September 2012


“Multi-tasking” is a word that originated from the computer world. As I have belonged to that world for a long time, I probably knew it before it became common parlance. In that sense, it doesn’t really mean that a computer performs several tasks at once. It means that the computer performs one task at a time, but can hop between the tasks so quickly that it appears to us to perform them simultaneously.

Do humans multi-task in the same way, or do we really have the ability to do more than one thing at a time? I think the answer is the latter – up to a point. If women are considered to be better at multi-tasking than men, why am I so bad at it? I think that’s because I’m too busy thinking about what other people think of me. I multi-task even before I try to do something else as well.

Anyway, that was just a preamble to telling you that I’ve been reading two books at once – in the computer sense, that is. A chapter from here and a chapter from there.

One of the books was The Dark Threads by Jean Davison, about the true and awful years during which the author was misdiagnosed as being mentally ill. I was very moved by this story and might devote another post to it.

The other was a pocket novel. Pocket novels are (or have been up to now) romances with happy endings. They enable readers to escape from the real world and lose themselves in a world where everything comes right in the end.

The two books couldn’t be more different and complemented each other perfectly. I was able to escape from a real and frightening world whenever I wanted to.

I remember school teachers telling us not to start reading a book before finishing the previous one. I can’t remember why. Perhaps they thought the first book would probably remain unfinished.

Do you multi-read?

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The challenge: 104 words including:

 … as the apple fell …..

It’s time to return to the challenge and a timely prompt, as apple and honey symbolises hopes for a sweet year, which is what I hope for all my readers.

Sweet Dreams

As the apple fell from the tree, it wondered what would happen next.

Would it fall far from the tree?

Would it join other apples in apple-pie order or make up an apple-pie bed?

Would it be compared to oranges?

Would it be the apple of someone’s eye?

Would it upset the apple cart?

Would it become a bad apple?

Then it hit the ground. That was the last it knew. Just as well. A little boy found it and ate it all up. And that was the end of the apple.

Except for the core, from which grew a beautiful apple tree.

It’s good to be back home. It really is. Back to my family, my home.

But. Twenty-five days without news (almost) was great. The news here seems to be designed to make us melancholy.

On top of that, this is a day for remembering. Eleven years ago, I was at work. Someone told me a plane had crashed into a building in New York. I thought it was an accident. On the way back home, it became clear that it wasn’t.

We were on holiday in Ireland when our ten-year-old son announced that Princess Diana had died. “Not possible” was our reaction. We were wrong.

As a child, I was always at home when these things happened. John F Kennedy and his brother. Aberfan. And more. The TV screen didn’t lie.

But I have come across some good news today. About our gold medal in the Paralympics. And about a rather special army officer. They put me in a better mood on this sad day. So does Andy Murray’s well-deserved win, which I stayed up to a rediculous hour to watch.