Last year, we featured a book review of “Have You Seen My…Umm…Memory?” by Miller Caldwell
As can be seen from the review, Miller is quite a character. He has certainly been thrown a curve ball, but he manages his life with much enthusiam and determination, peppered with lots of humour.
Although Miller lives in Scotland, he receives our Healthy Life Essex newsletter and will often respond with a little story or update on his situation. His latest book, A Reluctant Spy, is being published on 24th September and may even be made into a film.
Miller often shares little stories with me which invariably make me smile, so I will add these as they provide an ‘interesting coffee time read.’ They certainly make me smile!
September 2019: Oh – I’ve burnt my shirt!
As Miller has had MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment) since 2003, I emailed him the link to an article about preventing and reversing the symptoms of dementia. You can read his full response as a comment on the article, but this is how he began his response:
Well how timely to read this article. Leaving the iron on to check where the dog was almost lead to a house fire. Ours. The smell of a burning shirt, fortunately mine, stank. Almost as foul smelling as burnt carrots in a black-bottomed pan. Yes, I’ve done that too. No wonder my wife no longer wishes me to continue ironing and cooking vegetables, unsupervised.
September 2019: Miller’s new trousers
With a holiday on Arran looming next week my wife thoughtfully said my waterproof trousers were no longer waterproof and had a tear. ‘Buy a new pair,’ she instructed and ‘here’s a Mountain Warehouse card with £20:00 on it. Use it.’
So I tried on a few pairs and settled for the right length, the right width and a toggle waste-band just in case. I was told it was not in the sale. They did seem expensive but I’d have a £20:00 discount anyway. I took them up on their offer for a packet of three winter socks at half price when purchasing another item. £69 a lot for waterproof trousers? I wonder what Tiger Woods pays for his?
When I brought them to the counter , the assistant entered the bar-code.
‘Oh,’ he said. Seems they are in the sale after all. That’ll be £49 and £7 for the socks, Please.’
I handed him the card with the voucher.
‘That’ll be £56.00 in total, sir.’
I brought them home. My wife wanted to see how they fitted, so I was instructed to wear them over my trousers. Still a good fit. ‘Now put on your shoes.’
I did. Perfect, a satisfying purchase.
I felt down the sides of my legs. No pockets. That was disappointment.
My wife gabbed my waist and lifted out the label.
‘You silly fool.’ she said. ‘These are Ladies trousers!’
July 2019: Miller on the ageing process
There comes a time of confusion. It is not that ‘love’ diminishes over time because love is a very complex emotion; an unsuspected hand holding on a walk, the unexpected cup of tea, the complement when your wife returns from the hairdresser. I am sure you can identify many loving moments in your relationships. Don’t underestimate them. But I have a confusing dialogue to resolve.
My wife says things like ‘Where are you darling?’ and I smile. ‘Shall we go for a walk now?” I get my jacket. But the questions are not directed at me. The collie dog, Georgie, understands she is talking to her. In fact it seems my wife is speaking to our dog more than me.
So I have been trying to play her game.
‘Where’s my gorgeous girl?’ Joce looks up at me and I pat Georgie.
June 2019: Miller’s duck rescue!
It was Tuesday morning.. I was walking along the pavement to pick up my pills from the chemist. That was when I saw a man and woman doing a strange demonic dance on Edinburgh Rd.
When I got closer I saw what they were doing, so I joined in. Our macabre dance was appropriate. We were trying to prevent a mother duck and four very young duckings from crossing the busy road.
They moved this way and that on the pavement like a matador and his bull. Our flailing arms tried to prevent them crossing the busy Edinburgh Road. Traffic was slowing down to see what was causing our antics. I feared we might be responsible for a car bump or two. So I walked to the middle of the road and stopped the steady flow. What authority I realised I had.
Holding the three ducklings before her, we persuaded mother Duck to cross the road and follow us up to the gate through which they would gain access to the golf course and beyond to the river Nith.
We eventually succeeded and got the traffic moving again. We had another gathering to High – Five each other and we also attracted some delighted car horns. Then all was back to normal. We continued on our way as did the traffic and some drivers may have wondered what the hold-up had been about.
May 2019: Almost arrested near Carradale:
I had been walking to meet the family as we walked the Kintyre Way last week. I stopped. They might appear around the headland or through the forest. A dilemma. Fortunately there was an office, a kind of greenkeepers base and a police car outside. I entered. A police sergeant welcomed me. We got chatting about my predicament. He suggested I phoned my Procurator Fiscal daughter. I told him she was out of contact, I had tried. But I tried again. She answered this time but the policeman took hold of my phone and told her “Your father is being detained under a Section 38.” (I seemed to have been charged with a Breach of the Peace.) “He will not be able to speak as he is in handcuffs.” He returned the phone to me and a shocked daughter heard me say it was only a joke.
More seriously, he advised if we ever get lost on the Kintyre Way as many signposts are missing, don’t telephone for help until after 10 pm. That way he’d get double time.”
It shows either that the Scottish Police have a keen sense of humour or the TV hit Scot Squad is reality.
April 2019: Ouch – that hurt!!
I took the bus into town. I usually do to shop. It’s economical, environment-friendly and we are a chatty group of passengers. As I boarded the bus I collapsed in great pain. A male passenger came to my assistance. The female bus driver switched off the bus’s engine and came out of her cabin to assess whether an ambulance was required. They all asked where the pain was and I replied that I would be fine in a moment. Indeed I was after a few moments and the driver and passengers resumed their seats. But the driver, for her health and safety records, wanted to know what happened. I had to tell her and I tell your readers as its a very effective deterrent. When trying to reach for the safety bar, my hand slipped and came crashing down on the area which girls don’t have.
My tip is that if any of your readers are confronted by a drunk pester, a thief or you feel trapped by a male, use your knee or your foot and the assailant will fall to the ground winded and you can escape. Gentlemen if it happens to you, as I know it has to all of us at some time in our lives, make sure it’s not on a bus.
Great advice Miller. Thank you!
Intrigued? Find out more about Miller and the many books he has written, including biographies, novels and self-help books via his website.