When I see emails in my inbox that I can't identify, they often get deleted unread.
I hate spam.
But yesterday I got an email that made me do a double-take, and I'm glad I opened it. It was from a young fellow in Poland who was a pupil of mine when I taught English in Warsaw in 1994-1995. Ten years old at the time, he's now finishing his MSc, has travelled across half the world, has lived in two foreign countries and teaches sailing on the side.
He had found his school notebooks and wanted to get in touch with his old teacher. Not sure that he'd found the right Malcolm Russell, he described his teacher, saying, 'He liked doing some crazy tricks, singing "little silly rabbit" songs and drawing hilarious cartoons with English grammar.'
Hmmm. I suppose that's a fair enough description, though I have absolutely no recollection of ever singing silly rabbit songs.
We've emailed back and forth a couple of times, though I'm still waiting for an explanation of the photo he sent of him during his Trans-Siberian railway / Vietnam / South East Asia travels: a picture of him sporting a handful of bandages on various appendages, looking like a wounded veteran and posing with a Vietnamese doctor. 'After my small accident', he writes cryptically.
I suspect the water-buffalo, myself.
*N.B. The Jellybaby photo... just because. No reason. None necessary.