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Meanwhile: The musings of Englishman, Simon Jones. The notions and potions of Simon Jones.
meanwhile back in reality Simon Jones, UK, Boston, Bebington, Wirral
 

Where do I start? At just after half past two in the morning I should probably just not bother starting this at all. I should try and go to sleep, like any normal person would already be. My alarm will go off at 8am as usual, and chances are at this rate that I'll ignore it again and sleep on till I wake. A perk of working for yourself I suppose.

I'm busy at the moment. My days turn into evenings that quickly become nights. The hours chase the minutes away until it's time to sink into a bath and begin the nightly run down ritual that brings me back here to my bed. Usually I am damn near asleep at this point. My head touches the pillow and I quickly disappear to the land where anything is still possible, and time is not important.

Tonight though is different. I am tired, I am nearly asleep, but I want to write. I want to say something, not sure what yet, but I'm just going to follow my fingers and see where this goes. It was so very nearly going to simply be a one liner, but alas the 'brilliant one liner' department of my brain have switched off their terminals and headed home for the night. If my head were staffed by keyboard punchers by day, then the only person working now would be the rent-a-cop, sitting there, feet on the reception desk reading a copy of 'The Sport' with his fuzzy radio playing music that he pays no attention to.

You know what, I smell good right now! The bath was full of things that a 'real man' would never admit to putting in a bath. Cheap bubbles that last just a few minutes, and some moisturizing stuff that makes me feel like an oiled up body builder... without the built body! It's a relaxation thing for me though. Showers are good, but a bath is 'where it's at' as far as I'm concerned. I sit there, cheap bubbles disappearing quickly at my feet, candles dotted around the room, a cold drink, and a book.

Sometimes I call my friends in America from the bath tub. This used to surprise them at first, though I have no idea why. Indeed Karen, my adopted "older sister" in America, still refuses to speak to me while I'm in the bath on account of the fact that I am surely naked. It always makes me laugh that she can't see anything but is somehow still offended by nothing more than her imagination!

Time passes very quickly in my bath. I read for a bit, soak for a while, then before you know it it's damn near dawn! I mean right now, for me to be in bed before three A.M. is somewhat of an early night.

Where does the time go? How come when I was a kid the six week summer break from school seemed like a lifetime. And yet now six weeks can be gone in a heartbeat? Back then a sunny day seemed to go on and on. I'd hang out with my two best friends Darryl Weaver card cut from used boxes of Corn Flakes pegged into the spokes of our bikes so as to make them sound more like motorcycles, and with the help of our young imaginations they sounded every bit the part. We'd ride on the sidewalk and no one would tell us off. Sometimes speeding to the local shops, leaving our bikes wherever we stopped, while we picked out sweets inside the store. My favorites were fizzy Cola bottles and 'Space Dust'.

James had a Grifter. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. It weighed about the same as a Rolls Royce but looked so cool with it's big seat and chunky tires. My bike was equipped with a triple tone police siren that I had gotten one Christmas. I had colored ribbon tassels on the handlebars at one stage too, but I cut them off as soon as I realized that neither Ponch or Jon from my favorite TV show, CHiPs, had them on their California Highway Patrol Kawasaki bikes.

I was a lunatic speed demon of a kid. Trying always to go faster and faster. I'd have the most spectacular crashes, sometimes with cars, sometimes with street lamps, always with painful consequences.

I remember the day I found I was able to ride "no handed". It all went well until I tried to turn a corner. I tried to grab the handlebars to regain control, but instead just missed them and fell off the bike scrapping my hands and chin along the road. Let me tell you, that hurt. Boy did that hurt!

And how come it was it always sunny? Every day in my memory is sunny or so it seems. I think I have a kind memory that injects a blazing sun and deep blue skies into even the most overcast of days.

In my memories the sun burns out of a cloudless blue sky, its penetrating heat warming my adventures with Darryl and James and the times we used to make go-karts and have horrific accidents while trying to pilot them down the impossibly steep hill on 'Bunny's Walk.' Playing Badminton and eating barbq's with my friend Oliver Treadway and his family in their garden, or when I was 16 and used to walk Lucy Wilson home after youth club thinking she was the prettiest thing I'd ever seen and wondering how on earth I was going to ask her out. They were all sunny days, or so it would seem.

I recently has cause to stay in my old hometown town of Chelmsford. The days were hot and sunny, just like they were in all my good memories from childhood and my teenage years of discovery.

While I was there I realized just how very different my friends and I have become, while still somehow remaining in essence the same people we once were. We've all grown up at our own pace of course. But somehow, in the unusually warm and sunny weather, I caught glimpse of my life gone past. It wasn't so much of a recollection, but something more real than that. I could feel and taste moments from back then. Not in there entirety of course, just every so often. It was as if time was ricocheting back into me, allowing me to have something from those times again just faintly, but enough to make my body shiver and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

James is married now and has two kids of his own. He's a chemistry teacher at Ashlyns School in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, and he drives a huge Land Rover that's vaguely reminiscent of his chunky Grifter foundings. Darryl has become a serious businessman, a fact that wouldn't surprise anyone who ever played the board game 'Monopoly' with him all those years ago. And these days I run my own web design and photography business, taking time travel and explore the world at every available opportunity.

It seems we've gone from Grifters to Land Rovers, from Monopoly Street names to London office buildings and from playing with felt tip pens to playing with pixels on a computer screen in just a few moments.

Sometimes I feel like I'm watching it all happen right in front of me, powerless to intervene. Like a tourist in time or a roadside witness to a car accident watching the picture unfold before me as if in slow motion. It takes no time at all but my brain takes in every little nanosecond of information, capturing the smallest of detail that will eventually become confused in the witness report.

I don't want to sleep. As comfortable and inviting as my bed is I want to stay awake and see more. I want to taste more, have more, experience more, read more and write more. It'll never be enough though will it?

Shakespeare called life 'a tale of sound and fury'. He wasn't far wrong. Whatever happens though, there are sunny days and great memories yet to be made, and I don't plan on wasting a moment.



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