No, I am not going all scientific again and I'm definitely steering clear of the spiritual and mathematical meanings attached to synchronicity, or we could be here all day. I am confining myself purely to the idea of similar events happening by chance at the same time which appear to be related to one another. As you will have guessed, dear reader, this subject leads on from last week's thoughts on random distribution. I mentioned dreaming about strangling a cat. Sharp intake of breath all round. I love cats and dogs, all animals come to that, so why my sub-conscious should want to strangle one I do not know. I hope it is not a metaphor for my spouse, as he has been particularly good lately - 'good' as in 'normal' and not getting into any scrapes whereby I would wish to kill him.
So, I arise from my bed somewhat disturbed by the cat strangling dream, (it was a white one by the way, a bit along the lines of a small fluffy Persian), and begin my day. As I check my Facebook page there is a notification from my friend Rachelle regarding our lunch together the previous day. One of her friends had made a humorous comment and I clicked on to this lady's page. And the last post she had put up was the report of the Croydon Cat Strangler. Eek! I immediately clicked off this page. I was born in Croydon and had I not just strangled a cat and was it just in my dreams? Synchronicity and I do not wish to delve any further into that one.
On a happier note, I telephoned my editor last evening to discuss an idea for a new book. She was really spooked. No, dear reader, I do not generally have this effect upon people and not upon my lovely editor. She was spooked because she had just been thinking about me and was about to pick up the phone. Synchronicity?? I like to think so.
Now I really start to think about this notion of synchronicity, I can recall two further instances of its occurrence in my life, although from some time ago. I was once hiking along a coastal path in Dorset, minding my own business and had settled into that semi-trance like state that you sometimes do when the walking is going well, when a voice penetrated my half-conscious state, calling out my name. Looking up from the path and focussing on the world once more, there was a work colleague from 10 years ago dancing about on the path in front of me. Of all the places in the world ... and of all the people in all the world, as in her previous life she had been Miss Glamourpuss Supreme and wouldn't have been seen dead anywhere on the planet in hiking boots and woolly bobble hat. But there she was. We had both decided to walk that stretch of coastline on the same day. My, my, there was a bit of catching up to do on that occasion.
I promise I won't rabbit on much longer on this subject, dear reader, but really, once you start on it, it's amazing what comes to mind - have a go yourself, you won't be disappointed. I was once connected to a totally different number from the one I thought I had dialled, no doubt I should have put my glasses on to see the buttons clearly. But what a bonus for me, as in the course of finding out that it was the wrong number, I recognised the voice at the other end. It was an old school friend and her voice had not changed at all, despite the passage of more years than I care to mention. What are the odds on that one? Not only that, but what made it synchronicity was that she had been trying to find me with a view to setting up a whole reunion affair and had had no luck. Ha, 'there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.' The old Bard knew a thing or two I reckon.
No more dreams for me this week, I hope and no philosophising. And definitely no cat strangling, real or imagined. My derriere needs to be attached to my chair and a fair bit of work put into the latest fiction project, or the wrath of Editor Genghis and Spouse may be coming my way - and it won't need synchronicity for that to happen ..... See you next week, dear reader, have a great Sunday.
i know, dear reader, still on the scientific trail - what on earth is the matter with me? Last week, gravitational waves and now this. Well it's not my fault, it's my friend, Rachelle Antoinette. She is an abstract artist, (check out her website www.rachelleantoinette/abstract-art-gallery) and artists, like writers, mull things over. So, there we were, the two of us, sitting by a roaring fire, enjoying late celebrations for my birthday - not at a late hour you understand, but a week after the event and as the contents of the wine bottle decreased, the musings about life increased proportionately. So after discussions on the mysterious appearance of red pepper seeds and rice grains, etc. in my kitchen, we moved on to the seeming randomness of events in life.
