Sunday, April 25, 2010

Watching and Taking It In

Sometimes I think that people think I'm a bit thick.

They don't think that I'm thick in an academic, book-learing way - well I don't think that they do - : I am good at Remembering Things and have lots of bits of paper to prove it.

No, thick in a not-noticing-things green-as-grass kind of a way.

When I was ten, a film was made of a school trip to the Dales. There was a thirty-second clip of me in it, apparently staring round with a faraway expression.

"And here's Daphne, looking for fairies as usual," went the commentary.

Oh, yes, har flaming har. As a matter of fact, I had a camera in my hand, as was customary even in those distant days, and was looking for the best place to take one of the twelve precious photographs that I had to last me the week. For in those days - I know you'll find it hard to believe - photos were taken on something called film, and they came in rolls of twelve, twenty-four and thirty-six. And, being a child, I only had twelve, and actually I was lucky because most children didn't have cameras.

And, yes, I did daydream a lot in school, but that wasn't my fault: they should have made the lessons more interesting.

Now then. When you're known for daydreaming, everyone thinks that's always what you're doing. And sometimes you're not. Sometimes you're watching, and taking it all in. And that's what I'm often doing.

Let us fast-forward a few years. A couple of weeks ago someone I know told me something about someone else I know, and was rather surprised to find that I already knew it, and had chosen to do nothing about it, for reasons which I had considered carefully. The person who told me was most surprised.

When I was a teacher, I was totally silent in all the breaks - you may find this hard to believe but 'twas true - because I would get on with the vast amount of marking that I had to do, and thus have less to do in the evenings. And after a while, everyone carried on their conversations as though I wasn't there. Pretty soon, I knew about every scandal in the school: and there were plenty: and I kept them quiet.

One of the senior teachers - now a well-known television presenter, oh yes! - was having an affair with a young female teacher. His then wife rang just about every young female teacher in the school and accused them of being the one. She didn't ring me - I was most offended that she thought it couldn't possibly be me! But I knew who it was. I'd heard a few things, whilst getting on with my marking.

Also, in the work I do I need to know quite a lot about what's known as "body language". I wouldn't claim to be anywhere near a Derren Brown-type expert. But I have picked up quite a bit of knowledge along the way. And often that tells far more than the words that are spoken.

Sometimes, when it's clear that people think I'm green as grass, I still feel rather offended. But, as they say in these parts, I'm not as green as I'm cabbage-looking.


Blogger Jennyta said...

Yes, I remember those rolls of film and the disappointment when they came back from the chemist with half the photos undeveloped. Thank heavens for digital cameras. :)

6:50 pm  
Blogger Grumpy Old Ken said...

Well known tv presenter, go on, give us a clue!

8:01 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

With digital cameras you have the freedom to snap, snap, snap, unrestrained by thoughts of development and printing.

Was the presenter Harry Gratian of Look North? He looks so exhausted he must have taken a younger mistress! And..he was a teacher in Leeds!

9:01 pm  
Blogger Daphne said...

Jennyta - thank heavens for digital cameras, indeed!
Grumpy Old Ken - I couldn't possibly give you a clue. See below.
YP - You may have surmised that from the information given, but I couldn't possibly comment. Not in any way.

9:08 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

One of my favorite short poems goes like this:

A wise old owl sat in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can't we all be more like that wise old bird?

Change "he" to "she" and we might have Daphne. Not that I'm calling you an old bird. Not in any way!

9:52 pm  
Blogger Debby said...

I used to know things. I now forget what I knew.

Yesterday I thought I knew something but I was wrong. I was so sure I was right, but I assumed wrong. I hate when I do that. I was so sure too....

12:12 am  

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