Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Blowing the Ballast.

So, let’s skip lightly over why I haven’t been blogging lately. Let’s just say that I haven’t been the cheeriest bloke on the block, if for no other reason than it serves my obsessive predilection for all things alliterative.

Today things looked up a little. Today I finally overcame both my pride and my prejudice with regard to the matter of doctors. I decided that three months of trusting my immune system to win the war against the gremlins was long enough; the battles were going this way and that, but the enemy was showing no sign of giving up and so I summoned the trusty ally. I went to see a doctor (it occurred to me that if the Iron Duke could depend so critically on Blucher, there was little shame in me following his example. I need encouragement, you see.)

And what a lovely doctor she was. She had no air of the authority figure hanging about her person, more the air you might expect of a diligent niece you only see once every couple of years or so. That was OK; we got on; we even talked about a few things entirely unrelated to the enemy on the hill. She prescribed a course of antibiotics which I hope will prove to be the Waterloo of my personal Napoleon (and his own allies, and with due apology to any French person who might happen to read this.)

And that wasn’t all. I was also greeted most enthusiastically by a friendly dog, despite its human’s attempt at restraint and subsequent apology. ‘That’s quite all right,’ I said to the lady. ‘The greeting of a friendly dog is always most welcome.’ And so it is.

It got better. I was followed home – and subsequently waved at – by HT54. Could anything be better suited or more aptly timed to raise the spirits of an ailing person than to be followed and waved at by HT54? Not many, I think.

*  *  *

During my sabbatical I continued to read the news, and continued to be amazed and disturbed by the sort of things people say – people from the lowest social ranks right up to the highest echelons of political power. So much prejudice, so much bigotry, so much deceit and clear dishonesty, so much self-serving manipulation and so much plain stupidity drips from the mouth of the human creature with alarming regularity.

Of particular note was the row in America over Trump’s remarks concerning Clinton’s security arrangements. Both sides of the Trump-Clinton divide revealed themselves to be either uncomprehending of even the simplest logic, or else engaged in such transparently foolish opportunism as the day would quake to look on. And one or the other is destined to be the next ‘leader of the free world.’ Indeed. I fear America’s international reputation must be getting close to needing the urgent attention of a defibrillator by now. There was more, of course, but let’s move on.

*  *  *

I also questioned the blogging habit again. I questioned whether there is any point in me casting my inconsequential jottings to the winds of cyberspace. Can the little thoughts of one little person really amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world? (And the world really is crazy, I’m quite sure of that.) I don’t see how they can, and I don’t see why they should, which is why I came very close to saying ‘enough is enough.’

The problem is that writing is in my blood, and there’s very little else in there keeping it company these days (apart from the odd infection or two, whose own days, I hope, are numbered.) So what would I write, now that the stories are all written out? I’ve no idea. I can’t write one of those popular thematic blogs because I don’t know enough about fishing, football, flower arranging or how to invent fifty different recipes for apple pie. So what’s next? More of the same? I don’t know yet. Maybe I’ll decide tomorrow.

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