Friday, March 01, 2013

Flowers and things

This is a completely irrelevant picture of flowers that my colleagues gave me as part of my retirement present. I found it while looking at pictures of what was happening just before Grandson was born, a year and a half ago and I thought it deserved looking at again since the flowers were so lovely. Delphiniums remind me of my childhood garden and of the A A Milne poem about the "dormouse who lived in a bed / Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red)". It was rather a sad poem and used to worry me when I was little. In fact it still does, slightly. They dug up his flowers and planted crysanthemums (yellow and white) instead and he had to lie with his eyes shut, imagining his delphiniums and geraniums.

If you feel that I'm burbling somewhat it's because I. cannot. settle. to. anything. because. Granddaughter. aka. Volume. 2. has. not. yet. put. in. an. appearance. She was due on Monday past and so far nothing has happened so I suppose she's not scandalously late yet but I'm SO STRESSED. It's much easier (well, of course it's not but it seems so just at the moment) to have a baby oneself than to wait around for something to happen to one's beloved child.

I've just been watching the Eddie Izzard programme in which he supposedly traces his ancestry via his DNA. It's all a bit contrived but did remind me of how adventurous all our ancestors must have been. Somehow mine* got themselves gradually from Africa to Scotland, which is quite a distance with (presumably, even then) water in the way. I myself am feeble in the extreme and would probably still be sitting under a tree thinking it was a bit hot.

As I've said before, in addition to being a wimp, I don't understand wanderlust. I'd say it wasn't in my DNA except obviously that can't be true. Maybe if I lived somewhere unpleasant, I'd be different. But Scotland is so beautiful, the climate is so easy to live in and almost all my friends are here - why would I want to go anywhere else? And yet people do move countries from perfectly nice ones to other perfectly nice ones. I know there are often practical reasons but... . I suppose, though, if all my children were elsewhere, I might consider it. Unfortunately though, the two who have gone away have moved in different directions.

I ramble, though. Sorry. Can't concentrate. Need to see that baby and know that everything is all right. Not made of stern stuff. (Bites nails, chews lips, shifts nervously in chair. This may go on for days and days yet. Gah.)

* - to clarify - my own known ancestors are Scottish through and through (except one Irishman) as far back as the 1700s, which is where the trail stops. I'm talking about the improbable woman in Africa from whom we're all said to be descended. I don't understand this. What were all the other women doing while she was procreating on our behalf? A particularly intricate piece of patchwork?


  1. Babies come when babies come, don't they!

  2. Oh gosh, Isabelle, okay, take your mind off it....explain Africa please? Were they doing colonial type things, your sncestors?

  3. No no, I mean all our ancestors - we're all supposedly descended from one woman in Africa (though I never understand how that works... surely not just one woman crawled out of the primeval slime?)

  4. Ah yes - THOSE ancestors....Lucy and her kin .....

    A replica of her skeleton is in the Natural History Museum in London and my youngest son would not believe it wasn`t the real thing ( he was about eleven at the time). He still doesn`t want to believe it and now he`s 26!

    I do hope the baby arrives soon. Our Volume 2 granddaughter put us through the same stress and eventually arrived via Caesarian, very, very late. Everything still crossed for yours!

  5. I watch a coworker waddle around here at work two weeks past her due date. She says that she is so over this pregnancy and I'm just waiting for a sound of explosion . . .

    I do and got the biggest surprise last year. My fourth great grandmother was a slave in Virginia, impregnated by her owner. Her son was emancipated by his father on the father's deathbed (the son was 20 so he, too, was a slave until then) and moved to Connecticut where he married my 3rd great-grandmother.

    Surprise, surprise!

  6. Good luck - the waiting is the worst bit isn't it? Those were beautiful flowers.

  7. Hang on in there! Our 2nd grandchild was late, but finally arrived after 2 false alarms ( 5 months ago)

  8. Well probably the time frame being what it was, the African woman's offspring just moved a bit up the road, then their kids a bit further up the road, then about a million generations later they finally reached Scotland, without ever being aware that much wandering had taken place. I'm not sure there was much water in the way then, either, or not that couldn't be got round.

    I did just want to reassure you about my treatment of the cat I was looking after; I did in fact make the effort to go and speak to her under the bed every time I went in, and by the end of the week at one point she came down and was suddenly all over me purring and rubbing and allowing herself to be picked up and cuddled, though she resumed glowering under the bed the next time. Also, I have known this cat all her life, fed and cared for her several times, everything was laid on for her comfort, the heating left on and the house preposterously warm, I had to go in twice a day, raise and drop blinds, turn lights on and off, defrost small portions of fresh turkey breast, put a statutory amount of extra cream into her milk... all in all I didn't think she had to be quite so stand-offish!

    Anyway, I didn't want you to think I was a neglectful anti-cat person or anything. I do hope volume 2 shows up without a hitch very soon.

  9. I enjoy your blog for many reasons, but I think the main reason is that you remind me of my late mother-in-law. My first baby was her first grandchild. He came 2 weeks before the due date, surprising us all. It all happened so fast that we didn't even tell anyone we were going to the hospital. We shocked everyone with our "guess who's here?" phone calls after he was born.

    My second baby was my mother-in-law's second grandchild. She came a week after her due date. I think my mother-in-law was more upset by this than I was! I remember the daily emails from her..."Has anything happened?" I think she was worried we'd sneak off again without letting anyone know, but she needn't have worried, especially since she was the one coming to stay with our son while our volume 2 was being born!

    I do hope something is happening by now, and that you get to snuggle your little granddaughter soon.