I shall remain away. This is business – serious business and all I have been back home is to assure caring for my animals.
I read with interest on Amazon a harsh review of book, Wisdom of Uncle Kasimir. In this review some comment is made against people called Fraser who write other review, but I will only say: idiot. I remember clearly in 1944 as I am in tank and ride through Holland there was a man in platoon, I forget his name, who enjoy making criticism of others. When tank stop he climb from cab and jump down while drone on about faulty this, faulty that, stupid this, stupid that. I say to him to look out – but was too late. He jump into mine shaft and all I hear is long wail as he descend (very long wail), then splash like stone at bottom of deepest well. As we drive on I think to myself perhaps this was natural. For this man, oblivion was natural element. He fall out of the world like stone kick by boot, and was not miss by anyone. I make sign of cross but until now I have never think of him. So Amazon reviewer he would thank you, I am sure, for resurrecting memory.
I am away with Donald (friend, not cat) in United States. This is partly holiday and partly work. Upon my return I will share diary of these events.
Last night I hear clop of hooves and look out of window. There was horse riding by with man on it, in tunic. ‘Who are you?’, I cry out. He did not reply.
I have been silent because of various things, most importantly my cat, Donald, who has been deathly sick. When Donald is ill I am full of dread and worry, and often cannot sleep. He is not often ill; in fact last time was when I remember he swallow rat whole two year ago just before he go for his birthday photograph with Anna. But he has been very ill.
It has always been the case, this curious parallel between my worry and my pet illness, and I know it is not absolutely rational. My father, Stanislaw, famous military general, suffer similar thing only with his soldier. When they were ill, then so would he worry – and not simply that he might lose battle. No, he would worry about other thing, such as end of world, or creeping menace, or crow. My father was very brave man but to see him run from crow was strange thing. When his army advance, and if he was aware of sickness in camp, he have three men station on each side of him, and three in front, who shoot down crow from tree if they see it, before he notice. At home I have seen him run in door when crow fly over and scream GET AWAY, GET AWAY (only in Polish). And this was also an affliction for my good friend Geoffrey Bernard, sadly who is now sadly no longer alive, and was fable for ‘GEOFFREY BERNARD IS UNWELL’. It was never the case that Geoffrey was unwell. Sometimes he was of course drunk as Russian, but most often he was unable to do things because of illness to his little rabbit, Bruno. Bruno was sometimes succumb to melancholy and look to be weeping in his castle (Geoffrey did make fairy tale castle for Bruno in back room of Soho flat).
Now, however, Donald is well and I write. And as I ponder his illness I wonder if it may be perhaps that illness is in me not in him. Only as cat he reply to me, like strange echo of my sadness. I am often happy man but in my soul there is, from time to time, great darkness.
Today I receive email from young lady who say: ‘Dear Kasimir, I understand you are expert in matters of the heart. I am extremely nervous about meeting a potential boyfriend for my first date this weekend. Do you have any advice?’
Naturally I have advice. To begin with I would ask you: why are you meeting this man? Is heart (your own) open for long term love or are you approaching event with only one night stand in mind? (I find this phase curious as ‘one night stand’ is not often done standing!). Either is of course completely wrong. Do not approach date with anything in mind apart from:
a: what you wear
b: how you smell
c: where you go
These are essential. Point b is very important and I would recommend a perfume chosen with great care, and a new one. Yes, a new perfume from special shop such as this one: http://www.lessenteurs.com/. In my own case I did meet love of my life after I did go and buy new perfume which did seem right one for that day, in that moment, in that shop (provincial merchant, so I would not attach over-importance to supplier. However I have great confidence in what I like and do not, so choosing is usually not tricky job. I would say that if you find making choice difficult then go to shop such as Les Senteurs and see what is suggest).
