Rilke - when he acted as secretary to Rodin - once wrote an account of how he followed someone down a Parisian street who was afflicted with a peculiar form of Tourette's Syndrome which affected the gait.
The man would begin to walk normally, then start to speed up until the steps became faster and faster until he was forced to come to a staggering halt to avoid falling over or running into a lamp-post. He would compose himself for a moment, then begin all over again - all the way down the street.
Rilke became fascinated by the man and decided to follow him for a while in order to try and get his head around what caused the man to walk in such an extraordinary and tiring way, and before he knew it, he had almost climbed inside the man's head.
Rilke - to his horror - found he was involuntarily copying the man, and being only a few paces behind him, it looked to everyone else as though he was making a joke of him, aping his movements in a cruelly humorous manner - an unthinkable thing for a sensitive poet to do.
I suppose that was an extreme example of how it is possible to be too empathic - something which paramedics and psychoanalysts are trained out of at the very beginning (except R.D. Laing, and look what happened to him).
I never understand it when some people say that they keep well away from the edge of cliffs because they would be filled with an overwhelming impulse to throw themselves off the edge if they so much as looked over. That's the very last thing that I would think of doing, so I enjoy a nice cliff-top walk whenever I am in Cornwall.
I am a little worried about losing my inhibitions through old-age though - if I make it that far in. It's bad enough after I have had a few drinks and feel compelled to blurt out what everyone else is thinking, but has the good grace to keep silent about. I don't want to end up as one of those old men who roll their trousers up over their knees if sitting in the middle of town when the sun comes out - let alone get caught trying to stuff my willy into the ear of a female fellow inmate of a nursing home.
The other thing I know about Rilke is that he was one of a small handful of men who had 'Maria' as a first name. The only other with that forename I am aware of was the bloke who wrote 'All Quiet On The Western Front'. I don't know which one Spike Milligan was singing about.
I bet Britta is now a little worried about actually meeting up with me in Bath when she has finished at the Chelsea Flower Show, after this post. She suggested meeting in a cafe or pub, but she will probably now insist on a cafe, and an unlicensed one at that. Let's hope the sun is shining on the day - I may even roll my trousers up.
I was sitting in the kitchen this morning, drinking my second cup of coffee, when - for reasons unknown - I shoved my own thumb painfully into my left eye.
When H.I. asked what I had done and how I had come to do it, I suggested that she had somehow telepathically got into my head and forced me to punish myself for something I had done to her in the recent past.
She liked that idea, and began staring at me every now and then with a malevolent look in her eyes, whilst doing the washing-up.
A little later, I farted, then I blamed it on her - "You made me do that," I said.
I remember when it was quite common for certain people - sometimes dads - to say, "Now look what you made me do!" whenever they made some sort of mistake or cock-up.
They never gave anyone else credit for their triumphs, though.
I just found this rare photo of me, aged 21. H.I. says that I look like I am hardly there at all, and I think that she is probably right.
I avoided having my photo taken at all in those days, which is why this one is so rare. When I went to get a picture taken for a passport, it was in a proper studio, as it had to be then. The photographer kept taking it and re-taking it, because I refused to smile. I was very similar to the Ayatollah Khomeini in that respect - he also thought that having a stupid and meaningless grin on your face in public was undignified and disrespectful. These days, of course, the UK Passport Office will reject any photo with a hint of a smile, so I was way ahead of my time.
It takes some people absolutely ages to properly come into this world, and I think that I was one of those. It took Green-Eyes about 4 years to be properly born, but now she is here, she is here fully-formed and she is here to stay.
Having completely arrived sometime around middle-age, I have spent the rest of the time trying to escape. This explains the drink, drugs and obsession with Harry Potter films. Some people are understandably a little frightened of the world, and I probably fall into that category as well. I don't think that this is an altogether bad thing, because anyone who I have ever met who is not frightened at all is either unjustifiably confident and unselfconscious, or a little stupid.
It took me years to understand that - on occasion - I can be a bit intimidating when trying to defend myself against what I perceive to be external threats, but that realisation was just another part of 'getting here'. Anyone who really knows me, knows that I am completely harmless - except for my big mouth. Green-Eyes worked this out years ago, when she was about 6.
I hardly resemble this picture at all these days, but a little while ago, drunk woman on the street stopped me and said, "You're Brian May aren't you?!" I told her that my name was Germaine Greer.
In the tradition of week-long medieval marriages, the wedding of the century finally came to a close last night with a good party.
Loads of people who couldn't make it to the actual ceremony turned up, as well as everyone who could, and we all dressed in the same clothes as we wore last Saturday - including the photographer. I didn't even wash my shirt.
Nomatter how much I wash my neck before donning a white shirt, I always find a dirty mark running around the inside of the collar after about 10 minutes wear. Some people just cannot stay clean, and it seems I am one of them. I heard of a wealthy person who wore a brand-new, white shirt every day of the week and I understand why, but I am not one of them.
There was a Christian woman giving a holier-than-thou talk on the radio last week, and she scathingly said that all the money which used to be saved up by couples starting a new life together was now spent on one day of wedding celebrations, the average being about £20,000.
Modern weddings, she said, were an end in themselves - the vows being just a garnish on a grand pile of showy ceremonial flim-flam, and usually the weddings ended in acrimonious divorce a year or so later. Wouldn't be better, she added, if we all tightened our belts in these times of austerity and concentrated on God instead of Hello! magazine? Well actually, no it wouldn't, you bloody puritanical spoil-sport.
H.I.'s daughter has been planning this event in her head for over 40 years now and she already has two loving, grown-up children, so what better time to blow a load of money you haven't got and celebrate in style, surrounded by all the nearest and dearest who have stuck by you through years of struggle and hardship since childhood?
Weddings are always fairly easy to enjoy, but I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed one so much as this one - for many different reasons. I have never been to one at which the vows have been said with such sincerity and affection, and the response from the congregation has been so heartfelt. People talk lightly about being surrounded by love, but in all three events since last Saturday, this was a reality.
Anyway, I got up with a bit of a hangover at about midday today - nothing unusual about that. Life goes on. (I know. just another excuse to put up the picture of Green-Eyes, the bride's daughter.)