Saturday, August 27, 2011

My dad has lost the remote control



My dad has been fretting about the loss of the remote control. Jackson hadn't been here for two hours before both remotes vanished. One was found in the play slot of the video recorder a few days later but the other is still missing in inaction.

This means my dad can only watch one channel - BBC 1. And while he's interested in the news, there are some very substandard dramas on the Beeb these days.

Meanwhile America is facing a catastrophic hurricane that could claim hundreds of lives.

I feel somewhat detached here. Our flight back was cancelled and we have another weekend in Britain. I felt some jubilation about the fact I won't be working 24 hour shifts, wading through flood waters but there's a small nugget of guilt in there somewhere. And I feel bad about my recent MIL jibe now they are about to welcome a monster storm which will come ashore in about a couple of hours.

It's a sunny day here and we'll be taking a walk over the white cliffs of Dover. But I feel more acutely than ever today the transience and fleetingness of life. Yesterday I was in London and I was amazed at how quickly my memory had undone the streets; how I took wrong turnings and forgot which Tube stations to use for which attractions. London had rushed on, leaving me in its slipstream so many years ago.

Yet suddenly I would chance on a bar or a restaurant that held so many dissipated memories that would suddenly come rushing back to me.

I don't think I'm returning to Dover because the white cliffs endure, because they'll always be there as a bright beacon in times of uncertainty rather than somewhere over the rainbow. But here they still are, permanent and reassuring under drifting white clouds as bodies decompose in a Libyan hospital ward and a monster hurricane heads to the United States.

I hope my dad finds the remote control soon.

8 comments:

  1. So much in life is slippery and difficult to pin down, isn't it. It leaves me feeling ambivalent and at loose ends so much of the time. Prayers said here for all those in the path of the storm. By all reports, this sounds like one that will leave quite a mark on history. I hope you find all is well for you and yours when you return to the states. Have a safe trip back when you are able to travel again. As for the remote, even if it doesn't turn up. Your dad can probably buy a new one at the store it it comes to that, but I know that sometimes it is the little things that bring our undoing rather than the big ones.

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  2. That's a wonderful post, David ...

    Stay safe;

    Best;

    PMT
    http://thisthattheotherone.blogspot.com

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  3. I really love this piece, David -- the progression from trivial to catastrophic and back again. You said a lot very concisely and beneath the story.

    Stay safe!
    xoRobyn

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  4. Try the rubbish bin...
    travel safely

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  5. Another excellent post David. Sorry that you are still stuck in the UK but hopefully you will be able to get back soon. It's a shame about the missing remote control but it could have been worse such as toast and jam in the video recorder. Nice.

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  6. Let us know if the remote was ever found.

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  7. thanks for this lovely piece.


    have a safe journey back!

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  8. hey Daisy - I don't think it's turned up yet. Thanx PM, fortunately we missed it. you are too ind Robyn, my life is a progression between the trivial and the catastrophic. Will do Sue, thanks; cheers Abi, actually the extra weekend was great. No sign of it yet Lidia. thanx so much Betty

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