I have a very distant memory of my early days at Copleston Secondary Modern School for Boys in Ipswich – September 1964 it would have been – and one of our first Biology lessons. I believe that the teacher would have been Mr Hall (at least he signed my Biology school report that year) – the lesson I remember; him I don’t!
What I do recall is an initial discussion in one of those early lessons about the primary purpose of any and every living organism be it Animal or Vegetable. And THAT (if you hadn’t guessed already) is to reproduce itself.
To facilitate this, nature has invented, in many different forms and for everything higher than Amoeba (which simply divide – which is no fun at all) SEX.
And, of the animals higher up the evolutionary tree, some Primates (Macaques, Orangutans, Gorillas, Chimpanzees and some Humans) along with Pigs and Dolphins have apparently discovered that you can do that thing for pleasure and fun.
They have thus broken the biological imperative that restricts such acts to a regular breeding time or season – and a bloody good job too!
I should say, incidentally, that when I mentioned the Dolphins, Pigs etc. in the previous paragraph I did not mean to imply any cross-species hanky-panky, with or without progeny in mind! We Humans have not yet reached the state mentioned by Doctor Who in 2005 where virile 51st century men are spreading across the universe with the motto “so many species; so little time”.
Anyway, whatever alternative uses we may have found for the process, reproducing ourselves is still important if we don’t want to die out as a species.
With this in mind at the appropriate time in our lives my wife and I did indeed take the necessary steps to keep our line going and improve the human gene pool with our two daughters.
That was over 30 years ago and Faith and I had started to wonder whether our girls actually felt the same need to continue the line but following a rush of weddings in March 2014 and October 2015 we now (written in November 2016) await the arrival of two members of the next generation – the first due on 21st December to Hannah and Dave and the second to Carla and her Dave on 27th April next year.
It’s a bit like my weekly experience with the Peterborough bus service – you wait years for one to turn up then two appear in quick succession!
The above paragraphs were scribbled during various long waits for appointments and visiting times at Peterborough Hospital when my 91 year old mother-in-law had heart problems recently.
She is a lot better now but I must admit that there were a few a few times in the last few weeks when I did seriously wonder whether she would be able to hang on to see her first Great-grandchild!
That does now, however, seem to be a distinct probability as, on 10th December 2016 – 11 days early, the next generation arrived on the scene. Hannah and little “X” are still in Hospital while a small infection is cleared up (due to him having had a big poo after the waters had broken but before he made into the open and NOT through any inadequacy at the Hospital – I feel I should make that clear) but should be home in a few days to be introduced to his Great-grandmother.
Regular readers from the start of this blog may remember that I was reluctant at first to divulge the real names of my wife and daughters (referring to them as “Faith, Hope and Charity”) and I now have the same problem with my Grandson.
Calling him “X” seems a little cold and makes him feel like some tiny secret agent so, as I do not have either his or his parents’ permission to use his real name I shall fall back on the usual family nom de plume, thus:
Welcome to the world and be magnificent, “Littlest Alfie”!