I’ve always been a slow learner in some areas of my life.mostly the areas known as myself. Or maybe I should say ‘selves.’because the fact is, I’ve never, even as a child, felt I’m only one self, only one person. I’ve always felt I’m quite a few more than one. For example, there’s my jokey self, there’s my morose and fed-up self,there’s my lewd and disgusting self. There’s my clever-clogs self, and my fading-violet-who-cant-make-up-her-mind-about-anything self. There’s my untidy-clothes-everywhere-all-over-my-room self, and my manically tidy self when I want my room to be minimalist and Zen to the nth degree. There’s my confidant, arrogant self and my polite and reasonable and good listener self. There’s my self-righteous self and my wickedly bad self, my flaky self and my bsentimental self. There are selfs I like and selfs I don’t like.there’s my little-girl selfnwhonlikes to play silly games and there’s my old-woman self when I’m quite sure I’m eighty and edging towards geriatric.The self I show in action at any moment depends on where I am, who I’m with, the circumstances of the situation and the mood I’m in.
We all travelled light, taking with us only what we considered to be the bare essentials of life. When we opened our luggage for Customs inspection, the contents of our bags were a fair indication of character and interests. Thus Margo’s luggage contained a multitude of diaphanous garments, three books on slimming, and a regiment of small bottles each containing some elixir guaranteed to cure acne. Leslie’s case held a couple of roll-top pullovers and a pair of trousers which were wrapped round two revolvers, an air-pistol, a book called Be Your Own Gunsmith, and a large bottle of oil that leaked. Larry was accompanied by two trunks of books and a brief-case containing his clothes. Mother’s luggage was sensibly divided between clothes and various volumes on cooking and gardening. I travelled with only those items that I thought necessary to relieve the tedium of a long journey: four books on natural history, a butterfly net, a dog, and a jam-jar full of caterpillars all in imminent danger of turning into chrysalids. Thus, by our standards fully equipped, we left the clammy shores of England.
Do you know why you’re here?' the doctor said.Clumsiness. Clumsiness is the first and then we have a list: lazy, wayward, headstrong, fat, ugly, mean, tactless, and cruel. Also a liar. That category includes subheads: (a) False blindness, imaginary pains causing real doubling-up, untrue lapses of hearing, lying leg injuries, fake dizziness, and unproved and malicious malingering s; (b) Being a bad sport. Did I leave out unfriendliness?…Also unfriendliness.