Since taking up residence in my mum’s home she’s felt moved to make sporadic reference to the plethora of device charging cables that now languish unceremoniously from her plug sockets. On one occasion commenting “It’s like being in an episode of Quatermass with all these bleeding cables, Gary!!”……. I’d no idea what that meant, however I laughed politely anyway at my landlady’s baffling submission.

This morning, in reference to the knotted charging cable of my bluetooth speaker she eccentrically posited “You should remove those knots, Gary….. It can’t be recharging that speaker properly!”

“How do you work that out, mum?!” I enquired while grinning at the old ladies quirky observation.

“Well it stands to reason that the electricity won’t be getting through the cable to charge the device properly!!” mater responded, making me realise how I inherited a less than sterling technical knowledge.

“So how do you account for the fact that the speaker, which was without power prior to me charging it last evening, is now fully charged?!” I mischievously queried.

“I’m just saying, Gary!” she pointed out. This her ‘go to’ generic response when she realises her debating position’s wavering. There’ll be no admission I was right from mother Maggie, merely the comment “I’m just saying, Gary!”, or occasionally (when she’s really irked) she’ll use “You’re a clever little s***e!”

Following this she bore comparison to the knots in a charging cable affecting it’s performance much in the way it would a man if he tied one in his male appendage. With this observation baffling me more than her Quatermass comment I felt it prudent to let the conversation peter out at that juncture.


Regardless of how much I love her, I find the matriarchal indoctrinations that everyone is nice, along with advocation of the ‘what would the neighbours think’ mantra, is irritating.

Despite being well-meaning, her observation that everyone is nice is not only incorrect but, with completely devalues the worth of the comment due to it’s catch-all nature. Her subscription to the sentiments of ‘what would the neighbours think’ making moving on with my life harder than it should be.

Although not of a follower of catholicism, Maggie has this almost catholic ‘born sick, commanded to be well’ approach to life. A baffling stance that appears she’d rather avoid any gossip than her offspring achieve fulfilment. I don’t for one minute think that is the case, however her actions plant seeds of that notion.

Of course she’s a thoroughly decent lady…… Too nice on occasions, despite her ingrained distrust of knots in devices cables and male appendages. However, I’d say to her to rejoice if your kids want happiness, don’t worry about what other people think.

Particularly as most ‘gossip’ is from a position of negativity. For instance, I doubt if people felt the need to discuss my behaviour it’d focus around prurient episodes. Not the positive aspects of my existence.

Apart from a few close individuals, I’d guess if anyone had reason to discuss my conduct it’d entail dialogue something like:-

Person A – “I see Gary Strachan has undertaken over fifty separate voluntary roles for cancer charities, raising thousands of pounds!”

Person B – “Yes, so I hear from Person C…… They said he’s also attempted to counter his depression with the self-counselling of setting up a website, writing a daily blog, joining a choir and performing readings of his narratives.”

Person A – “Yes but he is an absolute arse isn’t he!!”

Person B – “Oh my god yes! Of the highest order!!……….. Incidentally, did you know Person C’s having an affair with Person X?!”

Person A – “Yes I did, she’s obviously no shame……. Did you know Person X apparently tortures hamsters!!”

Person B – “What?!…… Oh my god, I’d no idea!….. I best dash home; I’ve left Person X at my home looking after my hamster Mr Tiddles!!!!