On the eighth day, God created the polymath.
He’d had a fairly busy few days and was actually having a bit of a lie down. But then being God, five minutes was enough; he’d already started feeling a tad bored.
Man was OK, running about in that fabulous garden, but . . . maybe a bit of tinkering with genes – Yeah, why not!
He took a prototype man, and (not many theologians know this) faffed about a bit with his logic circuits and wondering abilities. He breathed suggestion into Man; suggestion that there was always more to discover; more about everything: pudding, buildings, contemporary dance, fish eggs, town-planning, knitting, pot-holing, writing, taxidermy and so on . . .
Some of these early polymaths died out from overenthusiasm – rather too keen to know more about fungi, home made bombs, etc, but some lived on and passed down, through their genetic makeup, the Polymath RNA.
Throughout the history of mankind; through wars, great political triumphs and construction of hypermarkets, there have always been persons wandering along convoluted paths of destiny, liable to turn at the slightest suggestion of more to learn, a different way of seeing, or simply lead away by an inability to say no to some new project or idea.
These people must be celebrated, cherished, and occasionally taken firmly by the arm, away from something that ‘could lead to great things’.
They must be heralded in their thirst for knowledge, their enthusiasm, and in Dr Lockett’s case (and no doubt, many others) their generosity in passing on their fabulous wealth of accumulated information (apart from sport if referring to Dr Lockett).
Mark: you are a wonderful, kind, incredibly talented and very tall Polymath. Your family, friends and many, many students from over the years, salute you and know that you will still be composing, playing music, thinking and teaching well into your 90s.
Happy 60th from us all.