Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Unembarrassable mavericks

According to Dr David Weeks, who did a definitive study of eccentricity, eccentrics tend to be unembarrassable mavericks. And they have the sort of buoyant positivism that comes from being comfortable in their own skin. They are always possessed of a mischievous sense of humour, are opinionated, quixotic, intelligent and impulsive — and are wont to find unconventional solutions to problems. Isn’t this as good a description of Churchill, and Boris, as you have ever heard?

From an article in today's paper about Boris Johnson and Winston Churchill and how eccentrics do not care how they dress. Again I am rather a dressy man at least on weekdays. At weekends i tend to wear Jermyn St. shirts with casual trousers (never jeans which for me represent the ideals of 1968) and I thought this was dreadfully unfashionable and meant to change this until Paulius Kuncinas told me I had been cool for years. And i remember this was cool at Cambridge in the early 1980s. Odd how these fashions continue.

I read this book ten years ago. I am not unembarrassable or not always. When I was a boy and an adolescent (in other words till I was over 30) I was embarrassed a lot of the time. A Romanian women ten years ago said I reminded her of Hugh Grant because I had 'the same embarrassment' so I am clearly not an eccentric but I am much less easily embarrassed these days. But I only once wore (to a wedding) the panama hat a friend bequeathed to me that is one size too small.

I decided when I reached 50 recently that I am too old to worry what people think of me.

The same book said eccentrics are not interested in money or sex. Like intellectuals, I suppose.

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