“Oh yes, I’m helping to build a scale model of London, the way it was in 1840!”
What?? Sane people were building a three-dimensional model of ALL of London, which in 1840 was the largest city in Europe, twice the size of Paris?
Can you imagine hearing a 21st century man you admire and respect, saying this in a perfectly serious and even casual tone of voice? The scale of the undertaking was so great that at the time it sounded daft to me,