Friday, March 23, 2007

Something beginning with G

Suse ( posted a letter meme the other day and asked if anyone would like to be allocated a letter. Hence I got G.

I’ve never particularly liked G as a letter. Is it just me, or do other people think that some letters have nicer personalities than others? I’ve always particularly liked K and D and S, but G… hmm. So at first I thought that I wouldn’t be particularly inspired by it. And then I started thinking. It was quite diverting, really, going about the daily round while vaguely looking out for G things that meant something to me.

Here are some of them.


See above. We’re so lucky to have two daughters. I remember being in the maternity hospital when I'd just had my first child, Daughter 1, and feeling genuinely sorry for mothers who had boy babies. I knew that there must be a tiny flaw in my reasoning but nevertheless it really seemed that these mums must realise that their babies were just slightly inferior…. ( I saw things a bit differently once we’d had a boy ourselves.) Daughters 1 and 2 are very unlike in personality but as you can see from the picture of Daughter 1’s wedding, they’re very fond of each other. Daughter 1 and I share a lot of interests – we both did English and French at university, for example, and are very keen readers – and I love her to bits. However, Daughter 2 and I are more similar as people. We agree that we’re more or less the same person, except that it’s clear to me that she’s the improved version.


Very much related to the girls, particularly to Daughter 2 and me, who are very prone to giggling in unsuitable circumstances such as church services and other solemn ceremonies. We set each other off just by a glance. It’s as well that she didn’t attend Daughter 1’s graduation at Oxford. The entire occasion was conducted in Latin, with the graduands queuing up twice to have Latin sentences intoned at them and to be greeted by various dons removing and replacing their hats in a ceremonial fashion. It was very giggle-inducing indeed and Daughter 1’s gaze met mine several times during this, with unfortunate results. Fortunately she is more adult than her mum and managed not to disgrace herself.


My Granny was such a sweetheart. She was very loving – my brother and I were her only grandchildren and she thought we were simply perfect. Indeed, she always thought the best of everyone. I’m like her in her ability to get a lot of pleasure from simple things, which I think is one secret of happiness. She loved her garden and enjoyed watching the bees on her crocuses and seeing things grow. I remember her cutting open a cabbage and saying, “Look at it. All of that out of one tiny seed.” And it is indeed amazing.


Our garden is small but it’s very loved. I would hate to live in a flat. It’s so wonderful to be able to step outside and breathe in the fresh earthy air. I love the colours and textures and scents of leaves and flowers and shrubs. I don’t love slugs, though. Here’s a view of what our garden should look like in about a fortnight.


Meggie of “Life’s Free Treats” doesn’t like green. (Later amendment - Meggie says that she does! Apologies. It must have been someone else.) This seems very odd to me but then I don’t like orange AT ALL, which may seem equally peculiar to other people. I’m glad that grass isn’t orange. Books with advice about small modern gardens often urge one to replace one’s lawn with paving slabs, decking or pebbles but I think lovely green, soft, fragrant grass is the thing to set off plants. And to walk on with bare feet. And to lie down on.

Golden daffodils

All right, maybe this is more D than G, but if it’s good enough for Wordsworth, I think it’s allowable. And it’s spring! This is what Daughter 2 and I saw when we went out for a walk last weekend. How all that goldenness lifts the spirits.


I’m very fond of glass. I love the colours (not orange, though) and the shapes that can be made out of it. This is a pot of glass anemones that we bought one year at the Strathearn Gallery in Crieff. I have various bits of stained glass round the house and enjoy seeing the light shining through them.

Grand Designs

I’m not a great watcher of television but my husband, Daughter 2 and I really like “Grand Designs”, in which people self-build their dream houses. The presenter, Kevin McCloud, is splendidly predictable: in each programme, he visits a house at various stages in its building and foresees doom. The design will never work; the rooms are too small/big; it’ll never be finished in time for winter; it won’t fit in with its surroundings; it’ll cost far too much. And then by the end he’s amazed: it’s really successful; it looks good with its neighbouring buildings; the windows make it seem bigger/ lighter/ sleeker than he’d expected. It does always cost more than planned, though. Whenever we watch it, I’m dying to sell our house and get Daughter 2 to design us a new one, somewhere with a fantastic sea view. Maybe we should wait till she’s been an architect for more than six months, though.

