Saturday, 5 March 2011

I'm Sorry, Please Say That Again...

As life returns to normal in drizzly old East Yorkshire this morning, the shopping routine returns and during a trip round my local supermarket Sainsburys (other supermarkets are available, ) my other half witters and whinges about them changing the products round and not having the variety they had before. One of the reasons for this may be that they are building a huge pharmacy in the middle of the shop which is taking up what was two aisles.

Frankly, the choice and variety of stuff is mind blowing. When I was a kid, you had two choices of cheese from 'Cussons', the corner shop in the village: A Cheddar (red, a bit like Red Leicester) or Cheshire (white and crumbly). If we were really posh, you could get an Edam which was like eating tasty soap with the red coating which I always enjoyed more then the cheese bit. I didn't have the time today, but I'll have a hunt round the shop next time I go and see how many stand alone cheese products they sell.

My wife is accusing me of being deaf and the fact that I should do something about it. I accept that perhaps I don't hear things sometimes quite clearly enough but today for example, her indoors is talking to me in a busy supermarket this morning whilst walking away from me facing in the opposite direction and she wonders why I can't hear her.

My mother got the doctor in when I was little thinking I was deaf. The doctor, thank goodness, advised against any action because in those days (50 years ago) ear surgery was crude and damaging in other ways. He said I'd grow out of it and he was right.
The fact is that I switch off and don't listen. I am sure this is the main reason and of course being a man and being unable to multi task - if I listen to the radio or TV, then that's where I concentrate, not on chatter. Deafness however does run in the family, like wooden legs, and my wife's mother has been stone deaf for decades so I guess I can understand her concern and frustration.

My WW1 hero Grandad, for example had one of those hearing aids the size of a packet of fags that used to whistle loudly when it wasn't tuned right that he kept in his waistcoat pocket. As everyone worked in the days he was alive - he still lived with us (he was elderly, deaf, blind, suffered mild dementia at the end and had one leg), sadly the only thing he ever needed the aid for was to listen to the budgie chirp away during the day and to listen to The Archers at 7 o'clock on the wireless - he was not a great conversationalist, God rest his soul.

What great news today that to celebrate the inaugural World Book Night, the organisers, according to the
BBC News, will be distributing one million free books to venues including homeless centres, pubs and hospitals in a bid to boost reading. This is indeed marvellous news and I wish them well. Anything that will encourage our youngsters and adults alike to read and gain pleasure from holding and reading a book has got to be good.

I have tried to read a book on the Internet, but I just can't get into it - I'm not sure why, perhaps I can't relax like I can by slobbing about on the settee like I usually do when I'm reading.

My wife bought some hyacinths the other week which I potted up into containers for the living room and they are out right now - the fragrance as we come into the room in a morning is absolutely fabulous and even during the day, the heady scent wafts through the whole ground floor. You know I like to put fresh pictures on the blog which have been missing because I've been away, so today a simple picture of the hyacinth flower breaks the drought.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Chat soon



  1. Just had to comment, even though I promised myself a day of relaxation. I have either got a bug or I ate something that didn't agree with me and it isn't going away.
    About the deafness thing -- I've heard it all before. "Well if you will walk away when you're talking..." or, "Ive got my head in the fridge..." or, "..the tap's running" ..."I'm not deaf. You're mumbling." This has been going on for a couple of years now. The result is, I'm shouting at people or I'm surprised when someone answers me the first time I say it.
    Ah well, he has to put up with my forgetfulness and general inability to walk far. Such are the joys of getting old. Thing is, I never thought I would get old and I don't feel old in my mind. (I've always been forgetful so that doesn't count).
    Incidentally, I can't get into reading books on computers either
    And as for the smell of hyacinths, I know everybody loves them, but they almost knock me out! It takes all kinds....
    Love your sign-off.Ta-ra to you too.:}

  2. Those hyacinths are a gorgeous blue and I do love the fragrance of those plants which just fill the room.I think it is one of those scents that immediately gives you a sense of well-being.

    I so totally agree about the WBN venture - a wonderful initiative. You can't curl up with a computer screen or kindle in quite the same way as with a book and to put books into the hands of those who wouldn't normally access them is a terrific enterprise. For me, part of the pleasure of reading is the sensual connection with the pages, the visuals of the cover, the smell and sound of the paper and a home isn't quite the same without book-lined walls. x

  3. Hi ChrisJ
    You are so right linking all this to age and I'm so glad someone else experiences this and it's not just me! The human body is so remarkable in many ways and yet so fragile in others. Get well soon.

    Hi Elizabeth
    'Bottled' hyacinth fragrance isn't quite as good as the real thing, but it is fabulous. I think books will forever remain a potent part of our lives for all the reasons you say - there is a sort of intimacy about using books and they become companions in life. PJ O'Rourke once said "Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it."