My earliest memories as a child are about playing hide-and-seek with my parents. We used to wake up early and go to the woods before the trees got there. I used to close my eyes and lean against a tree and count to 100. My parents used to hide and then I'd have to find them all over Europe. I could never guess which country they had run to; but eventually I always found them.
As I grew up their attempts at teaching me the spirit of adventure never waned. I used to come home from school and find they'd moved house. My father used to take me out fishing and then let me swim all the way back to shore. He also used to encourage me to climb up a tree and then cut it down whilst I was still on top.
For my birthday one year my mother bought me a saucepan. She said it was a helmet for when I get a bicycle. I waited for ages for a bicycle and in time my head grew and got stuck solid in the saucepan.
As a child I had a dog as a pet, but it didn't move much. It was called "Sit". It wasn't as active as a pet snail I had which followed me everywhere. My favourite hobby back then was doing nothing. As a teenager I was good at doing nothing whilst standing up, sitting down or lying on my back. Whilst lying on my back doing nothing I sometimes passed out and lost consciousness. When I eventually opened my eyes I found that some time had passed. Sometimes an hour or more.
In my early twenties the priest in church encouraged me to volunteer and visit old people in an old peoples' home. Old people are funny, aren't they? They say there's no place like home and then when you put them into one they complain.
I used to visit an old lady called Dot. It was back in the days before the Internet and computers. I took her out for a walk by the beach and we took a photo by some fishing boats which were on the beach with their fishing nets drying out. I stood beside her with the nets as a backdrop. Basically it was Victor Dot Net. Which became my website address.
One day when visiting Dot I noticed she had something in her ear. I came closer to her and discovered it was suppository.
I pulled it out and said: "Dot, you had a suppository in your ear."
She replied: "I wonder where I put my hearing aid!"
Anyway, I met a young nurse in that old people's home. She eventually became my wife and we had 4 happy years of marriage, out of 25. Not bad I suppose.
I remember one Sunday the sermon in church was from Matthew 16:21-27 where Jesus says to His disciples: “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me”.
When I got home I thought I’d do something nice. I gave my wife a big hug and a kiss, and carried her indoors.
Startled she snapped "What’s wrong with you, have you gone crazy?"
"No my dear,” I replied. "Didn’t you hear the sermon? Jesus said pick up your cross and follow Me".
I got a slap in the face and severe backache. No Sunday lunch either!
That's all folks. For now at least.
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