Memory almost full!

I’ve lost my car keys, I’ve searched everywhere.  It doesn’t matter I won’t need them until I remember where I’ve left my car.  That’s a joke rather like my chum telling me that he is modifying his stair lift to speed it up.  That way he can get upstairs so fast that he will be there before he forgets what he went up for.

Memory; It bothers all of us of a certain age, that’s when we remember to think about it.  I was starting to believe that I had cracked it, my iPhone was proving quite a lifesaver, and I can use it to leave myself notes and can either write or leave a voice reminder with and alarm to jog my failing brain.  I also have an App. Called “Find my Car” I can even take a photo if it will help me.  Great, but not a great deal of help, if I have left it in my car, and that’s another nasty habit that I have also developed.

I have tried other ways to improve my failing mind by developing new habits in addition to my nasty ones.  I have placed a large bowl near my favourite chair; this is proving useful for the “I’ve lost it” syndrome.  I routinely use it for my wallet, reading glasses, house and car keys, cell phone and cash change.  I keep the bowl in exactly the same place and am now in the habit of going there first.  Before that is accusing my good tempered wife of moving my lost item, the one that I know I placed in my bowl.  It should work; after all they can train mice and dogs so surely I can train myself.

I have now got so bad that family and friends are convinced that I suffer from OCD; in fact I’m beginning to worry about it myself.  I work out at the gym every day and have got into the habit of going at the same time each day; parking in the same spot if I am able to, even trying to use the same locker.  All of my kit is in its proper place in my gym bag.  All of this would be acceptable of someone of my great age, if it worked.

However in just the past two weeks I have left the token which I use in place of a £1 coin for my locker, on five separate occasions.  I’m far too embarrassed to ask if anyone has handed them in.  I have left my goggles and ear plugs after a swimming session.  Last week I got changed in the dressing room and did not realise that I was going upstairs to the gym in bare feet until I stubbed my toe and had to return to the locker room for my trainers.  On three occasions I have got upstairs without my drinks bottle and gone back downstairs for it.  I’m sure that climbing up and downstairs is great extra exercise. . . . . . . . .

This morning I was on a Cross Trainer before I realised that I had left my iPod in my locker. . . . . . .  I am just wondering how long it will be before I get into the Spa after my Gym Session sans swimming trunks and more to the point if I can convince anyone that it is just my memory that is at fault before I finish up on the sex offenders list.

Surely the Cops would believe me that my memory was the second thing that went once I became aged.  If that last statement missed its mark, then your memory is worse than mine.

 My chums are a sarcastic bunch and so after an early morning gym workout, over breakfast, one asked how I picked a subject to Blog about and I just told him that I just wrote what I was in my mind at that particular time.  A bit like a butterfly flitting between flowers.  Another of the ironic group immediately came back with “More like a blowfly going from dung-heap to cow pat”

As an old guy I often cover up my forgetfulness by saying that my memory is almost full.  However I do have a lot of memories stored in my filing cabinet of a brain.  One such is filed under ‘Sailor’s Dit’ from some 60 years ago.

To set the scene, two very green Royal Navy ‘Snotties’ (Midshipmen) learning to be officers and gentlemen were setting off to go sightseeing on a run ashore in Gibraltar.  In those days all Naval Servicemen had wear their Number One Uniforms ashore.  In fact civilian clothes were not allowed on board.

Gibraltar is a fairly small place and our huge Aircraft Carrier with a complement of 1500 officers and crew, overwhelmed it.  My shipmate Warwick and I walked through Dockyard gates and went into a small stone built urinal close to the gates and were standing at the long very smelly trough.  Before we could perform, in staggered a very drunk, three badge killick, that is a leading seaman with at least 12 years service.  On seeing us he stamped to attention and saluted, neither of us was in a position to return his salute so I muttered, ‘Carry on’.  He staggered forward and joined us at the trough.

As he began to urinate, he was swaying about and muttering in a broad Glaswegian accent.  He suddenly indicated a piece of electrical conduit piping that was sticking out of the wall just above his head.  It was probably where a lamp had been attached.  In his rough Gorbals intonation he challenged us to a pissing contest and began to urinate up the wall flicking it towards the pipe – BANG – the conduit was live.  The Scotsman was hurled backwards across the room to end up unconscious against the far wall.

I saw that Warwick had peed down his trouser leg and all over his shiny shoes.  I left him with the sailor who we found was still breathing, and ran to the Dockyard gate where there was a Police post.  When we got back I found that Hooky had come round and in spite of his charred bell-bottoms appeared to be feeling no pain.  An ambulance took the injured man to hospital.  Warwick and I were taken back to our ship by a Royal Naval Patrol, where we had to explain to the Officer of the Day as to why we were associating with a member of the Lower Deck, especially a drunken one.

The following day my friend and I successfully had a run ashore and went up the top of the Rock to see the Barbary Apes.  Unimpressed by the smelly things we returned back down into the town.  We decided that a cool glass of shandy would be acceptable and went into the first pub that we found.  It was teeming with our ship’s crew, Warwick suddenly said “I think we should leave” indicating a certain very inebriated Scottish Leading Hand who was carefully manoeuvring a very full pint of beer and negotiating through the crowd.

Warwick and I had quickly downed our drinks and we were nearly at the door when we saw our man bump hard into a Royal Marine, covering him with his beer, and to make matters worse said in a loud voice “Iaam sorry soldier”.  Now no-one calls a Royal Marine ‘soldier’ and expects to retain his teeth, I saw the look on the Marine’s face and saw him taking off his belt and wrapping it around his fist while three of his fellow marines were surrounding the unlucky sailor.

We left in a hurry as we saw the front window of the pub explode into the street.  We were nearly back at the Dockyard gates when we heard the bells of the R.N. patrol wagon and we strolled through the gates and smartly saluted the Naval Guard who presented arms as we marched away.

There’s a Little Green Urinal Just North of Waterloo and another a little further up, there’s a member of the army . . . . . . Attention on the upper deck, face aft and salute.

About Jake

Long retired travel writer, author and freelance journalist. Educated at Wolverton Grammar and Greenwich Naval College. Happily married since 1958, with a married son and daughter, a married granddaughter and an adult grandson. Hobbies rock-climbing, dinghy racing and ocean racing. Still regularly working out in the gym.

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