I'm posting a bit earlier than usual today because later this morning I'm off to Hook to help my beautiful grand-daughter, Hazel (pictured) celebrate her birthday. Today she turns a teenager - a landmark birthday,
indeed. Happy Birthday, Hazel Bagel!
Bagel? I hear you query. Hmmm, yes, I'm not sure where that one came from, but I've been calling her Hazel Bagel since she was a toddler. It started
me thinking about the names we call people (not rude names, of course, this is NOT that type of blog!)
When I was born, my mother (according to family folklore) exclaimed: "At last
I have my lassie!" This was all very sweet - but unfortunately meant that for the first eight years of my life I went by the name of Lassie. Which wouldn't have been so bad, had one of the major stars of the silver screen at that
time not been a dog called - you guessed it - Lassie. I can't say it scarred me for life but I think it probably set me off on a lifetime's obsession with finding appropriate (or better still, inappropriate) names for everbody and everything.
In our family, particularly in those far-off, fun-filled days when the Darling Daughters and the Son-and-Only were young, we named everything. Nothing escaped. Our favourite car, for example, a yellow
Cortina with a black stripe along the side, was The Flying Banana. And every year, without fail, the Christmas turkey and the Christmas pudding were lovingly christened. The one I remember with most affection was Tonka Turkey - he was
HUGE! The fact that we ate them after naming them is a little unsettling......
On the radio this morning, the presenter was asking listeners to phone in to give their views on being
called "love" or "darling" by complete strangers. This week on one of several bus journeys, we had a particularly friendly bus driver who had a kind word for every passenger as we alighted. "Mind how you go, madam!" he said to me;
then to the girl behind: "Take care, sweetheart!" Oh dear, when did I stop being a "sweetheart" and become a "madam"? I do, however, cherish the memory of standing up in the theatre recently to allow a man to reach his seat further along the
row. "Thank you, my lovely," he said, in a wonderfully lilting accent. I decided to stay in my seat during the interval so that he would have to interrupt me again.
I think my mother probably
had the right idea. She used to say that she didn't mind what anyone called her, so long as it was not too late for dinner. I have to admit that it was years before I understood this was a joke......