The Sage is such an enthusiast. He has been reminiscing, rather beyond my capacity, I must confess. I don’t have a bad memory, but to remember when something happened, it’s best if there’s something to hang it on, as it were. For example, I know exactly when Miss Fitt died, because it was the year that Ro was born (she was thrilled to be able to hold and cuddle him, she loved children) and she lived to 101 years and 6 months, to the day. Since I remember her birthday and how old Ro is, I can work it out. But then he was asking me other dates and I have only a vague idea.
He started to talk about Mrs Dare, Miss Fitt’s blind sister. He spoke of her with such warmth that I was puzzled. “Did you meet her?’ “Oh yes,” he said, “I remember her well.” Since I don’t, not very well, and he could only possibly know the family through us, I was more puzzled, and pondered for a while. I finally pointed out that she died well before he moved to Lowestoft, when I was still a child. He tried to argue for a bit, but I had my facts marshalled by then, and so he had to agree that he never actually knew her at all. He and I met when I was 16, in early February 1970 (I’m afraid I cannot give you the exact date in this instance). “I heard all about her,” he protested. “I feel as if I knew her.”
He does that, you know, and I’ve so often seen the look of bewilderment on someone’s face when he talks about someone as though about a friend, and it turns out to be someone who lived at least 80 years ago. Most people are far too polite to challenge him, even when he starts to ask if they knew him or her too? It’s very amusing to watch, though it drives me nuts when he does it to me. I am boringly precise about verifiable details and uninterested in speculating on ones that cannot be checked, and he is rather the opposite. Weeza can hardly bear to watch us when we have that sort of conversation, though the boys find it quite entertaining.