Over the last couple of days I’ve been pondering on various questions – which actually have no correct answer, only people’s opinions.
My character Thomas Radwinter does a lot of pondering – he is quite a muddled thinker and his mind wanders off in all directions, but in the end he always solves the puzzle, even if it is in rather a circuitous way!
Here he is wondering about his wife’s ancestors:
Back to the convalescing French people… tidying through my notes before snuggling down next to sleeping beauty, I notice I have jotted down that the inmates and patients were all sent from a French hospital in London, so I tootle off to look for information on that. Why would there be a special hospital for French people? I guess there must have been French people living in London, French servants to the French business people, and French diplomats and ambassadors… but was there a French community? Even as I pondered on this a little memory tugged at the corner of my mind. Ponder… I seem to be doing a lot of pondering recently, a funny sort of word, I wonder where it comes from…
Well, I find out that the word ponder came from the 1300’s and originally meant to try to estimate how much something was worth, or to appraise its value, and it comes from French apparently, from the Old French word (Old with a capital O) ponderer which meant to weigh… but that in turn came from Latin as you might guess and the Latin verb was ponderare which meant…. Well, actually it meant to ponder… so there you are… but I also came across ponderation – I like that, ponderation!
- U or non-U? Did it ever matter, does it still matter?
I think manners and being polite and courteous to other people is important; I certainly appreciate it when people are polite to me! However I certainly don’t judge people by whether they have the same way of holding their cutlery as I do – it’s how people behave towards each other which is important. The terms U and non-U are overlaid with snobbery – people doing something differently is not merely different but wrong and some how inferior and ignorant… I really do not agree with that!!
- Is it acceptable to dunk biscuits into tea/coffee/drinking chocolate?
No… simply no.
- Should privet hedges be banned?
Yes the smell of them in flower is nauseating! Privet is a popular shrub used as hedging in the genus of Ligustrum; apparently there are fifty species and they are native to Europe – and like many other pests, have been introduced to Australia and has become an invasive pest. My main objection is the stink of the flowers, nauseating!
- Should St George’s Day be official?
I’m not sure St George’s Day should be an official national day but i do think it would be an idea to have a national day, just as other nations have. The trouble is nationalism has a nasty whiff of superiority over others rather than just a celebration of one’s selves.
- Should there be a list of acceptable names for children in the UK, as there is in such countries as Germany and Iceland?
Of course not, people should be free to name their own children. At present the court can stop people call their children names which are offensive or would bring the child ridicule; two years ago a woman was stopped from calling her child Cyanide.