Sunday, June 30, 2013

A stands for Archibald who told no lies,
And got this lovely volume for a prize.

The Upper School had combed and oiled their hair,
And all the Parents of the boys were there.
In words that ring like thunder through the hall,
Draw tears from some and loud applause from all, --
The Pedagogue, with Pardonable Joy,
Bestows the Gift upon the Radiant Boy: --

“Accept the noblest work produced as yet”
(Says he) “upon the English Alphabet;
“Next term I shall examine you, to find
“If you have read it thoroughly. So mind!”
And while the Boys and Parents cheered so loud,
That out of doors a large and anxious crowd
Had gathered and was blocking up the street,
The admirable child resumed his seat.

Learn from this justly irritating Youth,
To brush your Hair and Teeth and tell the Truth.

It was just like that, except that our Archibald got no prize.

I had a camera with me, but took no pictures. The mental pictures that remain were un-photograph-able. We got there early (Archie and his father are Worriers) and had an hour to wander about. The school was full of kilted boys on purposeful errands or arguing with their aunties, one in forty of them flame-capped like Achilles.

We took our places early to get good seats, and I had time to cast on the Mind the Bend socks before things started. I was sorely tempted to add a few more rounds during the speech by the Distinguished Old Boy, but resisted. The proceedings began with a stirring number from the Pipe Band (much to be preferred to having the school orchestra scrape through Mendelssohn). The Beak said when they finished that Mr. Djokovic might well tremble, but I saw a bit of his match later in the day and there was not the slightest sign either that he was afraid of a pipe band or that he was having any trouble with his shoelaces.

I went on with the sock in the evening. It starts with the Northern Line, then Piccadilly, Central, Victoria, and at the moment I’m employed on the Bakerloo. The stripes are about six rounds wide. I’ll hope to finish the ribbing on this first sock today (leaving the back of Relax2 suspended in mid-shoulder shaping). Pic tomorrow.

Archie and his father are now, insh’Allah, winging their way towards Athens. My husband and I will regroup before the next instalment of this trying summer.

1 comment:

  1. The real question, where many other women wearing hats?