Talking about names yesterday made me think of a woman I heard on her mobile on the train yesterday. “I’m, Lizzie Herring,” she said. “Like the fish,” she added cheerily, because I suppose she might as well. It reminded me of how many people I know, or have known, whose surnames are the names of fish. I have a friend called Fish and knew a family called Salmon, I know a chap called Haddock, used to know Mr & Mrs Trout – and now there’s Lizzie. I rather like it. Of course, the East coast used to be a wealthy fishing area. One of the surnames in Lowestoft – originally from a village just outside – is Catchpole. So I suppose it’s not unlikely that those fishermen should have become known by the names of their catches. Unless it was the other way round and the fish were named after the people. Hm.
When I got back to Liverpool Street yesterday, it struck me how completely wedded we are to our phones. The difference is that, around here, it’s mostly youngsters texting. In the city, everyone is speaking on their mobiles. I went for lunch and sat by the window (a slight mistake when you’re having hot and sour prawn noodle soup as it is impossible to eat tidily. I was sorry that I must have rather revolted the assistants in the salad bar opposite) and at no time could I not see at least one person on the phone; this in a quiet side street. I suppose it means one doesn’t waste time as one walks somewhere. Not that I’m criticising, I made my own share of calls and it was extremely useful to be away from the home phone yet still be able to email. Few people know my mobile phone number – I always use that phone but friends and colleagues normally ring me at home.
I finished the document this evening – that is, re-read and re-tweaked. Sadly, it can’t be delivered in under 15 minutes. I could abbreviate it by leaving out chunks of the narrative, but everything is informative and gives a coherent explanation of the history and current situation of our school partnership. When I arrive tomorrow, I’ll have a word with the organiser and check. I have been asked for 15 minutes-worth but they might not expect me to talk quite so solidly for that time. It was interesting to write it and find that, actually, I’ve been following the events of the past 2 1/2 years quite closely, when I rather thought that a lot of it had gone over my head. I finished with a reasoned endorsement of partnership between schools – I hope that, when ours comes to its natural conclusion in 2 years time, it will be re-formed on new lines, between the high school and its seven feeder primaries.
I take all this worryingly seriously. Maybe it gives meaning to my life, Dave?