Once is enough

Mulling life's moments and whether you'd wish to relive them.

“When memories make your past life a shambles, brush them aside and make up new ones.”

“Nostalgia’s all right if you can remember any of it.” (Anonymous)

Peter Warland

A few of us were sitting around the other day, not quite comatose, and someone asked, “D’you ever feel you’d like to live your life again? You know, go back to the beginning?”

As usual, I made some facetious remark but, later, in a more reflective mood, I had a think about it and, when that think was all over, I’d decided; once is enough; I’d got away almost unscarred the first time; I’d probably not survive as I seem to have done the next time.

I don’t remember my birth but I certainly wouldn’t want to go through that trauma again, nor the shocked looks on my parents’ faces when they first shown what they had produced. I couldn’t bring myself to do that to them again.

My early childhood was fairly uneventful except for that time my father tried to drown me at the seaside. Mother explained that a wave had bowled me over and Dad had rushed in to save me, and frightened the life out of me. I tried to believe her but was never sure.

When I was still quite young, I fell in love with my infant-school teacher, Miss Minty and, probably thinking seriously of proposing marriage to her, I walked in front of a car that knocked me down, causing me to fill my pants and run home in embarrassment. My mother scooped me up and thrust me into the bath-tub quite unceremoniously, clothes and all. I don’t think Mum tried to drown me¸ but my sister insists that she did, well, she ought to have.

My final elementary school teacher, Ma Fuller, was an extremely stern lady with little sense of humour, and with whom I didn’t fall in love. She chided me, bullied me, kept me in after school and got me through my final exams.

So off I went to grammar school, where I had to wear an itchy uniform, play rugby, go on ridiculously long runs, sing solos in choirs and learn the Lord’s Prayer in English, French, Latin and German.

It was about this time that Adolf Hitler was invented and we boys imitated his speeches and Nazi salutes using the only German we knew: The Lord’s Prayer.

We also acquired a remarkable collection of dirty jokes, which, somehow, my father must have learned somewhere.

Then along came the war, rationing, air-raids, evacuation and my teen-aged experiences. I don’t think that I could survive for all those years doing those daft things: like doing Acapulco-like dives off the local pier, getting the local parson arrested as a spy because he chose to walk his dog on the beach late at night, seeing scientifically if was true that cats always land on their feet by pushing them off walls, and taunting the Home Guard with very rude and confusing messages by flashing obscure Morse code messages at them when they were on manoeuvers in the local hills.

We also experimented by seeing how many loutish youths could actually ride a bicycle at one time, with disastrous and bloody results, and seeing if we could scare the local girl guides spitless by playing ghostly organ music in the basement beneath their meeting place.

We also climbed everything in sight right up to the times that, having been forced to take my younger sister out, I scaled a quarry cliff and fell off it and broke my leg and consequently suffered the indignity of seeing her rush off and get help. That was terrible; I couldn’t possibly go through that again.

So I took up rock-climbing as a sport but used ropes and other safety equipment, and still survived.

Then I met that foolhardy young woman who married me – the mate that fate had me created for – and she kept me relatively safe for over sixty years. There’s no way I’d find another one like her if I had to go through the whole nonsensical rigmarole again.

Once is enough.

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Cranbrook Arts has opened the doors of their  new gallery space to the public with their inaugural exhibit, Kootenay’s Best.
‘Kootenay’s Best’ opens Cranbrook Arts’ new gallery

This exhibit has been in the works for the past several months and features the work of more than 50 emerging and established artists from across the Kootenays

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Most Read