I had a fantastic time with Catherine, my first friend in the UK, and her sister Elizabeth today. As we sat over coffee, Catherine regaled us with a tale from her school visit to Oxford a few weeks ago at University College, where the tour guide asked them,
"One of our most famous graduates was Percy Bysshe Shelley. Can any of you tell me who Percy Bysshe Shelley was?" she asked, not really expecting an answer.
There was a pregnant pause, during which Catherine and her colleague thought "PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let one girl know the answer and not embarrass us."
Suddenly, in chorus, the girls answered their silent prayer:
"Mary Shelley's husband.
Catherine and her colleague looked at each other and grinned, in the satisfied knowledge that their job as a girls' school was done.