Saturday, 16 June 2012

My Czech mum

       Since I'm currently proofreading and doing the final corrections on my soon-to-be-released vampire book - Bloodgifted - I really haven't had the time to spend on my blog as I'd like. But hey, here I am, all ready to record my observations of life - both living and 'undead.' It's actually a welcome respite from working on Bloodpledge, Book 2 in my series, The Dantonville Legacy.
       It's fun creating a world in which the characters of your imagination have full reign, and generally end up taking over your life. But, that's not what I intended to write about this week. It's actually something much closer to my heart. And it has to do with my mum, since she's the one who encouraged me to write in the first place and who provided the idea for the closing scene at the end of Book 1. She's also the one who kept me sane throughout the entire process.
      This blog is dedicated to her.
      Since arriving from the Czech Republic as a young woman in the 1950s, my mum's relationship with the English language has been entertaining. There have been times when she's left people staring after her in a daze wondering if they really heard what they thought they heard.
       For example, my mum laughingly refers to herself as 'unique.' Which is great. She always taught my brothers and myself not to be afraid to be ourselves, even with all our little quirks. 'That's what makes you individuals,' she'd say. Unfortunately, strangers hearing her say that wouldn't immediately understand, as my darling mum pronounces the word 'unique' as 'eunuch!'
       It's left more than one person scratching their heads.
       Going shopping with my mum is fun. She'll tell people that she's 'interesting.' Now I know that to be absolutely true, but what she really means, is that she's 'interested' in some particular item on display. I can be at the other end of the store, but seeing the raised eyebrows of the young shop assistant my mum's talking to, I know exactly what's going on. Eventually they cotton-on. I see the smile on their lips as understanding dawns.
       On one occasion, my mother's linguistic slips has left some of us gasping in horror, and others doubled over in laughter.
       In a previous house we owned, mum had planted a lemon tree. Every year it flowered and produced copious amounts of fruit - far too much for our family alone to consume. So, we started giving away bags full of lemons to family and friends. Sometimes, the bag contained one or two which hadn't completely ripened and my mum - ever conscientious - made sure to mention it. It's just that, every now and then, she confused her vowels.
       'I'm sorry,' she would say, 'but some of the lemons aren't raped yet.'
       We all knew she meant they weren't 'ripe!' yet.
       'No, mum. Ripe! Ripe!' I'd correct her, while cringing in horror.
       Thankfully, most of our friends had a sense of humour and understood exactly what my dear mum meant. They almost always left our house with grins on their faces.
       Over the years, I've grown to appreciate my mum's 'unique' mastery of the English language. Having spent time overseas myself, I've learnt how difficult it is to speak - not just another language - but to assimilate a whole other culture. And my mum's done fantastically.
       I hope she's around for many more years yet, and continues to surprise us with more 'interesting' little quips, if only to bemuse strangers and entertain her adoring family.


1 comment:

Sherilyn said...

this gave me such a giggle !! Love you all xxx