1 EAGLETON NOTES: Thankful Thursday

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Thursday, 31 May 2012

Thankful Thursday

This morning I was reading Jenny Woolf's post on English Dancing.  I found it an enthralling way of spending 45 minutes whilst I had my breakfast.

It's funny, though, how these things lead one's mind into a long and convoluted thread which starts with a simple thought (my inability to dance) and ends with me being thrown out of a pub for dancing very successfully.

The process went something like this: 

Me: I really think that those two dancers are much more clever than some of the steps suggest at first sight.  I wish that I could do that.  I wish that I could dance.

Wee Small Voice:  Ah but even if you could your knee wouldn't stand up to it. 

Me:  I wonder if it will if they ever replace it.  

WSV: By that time you'll be too old to Morris Dance anyway.

Me: Perhaps you are right.  It'll just have to join the long list of things I can do really well. 

WSV: What are you talking about?  What can you do well (apart from hit a ball round a lawn occasionally when you are in That Other Country)?

Me:  I can sing very badly; I could write pretty intolerable shorthand (tried Gregg's and Pitman's); I am exceptionally good at reading very slowly; I once got a clue in a cryptic crossword and even managed a difficult Sudoku - once; I could play scales on a piano - I might even have got to Grade 1.  The list of things at which I don't excel or even come close to being even half competent in is very impressive indeed.

WSV:  But you could dance once upon a time.  

Me: Ah.  But only once dance.  The Cossack Dance - and only rather badly at that.  Cossack Dancing looks spectacular though however badly you do it. In any case that was in the sixties and I was just in my 20s. It actually led to me being thrown out of Snows, a quite smart down the steps bar in London’s Piccadilly. Given that I was much older then than I am now (mentally anyway) I was mortified. I was, I hasten to add, stone cold sober at the time of this incident. I was in London on a training course for something or other and we had finished for the day and gone to Snows. Someone learned that I could Cossack dance and probably dared me to do one on a table - I was quite adept at winning bets that I wouldn’t do something. So I took my shoes off and did a Cossack dance on a table – a very substantial table I should add. I was asked to leave. I was mortified. I can’t understand why but everyone else thought it was very funny!

WSV: So you see you you have achieved being ejected from Snows.  Not everyone achieves that. 

Me:  I'm not sure that being thrown out once qualifies me for being good at it.

WSV:  Well just rest on your laurels.  Well, laurel, actually if it's only one achievement.

Me:  Ah well I will have to content myself with being exceptionally good at one thing which, QED, is that I am exceptionally good at being mediocre.  

And for that I am today exceptionally thankful.  Why?  Because I might have ended up being mediocre at only one thing as it is the list is endless.  You see I am the Jack of all trades and the master of none.

17 comments:

  1. Ha. Ha. Ha. That was the funniest post. I really had a laugh at that one. The pictures it all conjured up!

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    1. Just never ask me to dance on your table please!

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  2. Nothing wrong with mediocre....
    Or being nice.
    Doing our best and being reliable, and a friend matters so much more.
    And you are very good at that
    :)

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    1. Aw. Shucks. That's such a lovely compliment to receive. Thank you Fiona.

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  3. haha Graham. I truly wouldn't like to be lost without a map inside your brain, although I confess it would probably lead me to some very interesting places :D

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    1. Jenny. That's one of the funniest - nay, the funniest - comment I think I have ever received. You have an advantage over me though. You don't have to live in my brain. I do. And I don't have a map. I tried a sat nav but Garmin said that they could map the world but not the impossible.

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    2. Jenny's comment and your reply make me recall the cover picture on my Swedish copy of Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men In A boat. It has a comic illustration of the episode in the maze at Hampton Court on it... (Please tell me you finished the book. I know you started it!)

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  4. I absolutely love watching the heart of dance, the effortless {so it seems} ability to fly on the floor and through the air. It can be beautiful. I was a little dancer, once upon a time and although I did enjoy it, I didn't like to do it for others to watch {to self-conscious, I suppose}.

    I like how you wrote out your self talk - so familiar to my own.

    AND!

    You ARE very good at many things. You bring a smile to others quite regularly, Graham...many of whom you may never even know of, until the day when your life's greatest moments are displayed for you to see; little will you even recollect until the day.

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    1. I, too, love dance and I can well imagine that you were quite an energetic exponent of the art.

      I'm glad I bring some smiles to people, Heather. That's just being naturally me.

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  5. I wouldn't say mediocre of anyone whose "one dance" turned out to be the Cossack Dance. I was never any good at dancing myself, but if I had to choose one, it certainly would never have been the Cossack! LOL

    And hey - don't forget you're also a world famous blogger, even recognized by strangers in the street now! Mediocre you are not... ;)

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    1. There's no answer to that one Monica.

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  6. I don't believe a word of it! You are NOT mediocre. You're a very interesting and talented man!

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  7. I don't believe you are mediocre at all!!! YOU are brilliant at writing a couple of fantastic blogs. I am so incredibly glad I have discovered them!! You are also brilliant at living in 2 countries each year and living a very exciting life... I'd love to do what you do.
    And I am pretty sure as I learn more about you, I will discover more things you are excellent at!
    We are definitely our own worst critics... I too am guilty of that.
    Have a great weekend, Graham and keep these posts coming as I enjoy your brilliance :)

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    1. I was just having a moment of honest reflection Liz. I'm usually far from realistic about myself.

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  8. Graham,

    SO wonderful to check in and catch up on your recent posts. I've really missed being here.
    ;^)

    I'm sure I've heard of the Cossack dance, but now I'm going to have to find some videos to watch. You've got me laughing. What a very brave soul to dance on a table. I've always wanted to do that. I guess I'm going to have to add that to the bucket list. ;^0 What a bunch of spoil-sports they were in Downs. They really missed something that I would have liked to see.
    ;^)

    Hugs to you and keep dancing, no matter what.
    C

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    1. I've missed you too Cynthia. But you've been so busy getting on with building a new (and I hope very successful) life for yourself. And we meet on FB so we're not strangers!

      My motto is "Dance as though no one is looking".

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