Thanks, Suse.
If anyone would like a letter allocated randomly to him/her, please ask. And since you're not going to ask, Person from Salford - how about taking S and thinking about S things you like as you go through your day at the university? Sandwiches might feature. Students. Spreadsheets. Go on, think of some more.


  1. What a wonderful post. And look what you've done with that Goofy G. I'm with you -- my favorite G word is Girl and I shall forever be sorry that I wasn't blessed with one. However, Son1 has brought us the Girl he intends to marry and I think she'll be my Girl -- we have wonderful times together. I'm sure it won't be the same, but I think it will be close. Thanks for the Grand post -- to have had K, D, or S would have been too easy -- you've found the Goodness in G!

  2. Lovely post. I especially like the host of golden daffs. And your girls are lovely!

  3. What a fabulous idea and how much I've enjoyed reading your post about 'G'. I'd love to have a letter randomly allocated.

    Your girls are gorgeous, giggles and all, and I enjoyed the image of your granny sharing her sense of wonder at the cabbage.

    When my family moved from subtropical Queensland to Melbourne, I'll never forget the excitement my Welsh mother expressed at seeing golden daffodils.

    I live half way around the world, and love watching Grand Designs too.

  4. I'd love a letter, as well, Isabelle! I loved the topics and you gave me many smiles this morning!! :)

  5. Isabelle, I really loved seeing your girls, & loved getting to see the lovely boquets you once told me about.
    Me not like green?? I dont ever remember saying that? I love green, love trees especially. Red is my phobia.
    I too loved the Daffs, they are glorious.
    A lovely post!

  6. That was a lovely list, Isabelle. I loved seeing your daughters and hearing about how much fun you have and how close you are with them.

    That picture of the golden daffs was breathtaking. Seeing the real thing must have been even more so!


  7. Thanks for my letter Isabelle. I've added my post. I felt like I could keep going for days writing about T words. It has been great fun.

  8. What a deliciously cozy post! Thank you for it; I feel as though my week will be off to a good start now that my mind has eaten a good breakfast.

    The photo with the grass and daffodils looks like a bit of paradise on earth. Stone walls, flowering trees and plants. You're right; paving over it would be an abomination. Let the earth breathe a little!

    The shot with your two daughters really captured a moment. Off they go into the future, little by little, bearing bouquets of roses and tomes on architecture.

    Your anecdote about seeing Daughter 1 in hospital reminded me of the conviction I once had that my baby boy was utterly perfect and that all other babies were hideous mutants. I, too, felt a bit of pity for the other mothers. It passed, of course; now I understand that all babies are beautiful. It was such a strong feeling, though, that it makes me wonder if such notions are built in to new mothers to help the species survive.

  9. Your girls are great! I don't think there is a colour I really don't like. Not that I have given it much thought of course until this second....

  10. Thanks for visiting my revived blog.

    I like your entry about G's. I too think that my children are the new improved version of me except I have sons. Your daughters are lovely.

  11. I enjoyed that post. What lovely girls. We have two girls and a son as well.

  12. G is sort of an awkward letter -- you did a great job, lovely shot of your girls. I think my favorite letter would have to be E -- since I was Elizabeth for all my youth, which is somehow now inexplicably gone.

  13. Great post with lots of interesting snippets. What beautiful daughters you have - no wonder you're so proud of them.

  14. Ahem! I still call Liz "Elizabeth", as does pretty much everyone in our family!

  15. Hi Isabelle, I've just caught up with your blog and checked out Pea Soup's also! I am behind with reading blogs because of moving house (don't get me started). I hope all is well with you.

  16. Oooh blogger ate my comment. What I said was ...

    I loved the granny cabbage story!

    Thanks for playing.