When I’m out and about and find I want to remember something I used to write it on a scrap of paper. I would later discover these obtuse numbers, words or mind-maps scrawled on torn scraps of paper or cardboard. Or, worse, soft pellets of inky paper in my pockets after washing my clothes.
Now, probably like the rest of you, I use my phone. I photograph things, or write notes in my email and save it as a draft or send it in an app to someone. Going through the past few years of email drafts I found the following notes to myself:
It is as if being with people were the Earth of the mind, the land with its hills and valleys, scent and music: but in being alone, the mind finds its Sea, the wide, quiet plane with different lights in the sky and different, more secret sounds.
-> Elizabeth Bishop
Reading The New York Times I am reminded to,
Lift weights and eat more protein. Especially if you are over forty
The researchers also looked for the sweet spot for protein intake, which turned out to be about 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. In practical terms, that would amount to about 130 grams of protein a day for a 175-pound (about 80kg) man. (A chicken breast has about 45 grams of protein.)
There was an email with this embedded:
I am not sure what a ‘goblet squat’ is and a ‘single-leg deadlift’ sounds unpleasant. Needless to say I have not followed any of that advice and am now paying for it.
The main ingredients of bread are flour, yeast, faff and regret.
Not sure where that came from but it made me smile.
An unfinished email…
Morning Pa, I’m sorry I missed your call this morning. I was at work. I still am, but luckily my patient is having a sleep. It’s been a busy morning. It’s been a busy year! I’m moving into my late mate John Lees’ house at the end of the week with Reanne and her 6yr old son, Harly. Re and I are working at the hospital as assistant nurses until our Registrations get approved. Emrys is still doing well at school and …
That was written during a particularly hard time for my family and me. I know why I didn’t finish it. I had nothing good to say. There was so much happening between those terse lines. I still miss John Lee and Max. My boys and young Jim are all young men now and I am sad and still angry I was so excluded. Pah! who knows maybe I am a bit one eyed about it all.
Roman wall blues
Over the heather the wet wind blows, I've lice in my tunic and a cold in my nose. The rain comes pattering out of the sky, I'm a Wall soldier, I don't know why. The mist creeps over the hard grey stone, My girl's in Tungria; I sleep alone. Aulus goes hanging around her place, I don't like his manners, I don't like his face. Piso's a Christian, he worships a fish; There'd be no kissing if he had his wish. She gave me a ring but I diced it away; I want my girl and I want my pay. When I'm a veteran with only one eye I shall do nothing but look at the sky.
by WH Auden
I deleted these and all the other scraps of detritus, there is plenty more lying around in the crannies of my life.