It’s 09.58 on Saturday 3rd November. Sitting at the dining room table of my east Leeds domicile, I’m snacking on the Haribo gummy sweets leftover from Halloween washed down by tap water source from a West Yorkshire reservoir (I think)..

On the red armchair to my right, lolling unceremoniously adjacent to a cream cushion emblazoned with words ‘Happiness’, perches my laptop bag. In front of me is a small hardback notebook bearing a drawing of an old style typewriter and the title ‘Gary’s Mad Ideas’. A quirky bespoke gift received from my kids a few Christmases back.

This note book used to chronicle epiphanies manifesting themselves when bereft of computer device. These ideas ordinarily jotted down in a phrase/sentence to jog my memory for future input.

This process isn’t as fool proof as I’d like. However, for it to be fully fit for purpose would require being in constant possession of this memory aiding journal. With being unable to legislate for ‘light bulb moment’ strike, immediately recording random literary thoughts isn’t always possible.

For example, when in the shower, if I have an idea for a gag or a storyline I’d have to rely on my poor memory to retain the thought until I’ve dried off several minutes later. Not that I’ve attempted it, but I suspect paper and ink aren’t natural bedfellows to water blasted from a power shower. Even if they were, I wouldn’t have anywhere to put the book or pen…… Well maybe there is for the pen, but it’s not one I’m prepared to countenance!

For obvious reasons, I additionally wouldn’t contemplate inputting ideas into the aide memoire book while driving, grating cheese or when I’m engaged in my hobby of fire-eating.

As I’ve not alluded to it previously, my participation in the pastime of fire-eating may surprise some readers. However, it’s an act that’s hugely popular with the elderly looking for an inexpensive method of keeping warm as winter draws in.

Even if logistics allow the jotting down of a creative notion, another conundrum I have to contend with are occasions I can’t recall the meaning behind my written bullet point reminder.

An example being the above page of notes I made within ‘Gary’s Mad Ideas’. Included within these chronicled thoughts are the following unreliable reminders:- (My bullet points reflected in bold text)

  • First records – I haven’t a clue what that epiphany alludes to.
  • Amish not Hamish – Likewise
  • Sensor on seat – God only knows what yarn should’ve materialised from that.
  • Full ashtrays – I’m also unable to recollect the flight of whimsy that led to this bullet point’s inclusion.
  • To Do List – That could be bl***y anything!

Mercifully, some reminders do jog my goldfish like memory. For example, I’m able to successfully recollect the thoughts leading to the following:-

  • Lets over any Tom, Dick or Harry – I recollect this notion appeared while running my daughter to work a year or so back. A manifestation during the delay experience when a Lollipop Lady was letting ‘any Tom, Dick or Harry’ cross the road. From memory the gag that appeared at that point was “Thank god she didn’t let the kids with alternative names also cross or we’d have been there all bloody day!”……. Not a brilliant joke, but on the plus side at least this memory jogging bullet point did it’s job.
  • Surprise birthday party – If memory serves me correct, this quip followed the lines of “I was at a friends surprise birthday party last night. It wasn’t the party that was the surprise, it was the fact my friend didn’t know it was his birthday!”

Anyhow, I need to conclude the narrative to spend some reflective time mulling over what the hell I was thinking about when jotting down the aide memoire ‘Curtains to replace teeth – Cost of Dentistry’.