It was an absolutely freezing cold evening when I landed on my head at my birth. It was so cold God went on vacation to the Bahamas. I was born without a blob of grey matter in my head. Instead God gave me a glorious mansion which He didn’t quite finish because He went on holiday. Oh dear !! From the Lodge house there is a long straight gravel avenue of oak trees, well tended lawns where graze herds of roe deer with a verdant view down to the lake and in the distance, on the far side of the lake, nestling in the forest, a white summer house.
I always arrive at my white mansion, at a trot, dressed in my finest purple and gold silks, sitting sedately in my golden coach driven by six white horses on which are seated riders also dressed in a purple and gold uniform. The coach stops at the columned grand entrance where the servants are lined up waiting to greet me. The footman opens the door and places the steps for me to climb down. The baggage which I had collected during the day is whisked away by my servants to the relevant rooms. There is a basement where bad thoughts that I do not wish to entertain are taken. They are placed in the furnace and the resulting smoke wisps out of the mansion chimneys into the blue sky as dreams of wonder.
I climb the steps and glide through the white columned porchway, in through the giant cedar doors and into the grand entrance hall. A butler takes my purple cloak, hat and cane from me. I am happy here gazing at the wide grand staircase where hang golden framed pictures of beauty. Everything I have seen, dreamed, touched, smelled and thought are there in front of me. Chandeliers glow with happiness. Each room has the same beauty, carpets of wisdom, finest chairs of rest, Italian cabinets filled with silk wrapped ideas yet to be opened. Log fires of warmth and marble floors stretch to the stars.
The east wing of the fourth floor God did not finish. I walk down the Hall of Hope, where together, are the writing room with a stupidity annex. I turn the corner and where the language learning room should be is an empty shell. My language skills are zero. At boarding school my Latin master, Morris Fenn, hung my written answers to a mock GCE examination on the staffroom notice board. He marked me zero out of one hundred. Translating languages makes absolutely no sense to me at all. I have visited a couple of beautiful blogs, Italian and Romanian, written in their own languages and I have commented. The responses were incredible. Their English is better than mine !! And I’m English !!
So please, speak to me in English. I have a vacant room in my head for any other language…..and THAT includes American
Author of The Sound of Water and other books
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