Sunday, July 07, 2013


I discovered how to do something today.  I love the feeling of deja-vu.  Some people hate it.  Merriol hates it.  Personally I think it's wonderful; a weird little trippy transcendental moment with no hangover, no illicit drugs, or guilt, no police pounding on the door, no waking up in the morning and hoping the snoring lump next to you isn't the person you think it is, or any of the other weird and wonderful post-trippy transcendental moment payback horrors.

Okay, a briefly fleeting moment of deja-vu isn't exactly the same as an all-night drug-fuelled orgy...  though how would I know? -  I have come to suspect lately that my brain has coloured in my post/student days with a nice bright set of felt pens and made them a lot more interesting than they really were.  When I actually try to nail down any actual sordid details about all-night drug-fuelled orgies, it gets very elusive.  It ums and ers and starts to bring up other subjects.  It's very good on library books, pubs, and the locations of second-hand book and record shops but very sketchy when it comes to naughty substances, names, dates, and faces.*  Ah well.  (Damn!)

So, anyway, deja-vu.  Nearest thing I get these middle-aged, drink, drugs, and fag free days to a mystical experience. Love it.  Today I had a self-induced moment of deja-vu.  Merriol the kids and I piled into the car to drive across country to look at its possible replacement.  The Berlingo is getting a wee bit cramped with the five of us in it.  None of us are getting any smaller (I know I'm not) and Merriol has decided we need a bigger car.  She had set her mind on a seven seater Ssangyong Rodius, a car variously described as "the ugliest car ever made"; a car "that looks like it got bottled in a pub brawl and stitched back together by a blind man", and "so cack-handed in every aesthetic department it makes the average people-mover owner feel like they are getting about in an ultra-stylish Italian sports machine", a "collapsing bus shelter on wheels".**

Not surprisingly second-hand ones are cheap.

Personally I don't care what a car looks like so long as it does all the things a car is supposed to do but it was obvious after only 20 seconds behind the wheel of this piece of heavy, lumbering Korean junk there was no way I was going to have it in my driveway.  It was like driving a Chieftain tank full of tatty plastic.  I hated it.

What I did love though was the moment of deja-vu I had on the way to the showroom.  Last night I walked through some of the junctions on the route to Perth in Google Maps' Streetview.   Just to make a note of some landmarks and see which lane I should be in before I get to any complicated roundabouts.  Today, passing the places where I had dropped my little avatar onto the map, I felt weird little moments of been-here-beforeness.  I had, I realised, discovered a way of generating deja-vu in myself.  Whether this will ever work again I don't know.  Next time I  looking on Streetview  I will now be aware as of the possibility of this happening - some kind of pre-observer effect which probably means it won't.  (Unless I get to a place that I have been to on Streetview and have the sudden feeling that I'm not having deja-vu in this strange place just as I knew I wouldn't have.  That would be odd.  Anti-deja-vu.  But now that I know that...

[Twenty pages of spiralling, recursive paranoia cut here.]

We didn't buy it.

 * It's very good on nipples though.

 ** Thank you, Mr Wikipedia.

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