john p birchall ... student, beer drinker, saxophone player ... general whippersnapper and twerp ... perhaps better described as a sceptical empirical pip squeak ... worn out but still learning ...
Weeding out daft ideas was always a counterintuitive, but perpetual, work in progress. Our very own 'interests' were sort of 'investments in weeding'. Darwin's learning process triggered ginormous personal satisfactions which seemed to spread out from deep roots in family, home & garden - our very own local patch in a 'universe expanding & immense' ... of little interest to most but we thoroughly enjoyed all the fun & malarkey of our inheritance & our efforts ... of excitement & fear, of English speak & island history, of cricket & empirical science, of moral urgency & personal responsibility for good behaviour -
Family History Site Map detailed some of the obscure bits of this ongoing spectacular ... involving the Hindley, Birchall & Howarth genes & 'cousins' for Africa ... then surprisingly we found a bit of time for some investigations into the deeper mysteries of ...
Evolutionary Economics, business, science & technology and the natural selection of synergies ... and
Dixieland Jazz, music for bashed up souls hoping for fun ...
Autobiography of Beer Drinking, a ramble thru all kinds of active sports & production in manufactories & all kinds of terrific friends who were sceptical but never grumpy ... and then when scarce time permited we messed with saxophones ...
Smithy Lane Stompers, our own bit of jazz, bags of enthusiasm lousy sound, we put in some hours and tried for our own meagre fun and the gross amusement of others ... it was only a bit of fun!
Some thought we were 'deplorable' but we reckoned we were around to help ... after cricket & science we managed to pass as Chemical Engineers but we soon became embroiled in the business of exciting global production in Manufactories ... later we thought we were deluded Business Economists or perhaps even confused Biological Historians ... but really we were only a wishful saxophone player.
JJ 'the high one' was a business Vice President, Sportsman & Beer Drinker, SJ 'the star' was a Mum, Biologist & Psychologist and knew all about a guy called Richard Dawkins who explained among all the guesswork that at least two things were certain -
john p got his genes from the Birchall & Hindley families and ...
genes expressed themselves always through cost/benefit analysis ... otherwise they would never have survived all the hassle ...
Then against all the odds, some time was found to write a few yarns about the forgotten past just as the youngsters were all focused on the future. But the thing was that it was in the past where we had spent most of our time, lost in the hubbub of history ... drinking beer, playing cricket, messing with saxophones & having fun ... it seemed to us that folk could learn from the past but nobody we knew had sussed out how to learn from the future ... although lots of folk frequently tried?
... here we are ... wrestling with curmudgeons & economic models ... and again ...
... trying to play A Cup of Coffee a Sandwich & You on our Yanagisawa ...
and with beer drinking mates from The Goshawk messing with
2017 three generations at The Grange School
The momentous event of September 19th 2003 Joshua David Birchall ...
... and 1 year old
... and in a flash 2
... and now 3
... 5 ... 6
... and double figures 10
... 16 driving
... made it young man @ 18
for Josh !! - josh's page !!
and December 8th 2005 Georgia May our favourite grand daughter ...
and what we'd been waiting for, July 1st 2006 Jake Edward John ...
for Jake - jake's page !!
and last but not least June 14th 2009 Daniel James David ...
More spiel ...
We were almost educated in science & cricket at The King's School, Chester and learned a bit of Chemical Engineering at Glasgow University close to the gutters of Sauchiehall Street ... there we met up with with the ghost of James Watt, at Adam Smith's place ...
Hard work was in 'production', in Manufacturies with Unilever, there we learned most of our economics under the soap pans in Apapa ... but that was before the male menopause nudged us into a second degree in Evolutionary Economics at The Open University ... and if you're really interested in unlikely tales of woe, pelf and evolution read about The Apapa Generators.
Some of our inspirational giants were long dead like Adam the Smith, Jimmy Watt & Charlie Darwin. others hailed from a litany of urban conurbations like Glasgow, Oxbridge, London, Warrington & Chester ... helped by mavericks like Dickie Dawkins, Humphrey Lyttelton, Dennis Williams @ Clemances, The Goons, The Beatles, Morecombe & Wise, James Bond & Princess Di and all the other enthusiasts gossiping away at Lords, Old Trafford, Epsom, Twickenham, Wimbledon & St Andrews ... and unforgettable friends who shared time, warm beer & village cricket on the green.
Why ... do almost all folk seem to pontificate about economics? ... and call it politics? Believe it or not but Evolutionary Economics and the analysis of behaviour interested us ... it was the only way through the blizzard of questions!
We had a Selmer Mark VI soprano saxophone and a Yanagisawa tenor and played with a few mates around Chester ... bags of enthusiasm, lousy sound ... playing for our own meagre fun and the gross amusement of others ...
Why ... did almost all folk seem to love music of one kind or another ? ... but so few played jazz? Believe it or not but we enjoyed Dixieland Jazz and we even toyed with little bits of understanding about music and occasionally attempted to be creative ... which can't be bad for factory managers and beer drinkers?
'Maverick' was our destiny, many thought a 'Stanford drop out' was our ambition, but folk often simply called us a curmudgeon (an ill tempered fellow, full of resentment and stubborn notions) ... but in truth we'd always worked hard at our fun ... and one of our notions, the explanatory pervasiveness of evolution, was big time fun! We admit we often felt much like a leper, shunned & ostracised as a freak indulging in 'thoughtcrime' ... an empirial nerd and certainly not very woke ... ridiculous yes, but perhaps not stoopid ... relentlessly, day by day the evolutionary evidence from Empirical Science mounted ... everything but everything we imagined was 'viewed' through the lens of evolution and in the 'context' of natural selection ... your protagonist had been given 'the black spot', guilty as charged, a maverick!
