Martyn Halcrow

Martyn Halcrow Suffers Spasms of a Toothache

Ten years ago I spotted Professor Eysenck crossing Denmark Hill. I stopped and asked him what contribution he thought the Behaviourist B F skinner might make to the fact that I had recognised him from a photograph the size of a postage stamp. Eysenck smiled and said: ‘Not much.’ We should have left it there, but the good man felt that civility demanded more words. We agreed that I knew he worked at the Maudsley Hospital; perhaps ‘Associationism’ had something to offer. We chatted about Associationism.

I don’t think Associationism would help to explain how I recognised Mr Bill Kalloway, who hailed my cab at a bus stop in Holland Park Avenue. I had not seen or heard of him for thirty years. We once played Cowboys and Indians together.

This week I picked up Lord Boyd-Carpenter from the Carlton Towers and drove him to Eaton Terrace. I had forgotten his name and only remembered it hours later. We were not embarrassed, however. He did not recognise me at all. But had I cooperated with Clarke Kent of the Daily Telegraph – Clarke does not want me to use his real name; odd, I thought, as he wants to use mine – his Lordship might have struggled to place my face. Clarke wants to make me a star. He wants me to be photographed for the Peterborough column of the Telegraph.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter