Gone Away ~ The journal of Clive Allen in America

The Blogger's Return

Yes, I have returned. Yesterday was spent in recovering from the break and trying to get back into blogging mode. In answer to the questions posed to my last post:

Update on Mad's Progress

The latest information I have dates from July 12. To quote that letter, "There was a definite improvement in Mad today. He rested over the weekend and it was obviously of benefit. He used a zimmer frame (walker) today and can get on and off the bed although it is not easy and he has to lift his legs. They are hoping to get him on crutches tomorrow. Hoping that he will be home by the end of the week. I have a commode and urine bottle and bought a chair that is the right height for him. He is off the morphine, just on 'normal' painkillers. He is quite chirpy but says if they don't let him come home soon, he will make his escape!"

Adventures in Tahlequah

We stayed in Tahlequah for two days but did not go rafting or anything else on any river. Kathy's sister is married to a direct descendant of Major Ridge, who led a contingent of Cherokee on the Trail of Tears to Indian Territory, so it was inevitable that we spent most of our time at the Cherokee Heritage Center. I may post about this but it needs time to "ferment".

Back to Work

I am still getting back into blogging mode so will continue the Accelerate series tomorrow. In attempting to catch up with my "rounds", I notice that Gary Bourque of Both Worlds has tagged me (in his post "Splendor in the St. Augustine Grass") for an interesting meme. He caught me at a good time - not ready to get back to work proper but needing to post something to get the ball rolling again. So here it is:

Childhood Meme

The idea is to state five things that I miss from childhood days and then tag just one person.

1. Freedom from Responsibility. More than anything else, I remember childhood as being a time when I did not have to think about "important" things like my position on the earth's surface, what games the politicians were getting up to, where the next meal was coming from, who would be affected by any action or decision of mine; all these things were taken care of by "the big people", leaving me free to pursue my own concerns. If my memory serves me correctly, these matters did not even enter my consciousness until I was well into the teenage years and I then became as desperate to gain such responsibilities as any other kid. Having gained them, I can say that they are not nearly as enjoyable as I imagined. There is a freedom in never having to make such huge choices.

2. Long Summer Holidays. I remember little of how I spent those long days with no obligation to do anything and a whole world to explore. But it's not the doing that counts - it's the endless days that stretch into the future, waiting to be filled with whatever comes along. As adults we steal a week off here and maybe two there but can only dream of taking the whole summer. Just imagine it - six or seven weeks with no necessity to blog!

3. Cheese Chips (crisps). They invented flavored chips during my childhood and one of the first flavors was cheese. I think it was just cheese and not a chemical for it tasted exactly right. Then some idiot thought to improve them by bringing out cheese and onion flavor, this time thanks to chemicals. Cheese chips disappeared into history but I, for one, mourn their passing.

4. Shelling Peas. One of my chores as a child was shelling the peas. I resented it at the time but now realise that those peas tasted better than anything we have today, be they frozen, canned, reconstituted or anything else. Of course, I could buy fresh peas now and shell them myself, but it's all about speed these days - and frozen peas are a fair approximation of the real thing.

5. The Swiss Army Knife. I never had a Swiss army knife but I always wanted one. And it's the desire for something unattainable that I miss. You could say that now I desire an Audi S3 or a stomping computer and you'd be right. But these days I desire such things intellectually - they'd be nice to have but I'm not going to die if I don't have them. Back then I desired with true passion from the heart and was convinced that failure to achieve that desire would result in a slow, lingering death.

Okay, that's my five. I call upon Josh to tell us what he misses from childhood days. Of course, I realize that Josh's blog is where memes go to die so I'll not be holding my breath...


Good to have you back, Clive : gone away from Gone Away is too many "gone aways" :-)

And Mad's progress seems steady. I bet he loved using the zimmer frame!
Date Added: 17/07/2005

Clive, glad you're back! I'll be looking for your comments on the Heritage Center (one of my Dad's ancestors walked the Trail of Tears; I am officially a tribal member). I'm glad Mad is better. Your list is very evocative. I can remember that "wanting", only in my case it was "wanting to KNOW things"...I can recall feeling I'd just DIE if my curiosity wasn't satisfied...why is the sky blue, where does language come from...I suppose that's why I read so much (at one point I read the encyclopedias my parents bought). I can also recall that same feeling waiting to get the 1st and 3rd book of Lord of the Rings after reading The Two Towers.
Date Added: 17/07/2005

Gone Away
Thanks, John, good to be back. And knowing Mad, he'll probably want to fit an engine and two wheels to that zimmer frame... ;)
Date Added: 17/07/2005

Gone Away
Jodie, you remind me that I surprised my parents by asking for an encyclopedia for my tenth birthday. I had in mind something like the Encyclopedia Britannica and can still remember my disappointment when they produced a one-volume pretend encyclopedia for kids!
Date Added: 17/07/2005

Done and Done. Glad you're back, Clive. Sheesh, it feels like aeons. Next time you chat with Mad, tell him to get back to a keyboard ASAP. As a former motorhead, I wanna hear his war story. :)
Date Added: 17/07/2005

Gone Away
Will do, Josh. Can't wait to get back in contact with the lad myself.
Date Added: 17/07/2005

Pretty Moon`
Dear Mr. Allen, Greetings from Oklahoma. I read your first blog today. I posted a message welcoming you to Oklahoma. Then read on and noticed you had returned to the other side of the pond today. So sorry I didn't get to show you around while you were here. Hope you enjoyed your stay!
Date Added: 18/07/2005

Gone Away
Ah, misunderstanding, Moon. I have not returned to the other side of the pond but merely to Lawton after a short break in Eastern Oklahoma. The move to the States was made permanently and I will not be going back to England except, perhaps, on vacation if finances ever permit it!

I read your welcome note to my first post and thank you for it. So there may yet be a chance to show me around beautiful Oklahoma. :)
Date Added: 18/07/2005

Welcome back wanderer. I think one of the best things about growing up is being able to buy the things you always wanted. I love gadgets and have tons of them. Most of them are cheap plastic that break within two or three uses of nasal hair perming, musical can opening or eyeball rinsing. But some items become indispensible. My favourite at the moment is my new mobile phone. It does everything save extracting stones from horses hooves. Thats ok though because if im ever stranded on a horse wih a hoof issue i can take a photo email it to the horse hoof rescue society, play games and re arrange my diary while i await rescue. When they finally turn up i can record the whole event on video (or maybe just the sound if the hoof plucking is too gruesome) and save the whole thing for prosperity or to sell to some godawful show on tedious events captured on video/cell phones. I cant remember why i ended up ranting about gadgets now, im sure its related to somthing you wrote. hmmmm maybe i should start writing random comments on strangers blogs. Mads doing well, hes home and hobbling about. He sounds a lot better now hes off the morphine and is in fine spirits (though missing his bike)
Date Added: 18/07/2005

Welcome home, Gone Away, it's good to have you back. I have this image of us all sitting at desks around the world gazing into brightly lit screens and hanging on the words of people from all corners of the globe. It's wonderful until someone has the temerity to leave the virtual room for a while and so break the perfect symmetry of electronic enslavement. I'm glad that Mad is making progress. As you'll remember from my flippant comment about a certain Ducati, I also used to be a biker, until, one freezing winter's night long ago, I dropped the bike on a long hill and going ridiculously fast. When I finally hobbled home, having been saved only by good leathers the total lack of other traffic and my ability to fly through the air with the greatest of ease, my baby son cried with fright and my wife made her position on the subject crystal clear, as only a wife can. I sold the bike and there ended the tale. Mad's injury will take some time to mend, so I wish him well in the meantime and the speediest of recoveries. A Chinese friend of mine who also hurt himself on a bike said to me afterwards: "Next time, lah, I go by bus!"
Date Added: 18/07/2005

Gone Away
Thanks, Keef, especially for the update on Mad. Haven't managed to establish contact with him yet.

The gadgets thing came from remembering childhood - I think you were remembering what was bad about it however. We were supposed to be indulging in nostalgia, I think... ;)
Date Added: 18/07/2005

Gone Away
Thanks for the welcome back, Ken. These occasional withdrawals into the real world are unavoidable although I agree with you that they are most inconvenient.

As for Mad and the bike, I think it won't be too long before he's back in the saddle (unfortunately). It's the only practicable way for him to get to and from work until he gets a car licence and a car. He will read this and perhaps gain wisdom from your Chinese friend, however. ;)
Date Added: 18/07/2005

Clive, we had the Britannica. It took a while to get it all read. :)
Date Added: 19/07/2005

Gone Away
I envy you, Jodie. I had no idea then how expensive a full set of the Britannica was but, believe it or not, I would have devoured every volume, so hungry for knowledge was I. Yes, I know, I was a strange child...
Date Added: 19/07/2005

I, too, read every volume of our encyclopedia. Sadly, this turned out to do me more harm than good. When the set was printed in 1920, a girl going to school in the late 80's/early 90's was bound to learn quite a lot of misinformation. Amazing how many 'facts' change in 70 years.
Date Added: 02/08/2005

Gone Away
Very true, Actress. I still have my old school atlas somewhere - and it's full of countries that have disappeared or changed their names!
Date Added: 03/08/2005

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