Posted by: lucylastic | May 17, 2007

I remember (at least, I think I do)

Where, oh where has my memory gone?  I used to have no trouble remembering everything we needed for the weekly shop – without the aid of a list, not to mention details of appointments, meetings, family and friend’s birthdays, anything at all that needed remembering really, I was your woman. These days I struggle to remember what I did last week, what it was that I really, really needed to get at Tesco and whether I actually had the important conversation I was meaning to have with my children.  “Old age is approaching” I can hear you mumble, but is it as simple as that?  Are there just more things to remember than there used to be? There are undoubtedly more family members, (not even counting exes), step-children, parents-in-law and other assorted individuals than previously – but they are dutifully recorded in my electronic organiser, with reminders – so I have no excuse.  Are my brain cells giving up the ghost?  I know that alcohol is supposed to kill off brain cells – but what about the restorative effects of the fish and other nutritious stuff I eat?  I feel sure the balancing act is under control.  But where was I?  I find myself thinking that more and more.  Am I alone – I do hope not!  Please let me know if it’s happening to you too! 

I am always intrigued by those who claim perfect recall of events from long ago – there are some things I know I CAN’T remember – but I have pictures of them in my mind’s eye created by photographs and discussions.  I also find aroma a much more powerful aid to recall than a visual prompt on many occasions. The very particular smell of my first school classroom in Southsea was all but forgotten when I encountered the exact same aroma at the end of a long corridor, behind the canteen kitchen at work, just the other day. All of a sudden I got flashes of events, conversations, pupils and teachers from long ago that I know my conscious mind couldn’t have conjured up, no matter how hard I tried.  The things that come back are interesting – remember those little bottles of school milk that used to be served daily, (I’m back in about 1966/67 now)?  We looked forward to those little bottles with huge excitement – I can still remember the pleasure of having my very own miniature bottle of milk – complete with a thick, creamier layer on the top and a silver foil lid – and not having to share with anyone else was bliss for someone who always had to yield to younger, but bigger brothers!  The more worrying memory is that just before home time the teacher announced the biggest treat of the day………….those who had done particularly well or had performed some outstanding feat were given the chance to finish off any dregs of milk that happened to be left in the bottom of the bottles!!!!!!    Eat your hearts out under-achievers!  No curdling, stale milk for you!!!  The fact that the bottles had been sitting in a warm room since 9.00am didn’t seem to bother anyone – and I don’t recall anyone dying of salmonella or any other sort of food poisoning – but I can’t see it being allowed today can you?  Happy days.  The other big memory that came rushing back was of a boy called Jack who managed to con the 5 year old ‘managers’ of the tuck shop that some plastic coinage from the maths cupboard was ‘real money’.  They parted with a couple of chocolate bars, which he quickly consumed and by the time break was over, the money counted and the mis-deed discovered, the evidence was long gone!!!!  Jack pled ignorance, the naïve shop guardians were demoted in favour of a pair of more street savvy 7 year olds and I wished I’d thought of it first!  Way to go Jack. 

Thoughts of defrauding school tuck shops no longer figure much in my plans, but fraud of one sort of another is never far away.  Lovely husband and I got into a very lively discussion with friends over whether it was ‘OK’ to cheat speed cameras.  All sorts of tricks abound – fake number plates, changing lanes on motorways to avoid average speed cameras, (allegedly works), claiming to live abroad and so on – but the fact remains that each day seemingly sees the installation of more and more of these cameras – and often the erratic behaviour of those spotting the signs is more dangerous than the original speed they were driving at!  My solution would be to restrict them to proven accident blackspots and also to peak traffic times – there’s no doubt that sometimes a steady 50 miles per hour gets everyone home sooner than stretches at 80 and stretches at 20 – but of course, the revenue impact would be significant.  Ironically enough the original ‘Gatso’ camera was designed to help a Belgian racing driver improve his cornering skills and speed – it’s very fast action allowing him to examine his technique and improve his overall racing performance.  If only they had realised what the consequences of that design would be…………..and our conclusion – of course, as long as you don’t get caught.



  1. Lucy, it’s happening to me too – I blame the alu-min-um. And I remember well those little bottles of milk, stolen by Maggie Thatcher the milk snatcher. Sometimes they sat out in the morning sun before we got them and the milk was warm and disgusting!

  2. Ahh i remember the days when i could remember things….

    back when i was a whipper snapper…..

    its all the supposed drugs that i take that dumb it down somewhat….

    ahh..and yes. who likes speed cameras apart from the goverment ?

    i know its always a hassle when i take my porshce out for a quick spin down the M4.. always swapping lanes and having my scott scoot (name changed for legal purposes) blaring out “SPEED CAMERA!” just as i glide past at a smooth 120mph… the joys of being somewhat young but not that young 🙂

    i remember those milk bottles.. ohh happy days when you were given “the really cold one” that had drops of water on the outside and would slip out of your hand and the milk would fly all across the room.. and you’re just sat there thinking… “surely not.. all that ? in this small thing ? surely not? ” and then the mocking as you were made to mop it up.. good times.. happy days… then came the cartons… ohh the lovely cardboard cartons… talk about cheapskate…

    I wish i had my own tuck shop sometimes.. it was always such a novelty to me … always pupils legging it to slam against the wall to be first in the queue.. and the ohh so many “just save my place” lines that flew past my ears… and having £1 to spend and you’d have to be devious and get as much munch as you could 😛

    hmm if i could think of anything else to write i would… but i can’t.. so i wont…


    tally ho

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