Last Saturday I went to a reunion. I can just hear my friends say: ‘But you never go to reunions!’ That’s right: normally you wouldn’t find me at such an event. Death is the guest of honour at most reunions. But I went as my mother’s wheelchair-pusher.
An elderly man asked who I was, and I answered: ‘I’m Jacques Hendriksen’s grandson.’ He replied enthusiastically: ‘Ah, the headmaster.’ I had never had seen so many people in one place who had known my grandfather, who was born in 1882.
When all of the previous generation has died I’ll have inherited around ten graves. I’m collecting the dead.
No wonder Arnold Jansen op de Haar is beginning to feel like Lonesome George, the hundred-year-old giant tortoise who died last week on the Galapagos Islands.