Seeing the face

“Better to see the face than to hear the name”

Zen saying

I left the Moulsecoomb adventure playground in 1975, then in 1984 I found myself back in Brighton on a training course. Around 9 at night I was walking up St James Street from the Old Steine having been for a meal and a beer in the Duke of York’s when out of the corner of my eye I saw a young bloke, with a young woman and a child in a buggy pointing at me, then he ran across the road towards me and then, like a puppy, grinned and said “Wotcher Arfur” and shook my hand. He beckoned his girlfriend over and told her excitedly about the ‘Vencha’ and how brilliant it was and what a great bloke I was and all the great things we did for the kids. I thanked him and asked how he was doing and billed and cooed over their cute little weasel“ in the buggy. He asked me what I was doing back in town and what I was doing and all that. She started to look a bit antsy so he said cheers and good on yer mate and they went on their way.

To this day I have no idea who this once 10-year old was.

Written in response to joel’s musings about meeting a child and not remembering their name:

“The other day I was in the library, in town, and I saw a child I’d known at a setting a few months ago. She’s about five years old. We looked at each other and I knew I recognised her, though it took me a few seconds to make sure. She was looking at me and I don’t know whether she was double-checking like I was, or whether she recognised me straight away and was just waiting for me to click in. Either way, the point of this story is that, when I had clicked in, she was happy, smiley, saying ‘hi’ and my name; I couldn’t remember her name though. This troubled me slightly.”


*Weasel = my term for children, due to their sharp teeth, speed, size, cunning, liveliness and squirminess.

It’s my way of acknowledging their vitality and difference from us bigger, more slow-moving beasts.

We sometimes use the term ‘weasel’ as a perjorative as in ‘weaselly estate agent’:

the word ‘ferret’ should be deployed in these cases,

the ferrety pale one is a hired killer,

doing the bidding of its richer and more powerful owner,

working for profit from the pain and suffering of others.

Sorry to get all ‘Tales of the Riverbank’ about it:

ferreting is a valid countryside activity that controls pesty rabbits

and is part of a noble vernacular rural tradition;

I’m just making a point about my use of weasel.

Also rabbits get eaten, unlike foxes hunted by men in pink.

I should also point out that ferrets are stoatally different from weasels,

and are weasily distinguished from stoats.


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