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Chlamydia had settled herself into a surprisingly sunny corner of

Costamuchamoulah’s courtyard, to read her latest book choice:

Quiet: The Power of Introversion in a World that can’t stop Talking,

by Susan Cain.  She couldn’t help but apply its theories to her own

character and to those she observed in the cafe society all around


She wondered if there would be a global personality-free zone

eventually, as she increasingly heard of silly pronouncements from

schools, such as children being deterred from having best friends

and being allowed weird privileges in examination conditions, such

as being permitted to go to a quiet room to recover if they found that

the colour of the walls in the room clashed with their designer tops.

Of course, they would receive extra time for their sartorial and

aesthetic trauma.

What was the world coming to?

Personally, she would put herself down as an extrovert: but was

that spelled with an a or an o?  Candia would know.  Whatever: she

derived her energy from interaction with others. That much she knew.

As she had walked up High Street, Suttonford, she had regaled and

hailed about ten people, whereas her husband Tristram tended to use

his perambulatory time to mull over ideas.  This had led several people to

think that they had been snubbed and that he was snooty.

She destroyed the chocolate powdered fern design on the Mocha by

stirring it with a spoon and took a sip.  So much for Hayley’s Global

Award-Winning Latte Artwork, 2013. She turned the book over.

S or N?  What was that then?  Ah..sensing, or intuitive?  Weren’t they the


No.  Apparently, sensing meant collecting information through the senses.

She licked the knife blade with which she had cut her Lemon Polenta cake.

She collected some data through her taste buds, so she must be sensing.

T or F?  Surely both.  She was a thinker, but she could be governed by her

feelings.  She felt that she could eat another slice of Polenta cake, but she

governed her impulses by the thought of that little slip of a dress which she

had just purchased in A La Mode.

She had spontaneously bought it.  However, she had seen it as she had

driven past the shop vitrine and had clearly been perceiving it with a view to

its acquisition.  Had she been a good judge of her actions?  Again, Candia

would soon let her know by her facial expression when she wore it for the first

time.  Candia couldn’t hide her true feelings.

But all this polarisation was suspect, she believed.  It was like Nature/ Nurture;

Free Will and Determinism; Law/ Grace.

She read a little further.  It was admitted in a review that people could perform

differently on different days.

Clammie supposed that was why there were so many re-sits in the exam


Also, you could be a combination of the categories.  An ENFJ would make a

good teacher: Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeling and a Judge.  Nothing like that Mr

Snodbury at St Birinus’ Middle then!  Or at least, not from what the twins,

Castor and Pollux said.

She wondered if they had identical personalities?

She was trying to think about this, but was interrupted by a disturbance, or

what could be termed  A Crying Baby Contest. She had read that it was a

well-known feature in Japan.  No doubt the trend was growing universally.

Candia came over.  Her expression certainly revealed her thoughts.

She glanced at the title on the book’s spine.  So, what am I then?  An

extrovert in a world that can’t stop screaming?  She laughed rather bitterly.

Clammie thought of a few pertinent adjectives, but she moderated them and

mentioned a few Candian characteristics, such as boredom with routine;

outspokenness, being critically aware; her ability to spot trends ahead of time


Actually, she would show her the dress and see what one of her best friends

thought about its acquisition.

It’s very now, said Candia, somewhat disapprovingly.  But will it be tomorrow,

tomorrow?  It would suit Paloma Faith if she was dressing down.  A little bit

clown-like, but as we saw in the local elections, clowns are having the last

laugh at the moment.

Paloma Faith 2012.jpg

Clammie knew that she shouldn’t have asked her.  She would exchange it the

next day.  Clearly she and Candia reacted differently to dopamine.  She needed

more of its hit in the reward centre of her brain, whereas Candia derived a

similar level of pleasure from telling someone that their bum did look big in

their favourite outfit.  Maybe she should expand her bestest friend list?

Here! said Candia, sitting down beside her and moving the tome to one side.

I’ve bought you a slice of that Lemon Polenta cake that you like so much.

Kind, but critical.  Ah well, Clammie knew that she would never get into that

frock anyway.

Better to have a true BFF than yesterday’s fashion item.