Thursday, 19 November 2015

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do...


I'm not even going to look at any further comments on yesterday's blog, because all this serious stuff caused me to lose my sense of humour - again - and I become both boring and unpleasant when that happens.

So today's task is to insert an extra 2 GBs of RAM memory into this machine, so I can keep up with the rest of you. Just to make sure I know what I am doing, I have watched a little self-help tutorial from a man in the U.S. who has done the same with his iMac, except that he installed 2 x 4 GB things in his, bringing it up to a massive 8 GBs. I didn't even know they existed - or more accurately, I wasn't told by the retailer, who only had 2s in stock.

Rachel (who is the main reason I am not going back to yesterday until tonight) has done a piece on memory, and how good hers is without the need for installing extra chips, so somehow this is very apposite to my computer update today.

Weaver has said that as she gets older, childhood memories become clearer, and I think that is quite common in older people. During the coalition government, I had a hard job recalling the name of the Prime Minister myself, and this is the classic question they ask old people to see where they are in the chronological arrangement of things.

My first memory is of the string of plastic rattle things which hung a few inches above my baby-face on the big, old, black pram that I was wheeled about in for the first few months of my life.

My next memory is of standing on one side of the little street, looking at schoolchildren playing on the other side, and it seemed like miles away, both in distance and time. I was - under no circumstances whatsoever - to set foot on any part of the road.

The next is of a Catholic priest, walking across a nearby yard, carrying a bucket of water. I asked him why the arm which wasn't carrying the bucket was outstretched away from his body, and he couldn't answer. I would later find out that this was one of thousands of simple questions to be put to priests which would all go unanswered.

In amongst these real memories are a few fake ones which I suspect were implanted by my sisters, who used the 10 year age gap between us as an excuse for using me as a doll.

One of these is the local butcher, running up the street where we lived with his dripping stump of an arm outstretched before him, screaming all the way, because he had just removed his hand with a badly-aimed meat-cleaver. I know I didn't see this, but the powers of description were so strong that I sometimes think I did.

There is one, very brief period in my life where I can remember every detail when I was not unconscious through general anaesthetic.

I must have been almost 4 when I was taken to hospital for a minor operation on my neck - I still have the scar which I tell some people was inflicted when someone cut my throat. That is almost true.

I couldn't understand why I had to get into my pyjamas in the middle of the day, why I had to get into bed, why I was given a giant box of Maltesers when normally they were rationed by the twos and threes and why the nurse was so busy trying to distract me from something else as I puzzled to find out what that something else was.

I looked up just in time to see my mother taking a last peek at me through the round window of the ward door before inexplicably leaving me with strangers, and then I knew I had been abandoned forever.

I can acutely recall the sight of all those Maltesers rolling under the beds on the rest of the ward as I threw them away from me in a violent little act of rage and desperation, and I can still hear my own scream of hopelessness today.

That one misguided mistake by my mother (the ward Sister had told her to quietly slip out without saying goodbye) coloured my attitude to women and hospitals forever.

18 comments:

  1. I have a similar hospital memory which was reflective of the times (early sixties). I was admitted aged about three for a minor eye operation and remember my mother handing me over to the ward sister and after a quick goodbye she went off home. I had a teddy bear with a red scarf. The scarf fell off the bed a few times (interestingly no cot sides) and I remember the ward cleaner looking directly at me as she deliberately swept it up and disposed of it.It didn't colour my general view of domestic cleaners though.

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    1. A lot of people who made their living from children - magicians, Punch and Judy, fairground operators, teachers, etc. - actually hated them in those days.

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  2. And whast about your attitude to Maltesers Tom?

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    1. My fondness lasted longer than my teeth, Weave.

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  3. I peeked at your yesterday's post comments late last night from behind a cushion.

    Your childhood memories seem pretty clear. I didn't have time to relate many of mine this morning.

    I wish I did not have such a good memory and could be like the men who conveniently never remember anything.

    I'll blame that nurse next time you get angry with me.

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  4. I think that from veryearly childhood we remember often things that surprised orshocked us. I often remember something via a smell.
    As to men and selective memories they are more often cowardice than suppression - and thus not really forgotten.

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  5. Btw i didnt think malteesers were THAT old

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    1. Oh yes they are, and I don't hate all nurses - how could I? Green-Eyes is a nurse, for a start.

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  6. I too was in hospital for something or other aged about 4. I remember an Irish nurse asking me if I'd like to write a note home, then gave me a magazine called 'Home Notes'. I was baffled by this bizarre behaviour for years; in fact I still am.

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    1. Was that like, 'Health and Efficiency"?

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  7. I know that I was in hospital as a very young child for an eye op (squint), but for the life of me I can't remember if I've had my tonsils out. Not that it matters but I can't ask my Mum now. The appendix has gone and I've the 7inch scar to prove it.

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    1. No, and if I got a sore throat then that's what it is.

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