A Deadly Serious Decision : Jake

Today’s podcast is a fairly brief one albeit a subject most people don’t want to talk about. I’ve called it: A deadly serious decision

Whoa! As they say ‘it’s make your mind up time’. I’ve never been one to dither over a decision in fact as my darling Pollyanna will tell you she often tells me that I’m impetuous; I make instant decisions and act without proper consideration. I counter her criticism with the statement that it doesn’t matter because I am never wrong.

I did something that for me was incredible.  A decision somewhat marred by the fact that I decided to do it in March but it took me more than six months to pull the trigger.  I don’t usually dither once I’ve got an idea in my head, but this time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I kept forgetting to make the call.

In March when I finally made up my mind, I had been to the funeral of a relative and I suppose I had time on the long drive home to consider my own mortality.  I decided that if it would not upset my close relatives I would do something useful when my time came.  I would donate my body for medical science, training and research.

I’m old but not ready to go yet.  I keep myself fit, still working out for a couple of hours in the gym most days.  I am a practising High Anglican Christian and believe in life after death in Heaven and will have no use for my body after I die.  When I floated the idea with my family there was a tendency to go silent before responding. Gill my wife and my family all agreed that it should be my decision and they would happily go along with it.
After taking so long to put things in order, I telephoned the Medical Department at Leicester University to put the wheels in motion.  I jokingly stressed that I’m not ready to go yet and in fact yesterday had renewed my annual membership at Bannatyne’s gym and I don’t wish to waste it.

I have a laugh among my friends that if they decide to visit me at the University I shall be the friendly 6 feet 1 inch tall skeleton standing in the corner that everyone calls Jake and passes the time of day with and on Rag Days the students dress in a cap and scarf.

The truth of the matter is that my body will probably be used for students teaching and perfecting of medical knowledge and techniques. To practice carrying out post mortems, or perhaps train to fit new joints or even rehearsing heart or kidney transplants and so on. Meanwhile they are welcome to use any useful organs from my aging worn out body in the same way as any usual organ donation.

It sounds rather strange that they only want a body donated from a healthy person except they will be dead. They won’t consider if you succumbed to a communicable illness or anything that doesn’t have a known cause. For the sake of medical teaching, a human body has to also be as intact and ‘normal’ as possible, to reflect the majority of persons a typical medic will encounter. As I said, perfectly healthy, just dead.

Having put my affairs in order I am feeling relaxed and fitter than ever.  I don’t know why I took so long about it.  I’m sure that medical students will be fascinated when they find the carbon fibre pins that repaired my cruciate and medial ligaments in the 1970s – then my two replacement knee joints and my two replacement thumb joints.  I shall keep those interesting features secret just in case my file gets marked D N R (do not resuscitate).

You see I’m not ready to go yet.  It may give a clue as to why I have decided to give a bit back . . . . . . . Do not go gentle into that good night.  Old age should burn and rage at close of day . . . . . . .   Goodnight Nurse!

If nothing changes, nothing changes! : Jake

A famous quote whose author I am afraid I have forgotten. I hope that you realise that as the EU Referendum approaches that this time you really can have the power to make a change and vote for our country to leave the EU

A quotation that I haven’t forgotten is “There came boom and bust, bankruptcy, depression.  Great public thieves came along and picked the pockets of everyone who had a pocket.”  John Steinbeck wrote that about the year 1900 in his book East of Eden (1952). Has anything changed?



So what’s new? Nothing changes if nothing changes, and if I keep doing what I’ve always done, I’ll keep getting what I’ve always got, and will keep feeling what I always felt.  All things being whatever they are, it turns out what you’re looking for just isn’t here anymore. Maybe it was deleted; possibly it was renamed, removed, re written, or lost somewhere under my desk… Things are always changing. As hard as I try to keep a decent record of things, sometimes it’s best to just let it go. That’s what I think anyhow. You will no doubt find your own way to find if it’s really new and improved.

It’s an interesting and useful expression even if it’s completely and utterly bogus. The reality of the matter is everything is changing all the time and there is no way to stop that. Its part of life and the fact that most people resist change and feel uncomfortable with it is just one in a long line of life’s ironies.  In the time I’ve have taken to read this paragraph people have been born and some other people have died. Somebody somewhere has just lost their job whereas somebody else has received the letter telling them they got the new one they wanted.  However whereas things are changing on a rapid and permanent basis and there is nothing we can do about that,  we can at least positively influence much of the change process by the way we act, rather than letting it happen by default.

