Remember the Good Old Daze?

I’m beginning to get tired of the Memory-Wipe Gremlin. Last night I was lying in bed, enjoying the next blog gradually forming in my head. I recall musing that this concept would be fun, my mind lazily wandering from this idea to drift on about that one.


By the next morning, the Memory-Wipe Gremlin had pressed the neuronal equivalent of the delete button, so all that remained was a haze of irritation and the results of the visit of the Bottom of the Birdcage Mouth Aroma Fairy.

Sometimes the morning light brings the Feeling of Dread Imp, convincing you that something ghastly is about to happen. The dread sticks during the first early-morning meeting of the china visit, through the shower, via breakfast and the second meeting of the china visit. However, since this Imp hangs out with the Memory-Wipe Gremlin, you can’t quite work out what the impending disaster might be. Finally, with the slamming of the front door, comes the realisation that today you need to be in work half an hour early and the time is..aaargh…

The one advantage of passing years is that you lose some of the night terrors that once beset you. I no longer have to leap from door to sheets to avoid the bears under the bed. But try explaining to a kid that when the light is switched off, nothing changes; everything’s the same, just dark. Clearly this concept is as laughable as the idea that babies are grown inside tummies or that rainbows are due to refraction. You’ll be telling them that stars are not tiny holes poked into the night sky next.

The first cousin of the M-WG is the Delayed Response Memory Gremlin. An idea comes to you, not when you’re sitting at your desk, but only when you’ve put down pen or keyboard and are 3/4 mile up the road with your pet turtle. At the exact moment you realise that you have a mobile phone on you, the idea evaporates like the morning mist. It’s the same as when you meet someone, open your mouth and a name crevasse appears. You’re either stuck with calling them ‘dear’ or ‘mate’,  or your entire opening conversation being confined to ‘Hello.’ As soon as you finish chatting and turn away, the name pops straight into your head, but too late to repair the damage; or with a swift riposte, too late to do some damage.

Unfortunately, reminiscing is more of a cerebral work-out than confabulation. A friend with a non-athletic brain, (atrophy through disuse or apathy, they tell me) used to do The Times crossword on a train, dashing it off in minutes with the occasional sardonic laugh. As he left the still-puzzling, frowning compartment behind, he kept the paper folded under his arm so they couldn’t see all the clues filled in with words like splatchock or xrrdpdfe.

With life experience I’ve managed to manipulate Murphy’s Law to a degree. If I need inspiration, I go somewhere as far away from pen, paper or my phone as possible. If I’ve lost something, I immediately replace it, knowing that then it will reappear instantly. A couple days ago I lost my diary, which is a crisis, partly because it’s extremely pretty but also as without it I exist in a hesitant, half-anxious state, worried that I might have missed something astonishingly important. This would make more sense if I did have a diary stuffed with Meeting with President. Fly to Zagreb. Interview with CNN . Butget cat food doesn’t quite cut it in the importance stakes. Having sweated over a new diary, searched e-mail trails, phoned dentists, agonised over whether I needed feline fodder, it appeared, presumably dropped by the Easter Bunny.

I’ve found out that the best way of working out what you had originally intended to say is to say something completely different, so only after I had got near the end of describing the seedier side of Santa and the Tooth Fairy’s close companions did I realise that I’d intended to produce a blog called Downturn Abbey. That bit of remembrance was undoubtedly athletic, producing a frenzied dash for the keyboard.

My service to mankind today is this blog; a dire warning about the Memory Wipe Gremlin.

If I remember to post it.


About alisongardiner1

Writer of YA series of books. Broadcaster/podcaster Litopia After Dark.
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