Retired Bloke and the critic

HERE’S the thing with the cultural life; it has its moments of disappointment.

The ageing Jaguar and self were transporting The Daughter Who Left (But Returned) to work. Self was feeling the quiet glow of satisfaction that 19 minutes 30 seconds for the 800 metres front crawl can induce in even the most level-headed retired bloke. The road was clear, the morning air bracing.

Self purses the lips and provides tuneful accompaniment to the popular music combo on the radio. TDWL (BR) reflects for a moment, then gives utterance: “You really can’t whistle, can you?”

The artist and his critics.

It’s all very well for the Swan of Avon to go on about “Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart” (Troilus and Cressida, unless I’m very much mistaken) but these things sting.

After that I had to give myself a good pep talk to get in the frame of mind for my further adventures in the carpet disposal business.

I could tell the workers at the recycling centre were impressed as I hoisted the old Berber out of the car and into the skip; some of them even shifted the broom handle they were leaning on from the left armpit to the right.

And I whistled while I was at it. Critics: what do they know?

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