Saturday, 9 October 2010

The Lives of Others - Wisbech

There are times when I am talking and I hear my voice speaking and I realise that I am simply droning on. After a recent visit to Wisbech, however, I have to face the fact that I am mediocre even in my dullness. Everywhere I went in that town, I encountered truly talented bores. One or two might even have attained world-class status.

Here are two of the conversations that led me to recognise that I face extremely fierce - possibly insurmountable - competition:

"I can't remember what that road turns into."
"Is it the A31?"
"I'm not sure. It could be, although I think it might have been a B road. It could have been the B2027, although I'm not at all certain.  What I do know though is that it joined the North Circular and, where it used to take four hours, you can do it in under two and a quarter now."

"It's all down to confidence isn't it, swimming?"
"Yes, if you've always done it, then you can."
"It's like riding a bike, you don't forget it."
"Jake's not keen on it, but Emma and Robert are."
"John's dad goes teaching swimming on a Sunday."
"Where's he do that then?"
"Yarborough. He doesn't go in though. He just stands on the edge and shouts."
"It must be lovely though, to be able to really swim."
"It's like riding a bicycle, isn't it, you don't forget it."
"I never go in the deep end."
"I'm quite happy if I can just puddle about in my own depth."
"I have to be able to touch the bottom with my toes."
"Believe it or not, my dad was a good swimmer."
"Was he?"
"Yes, he was, because I remember the first holiday we had we went to Scarborough and my dad had a proper black bathing costume and he went in and I started screaming. I thought  he was going to drown."
"It's a necessity these days."
"It's like riding a bike, you don't forget it."
"There weren't the opportunities were there for us?"
"We used to go to South Park - it's not called that any more, it's a technology something or other - we used to go there on the bus on a Friday from school."
"It's like riding a bike, isn't it, once you can do it, you don't forget it."

It's that bike woman I admire. I reckon she could keep making the same point for hours - possibly days.


  1. Please tell me she was over 80 and going senile. It's the only possible excuse

  2. I could tell you that, nurse, but it wouldn't be true.

  3. ditto, oh dear ...

    oh, and you could work on your dullness because, you know, it's like riding a bike, once you can do it, you won't forget it...

  4. Whispering - unfortunately, that is true