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A disorderly and miscalculated life.

Byline: DAVIDKIL VINGTON

A disorderly and miscalculated life with DAVID KILVINGTON HERE I am stewing in heavy cord trousers, socks, brogues, tattersall shirt (with the extended shirt tail) knitted waistcoat, and moleskin jacket, even underpants. With all that clobber, I am a good 30lb heavier.

Outside all is dark and wet... "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!" - what eyewash was Keats blathering? Last night it was blowing a gale, and this morning even the Labrador looked non-plussed at the notion of stepping out.

As a result we have shelved the dog walk, for if a Labrador will not venture out because of the weather one would be foolish indeed to press the point.

His views on such topics are worth noting; unlike the Weimaraner - only an idiot would take his counsel. I have seen him leap from the top of a flight of stairs. Eat wasps, sniff bees, and drink paint.

I can't help but notice that the daily chores - maintenance of Chubb, (even after employing the new strategy of "benign neglect"), extract crayons from her nose, extract her from beneath a sofa, wrestle the hammer out of her clutches, retune the television, explain that Mama is having a bath, and not hiding, eating biscuits (sometimes one has to lie), fetch Chelsea buns for my wife, not irritate her by standing in doorways, and now in addition, the many offices for our shining new nursling, little Nipper - mean that I might well have to give up one of life's essentials (maybe bathing), to stay in the game.

I have already dispensed with the indulgence of sleep. The only thing left that I could scratch is the three minutes of "me time" that I take to drink the litre of sherry mid-morning.

Like anyone I am endowed with physiological and social needs, for food, rest, security, etcetera.

However, I do have an additional need, for an overarching meaning of life.

This need, according to some philosophers, can never be satisfied unless we deceive ourselves. We can thus either delude ourselves into believing in a false meaning to life, or we can remain honest and realise life is meaningless.

Now that can be a bit of a bitter pill after, say, a day of looking after an underhanded, unprincipled two-year-old bent on world domination.

One might easily become a worthy heir to the great German pessimist Schopenhauer, and his view on human destiny - that we ought to stop procreation immediately.

Suffering Weltschmerz, jitters, heebie-jeebies, or mid-life crisis? But there is a panacea - what angst can't be mollified with a mere 100cl of even an average Oloroso sherry?
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 19, 2010
Words:435
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