Tuesday, 11 October 2016

I Answer Some Questions

"Shall I at least set my lands in order?"

Last night was University Challenge night.  Now that my elder son is actually at a university, my younger son and I watch it a deux.  Some of the answers I got this week were: 'Platinum Blonde'; '1812 Overture'; 'Napoleon III'; 'Polaris' and 'Copper Sulphate'.  We even managed Caravaggio and Botticelli in the absence of our art expert. 

"Who is the third who walks always beside you?"

My son was particularly impressed by my knowledge of the Roman name for the city of Bath: Aquae Sulis.  Ever since I stopped understanding his Maths homework, moments like this have been particularly sweet.

"A pool among the rock"

Lines from TS Eliot's The Wasteland did not appear in last night's questions, though they and he often do. The thing about many of the answers I blurt out is that I didn't know I knew them until Jeremy Paxman reads the question.

"These fragments I have shored against my ruins"

These snippets of knowledge, however inapplicable to my daily life, feel like proof of something: of my own university years, of the reading I've done, the music I've listened to, the films I've watched and the people with whom I've learned, listened, and watched.  Fragments pop into my head in response to a question, having often lain dormant for years.  They make sense of a kind, like quotations from a life-script, and (my son always being pleased when I score points for the team) they lend a convivial peace to our Monday evenings.

"Shantih    shantih    shantih"


1 comment:

  1. Yes. Wonderful. Though a little concerned you knew Platinum Blonde. And more concerned I did.