Quiz for December 2013 : Instant gratification...

Return to the Philosophies index

As we go from just lying there to crawling to toddling to walking to running, it all happens by slow degrees. The lying there gets more restless, the crawling gets so we can use our hands to destroy the indoor plants, the toddling gets gradually less toddly, the walking goes from waddling like John Wayne with a full nappy, to walking quite fast straight into closed doors while we look over our shoulder to check if mummy's watching.

Running – well, that goes from running headlong, heedless and unconcerned, straight at strangers in the park, straight out in front of cars and bicycles and the inevitable arse over tit headlong on untied shoelaces leaving the obligatory scar on chin, knee, forehead, as our first scar of life's battle, to coming equal first in the 200 metre dash on sports day, taking the bend like Michael Johnson. .

But there is one thing I seem to remember as though it were yesterday. In fact of course our memory is a figment of our imagination. When you consider that the reality in front of us right here right now is 5% real images and sounds and the other 95% our brain 'filling in', then what chance do we have of remembering anything that happened at all decades ago. We can't, we just make it up.

Anyway, that said, to me this is a strong firm memory. There is one thing that we learn instantly and perfectly. One nano second we couldn't do it at all. The next nano second it's like we've been doing it all our life. We never do it any better than that first second. And even if we stop doing it for 30 years, the second we do it again, it's like we never stopped. And from the moment we do it for the first time, it changes our life forever.

It is?

Correct answers sent to me via this website contact page wil receive a personal letter from me including my opinion on exactly how you should handle the tricky situation you can outline. Incorrect answers may be ignored, treated with scorn and posted on this website, or if brilliant, treated to dinner by me ... this applies particularly to Juliette Binoche lookalikes.

Seasons goodwill to all. I'm off to Argentina for a month to see how they do it all in Buenos Airies and Cordoba. We've been told to bring crackers and Pimms [it's 35 degrees there right now].