It had to happen one day, but today of all days? A party political manifesto is published that includes a proposal that some have described as a dementia tax, and while musing about this in the kitchen I pour boiling water into the tea caddy and thereby waste 20 or so teabags at a stroke. I can only hope the worms in the compost heap get something out of the sudden influx of caffeine.
I do not wish to make light of dementia, unlike those who absurdly dismiss the Tory proposal in those ignorant terms. I’ve watched relatives and in-laws deteriorate through formally diagnosed dementia and am well aware that absent-mindedness is not a sign of its imminent onset, or indeed anything else much except the fact that it becomes a bit harder to do two things at once as one gets on a bit. I long ago stopped enjoying music or speech radio while trying to work, and I am best not to talk while driving because I will miss a turning or forget where I am going momentarily. It’s simply a bit more difficult to concentrate, and harder to screen out distractions or to switch in an instant from one thought to another. I gather this is almost normal as one ages, though we age variably of course.
Anyhoo, this is London-related only in the sense that me and my compost bin are somewhere in Greater London. The sun is going down to my right, and a lad who knocked at the door has just persuaded me to sponsor him for a run round Hyde Park five times tomorrow, for the princely sum of £5. Such is life that I struggled to believe him, and still have doubts that this is genuine, especially as he ended the conversation by seeking the cash in advance. I persuaded him to come back when he had completed the run, but even so I have a residual feeling that I am the fool on the hill.*
And did you know that the very engaging Beatles song of that name is about 50 years old? It was the first track on the second record of the double EP released not long before Christmas 1967, which I listened to rapt with my first girlfriend at her home, over and over again. It remains one of the best releases of the era (ignore the accompanying film, which was unduly self-indulgent). Fifty years ago was some year for me.
* He came back. I paid him the fiver I had carefully saved in case he did.