I remember my Grandpa once telling me that he only used watches where the seconds hand traces a smooth path around the face; he believed that time does not stop and so the watch should reflect that simple fact.
Today, family and friends gathered together to say our goodbyes to Grandpa, who peacefully passed away last Tuesday at the age of 96. His intellect, aptitude and force of personality were an inspiration to me, the family and the wider community. Even with 70 years between us, I have already realised that I will not be anywhere near as complete a person as Bernard was, but when I am in my latter days, I can see that I was a fraction of him, I will consider that an accomplishment.
Even in his later years, he made tables (including the one I am sat at now), tinkered with cars, was perennially out with the perennials in the garden (or ‘enthusiastic pruning’ as my Grandma called it), reading and walked a couple of miles a day. Essentially, he put us all to shame.
To make a rather tortured analogy, we should all treat our lives like Grandpa’s watch; life does not stand still, it flows through us, past us every single second of the day. If we stop, life continues continuing because time is perpetual. Instead we have to lean into the steady motion of the clockwork and always let movement be the constant.
Yes, I couldn’t resist the title, it is like a headline from The Sun but that is probably the only positive contribution they make to the debate.
Like a farter on a roundabout, the debate over the EU smells and returns all too often. Migrants this, straight bananas that; only negativity makes its way through. Of course a few of the thousands of EU employees do something stupid once in a while, but it must be said that Westminster doesn’t manage policy roll-outs all that much better. Yes, the EU has a tendency to over-reach and develop it’s own governmental logic, but resolving that can be achieved by active collaboration with other member states, rather than cutting off your nose to spite your largest trading partner.
As the Eurosceptics grow ever more feverish, like Gremlins after midnight, those that are pro-EU need to step up and be more than mere Euro-apologists. There needs to be a proper articulation of why membership matters, especially as it isn’t a difficult case to make. For a long while, politicians have been content to be led rather than lead public opinion and yet we still wonder why our public sphere is weaker. Elected officials have to counter the lazy claims of UKIP and use facts (sadly a rarity in this debate) to trump scaremongering.
The EU isn’t a perfect democratic vehicle, but it would be hypocritical to criticise it from our beaten up banger.
Sideways, sideways; always sideways.
Sideways is a essential for a goalkeeper, or a boon for a farmer working the seabed, but I’m a salesman;
Sideways enslaves me to the horizontal. Yes, I don’t have to turn 90 degrees when squeezing past people, I can sidle past
Sideways. But when you have the Atlantic Ocean to contend with, space is not a problem.
Sideways stops me cuddling my crablets when they have a cut to their claw.
Sideways prevents me from scuttling into the arms of my amore.
Sideways on stairs is not straightforward. Yes, we’re not fazed on a skyscraper’s ledge, as we slide
Sideways by default; but we also don’t have the height to be able to see how far up we are.
Sideways isn’t a choice that we make, but a lifestyle we are forced into
Sideways. This may be mordant, but being a crab means you learn to see the world slightly
As a child I wasn’t a fan of fireworks; you had to be outside IN THE COLD and they were exceptionally loud to my small delicate ears. And as an adult I am agreeing with my younger self. For the first two or three pops, bangs and/or whizzes the ‘Oohs’ and ‘Ahhs’ cannot be suppressed and merrily escape from one’s mouth, bringing us one step closer to the little green aliens from Toy Story. Yet fireworks have a very steep boredom gradient ([Repetition x Frequency]/Temperature) and by the fiftieth explosion you have developed a crick in your neck and cold eyes.
– I hate cold eyes. I have always wanted to lift my eyelid up and blow a hairdryer underneath, yet I doubt its efficacy and I am sure my optician wouldn’t recommend it –
These slight medical maladies can also be coupled with the expense of fireworks regardless whether you buy them yourself or go to a public display. The latter has confused me for many years: why pay £5 to enter a park when I can get exactly the same show for free by standing the other side of a fence? Probably that is the killjoy-freeloader aspect of my personality coming to the fore and really you are paying for the atmosphere of having many people around you saying ‘Ooh’ and ‘Ahh’.
But by sitting in my freeloader’s ivory tower, I can get the best view of all the fireworks. And I didn’t spend a penny.