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Donkin's World: Before I Forget...

...The other night I undressed, getting ready for bed, while chatting to Gill about something. Before I knew it I was half dressed again with fresh clothes. Looking around the room I knew I had missed something - ah yes, of course, the night!...

Richard Donkin's memory serves him just long enough to remember embarrassing incidents of forgetfulness.

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Making coffee just now I was mulling over how absent minded I had become, counting the spoons in to the cafetiere, when I noticed the glass container that I'd just washed, drying by the sink. Looking down there was the metal frame and a neat little pile of ground coffee on the kitchen surface.

This kind of thing happens only too frequently. The other night I undressed, getting ready for bed, while chatting to Gill about something. Before I knew it I was half dressed again with fresh clothes. Looking around the room I knew I had missed something - ah yes, of course, the night!

Come to think of it, I've always been absent minded. I remember once going to school without my blazer under my top coat. No big deal you might think. But when you're the single grey jersey among a sea of navy blazers in school assembly you're made to feel a proper plonker. No-one wants to stand out at school.

Once on holiday in France we travelled miles up the motorway and I was thinking how clear the traffic looked through the rear-view mirror until we noticed that the hatch of our estate car was standing vertically, fully open. Fortunately our cases were so squeezed in the rear we avoided the nightmare of belongings strewn across the motorway.

Another time, on a train journey in to Paris we discovered we were on the stopping train and switched platforms to the fast line - except Gill left her handbag with all our passports and money on the other train. In Paris we waited for the train come in to the station and I dashed down the platform. Through a window I saw a woman placing the handbag in to her shopping bag. Bounding in to the carriage for perhaps the only time in my life when a smattering of French came in useful, I shouted: "C'est mon sac!"

During my years of commuting I must have left virtually every accessory possible on trains: briefcases, hats, umbrellas, gloves, coats, a mobile phone, more hats and very few, if any, were later retrieved from the lost property office. My mum used sow my mitts to a long piece of elastic, threaded through my coat sleeves. Unfortunately I never outgrew this dependency.

Sometimes I forget the whole train and with a sense of deflation watch the Woking sign sailing past as we run through the station. Over the years I have become quite familiar with Winchester station down the line in Hampshire.

I would never, ever, ever tie a knot in a handkerchief. It would drive me mad, wondering what it was supposed to be reminding me about.

As I get older the forgetfulness seems to be getting worse. The boys tell me that I'm always starting sentences but before I get to the end...

And so it continues. I'm sure there are many more examples but as you might guess, I just can't recall them.

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