I have indeed sweared and been sworn in. Specifically, I’ve solemnly and sincerely declared that I will faithfully and diligently discharge my duties. As churchwarden, that is. I realised that I was saying it all for the last time, which was almost poignant, except that I’ve been saying for a long time that I’m looking forward to giving it up.
But this morning I went to a remarkable lecture. It was given by Ant0ny P3nr0se, who is the son of the surrealist artist Roland P and his wife, L33 M1ll3r, the photographer. it was not so much a fine-art lecture, although it included some fascinating photos and some awful (in the shocking sense, fine as they were) ones and some interesting art, as a memoir of his parents and the people they knew, who included all the well-known modern artists who were prominent in the 1930s. Tony knew nothing of his mother’s work as a photographer until after her death, when he and his wife found an attic full of boxes of negatives, and it was as a result of that that she has become so famous again. If you ever get a chance to hear him, do so. It will bring you near tears, but there are some stories that should be heard. At the end, getting up to give the vote of thanks, for the first time in four years I made no attempt to talk about the lecture or to describe my reaction to it. I simply said that the visual and verbal images said all that was needed and thanked him for a magnificent lecture.
Afterwards, I went to get some keys cut and then went and bought a pair of shoes. One of the pairs I bought a month ago is so wonderfully comfortable and good-looking too that I have bought it in a different colour. If it had come in several colours, I’d have bought them all.
Then I went to see Weeza, and babysat while she was at the dentist. A highly amusing thing happened, in a slightly shocking way. Zerlina, who was nine months old yesterday, had a temper tantrum. She was furious with me. She’d had a nap and I’d given her some fromage frais (I think that has a circumflex accent somewhere, just add it mentally if so, will you?) and we’d played for a bit, but then she started to get edgy so I realised she was still hungry. Weeza had left her tea, which was a concoction of potato, chicken, peas and sweetcorn to judge from the lumpy bits, and I heated it up and gave it to her. She had a feeding cup of water which she helped herself too when she wanted it. But halfway through the meal, she picked it up back to front, so the water tipped away from the spout and she wasn’t getting a drink. So I removed it from her hands and offered it to her the right way. Well, she bawled. Tears of fury appeared and she shouted at me angrily. It was quite startling, because she clearly wasn’t just unhappy or frustrated, but furious with me for taking her drink. It didn’t last long and she ate the rest of her tea, but when Weeza came home I told her the story. “She did that with me yesterday,” said Weeza. “I read the same book twice and it’s her current favourite so she wanted it again, but I was bored with that one so got another, and she lost her temper with me. It’s not as if I exactly pander to her every whim, but she’s mostly good-tempered, so it was quite a surprise.”
She seems to have reached the Terrible Twos some fifteen months early.
Oh, I forgot to mention the Archdeacon’s Charge. That was something to behold.