There I was standing at the sink washing the pots, gazing out of the window. I let my mind drift away from the daily grind of the day into random thoughts – it had been a very busy one, a very busy week, in fact. On the grass, two blackbirds had found the same worm. In a reverse of The Lady and the Tramp spaghetti scene, the birds starting pulling the worm in opposite directions. The worm was actually pretty long, so if they’d just split it in the middle, they’d each have quite a feast. But I don’t think birds’ brains quite work like that. One lost his grip and then the other flew away quickly. C’est la vie, birdy.
But then, maybe the bird population is like the human population. Are some birds more naturally clever than others? Do they learn through their environment? These random thoughts sprung from my head as I drained the water from the sink with two pots still to wash. All I know is that it took two days for me to teach the budgie to learn to say ‘cookies’. A record for his learning.
And the randomness just kept flowing. I knew I’d taken my brain too far when, unwittingly, I started taking different directions even in ‘down time’. When I was watching some old Glastonbury clips, I thought I was listening to the music, trying to imagine what it really would have sounded like live (you don’t get the right sound through the television, never mind atmosphere, do you?). But there I was thinking ‘I wonder how many fillings Liam Gallagher has got there in his mouth’.
OMG, my brain had strayed so far as to contemplate how many grey blobs I could see in a musician’s teeth because of a weird camera angle (at a guess I’d say most of them, but I wasn’t wasting precious time to confirm this via his publicist that would probably have told me to $%* off anyway). Sleep come quickly, please!
But the worst thing this week was forgetting for the SECOND time to phone a friend at the weekend. I had no excuse, apart from my brain being so exhausted it was rattling around in my skull. I’m sure if you cracked it there and then it would have been like a coconut – liquid and mush in the centre with the grey cells desperately clinging onto the sides, praying for any rescue possible. My friend was very understanding, but I wasn’t happy with myself. If I say I’ll do something, then I’ll do it. And friends and family come high on my agenda.
My other half has often told me that he wouldn’t live in my brain for all the tea in China – far too much going on in there, he told me, and this was even pre-lockdown! I retorted with ‘what about all the coffee in the world’ (he’s more a coffee drinker than a tea drinker) because obviously my brain wasn’t quick enough to know the largest producer of coffee in the world off the tip of my cranium. Why would I need to know a random fact like that?! (By the way, it’s Brazil in case anyone wants the answer for a quiz question, 40% share of production).
All I can say this week is that I hope we don’t get round two of lockdown over the winter because things got back to ‘normal’ too quickly. I’m not quite sure my brain would survive another hit! I’m sure many people can relate to feeling like their mind is in constant use with thought and action – organising family, work, listening to people give facts, figures, instructions, sorting, deciding, worrying, wondering – very much over and above what we’ve all been used to in pre-lockdown life.
Whatever is in store, it’s OK to take time out. Have random thoughts. Find an escape for a while to let your brain feel released from every day activities. Daydream as much as your time will allow!
It seems like we’re all treading water in a deep, muddy sea and no one knows when we’ll hit shore. Maybe the blackbirds could go and look and come back to tell us. Another random thought for you.
Anyway, I’m off to put a reminder in my calendar to phone a friend . . .
PS Next week I think I’ll do something a bit different. Stay tuned!