My grandparents have been much in my mind during this pandemic and its Lockdown . Early on I wished I could tap into their knowledge and wisdom of living through difficult times . Which in truth as a ‘ boomer’ I have not experienced . One set of grandparents were proper Victorians , unusually for the time they had left child rearing until far later and were in their 30’s when they had my dad. My mum’s parents were also unusual in that they divorced in the 1940’s giving me two separate couples. One lot lived in Glasgow and were loving but a long way away. The others were entrepreneurial and quite, 60’s in their thinking and lifestyle.
It is the Victorian set that comes to mind most , because when I knew them they seemed very serene and comfortable in their lives. Not given to great shows of affection but steady and always there. Their generation had seen, and they had suffered personally from, two world wars, the Spanish Flu pandemic 1 and second wave, and the ‘Depression’. They used words not often heard today and quite by chance, or serendipitously for this blog, two of them popped into my head during the heavy rain of earlier this week.
The first one was inspired by this photo, of a geranium petal stuck on the front door.
It is a striking and serendipitous image, but my first thought was. ” You must be maudlin if you need to photograph that”
I have no idea when I last thought or said the word ‘ maudlin’ . I even had to look it up to check I wasn’t being inaccurate in its use.
In truth I was probably being a little harsh with myself, I’m not sure I was being highly sentimental over a petal but who knows, I think my sentimental threshold has been recalibrated down during Lockdown.
The second word is pretty politically incorrect but I’m sure it can be shared on a blog with limited readership and only its own integrity on the line.
I was at Waitrose during a brief sunshiny moment. Considering whether to join the rather long queue.
Queues at supermarkets are great places for people watching. Waitrose perhaps win a prize for the most eclectic version of PPE that I’ve seen Ski goggles and ludicrous face masks worn by people with Marigold washing up gloves on. Middle class trolley wars about social distancing with people who probably spell the expletive they were using with a pH value because they are better educated/richer/posher than those of us that just use the Essential Waitrose ‘F’ version. Theirs also rhymes with Quark.
While I was considering the Waitrose queue over the nearby Lidl queue, there was a massive cloud burst. Trolleys and eccentric PPE wearers scattered in all directions. Expletives with a variety of spellings punctuating the very moist air.
At this point my head dredged up the word ‘ bedlam’ . Clearly the Victorian grandparent file of strange words had been left open after maudlin popped out.
I’d always known the origin of this word and had expected that the Bethlem Royal Hospital was a part of history . It was a huge surprise to me when I stumbled upon it when taking a trip to our local Waitrose when living in South London.
There’s a nice little blogging circle to end with.
I’d be willing to bet Waitrose Beckenham has eccentric queues too.