cracks in the ceiling, windows on childhood

This bedroom.  Where she knew the pattern of cracks in the ceiling better than any other fact of her life.
Shipping News, p.54

Reading this, I realised I also remember the patterns on the ceiling above Mum and Dad’s bed in the big bedroom in Bangor Street, where my sister and I also slept in bunk beds.  As I lay, falling asleep with monkey held close, the pattern above seemed like the face and shoulders of some giant that had slept in the attic and left his impression in the plaster like the smaller dent in the sheets when I got up in the morning.

I had forgotten it, but I can see it now, patterns upon light green woodchip ceiling paper, as clear as the sky and grass before me where I am sitting now, and mornings with tea from the Goblin Teasmade and Dad bringing up marmalade-laden toast cut in triangles before, workman-fashion, he sipped hot tea from the saucer.

of monkeys and men

In my friend Nadeem’s blog he asks why can’t a woman be more like a man?

well Nad, I should explain, there is a biological basis for this 😉

you will have often have seen remarks by geneticists that say we human beings share 99% of our genes with monkeys.

now also you know that in a man there is that vital Y chromosome that is totally unlike anything in a female cell

well we have 46 chromosomes, so that vital difference means that just over 2% of our genetic makeup is totally different from a woman – we share less than 98% of our genes with women

in other words men are genetically more similar to monkeys than women

and so here is a picture of my favourite monkey:

my monkey at the computer