Hazel Bagel, the second oldest of the grand-daughters, is teaching me a new language.
It's called "uvaguv" and, to be completely frank, it is unlikely to cut it in the
field of business and commerce in the same way as French, German or Japanese. Nevertheless, for confusing everyone listening to you and trying to interpret your every word, uvaguv is in a class of its own.
grand-daughter picked up this new language skill from her friend, Millie, whom she met on holiday in the summer and has stayed in touch with ever since. I presume they occasionally have regular conversations with each other, using what approximates to the
Queen's English albeit in Teen Speak - but that they resort to uvaguv when necessary, to amaze and bewilder those unfortunate enough not to have been introduced to this new language. "Even the voices in my head often talk to me in uvaguv," Hazel reports.
This is how it works. You take a word - let's say "hello." In uvaguv this translates into "hevegel levego". "Thank you" in uvaguv is "thavagank yavaou". The linguists among my readers may well have worked out by now
that the language depends on inserting "eveg" or "avag" into the middle of each word, at a stroke rendering it incomprehensible to anyone who isn't in on the secret. Now that I have shared this with you all, dear readers, I am expecting you to "'ave a go"
at introducing it into your everyday conversations. Hazel is, of course an expert and can even sing Christmas carols in uvaguv but I am not expecting you to go that far. Not unless you really, really want to and don't have anything else to do - which, with
Christmas only ten days away, would seem unlikely.
I learn such a lot from these older grandchildren. Ever since I started to take photographs with the Us-Pad, I have been puzzled by how to change the setting
between photo, video and something called square. However much I tap on the words, I can't change the settings. Jack tells me I should be swiping up and down, not tapping. Simple when you know how. Why didn't I think of that?" I wonder aloud. Jack is far too
diplomatic to provide the obvious answer.
This morning, both Jack and Hazel have to depart early for college and school respectively, while their Mum, the Youngest of the Darling Daughters has a date at the
Infants School where she works. Mr B and I get up early to see them before they go and to hear what the day has in store for them. Jack's Monday morning kicks off with Performing Arts which sounds the perfect start to the week for my Ace Performer; Hazel,
on the other hand, starts with Double Physics.
When I screw up my nose in silent sympathy she reassures me that it really isn't so bad as she has come to "an arrangement" with her physics teacher. Before I
have time to worry what arrangement this might be, she explains that every Monday morning, before the lesson starts, she comes up with an inspirational quote. Today, for example, she has decided to use that great quote about not waiting for the storm to pass
but learning to dance in the rain. We both look out of the kitchen window at the grey, overcast skies. It's not exactly stormy, Hazel concedes, but it might still rain.
Last Monday, she tells me, she made
up her inspirational quote out of her own head. Fortunately the voices in her head weren't talking in uvaguv. Her inspiration came from a dream in which she was chased by a large dog but was afraid to climb a tree out of reach of its gnashers. "Don't be afraid
to climb high, even if others fall," she intoned, wisely, before adding: "I'm a guru! Guru Hazel!" She was on her way out of the door as she spoke, as we could hear the sound of the school bus arriving across the road. Off she went at a smart pace. I am pleased
to report that The Guru caught her bus.
When she arrived home from school (don't they leave school early these days? I was never home before 5) her Auntie, the Middle of the Darling Daughters,had arrived
with Young Faris and the Tweenies. The Darling Daughters and I were all looking a trifle shell-shocked as the Boyo rampaged through the house, emptying cupboards, opening drawers, clashing saucepan lids and re-arranging all the CDs. "Let's go to the park,
Faris!" Hazel cajoled him. Off he went like a Little Lamb, hand in hand with his cousin and buddy. "I'll take my phone in case I need to call you," she said. As Gurus go, she is very sensible.
Back home myself
much later, I googled uvaguv to discover that there is lots of information about it, including a YouTube video. Originally the language of witches and Freemasons, it has now been adopted by teenagers as a way to talk about other people without them knowing
what you are saying. I shall try it out on Mr B. It will annoy him no end.
Thank goodness for grandchildren who can keep me - and readers of the Daily Blog - up to date. Livagevel anavagand levegeven.
Or, to put it another way - Live and Learn.