The following passage chimed with me when remembering a prolonged bout of ill health, during which time I spent many hours sitting next to the Aga cooker, chatting to my grandmother. What was said is largely forgotten, but one morning I said, ‘I feel hungry!’ for the first time in months. ‘Feed that hunger!’ she said, which good advice set me on the road to recovery.
But here is Mary Lamb writing to Dorothy Wordsworth in 1810 remembering their recent time together.
I hope we had many pleasant fireside hours together, but I almost fear the stupid dispirited state I was in made me seem a very flat companion; but I know I listened with great pleasure to many interesting conversations.”
From The Letters of Charles and Mary Lamb, 1796-1820, edited by E. V. Lucas.
Sometimes the ‘wallflower’ is quite happy just to be there with family and friends. In that kitchen of my parents’, there was always room for one more on the bench, however silent or vociferous they might be. Budge up!