Saturday, March 1, 2008

0: Postponing the Inevitable

It happened with a certain inevitability. I was strap-hanging on the tube in London when a young lady offered me her seat! Puzzled, I scrolled though the options in an instant; I wasn't pregnant, nor disabled? She was very pretty (but obviously deranged), so I thanked her kindly and declined ... one day when I am old I might be grateful of a similar offer!

Getting home I looked in the mirror. That face was familiar; we had met almost every morning for the last 58 yrs but I don't suppose we really look at each other any more. I suppose he does look different than he used to ... but the changes are subtle. A wrinkle or two, a greying hair, some thinning of the loft insulation, but still the same person. Move on lad ... But I will always remember that fateful day!

... Of course I've just grasped what they mean when they say your memory gets worse as you get older. Ask some bright-young-things and their grandparents, to remember a specific startling fact ... 40yrs later most of the 'youngsters' have little difficulty recalling it, whilst many of the others will be 'reluctant to reply'. You see, even elephants do forget. Suddenly the future does not extend infinitely in front; and though my end may not be in sight, it is definitely in the event queue.

Well I was once told that life is like a jig-saw puzzle (Someone also told me that life is like a Pot-Noodle!), you bumble along picking up odd pieces as you go. Every once in a while you stop and look at what you have acquired, and put together the pieces that fit. Mostly it still doesn't make much sense ... it is after all, a really big jig-saw! But after years of grubbing around, I suppose it is a reward for persistence that some of my clusters do start to mean something. Of course some areas are still very sparsely populated ... the section to do with women for example. But other areas have much more in them ... like those around Engineering, Technology and Business.

... So the thought occurs that sometime between now and when my memory fails, I should try and pass on some of these nuggets for others to build on. I make no claim of ownership, originality or even accuracy; they are merely the result of observation and information gathered in the rough and tumble of more than 40yrs in engineering.

So here's the deal. Its my personal challenge to write monthly musings about a topic of recent relevance, or of longer term cogitation that you might find interesting, useful or informative. Just 500 to 800 wds to challenge neither you or I; once a month on or soon after the 1st. It sounds easy and I have 27 topics on-ice, its just the discipline to keep this going ... and do my day-job.

... And your part. Sieve through them and take the best bits for your own puzzle. Comment on them, discuss them, enjoy them, use them ... But most of all, don't forget to offer your seat to older gentlemen, because one day one of them will be me ;-)