Today, for instance: Id been awake, but I'd gone back to sleep- and then someone rang the door bell and I had to leap up, throw on my dressing-gown, rush down stairs and take delivery of what turned out to be- well- I'm not sure what it was because I was still half asleep.
Something Ailz had ordered- some sort of medicine or health food.
Now I've given up on my anti-inflammatories she's got me taking this powder that you dissolve in water and it tastes like weak orange squash.
Anyway, my point is that if I'm woken suddenly- instead of being allowed to drift naturally, at my own speed, from one state to another- it takes me simply ages to get my mind into fighting shape- which is why it's already late morning and I haven't written anything yet- and I'm just going to type and see what comes.
Talking about being in fighting shape, did you know that the average age of seamen on board Nelson's Victory was 22? No, neither did I. Sailors in movies are always crusty old dogs (played by well-loved character actors) but when you think of all the shining up ropes they had to do and the heavy-lifting and the fighting you realise that can't have been the case.
It's always the very young who are sent to war. I watch footage from Afghanistan or Iraq and there are all these children in uniform and I think, "this is just a fucking scandal".
Did you see, by the way, how one of Obama's first actions as President was to authorise an airstrike on a village in the tribal areas of Pakistan- one of those strikes that almost always kills civilians? How can he do that, then go on TV and grin at us? How does he live with the ghosts?
At the moment there are only about eight of them- ghosts I mean- little, ragged, dusty ghosts, following him around. That number will grow. Being the President of the USA involves killing people. That's just a fact. I had hoped this one might be a little more scrupulous about who he kills- but it seems not. Apparently he believes in the Afghan war. I don't know why. Afghanistan is the graveyard of foreign armies. Read Kipling.
Oh, wow. I didn't mean to go there. When I started out I had every intention of writing about beaches- and how I can't see the point of getting a tan- and how if I'm at a beach I like to paddle or build sandcastles or anything rather than just lie and fry- but my mind took the line of least resistance- and off it went.
These are the things I've been thinking about. War, politics, life between lives. I finished re-reading Newton's Destiny of Souls yesterday. If what he's telling us is true then this is one of the most important books of the past 50 years- we survive death! there's evidence! here's what happens after you die!- only no-one seems interested. I look for debate on line- and there isn't any. You'd think the sceptics might want to take a pop at him, but they don't. The nearest thing to controversy is an article by some Christian bloke who is trying to square what Newton says with the Bible. Apparently there's a line in the Book of Job that might be taken as referring to reincarnation. Who knew?
I was also going to write about cider. We visited a cider farm in the West Country last week- and returned with two, big, plastic containers full of the stuff- medium sweet for Ailz, medium dry for me. I like home-made cider. I remember buying scrumpy in the West Country once- and telling a rather strait-laced friend- a curate in Bristol- how wonderful it was- and he said "Oh, you do realise that that's what the rough drinkers drink?"- which was a real smack in the face. But even today I think I'd be too polite to come back at him with, "And your point is?"