... and there was more ... day by day the evidence from empirical science for the natural selection of good behaviour mounted and became so compelling that we were confident enough to strike a wager with our future great grandchildren's children and their mates!
Natural selection had no foresight, so what were they all arguing about?
We can still hear our Gran -
'meddlers, the lot of 'em, and they're up to no good'!
A vague glimmer of understanding about Darwin's natural selection cost us the requisite 10,000 hours ... do the sums ... and although it may not look like it on the surface, we did have prolonged but not promiscuous fun ... who would believe that?
But as the man said -
'if you think education is expensive. try ignorance. If only I'd had some of this stuff available when I first started'
... and as the other man said -
'I only mess with all this stuff because I can, and I can only 'cos of help from networks of friends ... interconnections, interactions, trades, deals, rapports, links, clubs, communities, associations ... of like minded folk ... I'm a dwarf standing on the shoulders of giants, and many many friends some long time dead'
... if you get the drift of Darwin's insight?
The future was unknowable and the past was a strange land, they did things differently there
Time was always unfathomable -
... the older we got the more we wish we were younger ...
... the older we got the more we liked it here ...
... the older we got the better we were ...
So don't sprinkle the desert with a teaspoon ... get on with it ... and learn how how to find time to do?!
We soon learned that endless repetition of Darwin's insights was the bigest time waster of all ... just déja vu all over again ... mindsets would eventually flip as the evidence mounted!
... our job was to speed up the hapennings ... by experiments not design ...
... and if you really want to see us again ... here we are with our beer?
In 1994 @ 54 - we retired from Unilever Manufactories ridiculously early after the actuaries insisted on extravagant pension provisions for all those who managed to survive serving time underneath the soap pans in Apapa ... sure we missed the overseas life & the suitcases but we enthusiastically grasped the oodles of lucre, lined our pockets and escaped from the adversities festering in parochial bureaucratic bubbles in Europe ... and we began to work on family expansion, Evolutionary Economics and Dixieland Jazz ...
In 1997 @ at vast expense we secured on July 1st a magnificent Yanagisawa Tenor for £1,275.
In 2000 @ Millennium after graduation, we prepared some 'case study notes' for teaching Market Economics in English to Eastern European students at The Open University.
In 2011 @ 72 just before Ancient Eda died we started jotting down bits of Hindley & Birchall Family History as converastion pieces.
In 2019 @ 80 we were injured & petering out and we announced that we were retiring proper, for real, while mercifully still able to reflect on oodles of fun. We were still learning ... our beer glass was half full never half empty ... whenever, wherever with whoever ... although The Banjo Player insisted we were full of inchoate bombast, we didn't know what it meant ...
We thought we were famous but not many people knew it ... apart from Carole with an 'e', who possessed impeccable taste & abilities ... and it was Carole who knew that really we were both just enthusiastic bridge & saxophone players ... nevertheless after a few beers at The Goshawk we did managed to negotiate that slick wager with our great grandchildren's children ... just for a bit of fun!
Ancient Eda had ... what we always wanted ... and maybe our great grandchildren's children will have -
we chose our parents well !
So when Ancient Eda, our mum, died at 103, we were chickens at 72 ... during our weekly visits to the Nursing Home, Eda only managed to talk about the long long ago ... but the stories she told about her Granddad Edward were fascinating ... mysterious stories which posed burning questions ... we panicked because soon there would be no one around to ask. To help the conversation to flow we started to Google and make some notes ... and our very own family story started to grow & grow ... embarrassingly we realised that we had no idea what had really gone on in our own family ... but we guessed that some of the shenanigans might be interesting ... you never knew?
Earlier when our own curious youngsters had asked ... who was Aunty Clare? ... we had made an effort to map a 'family tree' on a roll of old wall paper ... and in 1989 we even managed to secure a Certificate of Authenticity ... but wot did it mean? We told the kids how the tree grew as best we could but it wasn't very good. However we did remind them that they had enjoyed a propitious start in life because they had chosen their own parents very well ... both mum & dad were survivors ... and also teachers ... as all mum & dads were?
We never forgot Eda's prescient teachings when patient grumbling turned into a raw entreaty -
'use your imagination and try'!
Kids everywhere had inherited the tools but then they had to learn to use them for themselves if they were to survive and have babies ... just like their ancestors.
So the old family tree on scribbled faded paper was a bit of a mess but 'stories' about what might have happened were a much better bet. We knew fables had always been cultural necessities for 'tuning the brains' of the youngsters ... and everyone else for that matter ... it was as if brains thought stories as stories captured imaginations and stories were remembered ... stories had staying power. Our roll of old wall paper just didn't cut the mustard ... it painstakingly recorded some births, marriages & deaths ... but it didn't tell the story.
Re-telling exciting yarns proved to be positively therapeutic for us wrinklies ... a sort of cathartic outpouring, an emotional rant which emptied the mind of the stuff which was instantly available but only possibly worth remembering ... but who was to judge?
Charles Darwin told the greatest story of all, we were impressed big time, and so were many others, even some of the Bishops agreed it was best to search for nuggets of truth beneath your feet on the ground rather than in make believe above your head.
Have a look at our Hindley and Birchall story at Family History Site Map to find your way around ... the story so far ... you'll find some answers to some of the questions we were too busy to ask ... known knows, known unknowns & unknown unknowns ... a maze of memorabilia and, you never know, you may discover some useful insights ... but if you're a Birchall we guarantee that it will surely be fun ... and some of it might even be true?