Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Personal note

When I was born, which was on the same day that the great Cab Calloway recorded "Minnie the Moocher" (Jazz's first million seller), I weighed 2½ lbs (1400g), in those days a matter for serious concern. Years later I was told that they left me at the foot of the bed and the doctor said to the midwife in the hearing of my mother, "I don't give much for his chances. Good thing too, in the circumstances".

That was unkind, but one can see his point: my mother had been widowed a few months before, and had four other children and no money. But happily she didn't agree and asked if she might be permitted to give me a cuddle.

So I survived; she somehow managed to give me and my four siblings happy childhoods, and despite the bad start I had inherited a splendid constitution. This I persistently abused in adult life by my total rejection of sound dietary principles, the avoidance of all salutary pursuits such as sport and most kinds of physical exertion, and by devotion to indolence, gluttony, cigarettes and booze.

In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, I enjoyed sixty-five years of near perfect health during which I hardly ever gave a thought to the possibility of illness, followed by a further thirteen years during which I encountered only minor disorders calling for simple remedies like a daily cocktail of popular drugs, free on the NHS, and a couple of knee replacements.

So today I really shouldn't complain (though of course I shall, loudly) that over the next few weeks much of my time will be taken up with X-rays, scans, assorted tests and surgery. This may mean that I have to abandon for the moment the commitment which I imposed on myself in 2004, which is to post something in OMF every other day; I was getting a bit tired of it anyway. But though quantity may decline I shall try to ensure that quality will not: the unseemly levity, undiscriminating choice of topic, relentless facetiousness and poor taste will be just as unwholesome as always, but reduced in volume and frequency. No more tedious every-two-days sort of thing; as Samuel Johnson very nearly said, regularity is the last refuge of scoundrels.

A hard-earned reputation for egregious banality, paucity of imagination and profound untrustworthiness is not to be lightly tossed aside just because, for the first time for years, I shall probably be taking extended breaks from the keyboard; in between, my mouse hand and both of my typing fingers will be as assiduous as ever. So please go on watching this space, but not so often.

Further notes on this topic are here:
http://omf.blogspot.com/2009/12/they-had-told-me-that-while-you-are.html http://omf.blogspot.com/2009/11/knickers.html http://omf.blogspot.com/2009/11/full-life.html


Lynn said...

I hope you enjoy a speedy recovery from everything. I have your blog in my RSS feed and I'll be keeping an eye out for your postings.

Elizabeth said...

Oh dear. I hope it won't be too horrid for you and that you'll be back to rights very soon.

Grumio said...

Everyone up here in the smoke (well everyone who was still conscious at Reginald's tonight, so let's say half a dozen of us if you include the salamander (the lizard, not the grill)) wishes you a jolly speedy return to your customary flying form. As a matter of fact, they were asking when you were due in next because it's been a while since you led a really proper sing-song. So they were a bit crestfallen at your news but heartened that you are on the front foot about it and all. You should certainly stand by for a bit of a fuss next time you are in. Their crests were duly raised again, I might add, when Marian did the Ice Tongs & Lemon Trick – a mucky lot but you wouldn't want them any other way, would you?

Then again, perhaps you might. It turned into quite a long night. You're better off out of it for the time being.

Onwards and the other one.

Ruth said...

Take a very good book with you - the people-watching opportunities are good, but the tedium of waiting requires a major distraction.
I'll stick with your less frequent posts, so - keep on posting 'em, y'

Good luck with all of it.

Tony said...

So, within 24 hours or so, I get good wishes from three nice ladies and a nice chap. Very gratifying.

Ruth: A book of course, but when you're lounging about in an MRI scanner they play music to you and you can bring your own CD.

Froog said...

Sorry to hear this, Tony. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

As a scoundrelly devotee of regularity myself, I shall be hard hit by the interruption of service. I'll have to try to keep myself entertained with your back catalogue, but I hope new nonsense will soon be pouring forth as freely as ever.