I thought I would write about my gravatar today. In case you haven’t seen it, here he is:
He is a very well-travelled bear. Born in Vermont, he stowed away in the wheelie-bag of a young couple while they had adventures in New England. He returned, first to Old England, then Wales (which is timeless), then back to Old England where he was a birthday present for my Dad. Well, what do you give the 70-year-old that brought you into the world and taught you some really good stuff before you became all adult and wrapped up in your own life? Exactly – something to delight the inner child.
Dad had just taken up watercolour painting and was already cooking for fun (he participated in a ‘dinner club’ with a few friends) so when the young couple encountered the Vermont Teddy Bear company in deepest Vermont, and discovered that you could buy chef’s and painter’s outfits for the bears, the deal was done. One of Dad’s other passions was linguistics in general and the English language in particular, but you just couldn’t buy an adjectival-compound-modifier outfit or a first-recorded-use-of-the-word-splurge outfit. For the life of me, I can’t think why not.
Back in Old England and with his new owner, he was named ‘Auguste’ pronounced ‘Augooste’ (say it in a French accent). Here they both are, meeting for the first time:
Auguste was still a bit jet-lagged, I think.
They had nearly ten years together before Dad sat down in his chair after a shopping trip and switched off. No painful subjunctive clauses, no long drawn-out decline into split infinitives, just a full stop. Linguistically elegant, he would have thought.
So, Auguste has returned to me, to seek fame as a gravatar and do some light cooking and painting – possibly separately, possibly together. Impressionist Landscape with chips*, anyone?
* Fries for my American readers. You would never eat a landscape with chips**.
** Crisps for my British readers.