Now I will discuss point a in more detail. What does one wear for a date? I would say to wear anything at all. All rules of fashion are for idiot (no brown in town for man, is for example, date from time when brown might suggest man is about to slope of to country estate and do shoot, etc, and is not to be trust. Blue and green never to be seen is equally language of fool. I look from my window at sky and greenness of field which meet at horizon. Very beautiful. I would say dress only for yourself. Selfish dressing is good way to attract attention of other person – who might want something of what you yourself would be incline to jealously guard. I thank Ms Freud, daughter of Sigmund, who I did meet briefly for this insight. She was not herself often snappy dresser, preferring smock, but I would say she could on occasion get attention of a room. She and I did go on date and she was very much interest in my tie. ‘Kasimir,’ she say. ‘Where did you get such beautiful tie?’ I tell her it was made from me by seamstress I meet in Faubourg Saint-Honoré. ‘So Kasimir,’ she ask, ‘May I have this tie?’ I was so surprise at this request and what did follow that I eventually did give her my tie. I do not know what she did with it, but am always remembering psychoanalytic thinking she espouse during intimate moment later. Perhaps she wear tie, perhaps she use as belt.
On reflection I would say it is good to look at how garment detach, when going on date. For example to be able to take off jacket, shawl or item like hat is seductive without necessarily anything more to be removed. And this might be left in appropriate place for date to find and return, or to simply remember by. I wonder if Anna did have my tie in special place.
Point c is of vital necessity. Other person may say: where would you like to go? It is of no use to say I DO NOT MIND. This is lie, to begin with, as if other person suggest tyre factory or slaughterhouse what would you then do? No. Be explicit in what you like but not narrow: ie, ‘a cinema might be fun, I very much enjoy French film of 1960s’ … or ‘I do so like animal, perhaps a walk to park and see squirrel and bird.’ This second option might be thought of to be madness in case of rain, strolling thug or civic event such as fete (although simple planning would avoid this), but I would say bold choice is to be admire. To walk in rain with someone and laugh, and perhaps fall over even. This is my idea of love. If other person say: ‘oh no I hate squirrel’, or ‘yuck what if it rain would be dreadful’ then perhaps you know this is not person for you. Why waste time? Love is not to fit in with neuroses and captive effect of other person. Two people must be always two people as well as sometimes like one.
So now perhaps you are ready for date. Have as few expectation as possible but know self very well, and see what happen. This is my advice.
So it is second match of world cup after England lose, as anticipate by everyone, first match to world conquering Australian team. Next game they play Old Beckhamians XI from near Croydon who enter on ICC ‘wild card’ and have kit fund by mysterious Indian donour, who coincidentally win billion dollar in bet that Old Beckhamians will make surprise appearance at world cup. The world still reel from the surprise. In England camp is terrible funk because all players at near death, still not recover from pre-tournament practice, including team bonding trip to Basildon where they are pelt with faeces by near-ape. In commentary box is still gather old pros with young magician and former cricket player Kevin.
‘Look boys,’ say Kevin. ‘I can make spell.’
‘What you talk about Kev?’ ask Mr Flintoff.
‘I can make spell which will enable each of us to once again play cricket for England as if we are in youth, or not sacked by petty idiot.’
At this everybody guffaw, and Kevin get angry. ‘I not joke.’
Appear in doorway next to Hayhoe-Flint is Mr Brearley, revere former England captain. ‘Kevin,’ say Mr Brearley, who is now psychoanalyst, ‘what is this spell of which you speak.’ And suddenly all of room stop guffaw and take seriously, such is power of Mr Brearley.
‘It is magic spell,’ say Kevin, ‘which for duration of tournament will transform us all into fit young men, matchwinners.’
‘Go for it,’ say Mr Vaughan, running hand through hair too hard so wig unstick and fall off.
Kevin do spell and there is whizz-bang, and much smoke.
As smoke clear all look at each other. They then start to speak and shout, in total confusion.
Mr Brearley call for hush … only he is not Mr Brearley, but Mr Flintoff, because, as he realise … ‘Kevin it was a bold spell but rather erratic in its execution. We are indeed young men again, but not in the right bodies.’ And Mr Brearley was right, because rather like one of Kevin’s top edged reverse sweep shots that not entirely pay off, motley crew of former greats were now locked in wrong human form! And not only this but Bob Willis was in form of Liz Hurley who had sneak in to commentary box to sit on lap of Mr Warne (who was now Mr Gower). ‘Struth,’ say Warne-Gower … ‘I am not me.’