Ok, for those of you who weren’t taken to my dialect expressed throughout my blog so far, have no fear. I’m going to give you a breather. I’m going to talk like a normal, well-spoken human being for a change, instead of like the Cockney I was brought up to be all those years ago. It was my well-spoken friend’s idea actually. And I thought it was quite brilliant. He’s take on things social media and blogging was that the best spokeswoman (or man) you can be is to basically be yourself. If that is your natural voice then so be it, share it with the rest of the world and see if they can get to know you better that way.
I admire those who take the time and trouble to do this. After all, I know how difficult it can be at times. After all my years living in Cape Town, South Africa, before Patrick and I decided to throw in the towel, pack up our belongings, sell the house and cash in our chips with the new South African Diaspora and return home just like our girls did a while before us, I had still not mastered the Afrikaans language, a unique offshoot from the original language spoken by the Dutch settlers who arrived at the foot of Africa nearly four hundred years ago.
My husband couldn’t speak a word of Afrikaans. He didn’t see the point in trying. I was the laughing stock of my staff meetings whenever I tried to be sociable and mingle by sharing my own version of what the locals call kitchen Afrikaans, a dialect spoken mainly by the Cape’s predominantly Malaya, Khoi and San people, among others, and derogatorily referred to as Cape Coloured. And then, as the country began to transform itself into a full-fledged democracy, the so-called Africans arrived. Now we had Xhosa to contend with.
This is the mother tongue of the great Nelson Mandela who passed away a few years ago. Speaking of great men, have I ever shared some of my feelings on my huge husband, Patrick? No, I thought not. Yes, Patrick is larger than life. He is well over six feet tall. And he has a larger than normal heart which he usually reserves for his three girls; Rachel, Katherine and me. My friends call me Mel for short. The girls call me mom or mum, just like I used to call my own mother who passed away when she was well into her nineties.
My full name is Melanie. I suppose, now that I think of it, that is what may have influenced me to take up the offer of working as a care giver in an old age home, not long after we settled into Lancashire life. My old lady was a formidable fighter who braved all the ailments that afflict the frail, especially those who live as long as my mother did. Patrick is an old fashioned chap. You never see us holding hands out in the public eye.
Oh, and try keeping up with him. That would also explain why I was always so out of breath. Me being short and fat and all, this man would always walk with such long, giant strides, as if always expecting me to follow his lead rather than do the gentlemanly thing and slow down for this little old lady. Like I said, my Patrick was not one for expressing his chivalric side to his wife in public. But he would open the door for any strange lady who crossed his path, oh yes.
When we were still quite young, still quite prone to insecure feelings of jealousy every now and then, I would bawl my eyes out sometimes, trying to coax him to treat me in the same way. But the man more than made up for it behind closed doors. And don’t you dare forget this man’s wedding anniversary. You do not want to be the victim of the wrath of his fiery temper. You would not want to, not after all the time and trouble he went through preparing a special day and evening commemorating our life together as husband and wife.
Like all married couples, we had our ups and downs, some downs worse than others, we still do today. Although today, we handle our tiffs a lot better than we used to now that we have matured and mellowed quite nicely. Today, we are secure in the knowledge that we have every intention of seeing our marriage through right to the very end. I’m not sure whether to call myself old-fashioned or just plain madly in love.
Or maybe I’ve just been very lucky. Patrick could have had any girl, if he wanted. But he chose me instead.