I had a little nut tree…

The reality is that I have never had a nut tree, little, large, bushy or sparse, but I use this as my introduction today by way of illustration of how my mind is working as the lockdown continues.

Obviously the carnage being wreaked upon the world by the virus is influencing and very serious, I do not mean to make light of it, but up to now, particularly with the weather being so good until the last couple of days, I have actually had a good rest, been occupied with various chores and improvements, my friends and family are all safe, sticking to the rules and it has been ok for me, I cannot lie.

As I climbed out of my daily shower and started towelling the old carcass in a bid to get ready for the day, the mind wandered.

For some reason, a nursery rhyme that I used to sing to my sons a long time ago now came into my mind. As alluded to in the title, it was the one about having a little nut tree, “nothing would it bear, but a silver nutmeg and a golden pear”.

I reasoned that it was ludicrous…apparently it bears nothing with the exception of two rare and barely related items of produce! For a start you can’t say that it bears nothing, when clearly it bears two things. Then let’s examine the two things that it does actually produce:-
1) A silver Nutmeg…so now you’re telling me that a tree purporting to be a nut producer, conjures up a chemical element, one of the four primary precious metals, that it is also nutmeg, a spice or seed which does not come from a nut tree? I suppose it could be a nutmeg shaped silver ornament but it’s equally unlikely (at this stage I found myself scoffing at the notion openly and with vigour, which was reflected in the towelling of the back and had to be ceased).
2) A Golden Pear…the mind boggles, in addition we are being told that another chemical element, which is also a primary precious metal also manifests itself in the form of a pear? To coin a phrase of common regularity ‘the world has gone mad’.

I then contemplated further the verses that followed with regards to the “King of Spain’s Daughter” and the whole thing seemed more and more unlikely.

As I was thus ruminating, once more with vim, and in danger of sending the nether regions to the same over-towelled soreness-hell of my back, I came to my senses.

This was prompted by the enquiry from without as to whether I was alright, for clearly I had begun to speak out loud, causing concern to fellow dwellers chez Brooke. Thankfully they hadn’t heard what I was saying but were concerned more by the violence and anger with which it was being conveyed!

This is the kind of debate I have been having regularly with myself during quiet periods- this was actually the first nursery rhyme debate I’d had with myself (and hopefully the last) but I am contemplating absolute rubbish and serious matters with equal scrutiny, thankfully mostly internalising them.

The dreams don’t help.

Having realised that my laptop and ipad were hopelessly out of date as they wouldn’t even download Team for videoconferencing, I decided that it was time to buy a new laptop.

With too much time on my hands and too much information to research, having set a budget, I obsessively researched the best I could get for the money etc…I find that this actually hampers the decision making process and renders me more reticent to commit.

I have a problem (clearly, I have more than one). When I get something on my mind like this, it starts to affect my dreaming and my sleeping and I get repetitive dreams. In my case this means I have the same dream, loads of times in a night. This one manifested as me as a salesperson of AMD processors in an eternal cold sales call process trying to flog individual processors (which is nonsense at the silver nutmeg level of drivel).

How this ‘works’ is that I have the dream which gets me agitated and thus restless in bed to the extent that I wake up. I lie there looking into space, KNOWING it is a dream, telling myself that it’s ludicrous and trying to clear it from my mind, then I drop off and it happens again. If I don’t break it, and the only way to do that is to get up, read a book/watch TV/work on a pc, then it will just keep recurring all night.

In this particular case I get at least the thread – I had been researching pcs, processors etc…and they were clearly on my mind but, you’re probably not that surprised to hear,that, these dreams can also be completely random. Long term readers may well remember the time I dreamt that I was employed by both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (bizarre fantasy on its own) to make their own types of pate for them for mass manufacture (I know, I’ve scared myself just remembering it!) and, only last Sunday I dreamt that I was involved in the invention of a machine that put your T-shirt on for you as you walked past it!!

Where the hell does this come from?

I mean, putting a T-shirt on is hardly an onerous task for most people anyway, but the point that still has me staring into space contemplating my sanity is the fact that the machine looked like…well I pause here because it is ridiculous, even in context with the cobblers above…if anybody reading this can remember the closing credits of Camberwick Green, a stop-motion staple of ‘watch with mother’ from the mid-sixties through to seventies, there were two elements to it. Firstly the main character of each particular show appears on the top of the music box and slowly disappears to a lovely bit of gentle acoustic guitar music. As they have gone out of sight, part two kicks in and we cut to a school (looks like music) room (this is still all animated), and before us is an assortment of musical instruments randomly scattered and a transportable blackboard, the sort that had a large wooden frame on castersĀ  and the boards were movable and even rotatable as they were a large vinyl affair in latter days, some green and some white as well as black (technology eh?). Coming out of the side of this thing was a large, horizontal handle , not dissimilar to that of a mangle or a starter motor (for those not familiar with these items look it up if you can be bothered) and behind the handle, facing the screen was a Pierrot Clown, slowly rotating the handle and therefore the ‘blackboard screen’ with the programme credits on, again to a lovely piece of acoustic guitar.

Even as a kid I thought this was odd.

Well, the T-shirt machine (remember that?) looked a bit like this thing, but was shaped like a seamstress’s dummy and had a flat horizontal handle coming out from the side. The T-shirt was placed on the dummy as if a human was wearing it and as the soon to be wearer walked past, it he/she/it (we are gender oblivious here you know) touched the outer end of the handle and lo, the t-shirt was on the person.

Like most dreams (at least the ones I have), there was no explanation of how this worked, or why it even existed, particularly as it took longer to put the shirt on the mannequin, walk past it and touch the end of the handle than it did to simply put the shirt on.

You’ll all be pleased to know that they sold like hot cakes, with a real friend of mine, whom I don’t think I’ve seen for at least five years, getting involved with the marketing and distribution and we made a fortune.

I had this dream at least seven times on Sunday night, before getting up and putting on the TV to break the ring.

I recounted the dream the next day to Mrs Brooke, laughing hysterically as I talked her through it to, shall we say a mildly at best, humorous response, but couldn’t help noticing that it appeared to be verging more on the concerned rather than the amused.

Wisely, I think, I managed to skirt over this morning’s bizarre critique/analysis of a children’s nursery rhyme first published in 1749 when called upon to explain myself for the noises in the shower room, whilst at the breakfast table…

Keep well, use your time as constructively as possible and stay at home.