Rachelle is an intelligent, thoughtful lady, given like myself, to chewing the fat about life. Her musings feed into her art, but I'm not too sure how her thoughts on random distribution are going to translate into paint. Here's a f'r'instance. When her Dad cooks with cardamom pods and simply dishes up the dinner, Rachelle says the lions share of the pods always land up on her plate. Over the years, she has watched, eagle-eyed and can testify to the fairness with which her dear papa doles out the din-dins and yet, she could still bet her last copper-bottomed pound sterling, that more pods will land on her plate than his. There are various definitions of the laws of random or probability distribution, but having looked at a few my eyes are still rolling back in my head and I am no wiser. You try looking it up too, dear reader and then perhaps you can explain it all to me.
It's exactly the same with prawns, if we're still following 'Rachelle's law'. Her dear papa can produce the most exquisite fish pie on the planet, (no idle boast, believe me), containing prawns and she will always end up with the lion's share of the prawns contained therein. Yes, I know, lions probably don't eat prawns. But, there again, has anyone ever offered them some? I could be on to something there - a whole new world of research awaits. Anyway, coming back to prawns, how is it that the distribution is of such an unequal proportion between them? Her papa enjoys a prawn as much as the next man, so he's not going to shovel them all her way is he?
I too have been musing on this phenomena and have come up with muesli and sweets, possibly lollipops at pantomimes and there again, there are documents and lentils. Hang in there and I promise I will take you with me. Now, my dear reader - muesli. In my domestic goddess moments, I make up my own mix, (brownie points for me I think). In go the raisins, the almonds and the various other dried fruits and all are mixed together with flakes and oats, etc. Take note of that - well mixed together. I don't know why I add the almonds to the mix as I do not care for them, but spouse does. What I should do is put a small dish of them next to his breakfast plate so that he can help himself, but my morning self is never going to be so organised and I would forget, and so, if it is never going to happen, they might as well get bunged in the mix and guess what? Yes - correct, I always get the almonds and then have to transfer them to his dish before we even start. Random distribution? No, 'like flies to wanton boys the gods do play us.'
And what about lollipops at pantomimes or sweets chucked out to the audience, or teachers hurling sweets out to the class at the end of term. Random distribution it should be and yet and yet - there will always be some children who never in their entire lives field a sweet or a pantomime lollipop successfully. Not because they are smaller or less bold than their contemporaries - it is just the way it is.
Moving back to the adult world - have you attended one of those training days where the lecturer would stop at the end of each row of seats, count the number of bodies and dish out the corresponding number of papers? Or alternatively, he/she appoints a couple of 'class prefects' to dish the dibs out? So, in theory, all of the above should work out and everyone ends up the proud possessor of a factsheet. But my dear reader, this never happens and there are always people bobbing anxiously up and down looking for their copy and if the lecture has already started and references are being made to the sheet, those of us without look on blankly and you can bet your life that the geek sitting next to you studiously turns his/her back and avoids all eye contact so as to avoid sharing his/her sheet with you. Now you know for sure that I was always one of those who never had a sheet - I repeat - it's just the way it is and so I would creep quietly to the back of the room and collect a bunch of sheets. And this is the most annoying part of all - there are always, always, piles of pristine sheets sitting on the table at the back. Let's not go into the realms of didn't the lecturer count the number of people registered and the number of copies made beforehand? ... At this point I was always tempted to stand in the middle of the room and hurl the whole lot up in the air and let everyone fight for their copy, (there's random distribution for you), but I fought this urge and quietly handed out copies to the other poor students that were without.
Having got that one off my chest I'll just briefly mention lentils and the result of this random distribution is not entirely my fault. For once in my life I did what it said on the packet. My instinct said 'cut the top off the pack and gently pour contents into storage jar.' The suppliers said 'tear here'. So I did and with predictable results. Lentils shot up in the air and showered down everywhere. They are now randomly distributed over every work surface and floor tile in my kitchen. That will teach me to be a conformist. Let loose the rebel, that's what I say
So, after I've cleaned up the kitchen I'm off to cook up a storm for Sunday supper and who knows what I may randomly distribute into my pans as I cogitate upon this subject. Now, if I take out the first five items I come across in the refrigerator .....
