Tuesday, 14 June 2016

From Weasel to Hero.

The past week or so has been difficult.

When sorrows come, they come not single spies
But in battalions

The battalions have been moving against the crumbling fortress of what I used to regard as a mind-of-modest-substance on a daily basis – everything from the irritating to the infuriating to the genuinely worrying. They’re still encamped under the castle walls, and tomorrow is a day to be worried about. Hence no posts for a while; too much preoccupation with other matters.

But at least I have a scanner that works now, so I thought I’d post some pictures. Of me. They’re hardly edifying, but here goes:

Blow wind; come wrack
At least we’ll die with harness on our back

(I didn’t check these quotations from Hamlet and Macbeth, by the way. Feel free to correct me.)

Picture 1

When I first saw this I hated it. I look soft and silly and simpering, and three S’s in one person is like three strikes and you’re out. I also look like I don’t belong. My two first-cousins-once-removed, however, seem the very model of astute urbanity and clearly dominate the weasel in the background. (Lucy on the left, Jane on the right.) Maybe I was just trying to hide the fact that I hate weddings. Maybe that was it.


Picture 2

This was my naval record shot. I was 17 and already making a good shot at looking simpering. Or was it smug on that occasion? Maybe it had something to do with the fact that the girl I was leaving behind was no big deal, or maybe it was because I hadn't yet realised that they were going to cut my hair a hell of a lot shorter.

  
Picture 3

A few years earlier, and already demonstrating my abiding love of and respect for animals. Or maybe it was an early sign of inquisitiveness. Maybe I’d never seen an upside down cat and wanted to see what one looked like, or maybe I thought something might drop out of the front end if I shook it. Sadly, I don’t remember.

  
Picture 4

This is the image of me I will take to the grave. This one I like. This is how I imagine I always looked and still do; only I don’t. If I had a picture of me now, I would disown it and take all the above in preference. 

 
I have no picture of me now, but the following may be taken as a reasonable approximation.

  
And I did an online quiz to find out which Harry Potter character I am. Hagrid, apparently. Just about perfect, if only I had the hair.

6 comments:

Madeline said...

Did you ever watch One Foot in the Grave? (I've probably asked this at some point or another.) Your comparison reminds me of the episode where a caveman found frozen in ice bears a striking resemblance to Victor Meldrew.

Also, there was a Neanderthal reconstruction featured in National Geographic a few years ago that looked just like my mother. To make things clear, my mother doesn't look like a Neanderthal. It's just that this particular Neanderthal looks like her. (Then again, a DNA test indicated that my mother has a large percentage of Neanderthal DNA, so maybe it's both.)

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/05/100506-science-neanderthals-humans-mated-interbred-dna-gene/

I think that last picture you posted looks more like Danny DeVito.

JJ Beazley said...

For once I'm lost for words. Have you tried introducing your mother to shampoo and explaining how to use it? I'm sure she'd soon get the hang of it, and it could make all the difference. (But just make sure she doesn't drink it and fall into a semi-permanent stupor in the armchair in the corner, dreaming of quarterbacks with super tight uniforms.)

Madeline said...

My mom actually hates how Neanderthals are always depicted as dirty and unkempt. Don't believe the stereotypes.

FYI, ECP is back online:

http://episcopalcemetery.blogspot.com/2016/06/return-to-spencer-optical.html

JJ Beazley said...

Oh. I do hope I didn't offend Mrs K, I was just trying to get over a bad week... Regrets if I did. And in my defence, I wasn't actually believing stereotypes; the only source of the comment was the picture which you said looked like your mother. That particular Neanderthal was definitely having a bad hair day.

Seriously, though, it's interesting to wonder just what people of both persuasions were like back then. We do, I know, tend to assume that they were brutish and devoid of finer feelings, but I expect we're wrong. If they were moved to build stone circles and make art on cave walls...

And that led me to something I never realised before. From my observation, I would say that wild animals clean and preen themselves far more assiduously than farmed animals do. There's a sort of connection, or so it seems to me.

Della said...

Alright, so picture 4 is a closer approximation of how I'd pictured you all these years too (though I don't really see Clint Eastwood and now not sure where I got that from :)). Very funny re. the last picture but I get it, aging is no fun. I know the feeling of retaining the same mental picture of oneself throughout life and then being shocked at the image looking back from the mirror. My mother used to say that and I didn't get it. Now I do.

JJ Beazley said...

Funny you should mention Clint Eastwood. When my mother was confined in hospital through her terminal illness, she had a copy of that picture in a frame by her bed. One of the nurses saw it and said 'Gosh. He looks like Clint Eastwood.' Needless to say, I don't nor ever did.

I remember the day about three years ago when my eyes were opened and I suddenly didn't recognise the man in the mirror. It was quite a shock. Oddly, though, a woman I saw at the theatre recently, and who I hadn't seen for about fifteen years, told me I hadn't changed at all. She always was a kind person.