Some of my friends and acquaintances believe me to be quite posh. I think they mistake my ability (on occasion) to spit out a grammatically structured sentence, the use of long words and the superficial erudition for a place in the higher social strata. You will, of course, recognise this for what it is – showing off.
I am just returned from the Dream of Gerontius. No, I have not acquired some Freddie Krueger like ability to invade the sleep state of others – I’ve merely been enjoying the so named choral masterwork by Malvern’s most famous son. If I had acquired Herr Kreuger’s abilities in conjunction with his youth slaughtering proclivities, I would like to think that I could see off a bunch of American teens by the end of reel one and have the rest of the film to myself.
But, I seem to be at risk of losing my narrative thread. My primary reason for attending this musical extravaganza was as a supporter of CUMS (Cambridge University Musical Society) I feel I ought to turn out for their gigs. Yes, I will admit I was tempted by the acronym – for perhaps the same reason, my waterproof rucksack cover has the word HUMP in large friendly, reflective letters emblazoned upon’t (I should perhaps point out that this is a brand name, I did not have it added specially).
As a supporter, I was invited to pre-concert drinks – quite a reasonable champagne since you ask – with other worthies. I was welcomed by the most amazingly posh young man I have ever met – through no fault of his, I felt terribly plebeian. He further blotted his copybook by enquiring whether I was the parent of a performer. Now, I do recognise that I am middle-aged (I’m fast approaching 90 – and indeed, approaching 437 at exactly the same exhausting pace) and quite old enough to be the parent of a university student. However, I do fondly like to imagine that I look too young to have teenage children – an illusion I try and maintain by avoiding simultaneous use of my glasses and a mirror. Still, I suppose if you are going to have your illusions shattered, it might as well be in a cut-glass accent.
He did then make partial amends by introducing me to a pair of charming classicists (and the aforementioned glass of champagne). The music was pretty good too, and King’s College Chapel makes for an impressive venue – if decidedly uncomfortable chairs.
However, I think it should be clear to all that I am moving up in the world. I can see my summer being a gay, social whirl of garden parties with the minor nobility. I shall be looking for a better class of reader in future.