Here are various thoughts which have come to me at various points, not always in time for them to be useful.
1) The first concerns Virgil - Publius Vergilius, who wrote The Aeneid, which we studied in Latin at school. Our teacher, though perfectly nice, must have been the most boring person in Edinburgh. Possibly she still is, since looking back on it I suppose she was only in her 20s or early 30s, though I thought she was seriously middle-aged. Anyway, every night she gave us a passage of this poetic masterpiece (or as I thought of it then this deeply tedious tome) to prepare. Then in class the following day she would pick on someone and this someone would have to stand up and translate the relevant bit.
Not being a person who thought homework was a good use of her valuable time, I never opened the book at home, which inconvenienced me somewhat if Miss G chose me in class. I had to translate it off the top of my head, which didn't always work terribly well.
Many of my classmates were quite diligent and could make a slightly better stab at it than I could. But one girl, A, used to stand up and fluently spout forth. I was amazed that anyone would bother to work so hard. After all, we found out what it meant in the end anyway because the teacher always went over it.
It wasn't till years afterwards that it occurred to me that I could have gone to a shop and bought a translation. Then I could have "done" the homework in a fraction of the time and impressed poor Miss G.
Having had this thought, I did buy a translation and discovered to my amazement that The Aeneid was literature - something that Miss G had never communicated to us.
2) This is a more recent discovery related to our bath. The picture above is actually Bath, which is a beautiful city, more beautiful than our tub. Our bathroom, however, has a window above the bath, quite high up, which we keep slightly open most of the time, but every night before I leap into the bubbles, I climb on to the side of the bath and close the window - because I don't want to be cold and because I am a shortish person and can't otherwise reach it. As I get older and creakier, I think to myself that one day it might not be a good idea to balance thus precariously, and then what? Must I lie shivering in my tub?
When I decide that I'm sufficiently clean, I stand up in the bath, open the window again to let the steam out and then proceed with the drying bit of the operation.
It wasn't till I broke my ankle in January and felt it definitely wasn't a good idea to go clambering on the sides of baths that it occurred to me that I could also shut the window, pre-bath, by standing in it instead. Problem solved.
We've lived in this house now for 22 years. It took me 21 and a half to figure this out.
3) As stated, I am not a tall person. I might be 5'3'' in shoes. And one mildly irritating thing about being shortish is that while I'm walking smartly along, little legs a-blur, tall people stroll slowly past me. When I say "slowly" I mean that they're taking far fewer steps than I am, but they're easily overtaking me. This is particularly noticeable when I'm walking into college being left behind by tall young men with long legs.
I sometimes study their legs as they depart (purely in the spirit of research, you understand) and amazed by the difference that a few inches of leg make in the length of stride.
Yesterday, as I paced along, quite a small chap passed me. I was indignant: he was an Oriental gentleman and really not much taller than I. His legs looked much the same length as mine. Yet even he was doing the stroll-past thing. Then it dawned on me: feet. It's not just the legs: it's the feet too. Big feet propel you further than small ones. So I'm doubly handicapped: shortish with smallish feet.