I was born at an early age in hospital in Wards 1, 2 and 3. I was a big baby.
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. I remember we lived in a very small house. So small that even the mice were hunchbacked. It was always damp too. We had a permanent rainbow in the kitchen.
My father used to take me out fishing and then let me swim all the way back to shore. I always got there before the sharks. 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.
My parents used to get me to walk the plank. That's because we did not have a dog.
Eventually, they bought me 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. One year we went to Paris on holiday and I lost him.
I remember that holiday well. We sat in an open-air restaurant where they have all the tables on the sidewalk and you eat whilst watching people all around you. As soon as they served our meal it started to rain. Took me ages to finish my soup!
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. That's how I invented sleeping.
I remember my first girl-friend. She introduced me to religion. I did not know what hell was until I met her. One evening we went out for a walk in the park. It was a beautiful night with a full moon. It was so romantic. We sat by a tree and I talked religion to her. I asked her, "Do you believe in the hereafter?"
She replied, "If you're here after what I think you're after, you'll be here after I'm gone!"
Then she got up and left. What was all that about?
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 a photo of 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.
From the moment we married we had one big argument which lasted the whole 25 years. I just could not get a word in edgeways. I was waiting for her to stop and take a breath before saying anything.
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. Overall it's been a good life so far, thank God. Let's hope and pray for many more years just as happy.
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