Tuesday 6 March 2012

Do YOU know who I am?

Lord St John of Fawsley has died.  You may neither have noticed, not cared - why should you?  For my part his death brings back the memory of an evening at The Royal Festival Hall.  This was a very long time ago.  My then girlfriend and I were there to enjoy an evening of Christmas Carols.  The subject matter made us feel it was an evening to be enjoyed in a relaxed way. Perhaps too relaxed.  We joined in.  Well why wouldn't you...that's what Christmas carols are for isn't it.  Suddenly and without warning someone behind us slapped my girlfriend round the back of the head.  Instantly I was up on my feet demanding to know what he thought he was doing.  "Do you know who I am?" was his reply.  Yes I did, but I wasn't going to let on.  "I don't care who you are" was my reply.  He and his male companion left shortly afterwards.  It was probably for the best.  After all, even then the report of a senior politician attacking an attractive young lady would have probably ended his career.  Goodbye Norman and thanks for giving me something to write about.

Another passing (no I'm not going to turn this into an obituary column, although death has featured a lot recently) is that of Ralph McQuarrie.  He's best known for his work on Star Wars.  Even now I still don't think I've seen all the films, and I've certainly not see all of them all the way through.  At my age, that's tantamount to admitting that I've spent my education has been sadly lacking.  So I'm not a great Star Wars fan, but for work I was once involved with an exhibition of his work - at The Barbican.  Even for a non-fan it was fascinating and I could see the talent.  I got to meet Kylie Minogue's then boyfriend...unfortunately not the woman herself.  More importantly though, it was an opportunity to meet up with my brother and his family.  We'd not been close, but this was a great day and helped renewed bonds.  We had a brilliant time.

The Boy was due to go on a ski instructors training course in April...he loves the sport and I think it will do him good to have this up his sleeve whether he wants to take a gap year or a couple of years out after university.  The course was to run in Hintertux which is somewhere in Austria,  At first I had planned to go with him (for company, not to go on the course itself), but then I took a deep breath and decided he would be best going by himself.  Another step to adulthood was my reasoning.  We booked so many months ago that in the meantime my hair has turned grey and I've started using a walking stick.  Of course he was over-excited...as indeed was I.  But yesterday they rang to let us know that due to a lack of numbers it was cancelled.  I think I was more gutted than him, but perhaps he just hid it better.  We now have to work out what to do - BASI run courses in the UK, but they're in a snowdome, and it's not quite the same as Austria is it?  I think he should do a UK course, but he's a bit disillusioned at the moment...there are three more levels which he will need to do and those will have to be done on the slopes proper.  On a practical level, the rest of us are all due to be away at the time he was supposed to be training....and I'm not that keen on him being home alone.