I made a new friend today.
Well, we almost didn’t become friends at all, because I struggled so badly to get my tongue around his name. But I hadn’t spoken with anyone for so many weeks, that I was desperate for company, so I persevered.
He told me his name is Gilbert the Gnome.
When I pronounced his first name the French way, with a soft ‘g’ for ‘Gilbert’ and with the emphasis on the second syllable ‘bert’ (it must be my Canadian roots coming through), he said, sternly, “Nein, nein, dat is vrong.” (He has a peculiar Germanic accent. I wonder where he comes from?)
“You must say it wif a ‘hardt G’ and wif ze emfasis on ze first syllable – GILbert,” he enunciated, in a rather clipped tone.
“GILbert,” I repeated.
“Yes!” he said, smiling broadly, “zat is gut!”
But my elocution lesson wasn’t over yet.
“Und ven you say ‘gnome’,” he continued, “you must also use a ‘hardt G’ – like G’Nome, wif a little gap betveen ze G und ze N.”
“GILbert the Genome,” I ventured.
“NEIN!” he spluttered, his cheeks turning quite red in outrage: “NOT GE-Nome! G’Nome! G’NOME!”
Fortunately, the tension was defused by Reggie’s arrival with some tea and heart-shaped cookies that she’d baked, especially for us – or so she said. I’ve got a suspicion she may be trying to match-make. She firmly told Gilbert the G’Nome not to be so pedantic and Germanic.
“Be nice to our visitor,” she scolded him.
And after that, he behaved like the perfect gentleman. He really is a most handsome chap. He is a little short for me, though, so I keep having to lean down to speak to him.
I don’t mind telling you, I quite like tall men, who can take me in their arms, and swing me around to a piece of music. Like Wayne, for instance… sigh… I have such happy memories of him… What a pity that Amy-Lynn didn’t approve of our friendship.
Anyway, I digress.
Gilbert and I sat on a bench next to the pool much of this afternoon, and had a positively delightful time.