Sunday, 19 February 2012

A Lovely Night Out

I had a really nice time last night. I met again three people I used to know when I was at primary school, so we hadn't seen one another in about twenty years! Two of them are together and have recently found out they're to have a baby, which was delightful news! The third has a charming fiancée, and they're to be married next year, and are looking at Lake Como. I'm a little out of touch, so while everyone else was able to contribute modern personalities and events in the area, I cited Pliny the Younger's love of that country. I'm nothing if not out of touch! :-D Various relatives also turned up, Paul's sister (whom I think I just about remember from school though not very well - which might mean I don't remember her at all, and am filling in blanks in my memory!) and her friend, who were planning to head to a local tapas bar afterwards, and Katie's mother (returned from Dubai, I think I'm right in saying) and her sister (who I assume wasn't in Dubai).

We had a lovely time reminiscing and discussing future plans. The reminiscence I shall recount now is one that concerns me, which I find very funny indeed. All three recall that Daniel, another boy at school, whom I still see from time to time - he's in the TA, has been to Afghanistan once or perhaps twice and is a lovely fellow - anyway, he was giving a demonstration of Ju-Jitsu. I remember when I was little I used to go to classes in a building, probably gone these days, at the foot of a local hill near the centre of town. In this demonstration of Ju-Jitsu Either he was a bit excessive in his force or I was a bit clumsy in my fall. I did some martial arts at uni, and was always a bit poor at breakfalls then, so I suspect the fault is largely mine! Anyway, he threw me over and I was knocked out for ten minutes. The funniest part of that is that while all three of them recall it, I have no memory of it whatsoever!

I mentioned it to Mum and Dad, neither of whom has any recollection of being informed about it either. Tut-tut! I doubt the school would get away with that sort of omission these days. Anyway, no harm done - flooble-ooble, wibbly-bobble blah, as they say. I've had some amusing falls and near falls in my time. The closest I had heretofore believed myself to have come to being knocked out was back at university. I might be conflating two events, but I think all this happened on the same night. Kev, Christian and I drove to Carmarthen to see our Sensei, Tony, or Geordie as I always called him - I was Ginge, obviously.

Christian is thoroughly exuberant about martial arts, and while Kev and I were limbering up doing forward rolls slowly, he was flinging himself forward with great enthusiasm. Having crossed the room a couple of times in this fashion, he then erred, planting his foot flat on the mat and flinging his nose toward it at speed. He spent five minutes in the bathroom and the rest of the night clutching tissues to it. Let that be a lesson to you, children! As that old Roman, the Emperor Augustus was fond of saying, festina lente, which roughly translates as "learn to walk before you run".* So Kev and I were practising with one another the rest of the night. Kev was a sturdy fellow, and thus solicitous of my well-being in throwing me, as I was then a slender little thing. I'm far from that now. If someone threw me now I'd pop like a tomato, I fancy!

Anyway, he asked me if I was sure it was all right if he threw me. I responded in the affirmative, though not without certain trepidation. My body described a beautiful arc, and I slammed right into the mats. I thought it was quite funky, as my vision momentarily disappeared, and I saw only blackness specked with brights spots. I had never understood the phrase "seeing stars" before then, and I always think back to that moment whenever I see it these days. So that was as close as I thought I'd come to being knocked out, but it transpires it had happened yonks ago, and I'd quite forgotten! If I discover I've forgotten anything else, be assured I'll let you know. Maybe. Until next time, folks, be well!

* Literally it means hurry slowly.

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