chapter
2 Pages

Goody-goody

WithJoseph Rykwert

In this chapter the author recollects the memories of his early life. The author remembers his embarrassment when his father tried a slightly 'rude' joke on him – telling him that the London traffic crossings were nicknamed 'Belisha's balls'. His nerdish propensities declared themselves early, and meant that his positive belief in 'making things' as the only worthwhile, manly occupation became virtually unattainable to him, though he tried to imitate some of his gestures, and his speech patterns. That commonplace imitative instinct got him into occasional trouble. He vividly remember a lady at a neighbouring table in a hotel restaurant opening her mouth very wide as she negotiated the fork past her lips without disturbing her lipstick and closing them tight to dislodge the morsel. She was pulled up sharp when she attempted the same elegant manoeuvre – a reproof that just seemed part of grown-up arbitrariness.