Several things caused me consternation this morning during my ten minute walk from the bus to work, the main one being that I appeared to be slowly freezing to death. I'm a little over thirteen stone now and if this trend of "tolerance to cold" being an inverse ratio to "body fat" continues then I'm almost certainly going to pass out one of these mornings, or buy a jumper I suppose.
One of the other things that sprang to mind for some reason was the bits of personal, political and global awareness that my parents instilled in me at an early age. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, judge people by their actions and not their words, treat everyone as an equal except politicans who exist to be used and abused to get what you want because they'll do the same to you. Some of it a little contradictory but it all worked pretty well.
The on I was thinking about in particular this morning though was the impending threat of nuclear annhiliation, a frequent topic in our household during my years 8-11. And they wonder why I am the way I am... jeezus. I suspect that once we were grown up and they rediscovered booze they lightened up a bit but as a result my list of things not to tell a kid starts with "The men in planes flying all over the world with nuclear bombs who could have an accident any time and condemn us all to a slow, agonising death" or anything that concludes with "Sure, the living would envy the dead", unless I hate the little snot and want to keep him awake at night for months, listening for the telltale sound of death on propellors. I once let a helium balloon float off and had to be reassured multiple times that it wasn't going to cause a bomb to crash into us. I tell you, for subtle childhood traumas, you can't beat my parents, I'm still slightly afraid of pastry.
As a general rule though I spent most of my childhood terrified one way or the other. Primary school wasn't a whole heap of fun given that I was in a class of ignorant savages, themselves the children of ignorant savages.. the seventh savage offspring of a seventh savage offspring in some cases. For example, the closest Stuart Griffith ever came to an encyclopedia was the time I beaned him in the head with volume M for making the fifth teacher's pet joke that lunchtime. Mrs Brown, the teacher, was such an insipid tool that I got away with it though, despite doing it in front of her. Miserable old cow could have gotten me out of that place a year early and into secondary school but refused to do so because it'd reduce the class size to three if she had. Nice rationale bitchtits.
It did not help that I was as unapologetic and mouthy a jerk then as I am now so I can't blame her entirely but in my defence, the rest of those goons *were* a bunch of f*cking unimaginative retards, except David and Tristram, they were just good at hiding their latent homosexuality underneath a veneer of bullish ignorance.
As much as I hated mornings and the prospect of going back to school to spend the day surrounded by the drips and flickering lightbulbs, not to mention David and Tristram, nighttime held the real terror for me on account of living opposite the graveyard. That and the sodding ghosts I kept seeing, hearing and occasionally physically interacting with. Not that I'm quite so convinced of their existence now you understand but I still distinctly recall seeing them several times, hearing my name whispered in an empty house several other times and on two different instances, feeling contact against me when there was no one in the reasonably well lit room (we had an early bed time, even in summer). I suppose I still believe in them to a certain extent, too many things get moved around when I'm not in the room and sometimes things fall over and move in my presence but nothing floaty or spectacular or enough to definitely write them up as paranormal as opposed to "that table is wonky" and "you moved it yourself". I've long suspected that my unwillingness to believe has more to do with unwillingness to associate myself with the paranormal investigative community than it has to do with any real rationalisation of the different things that happen but since it works for me I think I'll let it go. I still think fortune tellers and psychics are full of it by the way, just in case this post makes it sound like I'm a "believer".
Incidentally, Gomez have gotten a bit good haven't they?