirty years ago, and the numerous other types on my face and head. I have one that looks like ringworm on my right cheek. At least ringworm is easily treated unlike this particular cancer. Now I have a new crop of highly suspicious moles on my body that seemingly arrived overnight.

Why don’t I go the doctor? Simple. With the current state of short sighted medical practice re skin cancers, either they want to hack bits out under a local anesthetic, or else they nuke the affected area of skin under a powerful UV lamp. It was excessive exposure to UV from the Sun that caused all the problems in the first place. As a Northern Hemisphere paleface, the hole in the Ozone Layer over Antarctica, and New Zealand where I lived for forty-two years, sealed my fate.

A few years back a well meaning butcher hacked two out of my forehead. Never again! I was in agony for weeks because of that bit of minor surgery. The sympathetic nurse could only cut one stitch per week as the already tightly stretched skin on my forehead slowly readjusted. Maybe she should have removed all of them under a local – job done. At least it would have reduced the time I spent in chronic pain to a minimum. No more going to a knife happy quack about my skin problems thank you very much. Until some enterprising individual comes up with a cream that eats skin cancer cells that I can apply myself, I’ll just put up with them.

All I need to complete the picture is the current onslaught of winter aches and pains. My legs are beginning to ache from the much lower temperature, in particular the upper thigh of my right leg. When my lower legs and arms join in with my back, which is already beginning to ache, I’ll know winter is definitely here.

Hey ho…