Saturday, July 27, 2013

It's a man thing

Ronnie Corbett once began one of his monologues by saying, "I can remember the exact date, it was October 25th 1985, the reason the date sticks in my mind so clearly is it was the day that Allied Carpets didn't have a sale on".

Shy's mention of Delia Derbyshire, a woman incidentally whose life and career was surely a triumph of determination and ignorance (even excusing for the institutionalised sexism of Britain before 1979), took me back to last week and my brief stay in hospital.

In the bed opposite me was a man in his seventies, possibly early eighties, called Reg. Reg has lived all his life, but for three years of living hell (as he put it) in Germany after the Second World War, within a radius of about five miles from the hospital bed he was sat on as he chatted. On the second night of my stay he was joined by one of his three sons and a daughter in law. As I have said before from our ward we had millionaires views over Poole Harbour and during their meandering conversation the son and daughter in law would move to the window and look for landmarks that had some collective memory for the three of them. During one particular discussion the daughter in law commented on her husbands story about his brother falling out of a tree and breaking his arm, "How can you remember that?" He replied, "That was easy, it was because I missed episode eight of The War Games - I can even remember what the weather was like".

The War Games was the seventh serial of the six season of Dr.Who and was aired in the late spring, early summer of 1969! I only know this because I looked it up. He had carried this piece of information around for nearly forty five years until a chance conversation on the fifth floor of Poole Hospital presented him with the opportunity to reveal it.

I've noticed as I have got older that my connections with events earlier in my life have become fewer and fewer but those that do stick out are either quite vivid (such as the walk up St.Paul's Cathedral) or slightly strange and having no relevance to my current life (remembering my conversation with my Dad when we learned Gordon Banks wouldn't play against West Germany in Mexico in 1970). What I have also noticed though is that many things to which I have attached importance during my thirty one years with Janis mean nothing to her or she cannot remember them at all, sometimes her assertion that she cannot remember has me wondering whether or not I have adopted false memory syndrome. Or is it because women actually spend more of their lives doing 'stuff', actually getting on with it whilst as a man I tend to compartmentalise between work/home/hobbies etc.

I honestly don't know but I think I will conduct some research next week when back in the world of the living.


A Northern Bloke said...

I'm at a stage now where I can remember, quite clearly, events that took place several decades ago but ask me where the car keys are and I haven't a clue.

At first I thought it was the stress on unemployment but I really think it's more likely to be advancing years. Gulp!, 58 in a week's time!

Span Ows said...

Happening earlier for me...51 in 3 weeks...forgetting the most simple things, especially things I set out to do: i.e. remember to do something, go to do it then forget and stand in a doorway trying to remember why I went there!

Paul said...

I've come to the conclusion that it is age unfortunately. I also think that we are bombarded with so much information that we simply can't take it all in despite our brains being used at quite a low capacity (apparently)

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