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A note and a musing. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
A note and a musing.

It never fails, does it.  I was actually making progress on some work, yesterday.  And then I decided to wander off and get fed and watered.  As I was returning, I managed – altogether accidentally, and no one’s fault by my own, it takes talent to do this by oneself but I did manage – I managed, as I was saying, to come a bit of a cropper and take a header into a common-or-garden brick post-cum-pillar.  Nothing major, I suppose, and it could have been worse: just a bloodied left thumb, scraped right palm, scraped left knee (and I must congratulate whoever wove the twill for my trousers, they came through unscathed and all but unmarked), and a bruised, cut, and swollen right cheek (probably a bruised cheekbone, as well, but not broken).  There are other aches and pains (lower back and right shoulder, mostly, and I’ll have quite the shiner around the right eye in time), but it was really not nearly as bad as it might have been and much less bad than quite a few injuries I’ve had in the past.


What I get, I suppose, for not leaving a larger ‘carbon footprint’, but, then, long before Dave Cameron was ever heard of, I had taken it as a principle that one oughtn’t, save on special occasions, go out to feed at any establishment to which one could not walk – or trot, or canter.


Why is it, I wonder, that people are sometimes rather too solicitous?  I quite appreciate, really, the aid (Mr B the genial landlord, whose welcoming establishment is nearby to where I managed to injure myself, came out to look after me along with a passing walker or three, for instance, which was especially kind as I’d taken my custom elsewhere up the –––way to dine last evening, and he surely knew that perfectly well), and the ambulance men – ‘just checking up on you, sir, just to be certain’ – were terribly kind as well, but people who don’t know one so well will ask, ‘Is there anyone we can ring up for you?’ – and they won’t take no for an answer.  I’m very sorry to sound churlish, I am, really, but that is precisely not a question – or answer, the answer being that, No, in fact, there isn’t, sadly enough – that is precisely not a question on which I am best pleased to dwell.  Still, it was kindly meant, and one mustn’t be ungrateful.


What interests me about the incident, is, one becomes strangely removed and inconsequential at such times.  I’m not speaking of the usual slightly detached feeling of shock, so much as I am of the curious fashion in which a sudden jar seems almost to shake one’s kaleidoscope of memories, causing one to recall with an odd clarity things one had long forgotten or ceased to think of, and that have no possible relation to the event that caused these memories to resurge. 


When I was still at school – I may have been fifteen or so, at most – my father, true to the acquisitive instinct of his kind, had bought some rather roughish rural land, with a rather rustic dwelling on it, off North (well, let’s say, it’s between B––– and a place-name with a majuscule ‘Z’ in it), for the sake of the shooting, fishing, and, if you can credit it, even some unexpected stalking (a stag once wandered into the verge of our woods there on Christmas morning, in fact).  Apparently we still own that, if I am to believe the tax notices I get from the council up there.  I quite literally had not thought of the place, save as an entry in the chequebook, in some years. 


And there was no earthly reason whatever why I should suddenly have done, yet, there it is, with almost hallucinatory vividness of recall.  There is no possible connexion between my spill of yesterday and my memories of that place, even subconsciously.


Rum thing, these sudden shocks.  Anyone else have a mind that works in similarly mysterious, not to say odd, ways?

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18 comments or Leave a comment
shezan From: shezan Date: August 20th, 2006 06:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Marcel Proust. Have started re-reading La Recherche - and really, "re-reading" is a wildly optimistic term - and it's not the same book I took up at age 20. And it really is about the memory of the body surprising you at recreating the world.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 26th, 2006 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes, well.

Just what I wanted, something in common with a neuraesthenic Frog who sopped his biccy in his tea.

But, yes, of course you're right.
shezan From: shezan Date: August 26th, 2006 09:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes, well.

Ah, but dunking your croissant in your morning café au lait is one of the great pleasures of life.

(HORRIFIES all my furrin friends...)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 27th, 2006 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

'One of the great pleasures'?

M'dear, I believe you meant to refer to the Full English Breakfast.

