Go somewhere… in your head

April 18, 2011

Have you been on a ‘middling trip’? Not one where you jump in the car and go into town. You know every meter of the road, you can drive blindfolded, your own internal auto pilot sat nav takes over and switches you off until you arrive. Then you do the measure and conclude, “That was quick” or “I told you we should have left earlier.” That’s a local trip.

The long trip is different. Embark excited, prep work done, loaded with travel sweets that come in tins reserved for special journeys. Those tins should have a health warning, ‘Do not try to open while driving!’ in big unfriendly red letters.

The lid is fixed on tighter than the joints that hold a Boeing 747 together.  At the bottom of the tin there’s a layer of white powder, mashed up sugar.  Excitement fills your bones, you’re going somewhere special. It’ll take a while, but hey, it doesn’t matter how long because at the end of the long and winding road, even though your bums numb and your under crackers feel like there a permanent fixture of your anatomy, memory making days are ahead. These are journeys to places of expectation. Holidays, theme parks, and visits to favourite family and friends in distant parts. This is the long trip.

The worst of all is the ‘middling trip’.

I hate these.

They’re to somewhere you’re not sure whether you want to go to. You don’t know the road, nothing to measure your progress by and there are no tins of dangerous travels sweets. Worse still, you have some left over from a ‘long trip’ and you’re guaranteed to spill that white powder over your clean clothes and car seat and it’s a bugger to get off.

These are the  journeys are dreaded by parents with kids in the back. Soon or later, usually sooner, you’ll get asked, are we there yet?

It was on one of these middling trips to somewhere I can’t remember my daughter, Hollie was asked, to ‘please be quiet, daddy’s trying to drive.’

Actually that’s a lie. What she was told was to ‘shut up, for God’s sake’. And ‘no, we’re not there yet;…’ and ‘I don’t know if it’s half way;’ and ‘no, I don’t know how much further it is’.

Luckily Hollie wasn’t emotionally scarred for life by this outburst from her frustrated parent and the middling trip continued. After a suitably long period, nearly as much as 35 seconds, Hollie forgot the previous command and started to sing. Loudly. 10 green bottles, the wheels on that bloody…

“Hollie – not so loud!”

The wheels on the bus where still going round, but a bit quieter. Then Hollie got loud again.

“For God’s sake – shut up child!” came the caring guidance by way of a scream of frustration.

And then the killer. In a quietly shaking voice an apology was offered.

“I’m weally sorry Daddy.”

At this point I felt bad.  Really bad!

The young person in the back might now really be emotionally scarred by this additional outburst and for what… The wheels on the bloody bus going round.

“Dad?” She asks…” Is it OK to sing in my head? “

It was on a ‘middling trip’ that the innocence of a young person’s question resounded bells of wisdom I never thought of before.

I’d forgot what kids know  – You can do what you like in your own head. You choose; it’s your space. Play games, see people or even go places.

No packing cases, no expensive travel tickets for far off destinations and here’s the really neat thing. It’s a time machine as well. The absolute real deal, just like the one on Doctor Who.

Zip back to days gone and forward to future days. For fuel it uses only two things and there free. Experience and imagination, but that’s not what is truly earth shattering.

Hold on one second before I lift the curtain on the simplest of simple and you proclaim an exacerbated WOW!! This thing was known by shaman, Soothe Sayers and witch doctors for centuries but we, the enlightened evolved scientific generation readily discredit it with a putdown of ‘Whatever!’

I know this works for real, not because I’m some white coat wearing science dude who gets excited by the prospect of quarks and string theory. Actually, when it comes to string theory I believe the Brazilian beach wear designers have done some very exciting work in recent years, but I digress. Here’s an example.

Pop is the name my father in law prefers his grand kids to call him. He’s such a good man that one of those little sods proclaimed to him one day, “when I get old, I want to be a Pop. “

It was a proud moment for him.

He became ill last October while on holiday in Tenerife. He spent weeks in hospital there, and then months back in glorious Coventry’s new super hospital.  At 79 he beat Pneumonia, MRSA and C-Diff. He lost a third of his body weight. He spent his birthday and Christmas there.  I saw him wired to more machines than the space shuttle, fighting, and I mean fighting harder than you would think humanly possible just to draw a breath from the mask delivering heated humid life sustaining pure oxygen.

“There were times, a couple of times,” Pop told me, “when I could have just not fought anymore, but I could see pictures, faces and places, things unfinished and people to see grow, from the past and for the future in my head.” “I made a decision…”

The cantankerous 79 year old left hospital after 5 and half months without a pair of trousers that would still cling to his waist.

Going somewhere in your head is powerful heap big medicine. Now, here’s the earth shattering bit I promised, the on the simplest of simple truths. Where you go in your head effects your very self. Now before you give a ‘Whatever’ here’s the realisation that made your cynical author go WOW!!

You’ve had a bad day at work, a crap week, an awful year. You visit the doctor more times than the privy door opens and closes when the plagues in town. Blood pressures up, every time you close your eyes your back there immersed in all that negative crap. You can’t sleep.

Mr NHS doctor gives you your allocated 10 minutes, listens and prescribes drugs to help in your time of need. You’ve got a real 100% certifiable disease that entitles you to be off work. It’s called Stress. The effects are devastating and longer term results in heart disease, mental torment and an appointment with the man that measures you for a wooden jacket much earlier than expected. But everyone knows about this. Where is the source of such a disease? All this is created in your head, FACT!

Get ready to proclaim WOW. Here goes… The opposite is true!  Ask Pop.

Jump in your time machine to re-visit faces and places from past days or paint pictures of destinies to come. Happy, warm, funny, loving places. The opposite is true; there is treasure to be had, and its heap big good medicine with truly earth shattering benefits.

Go on. Go on a trip, a long trip is best, somewhere in your head, and oh yes… go somewhere nice.