Measurement

Moto Parker, originally uploaded by Alex Leigh.

The earth may have turned seven times but not much has changed. Another idiotic charge into waterworld, another joust with tractionless roots, hub deep mud and all-body immersing puddles. Still stupid, still fantastic but it got me thinking about how we slice time.

Before global warming, we had 1976. No rain for approximately ever, creepy spires steepling skywards through a glassy Ladybower reservoir, baked earth, parched vegetation and – if you are 9 years old – just bloody fantastic. That summer never seemed to end; oh you sort of knew that at some far future point, a return to school awaited. But you didn’t care because every day was a voyage of discovery, finding stuff, making stuff, learning stuff, bonding friendships. And it felt like it would go on for ever.

That’s not how life works now. I measure stress levels by the weight of the bottle recycling and general job busyness by the increasingly frenzied scrawl, which is beginning to resemble an inky spider performing an operatic death scene.

It’s a far cry from living for the moment, greeting each day as an adventure that has yet to start, and dreaming of how tomorrow might be even better. Age may allegedly bring many things but long term memory is not one of them. Years coalesce into non sequential events, time compresses everything that is important into flickery thumbnails.

Here’s an example – what happened to the summer pf 2007? Except that we never had one. Good Metrological answer but it is not the one I was looking for. I accept the climate of this low lying windswept island is basically different temperatures of rain but that’s not the point.

So what is? Maybe nothing more than an realisation that there is nothing penultimate about this life. And this must be the hazy rationale to why saying Yes is suddenly very important. Yes to riding in all weathers, yes to reading with your kids, yes to finding time to have a beer with your mates, yes to stuff that is contextually stupid but life affirmingly brilliant.

And No too. 10 days without beer made the nights slow like summers of old but lordy how keen was I do say Yes to everything else. Although I accept I may have misinterpreted the amorous signals of next doors dog. I’m coming to a reluctant conclusion that alcohol – lovely as it is – is not a substitute for real life. A bit like computers, blogs and pointless internet surfing really.

It’s funny really – many people try and alter their personal history so they are venerated when they die. That bothers me not at all; all I want is to do everything today and then the same tomorrow and the day after that. I’m absolutely fine with mediocrity but it has to be mediocrity with style.

Look I’m over 40. This gives me rights to naval gaze occasionally 😉

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