I don’t do any sport. I can’t play card games. I don’t play board games. I can’t see the point in any of those things. So you run a mile faster than anybody else. So what?

I wouldn’t exactly say I wasn’t competitive. It’s more that there are very few fields I’m prepared to compete in. Certainly as far as any artistic endeavours I might practice, I’m very happy to enjoy other people’s efforts and I praise and encourage and don’t feel in the least put out if their talents are greater than mine. (This is just as well as it happens all the time!)

Sometimes people come along who want to have a dominant position in a group or family. Although I don’t think I attempt to dominate, I’m extremely resistant to someone else being dominant over me. This brings out the very worst in me.

I went to a school end of year meeting in which teachers stayed in their classroom and parents had interviews timed with them. During the course of the evening these inevitably got muddled up but everyone was good natured and we just went in in the order in which we had arrived at the door. We turned up for our last interview just in advance of a young couple which consisted of an amiable looking young man and a very bossy young woman. Also present and there before us was a tired solitary lady. The organising woman interrogated the hapless mother: when was her interview scheduled? She then triumphantly displayed her own letter of invitation and she was indeed scheduled for interview before the weary parent. You could see the lady was too tired to fight; she acquiesced at once. Flush with her victory, the woman turned to me. As she opened her mouth to demand what time our interview was, I said to her: ‘Don’t even think about it.’ Disconcerted, she began to protest. I cut coldly through her spiel. I informed her that we had been unavoidably detained and that we were due home after attending this interview. I said we would go in, according to custom, in the order in which we had arrived at the door. The woman argued but John and I talked to one another and pointedly ignored her. The solitary lady was not long and smiled at us in gratitude as she left. The teacher asked who was next; John said we were; MS Organise for England launched into an incoherent and very long winded account of events. Teacher who also seemed extremely tired , muttered something inappropriate under his breath and disappeared back into relative safety of his classroom. I was not especially interested in his subject but asked how a little piece of research he was doing had gone down. He brightened and we discussed this at considerable length! When after a very long time we came out, I sailed past Ms Bossy without a glance.

There are two areas in which I am endlessly interested. One is words and the other is sewing. But you know about these. Also perhaps food, wine, travel. Birds.

Oh and clothes. I have to admit to a slight interest in clothes!