Saturday, March 07, 2015

From O. Reader


What if the first Zeppelin bomb raid on London during the Great War, hadn’t blown a young office junior down a flight of stairs?

He wouldn’t have suffered from shell shock giving him exemption from conscription just in time to avoid the battle of the Somme.

What if penicillin had been discovered two years earlier than it was?

The man’s first wife (of several) would probably not have died when she did, leaving him a widower.

What if the man, now in his late 40s, hadn’t decided to take a working holiday as a host, compère and comedian?

What if one of the families on holiday at this location hadn’t included a girl who was desperate for a father figure?

Well – I wouldn’t have been born.

Yes – the world would have been spared Occasional Reader.

Let’s wind the clock back again.

What if a man who was desperate to be an RAF pilot in World War 2– even though the average life span was only a few weeks at that time – hadn’t been turned down on medical grounds?

He would never have become a RAF mechanic and been sent to Egypt after the war.

What if a Morse code operator at Bletchley hadn’t also been sent to Egypt after the war, where she met the mechanic?

There wouldn’t have been any future Mrs Occasional.

What if the future OR hadn’t volunteered for a kind of missionary work and been sent to the Wild West? Well, at least to Wales, where his first abiding memory was of free range sheep raiding trash cans – something not normally seen in the leafy suburbs of London...

What if the future Mrs O hadn’t come back from a foreign land to attend a wedding in Wales, which the future OR had promised to film?

What if the future OR, while dithering about the future Mrs O (dithering being a basic part of his makeup in that era) hadn’t bumped into her – literally – in a bookshop in the middle of a capital city? (At least a mutual interest in books boded well.)

Answers to all the above?

I wouldn’t be lounging here on a sofa trying to sort out a dead database of radio drama, with Mrs O sitting beside me sending emails to our daughter on her shiny Galaxy tablet. She on the Zinfandel and me on the Cabernet Sauvignon, with a creaky old crime thriller as moving wallpaper on the television.

Strange how things work out...
Perhaps I’ll just have another half glass.


  1. So many seemingly random events are woven together to make our lives what they are.

    We could argue whether it is all chance or divine providence. Me, I want to just enjoy the ride for as long as I can. Enjoy your wine.

  2. "Did you ever turn the corner, and you wonder why you did.
    You haven't been that way now, since you were just a kid.
    And nothing really happened but then you've got to say,
    You wonder what would've happened had you gone the other way.
    And there are strange rivers,
    Rivers that you cannot see,
    There are strange rivers,
    And we're sailors... you and me."
    - John Stewart