I am sure that many of you are familiar with such films as Contagion, Outbreak and now World War Z. Well now we have the coronavirus the only problem being this one is for real! A man died last Friday in hospital in London from the evil little beasty. Apparently it causes respiratory failure and degeneration in other bodily systems. I wonder how long it will be until the release of the first film featuring this bug?
Inspiration from the elderly
My attention was drawn to this topic by my writing colleague Caleb Pirtle III of Venture Galleries. He'd written a very good blog the other day about sources of inspiration dwelling in the memories of the elderly. I hope that is a reasonable précis. I was reminded of that this morning while out walking. Imagine my surprise when turning the corner on a local, suburban, gravelled footpath I almost bumped into a tiny little old lady squatting on a low piece of Yorkshire stone smoking a cigarette. She was so thin as to be almost skeletal, wearing a pink cardigan over a flower patterned summer dress,
"Good morning," she said in a surprisingly strong voice and then began coughing.
I replied in kind and walked on my way prompted to think about one of the elderly gentlemen I take to the local church for the parish lunch. He is a man approaching 90 years of age, and likes to tell tales of his time in the middle east during the 2nd World War. The dates and his age seems to vary a little but suffice it to say that he spent some time as a very young Royal Engineer being a train driver in the Lebanon and surrounding countries. He tells me that he was 21 and had previously never driven a train in his life. Its a great tale and could spark a book.
Sounds like something that may lead to a story or two. It could be the nickname of a Bond style villain, a particularly skilful lover or what it actually is - diffuse non-epidermolytic palmoplantar keratoderma.
It's a lovely term for what happens to your hands and feet if you spend to long in the bath. That is, they go white and wrinkly, but in the case of people with the genetic problem 'spongy hand syndrome' it happens very quickly. Some background for an SF writer interested in shape-shifting perhaps!
I couldn't resist this because the shape is pure SF! I include a section of the article describing the reason for the vehicle.
Lorry cabs have been shaped like an upturned shoebox for decades.It's a terrible shape. Bad for fuel consumption and lethal in accidents, because the driver has blind spots and the flat front can push pedestrians and cyclists underneath the wheels.
It looks like something out of 'I, Robot' but its for real.
Finally this week's YouTube offering is of the Independence Day poem I wrote for the 4th July and read by yours truly. Available on the link below:-
Cut and paste to your browser to watch.