I keep six honest serving men,
They’ve taught me all I know,
Their name are What, and Why and When,
And Where and Who and How. Rudyard Kipling
As you may have guessed, from what I have already written, I keep the honest serving men well employed.
I love curious and bizarre information, and when I come across something really odd it tends to stick in my mind. For example, in the plethora of newspaper and magazine articles on the Battle of Waterloo one small story caught my imagination. When the Unites States ambassador, John Quincy Adams, read Wellington’s dispatch after Waterloo, it was so understated that he thought that the allied army had been defeated!
If I am always using the honest serving men, so are my children, and they use them on me, even now when they are grown and long since left home. I suppose I only have myself to blame, being able to answer a question like.
‘How big was Charlemagne’s empire?’
When asked at the breakfast table, might suggest to my children that I am a suitable repository of knowledge. My younger son, known in the blogsphere created by my brother and I, as the Teacher, was perhaps the best, or worst, at asking questions.
The Teacher, and the Civil Servant (Mrs Teacher)
‘Dad, what’s the difference between the Arian and Pelagian heresies?”
Was one of his best, however after I had explained, he commented.
‘Oh, the Pelagian is similar to the Arminian heresy.’
Even after he went to university I was the source of useful information. One afternoon I received a phone call, asking me where a quotation came from. I heard noise in the background and asked him where he was.
‘I’m outside the Bod.’ (the Bodleian Library, Oxford)
‘You are outside the greatest library on Earth, to which you have free access.’ I responded, ‘and across the road is one of the finest academic bookshops. In both you will find a book called the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, where you can easily find the answer. Why don’t you look it up instead of ringing me?’
‘You are much quicker.’
A little while ago willowdot21, nominated me for the Three Day Quote Challenge
The rules of the challenge are:
Post your favourite quotes or your own quotes for 3 days in a row.
Thank the person who nominated you.
So thank you willowdot21.
Also the Teacher commented that I had written about our dog, but never mentioned him. So I have here.