I’ve been thinking about how I have always had a fascination with people who can write really small. I once wrote my name in exceptionally tiny writing, in the hopes that my teacher (the same one with the non-existent present) would think I had forgotten to label my work. As it happened, she did think I had forgotten and I took great pleasure in pointing out my genius.
A few years later, during a school trip to Paris I was captivated by street vendors writing names on grains of rice. I promptly bought a piece of rice with my name on and wore it proudly in a tube round my neck. I thought it was the most amazing thing in the world, until somebody told me about a grain of rice in a museum in America which contains the entire Lord’s Prayer.
This, I decided, was exactly the sort of thing I needed to do in order to set myself apart from all those who are happy with average-sized writing. As soon as I got home I grabbed a handful of rice and a thin black pen certain that I was on the cusp of something remarkable. With hindsight, I should have been content with simply trying to get my name on one, but instead I spent several grumpy hours trying to replicate the one with the Lord’s Prayer. After many tears (and a pile of contaminated rice) I had got no further than a massive smudged ‘Our’. So I gave up with a miserable sigh, admitting sadly that I wasn’t a genius after all.