Hello dear reader and may I wish you a belated very happy new year. Please accept my apologies for my non-appearance last week. I think British Telecom got its wires crossed at the local Exchange and left me off its internet supply. I have now had notification from my provider that my supply will have to be 'interleaved' to improve my broadband connection. I have no idea what this means but I hope it works and that I stay connected.
Which brings me on to the subject of astro physics. Ha, I bet you never thought to hear those words drip from my keyboard, did you? Well, I have been listening to a science programme on BBC Radio 4 about gravitational waves. Apparently they waft through us and bend and stretch us all the time. Well, fancy that! Yet another phenomenon I am going to have to chew the fat over and try to understand. Mastering the internet and my IPhone stretched the old brain cells enough and now I find gravitational waves are doing it as well.
You will by now my dear reader, have appreciated that I am no scientist, but I do share some common traits with the astro physicists mentioned above in that I observe all sorts of phenomena that occur in my daily life and for which I can provide no reasonable or logical explanation. These phenomena puzzle and exasperate my by turn. For example where do all the bell pepper seeds come from?
Yes, I know where they come from - they come from a bell pepper obviously, but why do they make their appearance with monotonous regularity on my kitchen floor? We eat a lot of peppers at Chez Comb. I throw them into everything in the course of my domestic goddess culinary duties, along with a variety of other vegetables. I am a tidy cook and am careful to capture and dispose of the seeds from the peppers in the course of my clearings up. When all is done for the night and I look around my clean and tidy kitchen there is not a pepper seed in sight - not on the worktops or the floor. So how is it and here I would be most grateful dear reader, if you could enlighten me, that every day and I do mean every day, I will find a little white errant pepper seed lodged in the dark grouting of a kitchen floor tile - showing up as plain as day? Where has it come from? If it wasn't there yesterday and no peppers have shown their faces in my kitchen in the interim, how did they get there? I would have seen them, as I am now so attuned to these events, saddo that I am, that I walk into the kitchen and 'sweep the floor with my eyes'. Ouch.
Particles of cooked rice are the same. I cook it, drain it, serve it, clean up and don't have rice again for some days to come. And yet and yet - as sure God made little apples, grains of rice will magically appear in the kitchen when my back is turned. Grains that were not there before. Again, scattered about the worktops and lodged in the floor tiles. Maybe there are night-time house elves at work - I would welcome them if they did something useful rather than leaving the detritus of their supper behind.
And don't get me started on lemon pips. Well, I have started and this is just another phenomenon amongst the many in our universe, never mind gravitational waves, that I don't understand. Just how many pips can one lemon have? I have a kitchen gadget that squeezes the juice from the lemon for me. Which is wonderful and I love it to bits. But no matter how carefully I de-seed my lemons before slapping them on to the squeezer, that contraption will seek out the most deeply buried pips and out they fly in all directions, slapping me in the eye, crunching under my feet and leaving a sticky trail all over the floor for me to slip and slide over.
Never mind gravitational waves stretching and squeezing me, I can't feel them but I would like this evil kitchen genii or unseen house elf identified by the scientific community and dealt with. I bet if Einstein had done the cooking this problem would have been solved long ago. He shouldn't have spent so much time on E=mc2. A spell slaving away in the kitchen would have been a lot more helpful to me right now.
Happy days dear reader. I hope you enjoy your Sunday. I am off back to the kitchen to prepare Sunday supper and not a bell pepper in sight today - I don't think my sanity could stand it....
I'm so sorry dear reader, but there is no blog from me this week as the gremlins have been at my computer and system. I have only just back on-line - and somewhat unreliably at that. I am waiting for my friend and computer whizz to call and see if he can work a miracle or two.
With luck and a following wind I hope to be here next week. I hope everyone has a good week and a very happy Epiphany to all.