Thursday, February 12, 2009

Nice people

Someone built a tiny snowman in our garden on her way to work. I discovered him when I came home. We haven't had very much snow and he's now a bit melty. The rosebud (from the garden) is just to show the scale, but I also like the incongruity of the rose and the snowman. Louis MacNeice wrote a splendid poem about roses and snow.

Please, Australians, don’t think that we in the chilly, damp bit of the world don’t care about you. We care a lot, and when I read that Suse of Pea Soup has a car packed full of her family’s vital documents, just in case they need to make a quick getaway, it really brings the awfulness home.

Forgive me, though, if I have a slightly cheery post. We’re not forgetting you.

First of all, HELLO to the Lady from Salford. Some of my blog friends may remember that from time to time I've speculated about the Person from the University of Salford who quite often looked at my blog but never commented. I don’t quite know why I picked this person to speculate bloggily about; all we bloggers spot regular silent visitors on our site listings. Anyway, when I’ve mentioned her / him, other blog friends have said that she/he visits them also.

Recently I realised that I had seen no mention of the University of Salford for a while, and wondered what had happened. It didn’t occur to me till later that he/she might have graduated, but I actually didn’t think that my middle-aged maunderings would be of any interest to even the most bored student. I thought that Person from Salford was a bored employee. I am sometimes a bored employee myself and blogs are a happy distraction over a cup of coffee.

Well – as you may have noticed from my comments – she has now very kindly peeked out from behind her veil via Meggie’s blog Mine doesn’t accept anonymous comments (I didn’t know that) and Meggie’s does.

And - TA DA! - here is the Lady from Salford – in person:

"For 'In This Life' - I am still reading but am temporarily not in Salford as I am on maternity leave! (so now you know I am a woman and of a certain age...)I don't have a blog so can't comment on your blog."

How lovely to be on maternity leave! I wonder if you’ve had the baby? Boy or girl? Thank you so much for allowing yourself to be rooted out from your peaceful reading. Can you see us all waving at you?

By the way, I'll try to enable Anonymous comments so if you ever feel like letting your fan base know how you’re doing, Mum from Salford, feel free. (I hope I now don’t get a whole lot of strange comments from people who hate Scottish teachers or whatever…) Though actually I think you don’t need to have a blog to comment; just a Google account, which you can get on the Google home page.

And the other lovely thing is that Anna has sent us these sweet Valentine presents: beautiful home-made hanging pouches filled with such exotic goodies as Hershey Kisses and Tootsie Rolls. My brother lived for a while in Hershey, so I know about Kisses, but Tootsie Rolls are the stuff of fiction to us. Thank you so much, Anna! (These two pictures are in the wrong order but I really must go and do some marking and stop fiddling about.)

Sirius Cat was very interested indeed and spent a long time sniffing them. Clearly he thought you might arrive soon with some nice knitting for him to help with. If only… . We're all very touched!

So in these sad days with the awful fires, some - unbelievably - started by arsonists, and with businesses crashing, folk out of work and bankers pocketing big bonuses – all making one feel rather despairing of humankind – it’s so lovely to feel kindness and to remember that, on the whole, people are very nice.


  1. Hear hear. One of the great things about blogging is discovering so many nice people you would never otherwise have "met". Can you post a picture of a Tootsie Roll? One of those things you hear about constantly but never see if you live over here!

  2. I agree too. There are so many lovely people out there! And Hi to the Lady from Salford too!

    I love the photo of the snowman....we have yet more snow here today. And the first and second and third etc etc lot has not melted yet. I just wish we could do more to help the Australian friends, who are living through an unimaginable nightmare.

    What lovely gifts, Isabelle! You are going to really enjoy those treats!

  3. Holy Cow Isabelle -- I was crossing my fingers that my little package would even make it by Saturday -- that's speedy mail -- I'm SO happy that it made it in time. And giggling that you didn't know tootsie rolls -- they're one of my very favorites, but I really just stuck them in there because they had valentine packaging.

    Yipee! The person, er woman, from Salford has emerged -- how fun to have the mystery at long last solved. And I love your little snowman!

  4. I'm so glad you heard from Salford!

    Salford, if you're reading this, I do hope your delivery and maternity leave have gone well.

    The snowman is sweet. Doubly sweet, perhaps, because of the contrast with the horror in Australia.

  5. Hello my dear Isabelle. I do hope you don't think I was meaning it's wrong or insensitive for you or other bloggers to post cheery posts. What I meant was that it feels wrong for ME to be reading them. A guilt thing I suppose. The fires are so all consuming and overwhelming here that it feels wrong to be talking/thinking of anything but them, and in fact it is near impossible to anyway.

    Hello to Mum from Salford! Please let us know if you've had the baby!! We're all waving to you and cheering you on!

  6. I love your little snowman holding a rose. I'd like to say hello to the lady from salford too. One of my earliest memories is playing hide and seek behind the columns outside the university.

  7. There was a while that I hated being "Nice". It seemed to be the only adjective people ever applied to me. Thank goodness I'm over that. Now I'm proud to be one of the "nice people".

    Love the snowman and the rosebud. What a lovely thing to come home to, a miniature snowman in your garden.

  8. Love the little snowman.
    I so crave seeing happy things, & receiving happy emails in the midst of all our grief.
    Lovely Valentines goodies from Anna!

  9. What a darling snowman! Cute valentine treats too. My family just stopped by work to bring me a pot of lovely tulips.

  10. What a lovely post Mrs Life!
    I was not astonished by the responses of Australians to the fires....we always seem to rally round and help as best we can. What has astonished me, is the support from individuals across the world.........

    We have enjoyed a few cooler days here in Perth, but the emergency box remains packed by the front door, just in case.......

  11. Most Australians living in fire-prone areas have vital documents packed ready to go at a moment's notice. You'd be stupid not to be prepared.
    We Aussies are very appreciative of the sympathy emanating from most of the world's peoples, and we don't expect you to continue to grieve on our behalf. It is good for us to read positive blogs like yours, Isabelle! BTW, I haven't forgotten your 'interview' - just haven't got around to posting my answers. I will do it soon.

  12. My dear birth country has been through a horrifying time these past few weeks. It's unimaginable, isn't it? My thoughts and prayers have been constantly with the people of Victoria.
    As Meggie and other Aussies have commented, your cheery posts are appreciated at such a solemn time.
    What a sweet surprise the little snowman must've been :)
    Giving a wave to the 'mum' from Salford and wishing her a happy maternity leave. Enjoy your new little bundle :)
    How nice to have the mystery solved.
    I hope you had a happy Valentine's Day dear Isabelle.

  13. Ah! How nice to *meet* the Salford visitor! I would also like to add my congratulations to her for her umm... maternity.

    My mystery visitor is from Tokyo. I don't know how or why.