‘You are the only patient one, Mademoiselle,’ said Poirot to Miss Debenham.
She shrugged her shoulders slightly.
‘What can one do?’
‘You are a philosopher, Mademoiselle.’
‘That implies a detached attitude. I think my attitude is more selfish. I have learned to save myself useless emotion.’
– Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express
Oh, the useless emotion that fills each day and from which I try to save myself. How I’d like to be like Mademoiselle Debenham, cool and composed as her train grinds to a halt in a Croatian snowdrift.
Last year I had a stab at the gallic shrug. I spent much of my time in France, hoping to soak up a ‘bof’ attitude to life. You missed your flight? C’est dommage. Your marriage has ended? Alors. C‘est la vie.
I dread to think about the state of my blood vessels, clogged with the fatty fuel required by my near-permanent state of Fight or Flight. There is no bear in the woods, and yet my body is poised for combat or take-off. The only threat present here, in my second floor flat in urban England, is the prison they call the mind.
Photo: Herald Sun