I admire

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Whilst I’m good at a great number of things (sniffing out good bargains
at H&M, buying terribly good chocolate and finding any bookstore or library in a 200m radius of wherever I am with my eyes closed come to
mind) I’m also pretty darn good at admiration. I admire the girl
sitting next to me on the Tube this morning for her imaginative outfit (think Beth Ditto meets The Puppini Sisters with dashes of bright
red and patent leather in all the right
places). I admire the gentleman behind me at the Tube station this
morning for elbowing his way into the final seat just before I could
get to it (where on earth have good manners gone?). Of course I adore
and admire various celebrities, although I don’t read Hello magazine or
the Daily Mail frequently enough just quite who’s in vogue to admire
right now so my admirations might be a bit stale  (is Posh still
around?). And I do admire mothers with toddlers, even if only for the
sheer amount of stuff they must remember to bring every time they leave
the house, making it akin to hiking up the Mont Blanc in my eyes. And of course there are plenty of people that I’m forgetting to mention right now who are eminently admirable.

Most
of all however, I admire (envy?) columnists. There is something about being
able to write a relatively short, pungent and topical comment on an at
first glance ephemeral subject which on second reading (does anyone
ever read a column twice? Or is that just me?) reveals more about the
state of our society than its initial contents led you to believe.
Snapshots of current culture. Taking the pulse of a society. Slapping
it in the face to wake it up to then hold up a mirror to show it its weaknesses
and hilarities. My favorite of all columnists is Mrs Moneypenny (is it a coincedence that she too is an LBS MBA? :-) The
only reason I subscribed to the FT whilst in b-school was to read her
column in the Weekend Supplement. I have been known to walk over to LBS
specifically to pick up the paper so I could read it (yes, I take both
my reading and my admiration very seriously). Now that my presence no
longer graces the LBS grounds I have reverted to reading them online,
where they have a nice back catalog as well. Witty and irreverent,
she’s the aunt or mentor you never had but wish you did. She’s the
voice in your head you would have if you had a witty sense of humour.

[image: London last week on my lunch break, in what is one of my favorite views: St Paul’s.]

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2 thoughts on “I admire

  1. In my somewhat broad worldwide travels, I’ve found that public transportation is the one common area where all societal norms of politeness are out the window and pure Darwinism is the rule. Every person for themselves. In Tokyo it was quite common to see elderly or (less commonly) pregnant women standing on the subway trains. No salaryman was going to give up his seat for them, so we usually embarrassed them and earned “good gaijin” points for surrendering our seats.

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