So I have been thinking about youth. I was a serious, bookish, youth. When my peers were dancing like nutters to rave music I used to decide which black polo neck to wear, transcribe Lloyd Cole and the Commotions lyrics and deliberate over which cheeses I should serve at dinner.
By virtue of a great love that has come into my life over the last few years - not looking or what - I have met - sadly only via email as he lives a long way away - a great friend of my love who is now a mentor to me as well as great friend.
You know how they say people - i.e. trolls are more unpleasant and vitriolic online as they can hide behind a false identity or a screen ?
Well ever the optimist I would say the converse is also true. Some people I have only email conversations with usually by virtue of geography have become incredibly open and revealing and very kind and perceptive.
The man who lives across the sea - I don't actually know how old he is, was saying that reading and writing are keeping his mind active. I couldn't see it that way - he has such a keen, beautiful mind and his wisdom and life experience certainly guide me. A gift of a life well lived.
Is youth wasted on the young ? Like most women I do wonder why I didn't run around aged 18 looking at my flat tummy and sports fit legs saying 'look, I'm in bloody good nick' instead of feeling self conscious and covering myself up in baggy jeans and shirts.
I didn't know George Bernard Shaw was co -founder of the London School of Economics.
There is the wonderful fearlessness, the intense literary absorption - in mine and my peers' cases - intense evenings reading Auden or William Blake.
There was lots of fun too but I have lots of fun now.
Part of my current mid life crisis which I rather like in fact absolutely adore is my acquisition of mentors - I am blessed to have made friends with people of quite an arbitrary selection - most a good bit older than me and I am thrilled.
I just read Aladdin with my daughter - she asked and she is 7 so....Jasmine is quite a sparky woman - rejects the notion of arranged marriage and wants to marry for love.
The story - admittedly a slightly spangly Disney story book version - went on about 'being yourself' and being loved and admired for who we are. Then she swooned a bit when Aladdin took her off on the magic carpet for a really cool late night picnic. Anachronisitc ?
Anyway part of this blog is to mention things I come across that I think shouldn't be lost to history.
A recent visit to the fabulous St James' Piccadilly had me come across a memorial to John Hunter often called the patron of scientific surgery. HIs collection and bequest to the nation was phenomenal.
I have also been thinking lots recently about Chris Riddell - also I heard a Desert Island Discs with Anthony Horowitz. I had a certain - moment - thinking how bloody lucky we are to have these wonderful gifted powerhouses in modern life, culture.
I have a lifelong thing for broad beans. This is faultless. Grilled halloumi.