I was about to reply to an email from Nigel but decided that a public reply would be more appropriate.
In his mail, he was modestly explaining to me how we arts girls of the U6 had benefitted from passing a year together with the males of L6 Arts (read 'Nigel and Mike' in place of L6 Arts). How it had honed our characters and how shreds of their charisma and persona must inevitably have rubbed off on to us. A very big thank you to Nigel.
He went on to add that there was one girl in our group who terrified him (poor Nigel) but I’m sure that the reverse was true as she was really rather timid. She was U6 Science and I got to thinking that the problem lay not in the difference between the sexes but the difference between the Arts and Science students. The science group were a shadowy lot; they could be seen trudging daily off to the science block, as if to meet their doom and seemed to spend their time crouching round a bunsen burner chanting mumbo-jumbo chemical equations. What chance did they have of being like us who laughed with Bottom, cried with Romeo and fought with Henry? None.
There was one girl in the group who was an exception. Barbara Swanwick. She could slip easily from one group to the other. She was probably the best all round sports girl in the year. Why she was not the Games Captain in place of me, I never could fathom. Perhaps it’s like the case of lawyers in Brazil - the ones who win most cases are not the ones who know the law the best but those who know the judge. We played mixed league hockey on Saturday afternoons and she was as fast as any of the men and, anyway, she only had to look them in the eyes and they faded away. I wonder if she married an old buddy of mine?
It’s strange thinking that science students could be interested in sport. I read Mr Royales’ account of himself and he admits proudly to playing village football. What’s that? The Garden Gnomes against the Womens’ Institute? (I’ll probably get a warning for that.) Should remember what my other “moitié” always tells me - “si tu n’est pas belle, sois poli”.*
One of the neighbour’s kids came by the other day, as I was scrolling through the photos on the site and of course he recognized instantly Mr Royales, the Village Footballer, but he wanted to know who the bored looking blond was with the red jacket. Who’d be a princess these days, when you can be a teacher?
*If you aren’t a beauty, be polite”
Light and Shadow