How many times in my long life have I told myself that things cannot get any worse but they did?  Anthony Eden involved me in the Suez debacle and Harold Macmillan took over.  I told myself that things cannot get any worse but they did.  Alec Douglas Hume wasn’t there long enough to do any damage but he was followed by Harold Wilson I told myself that things cannot get any worse but they did, they really did.

Even with a short interval of Ted Heath when I told myself that now things will improve and they didn’t and Darling Harold Wilson came back to abolish the death penalty, legalise abortion and homosexuality.  Then he devalued the pound trying to convince us that the pound in our pocket would stay the same.  I groaned and thought that thing can get no worse but they did.

We got James Callaghan and his winter of discontent, rat riddled rubbish in the streets and bodies lying unburied in mortuaries.  I told myself that things cannot get any worse I breathed a sigh of relief.  We got Margaret Thatcher, the Falklands war, the Miners strike, the Westland Affair, the Brighton Bombing, Poll Tax Riots and the Lockerbie bombing.

The Tories decided to make a change and we got John Major and the Maastricht Treaty, Black Wednesday, the National Lottery and the ill thought out Dangerous Dogs Act.  I told myself that things cannot get any worse but they did.

We got Tony Blair.  He gave us the Human Rights Act, the Bernie Ecclestone controversy; Devolution to Scotland and Wales; the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, Weapons of Mass Destruction, War in Iraq, War in Afghanistan, the mishandling of the Foot and Mouth Crisis, Mayoralty of London, introduced student fees;  Cash for Honours scandal  and I honestly thought, things really cannot get any worse but then we got . . . . . . . . . . . . Gordon Brown,

Oh My Sweet Lord! We had child benefit data misplaced.; Donorgate scandal;; Northern Rock and other Banks nationalised; Treaty of Lisbon ratified; the 10p Tax rate abolished; the Financial Crisis of 2007 – 2010; Cannabis moved back to Class B; the Parliamentary expenses scandal; the Release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi; and the Chilcot inquiry established yes that really was that long ago!

I breathed such a sigh of relief when the electorate threw him out.  And then we got David Cameron with the mishmash of a coalition of U-turners Nick Clegg, Vince Cable, et al, I’m sure that things cannot get worse.  Oh Yes They Can . . . . . . . . . . . .

“There came boom and bust, bankruptcy, depression.  Great public thieves came along and picked the pockets of everyone who had a pocket.”

What hasn’t changed is the old homily ‘Shit happens.’ In the 1994 film Forrest Gump, it was suggested that Forrest Gump created the slang. When he was running across the country and a bumper sticker designer asked him about whatever Gump wanted to say so that he could put it on a bumper sticker and sell it; exactly at the time, Forrest stepped on dog excrement, as the other guy said to him “Whoa! Man, you just ran through a big pile of dogs shit!”, then Gump said “It happens”, the guy replied, “What, shit?” Gump replied “Sometimes”; and the slang was created. 

Maybe it does owe its origin to the 1994 film but it is as true today as it was in 1900 and even before Magna Carta.  It was probably just called Murphy’s Law in those days. What can go wrong, will go wrong and if nothing changes, nothing changes. Oh no that’s Sod’s Law. May the bridges I burn light the way?”

Australia The Fair : Jake

As a freelance travel writer sometimes writing articles for newspapers and magazines, I needed to write what the Editor wanted to hear. For example if I had been writing commentary on Venice as a great place to hold a wedding, it would not have gone down well if I had included; that sometimes on certain tides the canals took on the look and smells of an open sewer. However once I retired and I no longer had a paymaster to call the tune I decided that my blogs would be more open. This is one of my “Real Travel Blogs” that I called:-


Snakes, spiders, crocodiles, sharks and drunken white males

I have been robbed at the point of a machete in Demerara; mugged in Barcelona; caught up with rampaging Millwall football fans in Peterborough and bar fights in Mexico and Gibraltar; had my pocket picked in Singapore, Cape Town and Sierra Leone.

Source: My Real Travel Blogs | jakethewriter.com