• 1770AD, 1793AD, 1834AD, 1865AD, 1906AD, 1955AD, 2020AD.


    Most human beings on this planet have a daily routine. Your Editor is not exempt from this. Mine – along with many others – varies to a degree. Other people can stick rigidly to a set routine. For me, the timing varies in the sense that – with the exception of having to be at a particular place at a particular time – the time I get out of bed varies with the amount of sleep I managed to get the night before. I suffer from chronic spasmodic insomnia or “CSI” for the acronym obsessed.

    As a result of being a CSI sufferer, the time I get out of bed varies between 7AM and 9PM. Because my condition is spasmodic, I’m more often up and about between 7AM and 8AM than 8AM and 9AM.

    Apart from the time, the routine is fairly consistent. I get out of bed, make the porridge (in a pan on a hotplate and not the microwave) setting the heat low then (after removing the jim jams) take a shower, dry myself with a towel and get dressed. I then have breakfast. After other matters have been attended to, I go into the room I call the office (which was the estate agent’s particulars of sale referred to as “bedroom one”) and I pick up the receiver of the BT Converse 2300 telephonic instrument on my desk and listen to see it there are any voice mail messages. If not, I then switch on the desktop PC which is not actually a desktop PC but a tower PC which is located at the right hand side of my desk. When the PC has “booted up” I then access a computer programme that downloads the emails from the email server that is linked to the website of this blog. Most are inconsequential and are deleted. I then set about looking about writing a post for the BG.

    One of the emails steered me in the direction of today’s subject matter. It was an email from a stock picking firm. A young Australian man with a PME (positive mental attitude). It being New Year’s Eve, on the subject of 2020, this young man who probably had no “co-morbidities” or “underlying health issues” – he will in four decades time – commented: “What a year. Now forget about it!”

    Had this been New Year’s Eve Wednesday 31st December 1975, I MIGHT have had the same attitude. But there again I might not have. You see, whilst common sense prevents me from publishing precisely how old I was on that date 45 years ago, the same caution does not apply in the case of my late father for on that day he was 69 years, 7 months and 11 days old.

    NB: The politically correct Extinction Rebellion, Green Party, Labour Party and Liberal Democrat Party supporting readers of this blog will be indignantly infuriated with the use of the suffix “AD”

    As BG readers will know, the terms anno Domini (AD) and before Christ (BC) are used to label or number years in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The term anno Domini is Medieval Latin and means “in the year of the Lord” but is often presented using “our Lord” instead of “the Lord” taken from the full original phrase “anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi”, which translates to “in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

    What really will infuriate almost beyond measure the aforementioned very easily offended (VEO) readers is the knowledge that I did this deliberately! This because unlike Google who refused to use the word “Christmas” because they did not want to offend the VEOs, the BG has no such inhibitions or reservations!

    I do however issue one apology for my actions. This is to the long suffering Shaun Sawyer, Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, who receives the complaints about the BG from these VEOs. Mr Sawyer is a very busy man at this present time and he needs such silliness like he needs a hole in the head!

    You see, six of the seven years that form the title of today’s post are the years of birth of Mr John Rogers, Mr James Rogers, Mr William Rogers, Mr John Rogers II, Mr Bernard Rogers and Mr Peter Rogers. The reader will note that apart from the first Mr John Rogers who became a father at the age of 23, we Rogers have generally become fathers later in life than others.

    So, back to New Year’s Eve 1975 Dad was less than six months away from his three score years and ten and I was a young chap of 25. You see COVID-19 was not in our midst that year or the year that followed. As a result, Dad who clearly was in an “at risk group” was not exposed to that risk. It did not exist. By contrast, at the age of 25, having no “co-morbidities” or “underlying health issues”, I was not at risk. Today, with COVID-19 in our midst, I am very much at risk.

    What makes me think of 1975 in relation to COVID-19 is that in 2020, the most dreadful of years, there are a number of friends of mine who have suffered greatly through illness and family bereavement. 2020 has been a year of loss. Of loved ones, of friends, of employment, of businesses, of income. 1975 is called to mind as that year represents to me a year of hope and good fortune. Things were going well in my chosen career, all appeared Well with the World and God was in His Heaven. Then along came 1976! I won’t bore you with the details. Looking back though, IF things had turned out differently and IF I had chosen a different career path and in 1975 had been a undergraduate student at Leeds University and IF COVID-19 had struck and IF I had picked up the infection and in an asymptomatic state had given it to Dad and IF Dad had died of it, I KNOW that I could NOT have coped with the sense of guilt. As it was, 28 years later in July 2003, when Dad did die (aged 97) I was well able to cope, emotionally and administratively as I dealt with the funeral arrangements and the probate.

    You see, whilst the mainstream media’s attention tends to focus on the elderly and frail struck down with a severe form of COVID-19, please think of the teenage grandchild who may well have given the fatal infection to their beloved gran or gramps. COVID-19 is a very cruel disease as it causes death in the old and depression in the young earning the dubious distinction of being a plague upon humanity that is both physiological and psychological.

    If we were to ascribe to each year an author to describe it for posterity, I will exercise “Editor’s licence” and appoint the late Thomas Hardy OM (notwithstanding the fact that the author has been dead for nearly 93 years).

    Hardy earned a well deserved reputation for writing novels of the genre tragic romance, novels which he imbued with brutal realism and tragedy. They say one gets better with practice and with Hardy, this was certainly the case for in 1895 his last novel, “Jude the Obscure”, Hardy excelled himself with a text replete with unremitting misery encompassing hardship, injustice, misfortune and tragic loss in all it’s grievous forms. Put it this way, if one is not suffering from depression when starting to read it, you most certainly will be by the end!

    Then there is “Transend” occurring at 11PM tonight!

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