My life these days, is rather like a ride on a Big Dipper, I’m fit and well one day, suddenly out of the blue I am trapped in my house, by some monstrous inability. Just over a week ago I went to a hospital for a check-up, and it is a good thing I was there, because suddenly the room I was in rotatation about me, and I hit the deck with such force that I got whiplash, followed by Meneir’s disease, which is a clever name for being totally unstable, and having to resist falling about the place. In consequence writing has been out of the question, as indeed is practically everything else. Hence the apology. But when you’re in that condition one tends to dose, and when not dosing, cogitating on some of the most abstract and irrelevant considerations.
The era I was born in was a hang-over of the Victorian psyche, and physical contact, even in families was not as common by a mile, as it is today. I cannot ever remember my mother kissing me, even, to my surprise and disappointment, when I came back from a stint on convoy in the North Atlantic. All nature requires contact between the newly born and the mother. From that point contact between relatives and individuals is an essential part of learning and security. Put briefly, there is nothing like a hug, and at times of stress, loss and injury, physical contact is reassuring. The handshake, as we all know from our schooldays, has come down in time from the days when knights were bold, and the handshake indicated that there was no hidden agenda, such as a dagger up the sleeve. But the handshake today has all sorts of nuances, from a reawakening of a past friendship, to the closing of a deal.
We all know that physical contact can also be abrasive, as on the field of sport, or behind the cycle shed at school. I have found it interesting to think of all the different ways in which we communicate between ourselves, and to some extent with the animal kingdom, all by touch. The passing pat on a shoulder, at a function, signifying friendship and acknowledgment. The touch of the schoolmaster’s hand, and again on the shoulder, after looking at some work, noting approval. Contact has its own language, which is related to circumstances and geography, but today, when I see so much hugging and kissing between total strangers meeting for the first time, bearing in mind my own history, I find it totally over-the-top, and meaningless. In the entertainment world hugging and kissing has totally different nuances, it can be used by an individual to draw attention upon themselves, to give the appearance of being on equal status, and very often is just as meaningless