‘Hard to Let Go’ dreams Private English Tutor
I love it, I love it; and who shall dare
To chide me for loving that old armchair?
(The Old Armchair – Eliza Cook – 1881-1889)
Never was a quote more apt for this stuck-in-the-mud private English tutor. It’s not necessarily for the old armchair in the corner that I have a soft spot for, although it has witnessed many a tumbler of single malt, but there are many things that I surround myself with that I have a fondness for.
Surely I’m not alone in being reticent to jettison familiar objects.
As a student in London several decades ago, I used to carry a little book with me everywhere I went. It was called: Dictionary of Quotations (Collins Gem, First published in 1961). It alleviated the tedium on many a tedious journey about the capital by bus, train and underground. It is from that very same book today that the quote above hails (p.139). To quote Ms. Cook: ‘I love it, I love it;. . . ‘ I cannot ever see myself parting with it.
Looking about me at my dust-covered ‘things’, there are some that will remain in place until I curl my toes. Above my desk I have a print of a scene from The Merchant of Venice; It shows Shylock being hounded by a group of children. Purchased in Covent Garden several decades ago [yes, everything in my life happened several decades ago :-)] it has a label on the rear proclaiming it to be more than 100 years old; so today it is can’t far off 150 years old. Many’s the time that I have sat looking at it, willing the muse to descend, willing Shakespeare’s genius to approach – alas, this post testifies the muse remains as illusive as ever! Would I ever part with the print? No, I will take it with me when I shuffle off my mortal coil. Ha Ha! That’s a good line, ‘Shuffle off my mortal coil’. Has the muse visited?
Staying with our Shakespearean theme, I have a battered collected works. Purchased (yes, several decades ago!) probably in the mid 1970’s, from a wonderful antiquarian book shop in my town – sadly, long since closed. It has a damaged dark blue, hard back cover. Then, I could read the small print, now I need my goggles to read it! I stuck a beautiful picture of Greta Garbo inside the cover; we share the same birthday, so why not? I took that book with me on a year’s travel to the Middle East and Europe several decades ago. It was a little heavy for a backpacking trip but I was young, impetuous and idealistic . Ah ‘Bill’, as I used to fondly refer to the bard, how you have enriched my life. Would I part with that battered treasure that now lies untouched, for many years, in the attic? Impossible. It will journey with me to where ever I pass on to once I have popped my clogs.
This private tutor has long had a love affair with English Literature, so hardly surprising that I hoard around me things such as those mentioned above.
What treasures are you hanging on to and can’t you let go of?