On being infatuated with words

Children

So, Lily has moved house tagged me into reflections of a blogger. Rarely do I meme but…

Reflections of a blogger? To me the blogging is a textual voice. In the end, we’re sharing ideas, opinions and little glimmers of memories. Words, their mode of their transmission, are the important things one ought to treasure. And in order to blog, one ought to love words. Passionately play with them, throw darts at them, bounce them off walls and curve them around corners.

For the root of my love of words, I look to people that inspire me. Every single one of us have influencers in our lives. People we look to for inspiration. The second of May will mark the ninety-six birthday of my late grandmother. As a Gentile family, of course we’d call her Nana. She stands alone as one of the primary influencers in my life. Growing up I would spend every every weekend and Summer at her house.

Contrary to popular belief, living with grandparents was amazing. They’d both tell tall tales. His of the petrolheaded logisitics of the Free State. Yes, he was there the day of the first jet landing at Shannon airport. Hers of local hijinx, political schism during the War of Independence and giants that scoop inquisitive girls into trees to boil them. My grandparents had an unusual relationship to say the least. Never in my lifetime, did I ever hear them call each other by their own firstnames. It was always Himself or Mrs K. For all of their differences, they shared a passionate love of reading.

Grandad was a paper hound. The Evening Press and Irish Press were furiously digested every day. And perhaps a reread, just in case something had changed. The going at Goodwood required a kitchen-tabled steward. And oh, he was careful never to buy a Blueshirt paper.

For Nana, morning and evenings were book-ended with prayer. She’d keep book upon book of prayers. A couple of bibles too. Between Silk Cut puffs and lungfuls of Ventolin, she’d pick apart her prayer books to pull out pamphlets to every obscure saint imaginable. She’d pray for the sick, for the healthy, for dead, for causes, for family and for anyone she felt needed a little grace. Once prayer was done, she’d be free to arise or sleep. More likely, she’d be free to read.

The long days were Agatha Christie, Dick Francis and maybe Dean Koontz. She was a cross-genre pulp queen. Alex Hailey sat beside Catherine Cookson. Jackie Collins with her loose morals did not have a chance. Behind the heavy-blanketed mahogany bed in a cabinet of dark, exotic wood was the ultimate library cocktail party. Would Poirot, ever the sharply-dressed observationist gel with the architypal Francis hero, hard-nosed and possibly a little beaten-up?

Once a week, the local mobile library would visit. Nana’s house was curiously lodged on a steep decline from the main road. So when the bulky bus of books parked outside, half of the fun would trying to climb aboard without toppling over domino-like. Interestingly, most the books in the library were covered with loose clear plastic. Perhaps a bureaucratic bot estimated that flights in and out of library constituted a significant rain risk? We carry out a complete post-mortem on last weeks selections with the driver before picking a tall stack of fresh, mac-wearing hardbacks.

At her house, I read Villette. I met Dickens, Homer, Le Guin, Cooper and Carroll. I followed the adventures of the girls of Trebizon. Never a Blyton, I could pass up. Reading was never pressed, it was ever-present. We’d bookmark the hours with stand-up spoon pots of tea. Every second of that was an idyll. I’d sit and read in relative silence with her in a heartbeat.

Haughty ideals and preciousness of blogging aside, if one does not love words they ought to shut shop. In truth, there is no definite way to blog. It’s a verb, a doing thing. One commits words to page. And we’re back to precious words again. Loving  them. Loving the art of cleaving clear words clear from the mind or the act of reading them. Enjoying how neatly we tin ideas in them, ready for an expectant eye. Love words, love your blog voice and more importantly, have fun.

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5 Comments

  1. Loved this post.

    Loved ‘The Evening Press and Irish Press were furiously digested every day. And perhaps a reread, just in case something had changed.’

    My father who died aged 93, also read and reread the daily paper line by line. The daily paper was his lifeline.

    LOL at ‘…mac-wearing hardbacks’

    Oliver Twist asked for more … Can I also?

  2. Perfectly painted pictures of a life gone by, I loved this post Alexia.

    Your ‘mac-wearing hardbacks’ brings back a memory lost in time of other books and a little girl…!

  3. @lilinator: Amazing isn’t it? Papers really do connect people. I’d like to think that they’d be online were they here nowadays.

    More? Hehe. I’ll try. 🙂

    @Grannymar: Reading is so universal. Bet she went on fanciful adventures and kissed her Prince Charming.

  4. Pingback: Grannymar » Words
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