Education is to thank for introducing me to English Literature and yet, at the same time, to misleading me into thinking some of it as dull as ditchwater.
I am sitting watching Emma on BBC 1 this evening and realise firstly how amazingly well I remember it, considering that I studied it thirty years ago and have not read it since, and secondly how much I would have enjoyed it if I’d studied it with Mr S rather than Mrs D at school.
What a coincidence that it should be on TV on the very day that I was telling the Smudgelet about Mr S, the best English teacher in the world. Some teachers inspire a love of literature, others can put you off certain books for almost ever, or at least until you read the book without the contraints of character and plot analysis.
A phone call from my sister.
“I was talking to a friend today and you’ll never guess what she said. She went through a period of intense stress and suddenly developed double vision just like you described. It’s permanent, but she was prescribed glasses with a prism in and can see perfectly well now, able to drive and read and work and everything like normal as long as she wears them.”
That does make waiting for the scan a little easier.
And then another phone call from my sister.
“I was talking to a different friend today and you’ll never guess what she said. She went through a period of intense stress too and also suddenly developed double vision just like you described. It’s permanent, but she was prescribed glasses with a prism in and can see perfectly well now, able to drive and read and work and everything like normal as long as she wears them.”
Now that’s uncanny. I notice that my sister is the common factor for all three of us….
There really is something quite special about walking along a corridor or up a flight of stairs, seeing the stones worn from the feet of people through the centuries passing precisely the same spot as you are walking now, and realising that amongst those feet were people who were not just characters in the history books but real people, with feelings and thoughts, delights and fears, hopes and dreams, just like you. When we were on the Isle of Wight we walked in the footsteps of Queen Victoria and King Charles, here we get to walk in the footsteps of King Henry VIIIth and his court, not to mention William and Mary. An amazing feeling, an amazing place.
Our Historic Palaces Pass was a gift from some special friends when we moved here and is a real treat, allowing us to visit Hampton Court Palace (amongst others) whenever we want (as well as entitling us to 10% in the cafe – something we are keen to take full advantage of!) So after church and Ski Sunday, we caught the bus to Hampton Court to eat in their Tilting Yard cafe (delicious), to explore the palace kitchens and the great hall (amazing), and to sit in the grounds for an hour reading our books (freezing cold, but rather pleasant, and a good way of enjoying an afternoon of reasonable vision, apart from a rather odd moment when I realised that the two swans I was watching on the fountain pond were not really synchronised swimming but were actually just a single swan in the wrong part of my peripheral vision!)
Photos from our last visit to Hampton Court can be seen on Page 3 of my Flickr account:
How long will it be, I wonder, until suburban skiing becomes the next olympic sport?
We spend a happy half hour after church as spectators of a truly spectacular event, as approximately 40 competitors took to the slopes to contend in the downhill time-trials of
Surbiton Ski Sunday.
It is indeed an honour to live in the town which saw the birth of suburban skiing, a sport which brings skiing to the people.
No, I didn’t have a go.