The weirdest gift ever
This morning, as I was making my way back from Brussels, my sterling assistant collected the mail. One item was a small brown paper parcel, addressed to me, with the husband's name in brackets (as you see in the picture). Inside was a nice Paperchase gift box, tied up with an elegant brown ribbon. And inside that was something wrapped in tissue paper. . . .the something was a peeled hard-boiled egg. No note, no nothing; just the egg.
So what does it mean? There are rather few clues. It was posted in London, and our names are correct, as is the address (but that is easily available to anyone who can google). No I don't recognise the writing.
I have been trying to think of what clever jeu de mots it could represent -- the kind of thing that is blindingly obvious just as soon as you have thought about it. Is it about being "hard-boiled'? Or is it some classical joke? (It made me remember the Greek unseen I completely mucked up in one exam when I was an undergraduate, as I couldn't translate the key word in the passage -- which was "oon" = "egg".) Then again, I was talking to someone a couple of weeks ago about how, when we were excavating skeleton in a cemetery site in the Midlands in the 1970s, we used to put half hard-boiled eggs in the eye sockets....
The daughter thinks more clues will follow, in clever Agatha Christie style. Tomorrow there will be another strange parcel, then another -- and eventually all will be revealed.
I'm not so sure. It seems just weird to me. But I did find myself taking the precaution of getting the daughter to cut the thing in two, to confirm that it really was an egg (it was, as you see).
So if anyone has any ideas what it might mean, and who on earth might have sent it, please let us know
And, by way of self-advertisement, you might be interested in my blog on the new Fitzwilliam Antiquities Galleries and the cult of Antinous over on the New York Review's site.