Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Technical Update #6. Posted by: Mark

Funny thing, memory. I suspect it gets funnier the older you get.

For the past couple of weeks there’s been something about the Bertha blog that’s not quite right. Not for anyone reading, but for me.

Here’s the thing: I know Bertha was slow, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how in the Sam Hill it took us two whole days to get to Amsterdam. I know (see ‘On the Cusp’ below) that we stopped in Holland for the night, but every time I looked at a map I couldn’t figure out why it took so long. We should have gone Bishop’s Stortford to Amsterdam in a day, no question.

So: last night I had one of those nights we call the Irish Glooms, when you wake up at 4 am and can’t get back to sleep no matter what and the slightest letter from the telephone company represents imminent financial ruin and the slightest ache in your elbow is the onset of a major heart attack and the slightest twittering of a jolly tweetybird celebrating the dawn outside is the equivalent of being dumped abruptly into the moshpit at a Motorhead gig and to calm my mind and bore myself back to sleep I started thinking about the Bertha problem.

Funny thing, memory. It’s where dreams come from isn’t it? And when you’re half-awake at 4 am it’s a little easier to circle over the dreamscape and pick out one or two details you thought you’d forgotten.

It suddenly came to me. The reason we took two days to get to Amsterdam was because we went via Brussels. And stopped there, for a beer.

This should have been closer to the surface than it was. I’ve been back there recently: last year in fact. Not only that, I went to the Grand Place and stood on the corner outside the very bar where we drank our beer in 1974 and thought to myself how the place looked exactly the same apart from being a little smaller than I remember.

Then – in between my recent visit and starting this blog – I managed to completely forget everything about Bertha passing through Brussels. Until last night, and my latest neurotic tour of the dreamscape.

I suspect this happens a lot more, as you get older. In fact I’m beginning to form my own little theory of Alzheimer’s. They’re just old people who get stuck in the dreamscape; so busy sorting through memories that they forget to surface.

There’s not much else to say about our stopover in the Grand Place. We went there. Parked nearby. Found a bar and had a beer. Oh, don’t be silly: had two beers. Watched the girls. It was very pleasant.

Then we got back in the Earthtruck and set off for Holland. Which wasn’t, after all, that far away.

That’s the chronology sorted out then. Normal service will be resumed shortly. Or as close to normal as any of this gets…


Anonymous CarolineM said...

Great theory, I concurr.

10:42 pm  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...

How many Rs? ;)

8:27 am  
Blogger broomhilda said...

I agree as well.

6:20 pm  
Anonymous CarolineM said...

rrrr? what? nothifn reong with spealing mate.

10:33 am  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...

Many days have passed since I wrote this post. People who were there at the time categorically deny that Bertha ever went to Brussels. I'm sticking by my story...

11:51 am  

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