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Bits and Pieces

by Barrie Hopkins

Digital pantomime

Contrary to the grandfather clock that once stood in the hall and talked to you by signifying each hour on the hour and each quarter hour by the one, two or three dings of its dong, the hands on the wall clock go round, round, round.

Meanwhile the digital on the bedside shelf compulsively contorts in compassionate pantomime.

Though some don’t brag of grandfather ancestry they are all in agreement that time marches on, one second at a time, tick after tick, no tock. The fact is this article is the start of my thirty-fourth year of free-lance writing weekly for the “Wellington Advertiser,” Let me hear three cheers and a clap, clap, clapping of hands for that.

A further fact is that it is being typed, by the biblical system of “seek and ye shall find,” on a brand new to me, computer that features Windows 10, which is an upgrade numerically from Windows 7. The keyboard is frustratingly slightly different and any slight technical differential leaves my mind in miner panic wondering as to whether, as it once was with the Rubik’s cube, a ball-peen hammer would not be in order.

Further to fact number one and two is the additional fact that this article is being typed on a bedside hospital table in which I have been a resident in for well over a week now. A further fact is I wrenched my back a week or more ago and it, so the doctors tell me after scanning the multiple x-rays, from the Owen Sound (doughnut) CT scan, is going to take quite some time to heal. So there you have the momentary update of tell-tale points of probable interest.

I have never been a fiction writer, reporter or journalist and fortunately have never been funnelled down those wobbly educational wagon wheel tracks. I write only what I see, hear or do, in words that I feel paints a verbal picture in the eyes of the reader. Things that have happened during my life have been far too interesting and/or rapidly happening for me to waste time dabbling in the possible quagmires of fiction when Mother Nature has so explicitly much to offer.

Fake ideas have never twanged any cords on my guitar, and should the truth be known I blame this on my Father who taught me early in life that truth is much more easily stored on the book shelves of memory than a scramble of fibs.

He also taught me the alphabet backwards at the age of three, which, in his forethought foresight, is probably the reason why I find self satisfaction in toying with the collection of 26 letters. This to paint, in conjunction with out-of-breath proper punctuation, a verbal picture of what I see, do and hear.

My father, being one of the hundreds of kids who Doctor Bernardo, from England, sent to Canada as farm labourers, was an exception in himself. He developed work ethics beyond fairness and always overflowed with interest in helping others. Small in stature he was a full foot short of my six foot two and never weighed more than 137 pounds his entire life.

Farm labour laws, during his tenure at the Curtis farm, allowed school dropout for spring planting. As a result my father never accumulated formal education beyond Grade 6. Nevertheless, that never stopped him from learning and passing on to others what he had gained by experience.

Perhaps it is hereditary, perhaps it is just a fluke of nature, perhaps it is the reason for the most frequently asked question, why I write. How is one to know? Who is to say?

Take care, ‘cause we care.



Vol 49 Issue 33


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