It’s odd what my mother kept. In one envelope are two letters written in the early 1960s by me and my brother, the Archaeologist. He is a mere 19 months older than me but it might as well be a millennia.
We would holiday with my gran at Easter, letting mum, especially have a break from two demanding boys. That Easter we were taken to Margate, to Dreamland in a sidecar. I remember it well and I reported as much to my parents in my letter.
Astute readers may notice a middle name. In CAPITALS. I begrudged the fact the Archaeologist had a middle name and I did not so my mother suggested I adopt one. He had also been named after one of the Rev Awdry’s trains – Gordon the Express, would you credit – while Geoffrey never appeared in any transportative capacity. It was, I suspect, inevitable that I would adopt the hero of the eponymous series, albeit I failed to retain the same. My younger self would not be best pleased at my feeble mindedness in letting go of that middle name.
And, of course, this provides proof, were any needed, of my early and still enduring love of the ginger-quiffed boy reporter, Tintin. At least I’ve not let me down totally by retaining that affection.
The Archaeologist’s approach to writing home, meanwhile, can best be described as formal. I’m not sure, aged nine or so as he was then, if he had come across Jane Austen but I suspect it wasn’t far off. And had a quill pen been available, well the pencil would have been dispensed with.
Were we really related? It does seem unlikely. And is it any wonder I was intimidated? You might well think he was some sort of freakish automaton, cold, a child aesthete. Ha!
Piglet! What a softy… Needless to say the child with the large thighs in the right hand corner is me. My brains were always likely to be found in my arse.