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Date: 05/10/10


Muse The First: This is probably not the time, but I have to say that I never found Norman Wisdom at all funny. I had the same problem (if problem it be) with Tommy Cooper; they both fell into that category of performers which my mother would dismiss under the label "too soft to laugh at". He was big in Albania, but then the ShqiptarŽ have never had much else to laugh about. Still, ninety-five's a good run out, and if he brought some amusement to people then good luck to him.

It does enable me to slip in a favourite Urban Legend about an Anglo-French conference discussing some thorny issue. The arguments went on and on until one of the Gallic representatives declared, «Nous avons besoin de la sagesse du Normand"» (trans. "One needs the sagacity of someone from Normandy"). This was turned by the translator into, "What we need is Norman Wisdom".

Muse The Second: Coming home on the bus this afternoon, there was an infant. This is usually bad news, but I was sitting quite close by and watched him - he'd be well under a year old by my guess - as, standing in his mother's lap, he gazed out of the window at the passing scene with an expression of wonder and delight at everything he beheld; a huge smile and big, shining eyes.

At what point do we lose that capacity for being so open to the simple beingness of the world? And why do we have to lose it?