Sunday, 17 October 2010

Power Fairies, Pigeons, and Nicknames

TUESDAY: Lunch today is eaten with cold hands because autumn has arrived. Yes, fall has fallen with a huge bang. It's October and I'm wearing three layers and boots. Somehow my blue brie sandwich seems inappropriate. I can't explain why; perhaps it's the realisation that those rich orange October sunsets will be cheering me up very soon.

Any cheering up is most welcome, as life is bitter at the moment. Even though I did win that new job, it's still only part-time and not enough money to survive on. Our local Royal Mail sorting office is screws up royally (pardon the pun), with not only important documents and credit cards remaining undelivered but also some art supplies I ordered in the hopes of generating a little extra income with some jewellery making. Meanwhile I dive further into my overdraft with every pint of milk I buy, every daily newspaper I pay for, every loaf of bread. My social life is on hold, any entertainment which requires money is postponed, and life just isn't very fun to write about at the moment.

So what a surprise to suddenly receive in today's post a cheque for £160 from a previous utility supplier, with no explanation at all. Do good fairies work for the power companies?

THURSDAY: I recognise this pigeon parading around at my feet. I've only just sat down, on the only spare half-bench in the Winter Garden on this chilly day, and he's already waiting for me to "accidentally" drop a bite of my sandwich. It's goat cheese today, with pine nuts, spring onion, red pepper, and sun-dried tomatoes. I assume he's mostly interested in the bread. Oops, there goes a clumsy I am. And how sad it is that I have to put on this act in this don't-feed-the-pigeons climate. I'm sorry, but if pigeons are clever enough to find their way inside this glass building popular with human lunch eaters, then I feel they deserve a small reward here and there. (That bit'll be nice, with a pine nut clinging to it. "Oops!")

I can't help wondering why British nicknames are more appealing than American nicknames. Take the name Charles, for example. Although "Chuck" is sometimes used, especially when casually referring to the Prince of Wales, it's mostly an American appellation. And whereas "Charlie" is used in both places, "Chaz" is uniquely British. I think I'd much prefer to be called Chaz than Chuck. On the same line, if my name happened to be Deborah, I'd much prefer the British "Debs" to the American "Debbie". And having known an American Gary for many years, I never realised until I moved to the UK that I could have called him "Gazz". Whether he would have liked that remains to be seen. But there are no American nicknames for Gary, except for perhaps the extremely casual "Gare".

Why do I not know any British Bills? They all seem to be called Will or William, sometimes Billy, but never Bill. And I've never met a British Hank or Hal or Beth.

On the other hand, why are there so many Daves and Pauls in England? And why are there so many Steves in both the UK and America? Back when I was in a band I wrote a song called "Too Many Steves". We never performed it, which is probably a good thing in case it offended any of the Steves in the audience, potentially clearing out the venue.

But I digress, as always...

1 comment:

  1. Like your blog. Also think pigeons have an undeserved bad press. Trouble is, though, as soon as you "accidentally" drop a crumb or two, what normally happens is that 400 or so other pigeons suddenly materialize from out the blue and soon everyone nearby is tutting and thinking: My God, that person is actually FEEDING the pigeons, or, My God, that person is an extraordinarily messy eater.


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