Monday, February 08, 2016

Brain Malfunctions

Memes. Brain-wiring. All very fascinating. Slightly tragic too as I watch my Mum's dementia-affected brain become unwired but, as avid readers of #mumwatch will testify, not without its amusing interludes.

It can, of course be annoying. Only slightly so when, for instance, you turn to put away a piece of kitchen equipment in the place where it lived in a former house. You chuckle, say 'durr' and get on with life.

Talking of former houses, I lived in Leamington Spa for fourteen years. File this away, it will be helpful. It was ten years ago mind. I should be used to my new home.

Last Friday I visited an old friend in London. It was a lovely time. One of those occasions when you carry on as if nothing has happened even though you have not seen each other for ten years or so. I was glad to have done it and, travelling back, looked forward to an evening at home on the sofa. (I got this. There is no unhappy ending here. Relax.)

My friends live on the Bakerloo Line. Sitting in the carriage I looked up at the routeboard and counted the number of stops to my destination. Nine. I got my book out. After eight I put my book down, got my stuff together, did up my coat and alighted.

I followed the network rail signs and found myself at the mainline station but, looking up at the departure board, could not see the 4.30 to the West Country. Weird. Come to think of it I didn't recognise the station as the one I had been at that morning.

Because it wasn't.

So what had gone wrong? Let's go back to, 'Sitting in the carriage I looked up at the routeboard and counted the number of stops to my destination. Nine.'

My eyes had failed to get beyond the ninth stop because it was Marylebone. Marylebone, the station I used for fourteen years to get home from London when I lived in, you guessed it, Leamington Spa. Trains to Nailsea depart from Paddington. Which was eleven not nine.

Now you may find it helpful to know that if you allow a little extra time for a journey because of STUFF THAT HAPPENS, then it will still be 22 minutes before your train departs from two further stops up the Bakerloo line and this is plenty of time to buy another ticket, catch the tube and get off at the right stop. I caught the 4.30 from Paddington with time to spare. I could probably have walked between the stations in that time too.

But it is amazing how easily we can misdirect ourselves. Head-space. It's all smoke and mirrors in there.

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