Sunday, 17 February 2013

Money makes the world go round

This day has not been one of my favourite days. Weekend buses to my student, A, are once an hour and thus, as you'll imagine, I am always in time for them. I had my book with me, and was reading with an eye on the road, when I saw my bus sailing past.

Sailing is a word that is really only appropriate for boats, because only boats (and ships, I suppose) have sails. It is a word that speaks of regal, gliding motion that disregards you completely.

That was my bus. It glided past silently, regally, and ignored me completely.

I yelped. There is no other word for it; a sound escaped my lips that was more canine than human. I tried to catch up, but a bus is powered by horses. I'm only powered by my legs. Five minutes of running later and the only thing I was closer to was a heart attack. The bus was still ahead, and making ground. I gave up. Suits were not made for running, and neither was I.

In any case, that meant I turned up to teach the lesson thirty minutes late, and as those who are close to me know, I despise tardiness in other people and, consequently, even more so in myself. I was in a pretty epic fit of self-loathing when I arrived, and it wasn't helped by A's niceness. He is as nice a guy as anyone could hope to meet, but when one is in a fit of self-loathing one rather wants to be loathed.

In any case, we cracked on with Mathematics, that joyless and beautiful structure. Reviewing it in my dotage has given me new respect for my teachers of the subject, and a new love of it - helped in no small measure by the excellent book I'm reading, The Ascent of Money, which charts the whole history of that elusive thing. So far I have learnt about inflation, hyperinflation, the East India Trading Company and some background to the Merchant of Venice, so if you are at all interested in Finance, Economics, the world and its history (which, to paraphrase all coppers everywhere, can be summed up as "Follow the money.") then I urge you to buy/borrow/download a copy at once.

Being half an hour late pushed my lesson half an hour later; that extra half hour meant I missed the one bus an hour and would have to wait another hour and a half for the next - buses over the weekend take an hour for lunch. I can't get my head around that at all, but that's what happens, so I walked home. The descent is far easier than the ascent, and the sun shone out of a gloriously blue sky. It's still cold enough to crystallise the breath from one's nostrils but not so cold that being in it is unpleasant, and I enjoy that weather. All the fun of the sun without the hideous heat.

I called my little sister on the way home to wish her happy birthday; she appears to be suffering from amnesia and a hangover of epic proportions, so I wish her a speedy recovery from one, if not the other. Her birthday means that our little clan is now entirely adults, but I hope to spoil her one last time before we all start doing grown-up things like getting jobs and settling down.

More reading this afternoon, as well as laundry, mean I am utterly chilled and relaxed before starting work tomorrow. I confess I will never understand people who lie about on weekends, especially students who are strangers here - a year, a precious year, and you spend hours of it doing what you can do anywhere.

People are crazy. Which seems to be the overriding theme of the book. Honestly, it's a great read, can't recommend it enough.

In other blog news, my friend +Claudia Mangeac is moving to London to pursue a life in fashion. It's a cutthroat world and she'll need all the help she can get, but she's also going to be the next big thing - so go show her some love. She blogs here.