While there are, of course, many sources for and types of scenario, one which is I think enormously significant to us and will resonate in a very special way is that which connects up almost magically with something in our own past. And I want to put down just how good Miss Kendal is at helping us to do this.
Recently, she had a visit from a schoolboy whose report was so bad as to be ludicrous. At every subject he was bottom of the class and had been idling away his time. While it was inspired by a single disappointing one I really did get one term in the 1960s, it was far worse than I would ever have dared to earn in real life. I was sent to await her in the gym – she had noticed that PE was not dealt with in the report and felt this needed some attention. And in the course of the discussion of my conduct I admitted that although I had made little effort on the sports field, there was one sport I liked.
From an almost casual remark I made which Miss Kendal seized upon, we built up the most amazing scenario. I became the boy whose talent for a single sport was wasted because of a reluctance to practise, and who certainly did not think it necessary to give attention to academic work. In the real world I had had no talent for this sport anyway, just a deep enthusiasm, and a voluminous knowledge of the statistics – if enthusiasm had been enough I would have played for England, never mind the school. But today, after fifty years, my relationship with it was transformed. And Miss Kendal achieved this transformation despite herself having minimal knowledge of the game – just through a sensitivity to what would excite her playmate!
I’m sure others who have met her will have had similar experiences, but if anyone is doubtful whether to contact Miss Kendal I really cannot recommend her highly enough!