Living By The Rules

20 November 2020

But not everybody does. We have all seen over the years how many people believe that they are somehow exempt from rules and regulations. I am again reminded of the time whilst watching a particular tv series where a car was on the road with no car tax, no insurance and no MoT. The police stopped the car and asked the driver why he had none of these. Police now have sophisticated equipment in their vehicles which can check the status of a motor vehicle in just seconds. They also have cameras that automatically scan vehicle number plates and give an alert to the police so they can then act on what is found. The driver informed them he had been driving for almost seventy years, he’d never had an accident and anyway “I can’t afford such stupid things now”. He was not allowed to drive any further and I believe he sold the car…

I can appreciate his sentiment, but sadly in this example the man was not giving any thought to other road users, in cars or lorries etc as well as pedestrians. He may have behaved sensibly, but sadly others do not for all sorts of reasons. When I had my heart attack in 2010 and was given extra tablets to take, I rather naively asked how long I’d be taking these. I was told, of course, “always”. So I try to live by the rules and take them regularly, as they’ve been prescribed. I follow the rules. I am at present in a Care Home which has its own set of rules. I’ve had to adapt a bit, but the staff are good too, they know all I can do and what I need help with. The inmates here are, as you might expect, all quite different and some I know are difficult at times. I said when I first got here that if things are good, I say so. In the same way, if they’re not good, I say so. It’s only fair that we be open and be honest. It’s how I was brought up to be. I am also a firm believer that if rules are wrong, they should be challenged and made better. But not in a selfish way.

I’ll not say too much on what’s going on around the world right now, but it does seem some folk will not admit defeat, even when it is clear they have lost a battle. Likewise there are those who do not believe this Covid thing is real. I’ve seen some fantastic theories around, I’ll leave them to it and do my best to stay as healthy as I can by eating, sleeping, exercising (as best I can) and generally working towards getting out and about again when the time is right. The latest one seems to be a conspiracy theory in which a vaccine will put some form of  ‘unique identifier’ in our blood which then effectively gives each of us a ‘bar code’! Except even with my basic grasp of biology, I seem to recall our blood completely replaces itself automatically over a fairly short time, through our kidneys I think, also our bodies are designed to fight and then remove any foreign bodies that it finds. So if  the theory was true, then the ‘bar code’ would need to be replaced every few weeks… It is probably why dogs have a micro-chip inserted, but not everyone would like one of those. What purpose would it serve, anyway, apart from keeping Civil Servants in a job? Sir Humphrey, where are you now!?!?! As for identifiers in our blood, I am no expert, I will let those who are more knowledgeable on such matters have their say.

Sometimes it isn’t easy to change, to adapt to new ways, but that is what happens in this beautiful world of ours. Things change. I’ve said before how I have known those folk who just would not adapt, would not change. Many are no longer with us, I am sad to say. But for me, change is part of living our lives. We adapt as we must. There is always a difference occurring around us and with technology as it is, we get to learn of it so very quickly. The first speeding ticket in the UK was, I believe, issued to a motorist on January 28th, 1896 in Paddock Wood, Kent. A constable spotted a fast driver named Walter Arnold speeding down the street and since the constable didn’t have one of those early motorised vehicles, he had to give chase on his bicycle. I guess Mr Arnold wasn’t doing a tremendous speed then!

Likewise, some people do not seem to believe me when I tell them that my very first computer was a Sinclair ZX 81 with just 1k of RAM memory. Bought in 1981, it used a basic black & white television, tuned to certain channel for a display. Any programs were loaded from and saved to a small tape, using a standard cassette recorder. But it got me started on what home computers were about and I am glad I did. It has helped both my career and later my own business in ways I could never have imagined. Sir Clive Sinclair, I thank and salute you!

But back to my point. Computers use a number of languages all their own. A good friend of mine is now learning a language and they are getting to know the rules of that language in order to be able to read, write and speak it. I used to do a little bit of programming when I was at work, some of what I learned I can and do still use. A very dear friend is learning how to take good photos and they are learning the controls, all the rules to be followed to adjust the camera to get the appropriate effect, in focussing, light, depth of field etc. We do these things as we need to, like to take better photos, but at times also to better ourselves. I am so much better by eating proper, healthier food. Except for me, cooking is still a mystery and always will be! I have been taught a good relaxation therapy and it has helped me a great deal, both in my health and my attitude to life. It has certain actions and exercises which involve my own touch, sound & breath. We learn to live by the rules, although we may not always perceive them as such.

Mentioning computers has reminded me of this:
A number of years ago, some new language translation software was being tested on an early computer, attempting to translate from English to Russian and straight back again. The saying “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” was returned as “The vodka is good but the meat is rotten” and “Out of sight, out of mind” came back as “Invisible maniac”. It was a good try, but clearly more work was needed…

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