I have an antipathy for words like “awareness” and “inspirational”.
They are grossly overused and people seem compelled these days to make us “aware” of something that everyone knows about, or to “inspire” us to do something or other that we have no inclination to do.
Having said that, I am loath to say I was “inspired” last night. Maybe a better word would be “reminded” or even “nudged”?
What happened was that I read a piece by Magnum Lady [who apparently follows a band called Magnum and has nothing to do with ice-creams]. It reminded me that there are free courses available on-line on our library sites for just about everything under the sun. A couple of years ago I did one of the courses for the laugh [Wordpress!] and it was a little bit of a challenge. [I passed, if anyone is interested.]
So last night I dipped back into it to have a look and see if there was anything interesting. The choice is somewhat bewildering as there are courses under a range of topic from Accounting to Writing Skills. There are literally hundreds of courses on just about any topic.
I went into Writing Skills out of interest. There were 53 courses in there. I worked my way through the long list and discarded such topics as Advertising and Humor Writing [yes – they spelled it incorrectly which is unforgivable on a library site] and found two that might be interesting – Creative Writing [for beginners] and Novel Writing. The first one has 15 lessons and 32 exams and assignments while the second has 26 lessons and 56 exams and assignments.
So it’s a toss-up between those two. Novel Writing sort of appeals but 56 fucking exams and assignments? Do I have the patience? Is it going to restart that niggling urge to write a book?
It was a tribute programme for Marian Finucane who died a year ago. She was one of RTE’s greatest presenters with an impressive list of awards and achievements.
Both of us knew Marian quite well. Herself used to work with Marian on the phone-in programmes and in later years I used to be a frequent visitor to her area in the Radio Centre. I always enjoyed those visits as Marian was great craic. She had a devilish sense of humour and was always ready for a chat. She also had a very sexy husky voice as she was a chain smoker…
Anyhows, as I said, we were watching the programme last night when I decided to nip out for a piss. No sooner had I left the room when there was a screech from Herself – “I’m on the television! Come and see”. Now I was in mid-flow at this stage and in no state to go anywhere. So I finished doing what I had to do and wandered back.
“Wind it back! Wind it back! Wind it back!” she cried.
So I wound the programme back a few minutes [the wonders of modern television?] and sure enough, there was Herself and Marian in glorious old colour. They were showing an old photograph taken during the early phone-in eras.
Marian is on the left and Herself is in there somewhere. The photograph was taken about 96 years ago.
I had found this photograph a few years back in the RTE archives so I already had it on my laptop, and had duly forwarded a copy onto Herself’s Farcebook page, so she was well aware of it. The excitement lay in the fact it was on da telly for everyone to see.
I had recorded the programme, as I have a habit of recording any programme that may be worthwhile so I don’t have to rush in at the start time. I can watch it any time after it has started and then erase it after.
I’m not allowed erase this programme.
I have been firmly told it’s never to be erased.
Just in case she ever wants to see a photograph she already has on her laptop….
I don’t know if pondering is good for the soul but surely there’s no harm in it.
I ponder the death rate during this Virus lark. For a couple of months at the beginning the death rate was constantly in double figures, reaching 77 in mid April. At the time, reported cases reached a peak of 936. Since then however the death rate rarely reaches double figures, yet the number of reported cases in the second wave constantly exceeded the 1,000 mark, yet the death rate still hasn’t risen. Yesterday we hit 4,962 reported cases but only 7 deaths. Why? Could it possibly be that the Virus has lost its potency?
Sticking with the death rate, they gleefully told us that the average death rate was well above the expected levels at the beginning of the year and that this was proof that the Virus was more deadly than the flu. I just wonder though if this was a case of the Virus bumping off the vulnerable who would have died later anyway? So is it possible that the death rate dropped later in the year and that the average mortality for the whole year is normal?
When the Virus first arrived they launched their campaign to get us a to wash hands, wear masks and start [anti-]social distancing. By all accounts most are adhering to these points yet we have had two or more serious waves since then. How come? If these measures worked then surely the worst case scenario is a levelling off of infection rates, yet the Virus is running rampant [according to their figures]. Could it be that face masks and distancing are a load of bollox?
Then there is this lark about schools. It is vital that schools remain open? I have no real argument against the principle but surely this is an amazing opportunity for the Virus to spread? Seeing as pupils presumably go home each evening and mingle with their families, it is the equivalent of getting thirty or so families to gather together in one room each day. And that’s just for one class. With half a million or so kids in the entire country then they are mingling half a million families every day. If the intention is to “beat the virus” then opening schools makes no sense at all.
And what happened to the ordinary Flu that’s supposed to run riot at this time of the year?
Now the vast majority of numbers cause me little or no bother. But there are a few that I find distinctly unnerving. Take 13,587,997 for example. That’s a number that raises my blood pressure quite a bit, but it pales into insignificance when I come across 96,558,138,226. That is a number that strikes terror into my very core and I just hope it isn’t amongst the numbers that Nolan is warning us about.