Konrad Adenauer was a German statesman, chancellor of West Germany from 1949 to 1963, acknowledged as the "Father of the New Germany" during its recovery from the Second World War.
Absolutely, I can see why he, of all people, might need a thick skin in order to bear, on behalf of his country, the contempt of the world, in order to reconcile and to heal the deepest of rifts between nations.
I was thinking about it because I heard Julian Fellowes on the radio, saying that his New Year's Resolution was to be more thick skinned.
JULIAN FELLOWES? That utterly successful writer. He of Downton Abbey fame, one of the few things actually worth watching over Christmas on British television.
He of the Oscar for Best Screenplay for Gosford Park. He who was ennobled as a life peer of the House of Lords.
And he needs to be more thick-skinned?
Well, it's a kind of consolation for me, an aspiring, battling, struggling writer who always seems to be on the cusp but never quite THERE. Me with skin so thin it's transparent.
Sometimes I think maybe, just maybe, a sensitive nature allows me to be a better writer. Being tough has its downside.
Sometimes, I think that to have a thick skin would be a gift from God