They say you learn something new every day. And that may well be true, but as often as I find myself saying "I can't believe I forgot" I wouldn't be surprised if it was equalled out, if not bettered by, my forgetfulness.

Oh, I can remember the useless stuff, like did you know in Britain, up until as late as the 1950s, you could be a knocker-up as a career?

It involved walking the streets in the early hours with a small lump of wood on a long pole.

You'd rap on the windows of your paying clients at an agreed-upon time, waking them up whilst leaving the rest of the neighbourhood dreaming away.


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Who would wake the knocker-ups? I assume the knocker-up-ups. Then the knocker up-up-ups and so on and so forth in an endless stream of 24-hour employment. Great for the economy!

Oh yes, I can remember the story of the knocker-up with ease, but the spot I put my keys two minutes ago? It could be anywhere.

"Where did you last have them" my ever-patient wife will inquire.

"Well, If I knew that I wouldn't be looking for lost keys, but I assume the place I just lost them?"

"Are they with your wallet?" she asks, sighing deeply.

"Don't know. That's lost, too."

And it's just as well email reminders and phone alarms are a thing, and social media reminds me when birthdays are.


A small wave of fear makes its way down my body at the mere mention of filling out a form that may contain my children's birthdates.

A nervous smile hiding the symphony of internal conflict as I engage every neuron in a fruitless hunt for exact dates and times of birth: "Now there's the January one … the winter one … the close to Christmas but before Christmas one too … the 24th, no that's my own."

"Remember that 10 o'clock catch-up" a co-worker will fire across the room.

"Yep, no worries!" I'll answer, quickening my pace to the inbox to make sure I figure out what it is I'm catching up about!

And don't get me started on long television shows, one show I was watching expected me to remember something that happened in season 2 - all the way at season 7! I'm trying to remember what I had for lunch and they want me to cast my mind back months of television viewing, and remember Balthius made the Sword of Redemption.

Now to get to the point of all this … Oh wait … I forgot!

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