Good day, readers! At last here’s my holiday season scrawl! Actually, it’s now a New Year post.

I was all of a fret because you didn’t get a Christmas musings from me! Unfortunately things totally conspired against the penning of a suitable post on time. But, after much scrambling around (which is quite frightful to watch now, folks, with my mobility issues), I managed to find one of Lord Bragg’s new and rather interesting range of special occasion cards for you!

The “Subject to NO terms and conditions” celebration series in the shape of his infamous hat!

They seem to be rather nice, and thoughtful, for one of his business ventures. There must be a catch? If you don’t know about Lord Bragg make sure you read my blog intro post.

We’ve even put one such card on our fridge door, and it is has influenced this post in some small way.

I was attracted to the ‘no terms’ concept because much of our lives is subject to terms and conditions. For example, my new norm is controlled by the new and changing limitations caused by MND. But a lot of global life does not need to be held to such strictures.

It seems like only yesterday that it was 1999, the dawn of the new millennium and we were all looking forward to the future and the change it might bring.

Twenty years into the new century and some of you reading this will be thinking, Jeesh, what is this old fogey writing about? What was the Millennium exactly? And when is this thing called ‘the future’ arriving? Will it change things for good for society? Expecting a symbolic read folks? Perhaps…,just perhaps,…read on….

The whole world has changed in the last 2 decades, but for many things, and perhaps some people, time has stood statically still.

For example, shopping trolleys. There seems to have always been terms and conditions applied in the use of these beasts!

They still have that odd dodgy wheel, that takes you in the wrong direction in the supermarket (mall for my American friends). Before the turn of the century, in fact way back in the 1980s, I remember once going food shopping with Jean after work. I have written about this incident before in an old post, Whatever the world chucks at you…., but it is worth recounting again. This was in the days long before the invention of online shopping. As always, my brain was still processing work as we arrived. I was as obsessive about doing a good job even then, folks! I pushed the trolley (a man thing) with work of the day occupying my head as Jean put commodities in. All was going well, until we had completed about 5 aisles. Suddenly, Jean looked at me and yelled..

What are those nappies (diapers for my US friends) doing in our trolley!?…… That’s not our ******* trolley!!!

I had only gone and taken another shopper’s trolley, in my stupor, when distracted in an earlier section of the shop!! My mind was so pre-occupied, Scream! It could have been many rows away, and a new mother was probably having a break down! We abandoned said trolley and started again, poker faced! All because I wasn’t focused on the task in hand! 

Back to the amazing 21st century. I had need of purchasing a new rollator recently; there were too many miles on the old one! For a review of my rollators, have a read of an old post – Where there’s a wheel there’s a way… It seems, however, to have developed that trolley wheel issue! Damm, I need to fix it! 20 years, and no advancement in wheel bearings! All that internet stuff, but everyday basics, pah! Elon Musk, although I know Space is important, how about helping with rollator design? Tesla rollator? Porsche make one, you know!

So I wish shopping trolley, rollator designers and in fact all innovators everywhere a very happy new year without any terms and conditions!

Another thing that hasn’t changed, and should come with a health warning, is household painting! By painting I mean the DIY task of decorating. Jean likes to ‘touch up’ the cupboards in our kitchen when they get chipped, with new paint. But of course I have sodding changed, especially with my walking ability. Around the house I often furniture walk, ie the delicate art of holding onto cupboards, chairs, anything etc. Recently after one of Jean’s unannounced, spontaneous and ill timed painting sessions I traversed across the kitchen like a mountaineer along a precarious and terrifying ridge. At least we had plenty of turps to hand! What a right bleeding mess my hands were, and of course it got transfered to all new surfaces, pets and other bodies that I touched before we noticed!

Happy New Year, Darling! I mean this absolutely without any terms and conditions. Sorry about your blouse!

I was reminded of more last century history just before Christmas when we made a final trip to complete some Yuletide shopping. We proceeded to enjoy a typical 21st Century modern shopping experience but strictly avoiding the lingerie area following the near disaster with my scooter last time we visited!

I was getting a bit bored though, until I stumbled across these absolute gems, all lined up on a shelf in an intriguing gift area…..

Yes airfix models, but with a very modern take; somewhat different to those available pre-turn of the century.

The modern take? They require no glue,just click together, and it’s all pre-painted. Back in my childhood assembling such models involved glue that whiffed of jumbo jet fuel, leaded paint that took 24 hours to dry and all without any safety gear being worn. And then the whole family gasping in anticipation as grandma lit up a Rothman’s high tar ciggie! How we avoided explosions back then, heaven only knows!

I just couldn’t resist buying one for old times’ sake. But which 
model did I buy? Of course it had to be the Spitfire, and more specifically the Battle of Britain edition!

It reminded me of one Christmas back in the 1970s when I was given such a model by my Mum and Dad. I made and painted it, but only for my Grandad to then go and sit on the plane, crushing it into a thousand piece oblivion! Memories.

Being a Grandad probably will always come with such joyous terms and conditions!

I return, however, to the amazing real and majestic Spitfire for my final titbit of knowledge (there has to be at least one piece of real fascination in this post, folks!).

During the Battle of Britain in 1940, the Spitfire, powered by the Merlin engine, was prone in dogfights to stall when the pilot pulled negative g. This was putting them at a significant disadvantage to the German Messerschmitt 109, which was fuel injected and did not suffer from such issues. The Merlin was a carburettor engine and much resource was then focused on solving the problem. This included the huge task of potential complete redesign of the fuel system. However, it was an aircraft engineer, Beatrice ‘Tilly’ Shilling, who devised a simple washer that would prevent the stalling and essentially changed the whole course of history in double quick time.

Not only was this device straightforward, it could be fitted to all spitfires without any major change! In fact, Beatrice and a couple of her team visited each Spitfire airfield in turn to fit! Pure genius. Beatrice never let the apparent terms and conditions of the male dominated era get in the way of making history!! Have a read about Beatrice, she was a true pioneer.

Just to finish the Spitfire story, please ensure you skip the next paragraph if you are easily offended. 

On a slightly risqué note, Beatrice’s war changing invention was known affectionately, amongst spitfire pilots, as Shilling’s Orifice, or Tilly’s Diaphragm!

Have a great New Year, readers……. and of course all subject to absolutely NO T&Cs from me.

Thank goodness for Lord Bragg’s thoughtful new gift card range. What a guy! Has he lost his killer sales touch? No, apparently not, for even though the cards cost a mere 99 pence each, a suitably shaped and sized envelope is priced at £5!

What a guy! Nice to know some things will NEVER change! Business is business, after all!

I hope to be back, in the very near………………. future with more MND Research updates and usual guff!