River Wissey Lovell Fuller

What does the Doctor Think? October

October 2015

Who taught my grandchildren to read? Was it a good idea?

As a boy, I always enjoyed reading. My grandfather, a marine engineer, had made me a box which contained an enormous battery. On top, he had mounted a brass morse code key (used to tap out morse code) which activated the light when depressed. Obviously, Grandpa's intention was that I should learn the Morse Code (which I did) and that the dashes and dots would be represented by long and short flashes on my lamp. One of the features of the morse key was an ability to hold it down with an integral screw, thus producing constant light. I spent many happy hours at night, reading under the bedclothes (sheets, blankets and eiderdown to defeat Jack Frost on the inside of the window panes). I was satisfied that no light could escape and I must have known that my parents would have disapproved because it never occurred to me to turn on my bedroom light to read. Funds were tight and comics such as The Beano were read in a few minutes. So, for my allowed one comic a week, I always bought The Hotspur which was packed full with densely packed adventure stories and contained very few space-wasting pictures or cartoons. Having read my Hotspur once or twice, I would move on to my Biggles books and all the Arthur Ransome books which had been donated by an older boy who would never be a book hoarder like me – I still have them all 60 years later. I loved war stories and read The Cruel Sea several times before I was 10. The film came out in 1953 and starred Donald Sinden, whom we met on one of our cruises 4 years ago; I loved spending time with him and hearing how the film was made; he was a tremendous character.

“Where is he going with this?” I hear you shout. Well, I have always encouraged my grandchildren to read, buying them books and talking to them about their reading. Happily, several of them are really involved in their reading. Now, to the point. Management and I were in Orford for a day, during the summer, visiting some of the grandchildren who were on holiday from Spain (yes, they live in Spain), escaping the heat. Flies were everywhere so we bought some sticky fly papers and put them up. The ceilings were low and the kids were anxious to touch the fly papers. “Oh no” said I “they are poisonous and dangerous to children” and thought no more about it until one of the five year olds pulled out a chair, stood on it under the fly paper and read out loud the instructions on the tube at the bottom of the sticky strip. “This product is not poisonous and is not dangerous for children”. Embarrassing collapse of stout party  (not so much of the stout, please). Of course, this led to a clamour from all the kids to touch the fly paper, so my son and I allowed them to do so. “Ugh, it's all sticky – it's horrible, etc” followed by a few minutes washing their hands to get the sticky off – almost impossible as many of you will know. Now. If no-one had taught him to read........

The next week, while those of our family who live in Spain were sheltering from the heat in the UK, Head Office and I took nine adults and six grandchildren from our family to Spain for two weeks and had a great time. It was lovely to see the youngsters from London bonding with those from Liverpool while the older grandchildren from the Cotswolds sunbathed and helped look after the young grandchildren.

I have found a few clean jokes to share with you:

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson were camping and woke in the night. “Watson – look up at the sky and tell me what you see” “Well, Holmes. I can see millions of stars, millions of planets, according to the stars, the time is half past three and we are facing North. What do you see, Holmes”  “I see that someone has stolen out tent” replied Holmes.

A husband read a book about being assertive and stormed into the kitchen, shouting at his wife “From now on, I am the boss. Tonight, you will prepare me a gourmet meal followed by a wonderful dessert, then we shall go to the bedroom, after which you will run me a relaxing bath, wash my back, dry me and put on my robe. Then, you'll massage my hands and feet. Guess who will wash and dress me in the morning”. The wife replied quickly “The undertaker”.

There is a way of transferring fundsthat is even faster the electtronic banking. It's called marriage

(Sam Kinison)

Two secrets to help your marriage : When you are wrong, admit it. When you are right, shut up.

(Patrick Murray)

A good wife always forgives her husband when she is wrong (Rodney Dangerfield)

Best wishes to you all                            Ian Nisbet

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