Times they are a changin….

Or are they? This week’s theme, to weave into my everyday life, is one of those loose phrases that is often both true and false. Of course, it’s also a classic Bob Dylan song. More from the legendary Bob later but, in the meantime, on with my epistle produced during the recent UK snow! I hope you find it entertaining. It’s a rather mixed bag this week.

Some things definitely never change! The other day I slowly placed a considered, precise and measured amount of rice for two people into a pan to cook. When ready it was enough to feed 10 people! I am convinced some grains crept into the pot whilst I was not looking! Anyone with video evidence please submit!

This week’s post was inspired, in part, by a BBC Radio 4 programme about the famous Victorian Art Critic, John Ruskin. He lived from 1819 to 1900, and he was a legendary writer, not just creatively scrawling about art but also science, politics and economics.

John Ruskin

Ruskin in 1863 W. & D. Downey – public domain

One of participants mentioned his writing in a major newspaper at the time. The article in question showed that, perhaps, somethings have not changed in 150 years. Ruskin recounted a train journey made on a beautiful summer’s day, and his observations during the trip. He was truly shocked to see people with their heads embedded in newspapers rather than enjoying the wonder of the journey and nature’s creations!!

Oh dear, does that remind us of today’s smartphone world at all?

And on another note, I suspect a lot of people alive today don’t realise what the actual extent of the UK rail network was back in the late 1800s. It was already vast with most of the routes today in place!

My featured post image today is of the Bristol Corn Exchange clock. How is this marvellous piece of engineering relevant?

Some things do change, though slowly, almost invisibly, but often leave evidence of a former and now unfamiliar time.

Look very closely. The clock has two minute hands, and these are set 10 minutes apart. This is the actual difference between London and Bristol Real Earth Time. In Victorian times, local time was used throughout the country as technology did not yet exist to synchronise clocks. The coalescing to a unified time was heavily driven by the onward march of the railways. Every station had 2 clocks, one set at London time and one at the local time. There was much resistance to changing even despite trains did  collide due to local and regional timetable misunderstandings! With the arrival of telephony, a single time for the country was inevitable.

Back to today and burying your head in a smart phone. Well, I reject all the comments made by “Do-Gooders” regarding the damaging aspects of modern communication technology. Why? Well, simply because of my predicament. Without developing science and technology, people living with mnd lives would be horrid or even unliveable. How would I be able to communicate??

Get real, those people!

For example, I now speak rarely on the telephone with my ever evolving high definition Bob Dylan voice and especially, if it is with someone I don’t yet know.

Last week, for example, we had a bit of an issue with the delivery of a new tumble dryer. To cut a long story short (some things definitely don’t change with my yarns, readers!) Jean was dealing with the situation, and I overheard her discussion. I was getting furious (you know the feeling? Or perhaps you don’t?) at what she was being told, and I began shouting at Jean with my considered, polite (NOT says Jean) and proposed actions.

Unfortunately, if I get angry, as we all do now and again, my voice sounds truly horrific and although I hate to say it, I probably appear deranged! I can state now I am not deranged, and my brain is as precise as ever.

I was this belligerent before! Only I was clearer!

Coincidently this week I wanted to phone a service supplier to discuss our account, and initially I thought I would have to get Jean to do it. However, I found that I could register for accessibility access. This actually just released a secret email address and enabled online chat (smartphone communication, I rest my case M’Lord). So much better, and I could negotiate over the wire! So there are some advantages to not having much of a voice! You can still sense an attitude over online chat!

One thing did change this week! My physiotherapy session was in a different room, and with the bench aligned left to right rather than right to left! I can reassure you, readers, I didn’t go into a rage. However, I gave my physio a simple and knowing look, which translated into…

You will have to try harder than that to get rid of me!

It was another really great massage session. I cannot say enough for the benefits of deep tissue massage. I think it is seriously overlooked. People often reach for the muscle relaxant drugs as the panacea to all ailments. The drugs are largely indiscriminate and in my view largely unnecessary.

Drugs could be bad* readers! Time won’t change my opinion on this one!

*clarification from Lee – Essential drugs, and well-proven treatments are vital and are some of the most amazing of modern technological wonders.

But taking drugs as a single response to symptoms is not always the best approach.

Back in everyday onein400 land and I have been afflicted with a sodding cold! It’s my excuse for this late post folks.

Pre MND Diagnosis a head cold would have gone in a couple of days. However, because of MND, it really knocked me for six, and has taken nearly 3 weeks to disperse. Everything about it has made for a miserable time. Sneezing, coughing, breathing and combined with my balance issues just wrecked things. I cannot emphasise the need to avoid people with colds at this time of year, and please if you do have a cold do be considerate of those with diseases like MND. This is only sensible really, rather like the establishing of a single time for the UK Railways and effectively the country!

As a result, my poor old voice was getting even more Bob ‘Dylanesc’ by the day!!

But, on the good news front, following my Chilli plant fiddling-techniques, I am pleased to announce that I now have a thriving bush of about 30 chillis reaching to the sky.

Onein400 chillis

It will be another month before they might turn red. So hopefully we will be a fully independent chilli state and self-sufficient in the event of a no-deal Brexit!

Only time will tell!

On a really serious note, the Man Flu epidemic continued to bite here in the UK, when our electrician cancelled a visit after he told us he had contracted full-blown Man Flu! Jean was not at all sympathetic on the phone, but I sorted a get well card and texted him:

”You can beat this, you are strong”

What’s Lord Bragg been up to? I hear you ask!

He got me testing a brand new product whilst I had my streaming head cold:

Lord Bragg Inventions

Yes Lord Bragg’s on-demand, pay per sheet, unlimited tissue supplies! It’s an ingenious self monitoring, WiFi connected, tissue release, monitoring, charging and re-ordering system.  I did notice every tenth tissue was £10!

What a guy! What a businessman!

And finally, I leave you with a rather dreadful recording, from an absolute lifetime ago in 1968, of Bob Dylan’s Just like a Woman. Make no mistake, he is a legend, but I could probably match this recording of his voice!

He should have taken one of Lord Bragg’s (Concert Strength) throat lozenges!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Paul Baumgartner says:

    Ah, Dylan’s electric phase! I remember fans being in uproar after he met with the Beetles and then switched from acoustic to electric…

    Like

  2. Deborah Warden says:

    Thanks so much! My first introduction to onein400. I loved learning about John Ruskin, the old train clock settings, and seeing the beautiful clock from the Bristol Corn Exchange. Great that you found the on-line chat for your service provider (and that it exists!) You weave living life well with your symptoms and necessary accommodations. I’ll be a regular now! Thanks, again.

    Like

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