Well, Joanne, in many ways the school years were memorable, because they did what they are designed for: I learned a lot and I have always loved learning. I learned about things, about languages, about people, especially girls, about myself and about the world. It was and is a good school, Protestant Light, mixed sexes, striving for high standards. But on the Fourth of July I celebrate the end of that period, the beginning of the university years. To pass that exam was a liberation, something to be proud of, followed by the most beautiful summer I can remember. I know the date because it is on my diploma, beneath the clumsy signature I used for the first time in my life.

One particular teacher (he had a rough smoker’s voice and a wrinkled face that seemed perpetually tired) shared his wisdom with us when he said: ‘too late at the exam, too late in life’. I was too late for the ceremony and yes, he was right.

Friend of life and beauty and foe of spoilers of life and beauty. Golden marriage. Grandfather. Pianist and micro poet. Dutch, European.

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