Archive for December, 2011

New Year’s Resolutions – Part 1

Posted: 30/12/2011 by C. Matt Hewes in Bits 'n' Bobs

Hmm.. what’s there to say?

Whole flocks of people have been wrecking their brains, trying to come up with new resolutions, yet again. After all, it is the time of year, no? Let’s put some of them in the spotlight.. Be advised, what you are about to read is my personal opinion, it’s not snagged from some survey-website or anything.

1 – The most obvious: Stop smoking. Many a smoker will, early New Year’s Eve and thus sound of mind, promise themselves or worse, half their circle of friends, to stop smoking come the first day of the new year. In anticipation of the agony they’re about to face, they light up one after the other during the festivities. “Just to make it more bearable”, so they say.. As the evening matures, so does the intake of alcoholic beverages, and with every new drink, another fag is set alight and enjoyed as were it -already- the last.

The closer the hour of Doom creeps, the less worried they are about their Resolution: “No problem, I’ve got it all under control..” In fact, the only thing they have control over is their pack of fags! As the last minute of the Old Year nears, the glasses of bubbly are poured and distributed amongst the guests. Swiftly, the About-to-quit-Smokers flick a fag out of the packet, silently hoping no one noticed, aim the lighter and fire up: “Happy New Year!” Soon, one of their friends/acquaintances notices the fag and says: “Thought you’d quit?”, to which the first excuse becomes a fact: “Yeh but this was lit last year…”.

When the time has come to -finally- go home, everyone is too far gone to even remember the fact, and many fags cease to exist.. The next day, going to a New Year’s party, the aspiring stop-smokers have a new excuse: “I’ll really pack it in, after the party..” or: “I get cranky when I don’t have a fag every now and again..”

Two weeks on, the Resolution is banned to the virtual back of the drawer, “but I will stop… soon..”

Of course, there are people -and I applaud them- who really throw all smoking paraphernalia out and pack it in. They might however recognise this from previous attempts to quit. For your information; I packed in smoking for a couple of years but got hooked again.. and I’l be the last one to say it’s easy to just kick the habit -in many cases- of a lifetime..

Have a very happy New Year all! Make sure you count your fingers Sunday morning (in other words: be careful if you light fireworks)!

Memories are made of these.. A Word of Gratitude

Posted: 04/12/2011 by C. Matt Hewes in Bits 'n' Bobs

Some years ago, we got a Christmas present we didn’t really know what to do with; a scanner for photo negatives. Admited, it’s a brill present if you have gazillions of photo negatives you want to save digitally. But we don’t. Have a gazillion photo negatives, that is..

The scanner ended up in the proverbial back-of-the-cupboard, thinking we’d never have any use for it, other than being a brilliant pressie, delivered to the wrong address.. until recently..

As the years go past, we’ve accumulated quite some stuff, up to a point that we are forced to -at least attempt- get rid of stuff we hardly look at or what could make other people happy, should we decide to hand it in at any which charity shop. I’ve been clinging to old paper work I dragged with me when I moved to the UK and thought it a good idea to try minimising that too, as it’s mostly stuff irrelevant to the here-and-now (mind, that box is virtually the only proof of my pre-England life). So the sieving started, up to a point where we bumped into a couple of envelopes with photo negatives from my Navy days. We put them aside, knowing that we still have -somewhere- the photo negative scanner, now grateful we never go rid.

After the mini-clean-out we dug out the scanner, installed it, only to find out it’s actually ment for 35mm film, whereas the negatives are some square, unknown-to-me format. I managed to position the negatives into the frames however, and for the first time in at least 25 years, revealed a part of my past. As I kept scanning the negatives, mostly of a far-East trip we made in 1979, triggered my memories to emerge from the grey mass we call our brain. Good memories of happenings aboard the ship, affectionate feelings for buddies as they showed up in the photos, now digitally saved to my laptop. In those days I wasn’t really the one to document everything I did/experienced, always being too busy living but man! am I glad I at least took the time to make these snapshots; they represent a time I thought was fallen into oblivion!

Looking back at yesterday, I can only express my gratitude for the present we thought of little or no use to us, as it’s made me remember a very important part of my youth, gave me back memories I thought had gone lost.

Thanks Tommie T! You’re the Best! Now that we’ve found the invaluable use of the scanner, I’m sure it’ll be used a lot more, if not for ourselves, then for others to rediscover their memories.