I was watching/listening to Country File this morning whilst being ever so domesticated and sewing a couple of buttons back on my clothes. The program was from Menai Bridge in North West Wales. I suddenly heard a voice I recognised instantly and without a shadow of a doubt I knew exactly who it was. I looked up to have my suspicions confirmed, as the caption indicated that it was a certain Ann Benwell of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club. Nothing special there, except that Ann Benwell was one of my German lecturers at Coventry University (at the time Coventry Polytechnic) between 1990 and 1992 and head of the German choir there.
To see her talking about about Menai Bridge and Anglesey with all the authority she used to speak about German history, politics, culture and geography was quite strange to me. Even more strange was how strongly I knew exactly who it was as soon as she started speaking and before any image of her or caption appeared.
The human brain is an incredible thing.
As far as I’m aware, Ann quit lecturing in 1992, deeply unimpressed with the ever decreasing standards in German grammar of the new student intake. I have often wondered what she went on to do and am glad that she does something about which she’s clearly passionate. I also pictured her as an old lady now, but she’s defied time and she’d be glad to know that she’s aged better than I have in the intervening fourteen years.