Lots of early mornings means time. Time before many people are awake.
Time when my brain is at its most active, it’s most alive.
Time when I feel I’m just a tiny bit closer to having it all sorted out before the pressures of the day club me back into my normal state of idiocy.
I’m lying here on the sofa with my son at 6am. He’s eating Honey Puffs and watching Ollie The Little White Van.
I’m quite content. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
But my mind is racing, the mosquito thoughts are buzzing, wondering, creating, worrying.
And then I have an idea.
I’ll write a post.
But with a difference.
One with no plan, no structure, no narrative. No neat point to tie it all together. No fable, no moral lesson. No conclusion which makes you go ‘Hmmmmm’. No grand idea.
I’ll just start with a sentence and see where my mind takes me.
The sentence is ‘Having a son means lots of early mornings’.
So here we are.
Well it’s a grey start today, a little cool. Maybe it will brighten up later? (Blimey, you’ve built this thing up, you’re going to have to do better than that).
Ok. My son’s on my lap so I’m trying to write this on my phone.
It’s not that easy cause he wants a lot of attention and I’m not great with the tiny little keyboard on my phone.
I feel like a giant trying to carry out keyhole surgery on a gnat as my great fat clumsy fingers constantly hit the wrong keys, leading to a series of misspellings and blunders.
My poor old phone does its best to tidy up after me and predict my next move but, hey, it’s early.
A couple of paragraphs back I tried to type the word ‘maybe’ but ended up with ‘maypole’. Not a word I use in conversation very often.
I’ve often seen people using the wrong word in a text or email and then blaming it on auto-correct.
A service which is meant to prevent mistakes often leads to the introduction of them (and yes I’m sure there’s a way to turn the service off on the phone).
But it’s more than correcting. It’s predicting. My little phone often tries to end my sentences for me, suggesting the next word before I’ve even decided what it should be.
This thought first started rattling through my mind a few days ago when I was typing the phrase ‘nature abhors a vacuum’.
I had managed to get as far as ‘nature abhors a……’ when my phone inserted the word ‘woman’.
This completely brought me to a stop, both stunned and a little concerned. Nature abhors a woman?
Did I have a sexist phone? I mean I know it’s not the latest model but come on.
As I typed the same phrase just now the phone had completely reversed its position.
This time it inserted the word ‘man’ as if it had picked up on my feelings of horror last time and went way too far in the opposite direction.
It doesn’t end there. A couple of months back I was Googling the phrase ‘General election results’.
I had got no more than three letters into the first word when my phone threw back the suggestion ‘genital warts’.
During Wimbledon I was texting my brother during a match.
My phone decided it didn’t like the name of the Czech player Berdych and changed it to ‘Nerdy chicks’.
I had sent the text before I noticed, thus leading to some confusion from my brother when I told him ‘Federer on top of Nerdy chicks’.
So now I think I’ll play a trick on my phone. I’ll deliberately spell words incorrectly just to mess up its little brain.
I rmebemer bneig tlod yaers ago taht it deson’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod aepapr, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is the frsit and lsat lttetres.
The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit dficufilty.
Better still. I can throw a few numbers.
Y0UR M1ND 15 R34D1NG 7H15 4U70M471C4LLY W17H0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17.
My poor phone. It was trying its best with a few words before it abandoned all hope (there’s smoke coming out of it now).
The words were all jumbled up but we can still understand them even when the phone can’t. Does this mean our inherent code-cracking ability is more sophisticated?
Also does it mean that we all get too hung up on correct spellings?
As a former journalist I have that infuriating habit of correcting spelling mistakes when people text me.
But if we didn’t know how to spell the word in the first place we wouldn’t be able to crack that code.
If there was a single wrong letter in there it would just appear as gibberish. The order of the words is also important.
I’m driving to Dublin today.
Usually I would be a bit daunted by this, but now I’ve got a satnav so it will take me straight to where I need to go.
But is this a good thing? Does my brain lose something by not having the challenge of finding the location itself?
Does the lack of exercise lead to a lack of elasticity? A lazy comfort in letting technology do the job for me?
I really don’t know.
It’s not so early anymore. I can see life in some of the houses in my street now. People shaking off the rust to face another day.
So what’s the point of it all? Well, as I said earlier, there isn’t one.
I almost started this post with an entirely different line. It was almost ‘Sugar Puffs are now called Honey Puffs’.
That would have been entirely different. I suppose that’s the beauty of it all.