01 February, 2006

little idiosyncracies

We got in the taxi to go to school this morning, Avery all a-flutter about her exam, and the driver, a central-casting London cabby, said
cheerfully, "On your way to school, then, my love?" "Yes, today is the ESB exam and I'm SO nervous!" she confided. He chuckled and said, "Well, a pinch and a punch, you know," "No, what do you mean?" "A pinch and a punch, it's the first of the month! You pinch your best friend and punch your enemy." Avery, indignant: "Not at my school!"

I offered that I had heard in Massachusetts one says, "Rabbit, rabbit" on the first of the month and he said that was an Englishism as well. Whaddya know. He also explained that the word "toddler" came from the
days when London drinking water was unsafe and they fed babies beer, making them...toddly!

Yesterday at pickup she came hurtling out of the coach (bus to us Americans) from skating, shouting, "We luhnt to tuhn!" Say that
phonetically and you'll get an idea of how her accent is progressing! She talks that way for about 10 minutes everyday at pickup, then gradually reverts to being a little New Yorker. She defends this saying, "Well, Mummy, if you were completely immussed in it as I am all day..." I had to translate to "immersed", but you get the idea.

She's really nervous about her exam today, where she has to read a passage for the examiners, then recite a poem, then recite a story
about an object important to her. It's at one o'clock and I'm meant to be sending her supportive vibes at the time. It's too early in the morning to ask any of you to do that, I fear, but I'll report how it all goes after snacktime today. Yesterday because I had had no lunch, I had the most lovely salad: smoked mackerel, beetroot (as always!) and watercress, with a mustardy vinaigrette. Avery of course had ice
cream. I have to think of some really compelling snack for her playdate this afternoon. Hmmm...

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