Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Some time ago I was accused of being

an elderly Welshman. He is a very pleasant person and very supportive of me so it was not as distressing as it might have been.  There is however a considerable difference in our ages.
We were both occasional writers of letters to the state newspaper. His were often in support and/or in defence of something I had said. Another, much more regular correspondent, accused him of being "her (my) alter ego".
He 'phoned me.
       "Cat, my wife keeps looking at me. She says she is not sure who I am any more."
We both had a laugh.
But I wonder what brought it on? Did the person writing the other letter try to do some research first?
It would not have got him very far because the elderly gentleman, quite rightly and properly, did not use his surname in his letters. He used his third name as a surname. There is absolutely nothing illegal about this. He had, as required, given the paper his contact details. He just chose to keep his surname to himself. At his age that is probably wise.
He also had an unlisted telephone number because he and his wife were often out of the country. They did not appear on electoral roll because, although they had right of residence, they had chosen not to take out citizenship. They would have liked to be able to vote but he and his wife both object to Australia's requirement to "attend the ballot box".
I had seen no letters from him for quite a while and I had not seen him either, something that would occasionally occur in the shopping centre or at the library.
Yesterday someone told me that he and his wife have returned to Wales - to be closer to family in their old age. It was a big move for people in their eighties. I wish I had been given the opportunity to say goodbye but it didn't happen.
It also left me pondering how easy it is to make a statement about someone which is completely incorrect. If the person who had claimed I was an elderly Welshman had bothered to contact me and asked I could have given him a means of contacting my "alter-ego".  They could have talked.
It is wise to check such "facts".

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