Friday, 29 October 2010

All's good, darlings

The cygnet has gone to a good home, and I'll miss it very much.  I'm suddenly very tired.  It made £11,760, which was a good price.

A few little dramas, but all went well in the end, although it was a bit stressful for Ro when the damn printer jammed.  Still, no matter.

I had a little moment of good behaviour, when I was greeted by someone whom I'd met briefly in London back in June and whose name I'd taken to send a catalogue, and first I said "it's Steven, isn't it?" and then added his surname.  He was pleased to be remembered and complimented my memory.  I was able to reply that he'd evidently made an impression on me - so returning the compliment.  I've found always that nothing is so delightful as being remembered.  Recalling someone's name does not come naturally to me, I do have to work at it, but it's worth the effort.

Someone else came to the view - actually the Sage got things wrong there, because he got her name right but thought she was the daughter rather than the wife of someone ... ouch.  Worse, her husband had died.   He didn't get my *look* and in the end I had to say it, wife not daughter.  Anyway, I was really sorry to hear the sad news.  Mr Lamb had been my Latin teacher for only one year, in which I decided to change schools and take two extra A levels, one year after taking O level (the precursor of GCSE) - in Latin and French.  He was lovely.  A clever and erudite man and with an immense quiet charm.  I learned a lot from him, and not just Latin, he was wise and someone to look up to.  His first wife was in a mental institution, suffering from a degenerative condition (I don't know what, but I'm guessing it was something like Huntingdon's disease because his daughter died relatively young too).  He remarried after her death, a much younger woman and they had a son, who went to the same prep school as El and Al.

Anyway, I had a chat with her and said how sorry I was and - because I stick my neck out and if that puts my foot in my mouth, it's not meant to - I said that I knew he was a lot older than her and that I suppose she knew that she was likely to lose him, but that didn't make it easier to bear and that I thought the world of him.  I did, he became an antiquarian book dealer after taking early retirement from teaching, and so we kept in touch.

It was Mr Lamb who taught me to understand myself.  Once, when talking about Horace, he said "'ve always liked Horace.  They say you have to be middle-aged to appreciate Horace, but I think I was born middle-aged".  This was a bit of a revelation.  I suddenly understood why I didn't feel quite right among my own age group.  I hadn't yet reached the age I was comfortable with.  In fact, I started to feel at home when I got to 30.

Anyway, there we go.  Another sale over.  I'm going to bed.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Z said...

Er, okay, Whitney.

Dave said...

I suspect that link. I'm not following spam.

I'm not sure I've ever found an age I'm comfortable with. Early thirties, I suppose, wre about right.

Roses said...

Bloody spam bots. Grrrr....

I'm glad you had a successful auction. Have fun in Malta honey.

Many, many hugs to you.

I quite like being 40. It's definitely working for me.

Christopher said...

Good post, much enjoyed. Very pleasant reminder of Horace (A level, Carmina Bk. 1), thank you. Yes, middle age is clearly the clue. (Some say the same about Brahms.) I wish I'd had a Mr Lamb instead of the uninspiring misfit we had inflicted on us.

Happy hols in Malta! Look forward to hearing all about it in due course. In Alcaic stanzas, of course.

Z said...

No darlings, I'm not following the link either. Not even for info much more effective.

Maybe you haven't yet reached your comfortable age yet, Dave. Perhaps you were born to be old.

I'm old enough to be your mother, Roses. Isn't that great?

Z said...

Interesting, how tastes mature. I caught opera when I was 16, but it took me until 55 to get lieder.

A fine teacher makes all the difference. Mind you, O level to A level in a year is easier in some subjects than others and Latin is certainly one of the others.

Rog said...

Swan off! Now you can, er, Swan Off!

savannah said...

glad your sale went well! i'm finding that just waking up in t the morning and being able to carry on is joy enough for me, sugar. (it's been a hellva a year around the plantation.) enjoy malta! the MITM (aka the husband) is thinking about finding a place there because he'll be working in the Med and that's a close rest & recreation spot. xoxoxo

Roses said...

You'd only be my mother if you reproduced in your early teens. You wouldn't have been legal!

Mike and Ann said...

I admire your being able to remember peoples' names. My late father used to tell me it was the mark of a good officer to be able to remember names. If that's true I must have been a rotten one. I've involved my own technique for dealing with it though. If it's a young lady who remembers my name I address her as 'm'dear' (be generous with your definition of 'young' lady). Oh, and be careful if they look as if they might have femististic tendencies - they can be quick to spot patronising tendencies where none are intended. More mature ladies (and obvious feminists) who know my name (and when I can't reciprocate), get called Ma'am- which is, at least respectful.
Blokes who think they know me are much easier; there are so many possibles :- 'dear boy'- ol' boy'- 'old man' (bit dated, though, and could be taken personal -but still used frequently by my senior brother-in-law)- 'ol' bean' (quoting 4Ds who really does use this form of address), etc. etc. ad infinitum (or ad nauseum).
Very occasionally though I meet up with someone I haven't seen for forty or more years and manage to dredge their name up, which always pleases both of us - but only if I've got it right of course.

Mike and Ann said...

P.s. Not involved - evolved.
Sorry - Mike.