A writer once said: “You are the average of five people you spend the most time with.” If this is true, which five people would you like to spend your time with?
I know there are more than five people on this photo. It was taken probably at the turn of the century at Sissinghurst castle where my grandmother was born. She had eleven survivng brothers and was the youngest of the family. There were twins and a sister after her, but they died before they were a year old. Being born in a castle does not mean you have “blue blood”, it just means you were part of the farm labourers that worked there. This group was part of the working class at the castle. I am sure somewhere amongst them are some of my ancestors. So great grandfather Jason, patriarch of my family at the time, I would love to spend some time with you. How was it bringing up such a large family, working on a farm, how was your childhood in a small village in Sussex? You moved around and lived in three different villages in the area. How did you manage the move with such a large family, and how did my great grandmother cope with so many children? Oh Jason, I would have loved to have met you.
Of course Mr. Swiss is in the narrow choice. After spending 44 years together, he is definitely in my circle of five. He is the musical company to bring some rhythm in the circle. My circle would be silent without a background of jazz to keep it swinging. He can even bring his drums with him. He is my rescuer in emergency situations. My supporting rock in dealing with the Swiss way of life, and my partner in all the decisions I have to make. He mostly points me in the right direction. And he has put up with my strange ideas for many years and that is really quite an achievement.
I must have an author in the circle. Charles Dickens would be my choice. His life was an interesting one, from poverty to fame and all due to his writing talents. His books describing life in London in the 19th century are for me a realistic proof of how life was in London at that time. I am sure he would have some interesting tales to tell.
Then I would have Paul Lam to accompany me and look after my well being. He is my Tai Chi hero and I am sure he would be the support I would need to keep fit.
And I must take my three cats with me, but I only have room left for one in the circle. If three cats cannot count as one unit in the circle, then I think I will take Tabby. She is the quiet pole of the feline family. Never acts as if she was in charge of everything (like her litter sister Nera) and is just content to wait. She patiently sits in front of the window until it is opened, she patiently waits for her favourite treat when I am eating crisps. Just sits and watches and waits for me to give her one. She is a cabohydrate cat, like Garfield, would eat a little pasta or potatoe. She likes to lay next to me when I have a midday sleep.