Thank God for Joseph Priestly, where would we be without him? On the 31st July back in 1774 good old Joe discovered oxygen, just what were we breathing before then I have no idea. Didn’t stop us though, we were still breathing, smoking, and even advertising how wonderful cigarettes were on TV right up until July 31st 1965.
Three years later, in 1968, the Beatles closed their famous Apple Boutique giving away all of their fab outfits for free, and only the year previously, in 1967, Mick and Keith were jailed for a month for being a bit naughty and using some illegal substances. Poor Mick and Keith, life is never plain sailing for drug-taking pop stars. Talking of which in 1588 The Spanish Armada was spotted off the coast of
A couple of years later the Pilgrim Fathers departed in the Mayflower for America,
creating Thanksgiving Day as a by-product.
Yes, a lot has happened on the numerous 31st of Julys over the years of recorded history. I could go on and on - mention that in 1928 the first woman to win a track and field Olympic gold medal was Halina Konopacka of Poland, or that in 1893 Henry Perky patented Shredded Wheat (and no, I can’t eat 3, I can’t even eat 1 – they taste like cardboard), or that tragically in 1992 Thai Airways International Flight 311 crashed into a Nepalese mountain north of Kathmandu killing all 113 people on board; but I won’t – it would be too boring.
So why am I mentioning 31st July at all? Does it hold some significance for me, is it some sort of anniversary? Well the answer is yes. Today was one of those big life-changing days for me, a day not to forget, a day to cling onto for all those years that were to come, a special day, a good day, a lay-your head-back-on-the-pillow-and-smile day, a day long gone but never too far away.