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Date: 12/08/16

Mapping Out The Days

I have to admit that things are starting to get to me a bit. The frustrations arising from not even having enough 'go' in me to do the things I had been able to do in the first few weeks after my operation - allied with the sort of thoughts and imaginings which go through the mind of anyone who is prone to even the mildest degree of hypochondria - have made for a bothersome week.

After my triumph in the Forum, I suspected that I had other jigsaw puzzles in the house and - fishing about in the recesses of the cupboard on the landing - duly found another half a dozen. One of them is (according to the box) a 2000-piece job, there's a 1000-piecer, a 700-piece puzzle and three 500-piece items from the same series. Whether they get done or not depends on whether my kitchen table is big enough.

The one I picked out to do next was one I remember being bought for me some forty-odd years ago, and which I probably last completed when I was a teenager:

Photo of a jigsaw map of the British Isles

Assembling it now - and it wasn't as easy as it may seem - caused a number of thoughts. First off was that it seemed, in my cynical old age, that the manufacturers had been trying to see how many clichés they could fit into the smallest area. I mean, no-one here has ever worn one of those silly tall hats unless they were deliberately playing to the stereotype. Another thought was that the images used would be considered somewhat odd to younger viewers: I mean, what's that coal-mine doing up around Newcastle? Or those crossed knives representing Sheffield? You mean, we once actually had industries in this fair land? Note, however, how persistent the images of landed power are: the castles stand as they did, and there is still torn-apart small mammal for tea.

My next jigsaw challenge is one of the 500-piece puzzles which is of a Swiss Alpine scene featuring a mountain peak with an amusing name. I'll let you know how I get on.