Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Why was he born at all?

I’ve had four near-death experiences. Technology was significant in three; absence of technology caused the fourth.
CLOSE KISS ONE Aged six or seven, I caught meningitis. Previously it would have been the Kiss of Death or being left as a vegetable, preferably not an aubergine. Luckily M&B sulfanilamide had just been invented and I lived on, my mental capacities only slightly diminished. Before, I was on course to be a genius.
CLOSE KISS TWO Unable to cure my athlete’s foot, the RAF flew me back from Singapore to Blighty as a CASEVAC (casualty evacuation). We took off in heavy rain from Negombo in what was then Ceylon. At a point close to no-return the pilot knew we weren’t going to make it and slammed on the brakes. The jungle loomed. This was 1957 when planes crashed a lot.
CLOSE KISS THREE Riding my motorbike down a steep hill, with the whole of my LP collection stuffed in the front of my raincoat, I met a car (the make of which I shamefully cannot recall) across the road, hit it amidships, somersaulted over the top, and not an LP was scratched.
CLOSE KISS FOUR I embarked on a solo ascent of a route called Fairy Steps (rated Very Difficult) which I had climbed before. A flake of rock weighing perhaps a ton and which had supported many other climbers over decades, broke off, broke in two and fell with my unroped body into a narrow gulley to form a Bonden sandwich.
OBSERVATIONS (1) No previous-life flashes. (2) No curses. (3) No Arghhhh. (4) I was being saved to write this blog.

PS: My brother, having read this post, sent me a photo of the Fairy Steps climb before the I unwittingly modified the route.