Coffee and croissants, forsooth. Pah. Foreign kickshaws.
shezan From: shezan Date: August 27th, 2006 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: 'One of the great pleasures'?

to the Full English Breakfast

Oh, I love that too. I call it "lunch."
aillil From: aillil Date: August 20th, 2006 09:47 am (UTC) (Link)
How do you feel today? Are you recovering?

Anyone else have a mind that works in similarly mysterious, not to say odd, ways?

We all do, don't we? Maybe this is a sign by your brain to venture up North and look at your property again. :)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 26th, 2006 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)


Depends on the birds this year, really.

Odd people, my family. 'I say, there's extra mun in our accounts. Damn me if I let it simply SIT there, let's go buy land somewhere on a whim! Come along, lad, it's always wise to buy land, it can't go down in value, it's the one thing they aren't making any more of!'
eagles_rock From: eagles_rock Date: August 20th, 2006 11:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Ambulance men - blimey. At least the last time I fell over (two months ago) I was on my own and unobserved. I had to drive two hours home afterwards, with a skinned knee (quality will out; my own trousers cost a tenner and were washed and worn) and a dodgy ankle, and my dislike of fuss is such that I bought a new pair of trousers on the way back so I could hide the injury. I don't think my gratitude would have held out at all. Memories invoked were entirely logically connected, and I did not suffer a blow to the head. I did have a fine piece of memory recovery earlier this year, one of those unconnected moments, but now I've forgotten what it was, or I've forgotten that it was previously forgotten.

I do hope you're recovering and will craft some fine story for the black eye. :-)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 26th, 2006 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

'Do you recall any memory loss?' 'Um, no?'

And it wasn't NHS, only the local SJA chaps, and I know them, and besides, they were having grub at Mr B's in any event, so.... Still, it is rather humiliating, isn't it, this sort of thing.
themolesmother From: themolesmother Date: August 20th, 2006 11:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Blows to the head are nasty things. Hope you are feeling better today.

Nearest experience to yours I can report is some incredibly vivid dreams featuring past events following surgery last year - after the morphine wore off, which is strange. No discernible pattern to them. I remain mystified.

wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 26th, 2006 06:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

After? Odd.

I thought the only people who had wild dreams after surgery were Labour MPs entertaining visions of making it to the front bench after being flattered by their constituency workers.
From: tree_and_leaf Date: August 20th, 2006 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope you're feeling less sore today.

As far as memory goes, I always find that it's scents, more than anything, that set me off. Or sometimes things people say or things I read which wake an association.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 26th, 2006 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh, scent, of course, is vy powerful.

And of course reading is a psychological fun fair any day.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: August 20th, 2006 04:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I used to have vivid dreams that referenced places I used to live, but not quite.

They terrified me because I couldn't tell whether they were dreams or memories.

Turns out those "dreams" are actually "hypnogogic hallucinations", a major symptom of narcolepsy. Who knew? I take my meds most faithfully now.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 26th, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

I shd think so.

I certainly shd do.
ionaonie From: ionaonie Date: August 22nd, 2006 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, hon, that is wholly impressive - that really does take talent.

Hope you're feeling better after your header.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 26th, 2006 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Amazing, isn't it.

I shdn't have minded had I been tight, but dinner was positively teetotal, as I plied myself with the usual quarts of tea.
serriadh From: serriadh Date: August 28th, 2006 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry to drop in slightly late - I've had relatives staying and haven't had time to browse as I usually do. I hope you're feeling recovered by now.

The nearest memory-related help/anecdote I can provide is that I get very vivid recollections of where I first read a book on re-reading it, even though I may have previously forgotten I had even been there. Various places I visited whilst young (5-7ish) with my parents come to mind when I re-read CS Lewis or Nesbitt that I honestly have no other memory of ever visiting.

I get the same thing if I'm doing cross-stitch whilst watching TV. On returning to my work in a couple of days, when I look again at the pattern/last bit I did, I vividly recall the programme. Even though I was only half-watching it at the time. It's a testament to the amount one takes in that one is hardly aware of at the time.

Like another of your commenters above, I also get vivid dreams about places, which, on waking, I cannot recall whether I've actually been to, or made up. On particularly dire occasions my parents have found in the sitting room in the middle of the night hunting through photos to reassure myself I've not gone mad.
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