The strangest thing just happened.
I was sitting at my desk, and I suddenly remembered my French teacher.
Not my first French teacher, the woman who introduced me to notre notre nos, votre votre vos, leur leur leur. She was quizzed by some of the class about where she was from. No, she wasn't English, no she wasn't French, Belgian, Swiss, South African, Swedish, Vietnamese, Sontaran, Inuit or Lett. I remember the way she stressed both syllables after they gave up. Scott-ish.
For my last three years of learning French, though, I was taught by the head of the department - another Scot, and one who had - well let's just say a certain resemblance to De Gaulle. This led to a string of unsubtle jokes and gestures and the drawing of unflattering profiles on jotters. I'd completely forgotten about him - even when I was re-reading l'Etranger a few weeks ago, he didn't cross my mind. It's a fantastic book, by the way. But I digress.
As I sat here, remembering this chap, a man probably younger then than I am now, I raised my hand to my nose, and recreated a gesture I haven't made in over twenty years. It brought back the smells of school, the feel of the space at the end of the Modern Languages corridor, the voice of a long-forgotten friend saying the name of the teacher, the warmth of summer light through the wire-reinforced shatter-proof glass, reflected off the cold marble floors. So much memory triggered from one small thought, and suddenly I feel like I'm seventeen again.
I went to school two miles away from where I sit as I type this. I've travelled the world, lived and worked on other continents. I've got some great memories, but it's odd how some are more potent than others, especially the ones that you think you've forgotten.
My goodness, yes, that does bring back a host of memories.
I, though, did not have the exact gentleman in question for French...
They keep trying to tap me for money, which is an extremely humorous concept.
Oh, btw, having lost your email address (because I'm useless), I thought I located you on FaceBook t'other day, but wasn't sure if the cartoon avatar was you, or just someone trying to look like you, but not actually making the extra effort of being you?
I'm easily confused these days.
Cheers from north of the forth