Inspired by a reminder of Latin homework just found in my old school blazer I shall attempt to make more use of the subjunctive. Let me see. “Had the voters known that £350 million extra per week for the NHS was a lie might they have voted LEAVE?” Sorry, no good at all this stuff.
I used to joke that parsing was such sweet sorrow. As for joining MENSA my other joke was that I did know how to address a table in the vocative. To get into the University of Liverpool to study Political Theory and Institutions I had to have O-Level Latin or Ancient Greek.
I had not done Latin since we moved from the First Declension but had never done Ancient Greek. So a quick Latin brush up and I failed by 5%.
November resit, having memorised 300 lines of Virgil’s Aeneid …..”Nisus was a gatekeeper, very skilled in arms….” and I passed. Now, whenever the chat in the pub gets round to the Trojan War I shall be there with the best of them. Looking inside the collar of my old school blazer I see that it came from Bon Marche on Church Street in Liverpool.
Long gone but I remember it had a wonderful Floor Walker whose name I can’t recall.
Does anyone remember Floor Walkers? He managed to make all customers feel secure and supported. Bon Marche? How do you think we pronounced it? BON MARSH of course.
The building is still there and I can remember all the rooms, the stairs and the lifts. It was next door to George Henry Lee’s. I don’t believe any of us had the slightest idea that this iconic shop was part of some strange thing called John Lewis. For us Lewises meant a completely different shop. Local stuff? Gone.
We are now part of impersonal organisations. Even fondly remembered big groups have gone. No more Wimpeys. And so these days I retreat into small places where people know each other and I sort of go back into our bomb shelter, but this time I am sheltering from the freemarketeers who, sabres drawn, gallop through every defenseless picket lines to make us subjects of the bankers and the real, the actual owners of our so-called democratic government.
Gosh, Geraint has just come in to the pub. A little Welsh exchange.
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