Monday, 7 November 2011

Random musing, Wimbledon, stuff like that

Just some random thoughts provoked by recent events. No, not Greece or the Eurozone crisis, or the fact that there are 7 billion of us now (although the concept of ‘us’ is laughable in the context of the generally accepted 99-1 wealth split). And it’s not the absurd fact that Berlusconi was ever allowed to hold any sort of political office (or any other office than that of a brothel concierge). And so on, and so on. No, we all have our convictions and hopes in these matters of global concern; they don’t always coincide and no amount of preaching or arguing changes things. Maybe if I had the occasional chat with Jesus, he’d make my putts drop, but I don’t, so He helps my playing partners to beat me. Serves me right.

So these random thoughts are on things of no significance to anyone. They serve the Beckettian purpose of helping me pass the time. ‘We always find something to give us the impression we exist’ says Estragon in Godot. So the more entertaining and stress-free that ‘something’ is, the better.

Such as the recent academic research that found that people born in August are:
a)      less likely to get to the ‘better’ universities in the UK, and
b)      less comfortable in social situations.
The argument is that they’re the youngest in their particular academic year and therefore 12 months behind their classmates. What it adds up to is that you’re wasting your time reading this and, if you’re a ‘follower’, you shouldn’t be. Because I was born in August, which means that I’m congenitally thick, I don’t know words such as ‘congenitally’, and I’m hopeless when it comes to engaging others in social interactions. (On the other hand, I’m still 15 days more intelligent and sociable than my daughter, who was born even later in August than I was. Except in a different year.) (You see? That last remark was either a post-modern witticism on the nature of time and progeniture, or clear proof of my disjunction from coherent thought.) (It also gave me the chance to indulge my obvious predilection for parentheses.) (But I’ll stop that now.)

The only conclusion to be drawn from this which might have some positive value is that, if any of you are planning to have a baby, wait until January to make sure it’s born in September. I’m sure you’ll be able to find other things to do between now and then.

Random thought 2 was provoked by a FaceBook posting by my other daughter (who was born in April and is therefore much cleverer than I am – in fact, so clever that she managed to be born just 12 hours before the end of the tax year, which at the time earned me an income tax rebate). Anyway, she wrote that, the moment she hears a politician say ‘Let’s be clear about this’, she stops listening. Whereupon daughter 1 added that she has the same reaction when they begin sentences with ‘Look’. My own contribution was that, when they say ‘The fact is’ or, even worse ‘The fact of the matter is’, it’s a clear signal that what follows will be fiction. So, even given the huge intellectual distances separating us, it seems that we’re bound by quite close family traits

Speaking of family, here’s another aside which is an unashamed boast. One of my granddaughters has been chosen to have free tennis tuition at the All England Club (i.e. Wimbledon) every weekend. She's the red dot in the picture. She’s 5 years old so I anticipate a seat in the Royal Box in, say, 2026 to see her lift the trophy. I shall, of course, encourage her parents to be ruthless in forcing her to practise, give up school, pleasures, TV, boyfriends. She’ll be made to eat healthy food which tastes like cardboard, rise at 5 am to get her conditioning right and run several miles before breakfast and after dinner each day. And I’m looking forward with great eagerness to the day when she’ll be sponsored by manufacturers of tennis shoes who pay workers in the Far East 25 cents a month so that they have the necessary millions to spare on stars. Quite right, too.

Enough randomness. I was going to go on about those incomprehensible souls who think ‘Second Place is just the first loser’ (Dale Earnhart) or commentators like the British guy describing a race in the world rowing championships who, when a British crew won, went all orgasmic, screaming ‘They don’t do bronze, they don’t do silver, they only do gold’. I’m not sure what he said when he had to call home British crews who did ‘do’ silver or bronze. Still, as Beckett (again) said ‘You're on Earth. There's no cure for that’.

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  1. Haha - oh Bill, I loved your ramblings!

    My eldest son was born in the middle of August and is a bloody genius by the way.

    The fact of the matter is... ooopppsss ... that because your grandaughter' tennis talent is apparent at 5 years old is enough - and it doesn't matter if she changes her mind and wants to play ping-pong instead when she's 6. She's obviously a bloody genius too. What month was she born, again?

    Love, Janice x

  2. Thanks Janice. Your son must be the exception that proves the rule. Isla was born in April, but I agree completely that it doesn't matter if she gives it all up. The important thing is that she enjoys it.