Perhaps I had ambitions to be an MP - or an undertaker!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012



I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty
to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.
(Helen Keller)




In the 1930s there was something that really scared children - the “fever van.”

If they were outside playing when it came in sight, the children would quickly vanish to their own homes and stay indoors till it had gone. Around 1932/3 scarlet fever and diphtheria were common, and as both were very infectious any one who caught the diseases had to go to hospital.

At that time I seemed to succumb to all the illnesses that were on the go, and sure enough scarlet fever claimed me. I was 7 years old when I was taken away in the dreaded “fever van”, and the awful thing was that I really thought I would never get home again. I believed I would live in that hospital for the rest of my life!

Visitors weren’t allowed inside, but on visiting days they gathered on the path outside the ward and waved to us children who were looking out the windows. I think I stayed there for 6 weeks, and it was very strange indeed being home again.

I don’t know if I was responsible for passing on the germ or not, but not long afterwards both my sister and one of our aunts took the disease. My sister who had her 5th birthday in hospital made very little progress, and eventually our worried parents insisted that she be discharged. As soon as she was home, her recovery began and she was soon well again.

My wife Jean tells me that in the Glasgow hospital where her sister had scarlet fever, parents used to dread approaching the ward, for, if the curtains at a window were closed, it meant that the child occupying the bed there had died. How awful!



The Artist's Family
by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)



She dwelt among the untrodden ways
by William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
A Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:

A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!


A 1957 vision of the year 2000
uploaded by ICT2030



Old age is like a plane flying through a storm.
Once you're aboard, there's nothing you can do.
(Golda Meir)


Next post here Friday 2nd March

The first post on 80 plus Music Mix will be tomorrow 1st March


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