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Friday, 19 August 2011

The cleverest guy I ever worked with was called Robin

It was when I worked in an engineering company. My boss always told us that Robin was the cleverest guy working for the company. He used to speak of Robin as a sort of genius. Robin was in R and D. That was not my department, but he and I were once sent to London together for a fortnight to do the same course. As we were staying in the same company building, attending all lectures together and eating together for pretty well all our meals, I briefly got to know Robin better than from just encountering him on his occasional visits to my department.

It was many years ago and all I remember in detail about him now is that he always ate eggs for his main course: every meal... A little strange. I don't remember if he ate vegetables; I expect he did, and probably had some fruit as well, I expect. I know if he had a starter it was always Cream of Tomato Soup. And he drank milk or water - usually milk - and no tea or coffee. And he didn't drink alcohol. He didn't make a big thing about what he ate. It sounds a bit boring, doesn't it? - But he was healthy and he was kind and friendly and happy, and he was very, very, very clever. Good at solving problems. He'd stick at a problem till he'd solved it.

We're all individual, and what suits one person may not suit another. Robin's food suited him, and he and his clever brain obviously thrived on it. It would not, I think, be varied enough to please many people. (Just a note: there were no battery hens in those days, and tinned soup was not as unhealthily high in salt as it is these days, and milk was much nicer and creamier than the homogenised liquid we have to buy these days, and produce wasn't laced with pesticides and antimicrobial contaminants as it is now.)

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