This ruin is inhabited


This is a picture of my wonderfully sweet friend George Snyder. He is the boy in blue. Whatever is vexing him, I know for a fact that he has forgotten what it was. I know because I lifted this image from his blog.

Having met George very recently, I can assure you that the passage of time has done nothing to render him unrecognizable. I would know him in an instant, and so would you. But why does he get to be so lucky? He has, it seems, always had those keen sloe eyes. I, in contrast, have had to make do with the improving effects, such as they are, of increased respectability — ie, ageing.

The edifying thing about the Mitford sisters’ correspondence — to which I’ve become addicted, not least because I never knew that the D of D was so extraorder about faux modesty (quelle pièce de travaille, celle-là!) — is that you never know when Nancy is going to pop an amazing bit of Voltaire in your face. “This ruin is inhabited by a young person” — where did he say that? It is simply how I feel all the time, now that I’m sixty!