Friday, October 5, 2012

Fortuitous Friday: Why You Talk Funny?

Another week has come and gone and I realize I'm down to four months before I have to go back to work.... I know, shut-the-hell up, right? I still feel blessed that I live in a country that allows for such generous parental leave, and an employer that is willing to let me go for such a long time... and then let me come back....and then let me take holidays to go to a wedding in Ireland a couple weeks later! It goes against my basic nature to be positive about anything but I have to say everything seems to be working out smashingly.

I guess I've always been fortunate- don't get me wrong there's been some hard graft along the way and some very, very tough times but in the end I seem to come out on top. Whether that truly is a testament to my wits and/or general ability or more to do with luck I'm not really sure. As it stands I've got to live and work in a lot of different places doing a lot of different jobs and along the way I've met some very interesting people. I have an innate ability to blend into the background and adapt to whatever situation I find myself in. I think it comes from not really understanding people all that well. This leads to a quiet curiosity inside me which lends to watching and listening to people. I tend to look at people like animals in a zoo- curious things who behave oddly.

I'm also a pretty good mimic when it comes to accents. By the time I left Ireland people were quite shocked to find out I was from Canada and when I returned to the place in which I grew up, people would ask me where I was from. The accent is fading now, having been away from Ireland for four years, but I do still retain a bit of it (ah, sure, but who wouldn't so?). The clerk in the grocery store asked what part of Ireland I was from the other day just from me asking for some bags. I was surprised she could pick it out, but she explained that her son hires a lot of Irish builders (our economy is booming and theirs sucks) and they live in her basement. Sounds a bit dodge, really, but I assume they are here on work visas, and not, in fact, slaves living in her basement and laboring for her son.

I often think about Ireland, and why I still have a bit of an accent. I've met a few of 'those' people in my travels. You know the ones- they become fixated on a particular culture and then 'go native'. White guys with dreads talking like Rastas is a good example although that has mostly to do with the fact they are too stoned to know any better (Ja man, dis some good weed here). I met a few people in Ireland who were in love with Ireland, if you know what I mean, but for me it was just another place to be. I followed the work and Ireland was paying a good, living wage for archaeologists at the time.

Ireland was the first place I felt that I fit in, and as a result I did a lot of socializing. I went out, and generally socialized more in Ireland than I did anywhere prior to, or since. Due to some poxy immigration problems I was, technically an illegal immigrant and couldn't leave the country for a number of years. An EU Supreme Court ruling later reversed that decision, and made me legal but it was, ironically enough, on the day I moved to Scotland...legally. This meant my contact with family and friends in Canada suffered. The only people I talked to were Irish and so, in the end.... I 'went native' and my accent changed. A great deal of it was me trying to fit in, as I said, and purposely mimicking it (successfully it seems). I think the accent remains party because I do try and keep it, and I don't do a lot of socializing here 'at home'. The person I speak with most is She Who Will Be Named Later, and she's Welsh (but sounds generically British), so no help there returning to my native tongue. My 'real job'- a closely guarded secret here on my blog- is a rather solitary one that doesn't see me talking to very many people in any given week.

All this makes me wonder how New Mouth To Feed will end up sounding. Her mom sounds like she's from Reading (think 'generic middle class British accent'), and her dad sounds like half-an-Irishman from Waterford/Cork. We almost exclusively watch and listen to BBC programs but the world around her will be distinctively Canadian. Oh, and her Grandmother, who talks to her weekly on Skype, is from Glasgow. It might make for an interesting mix indeed. New Mouth To Feed, by the way, is turning into a 'normal' baby- transforming from the screaming monster who dominated our lives for those first 12 or so weeks. It was like a switch went off and suddenly...... happy baby. It was an enormous relief and I can say now, finally, I am beginning to enjoy her immensely.

In addition to keeping my real name, and occupation secret, I don't tend to post a lot of personal photos- even on Fortuitous Friday when I tend to mostly babble about myself. Today I'm in a bit of a mood, however, and so I thought I'd post one of New Mouth to Feed. Friends have put some up on Facebook (despite my protests) so I guess one here on my own blog won't hurt. What kind of parent would I be if I didn't at least show off one picture to a (mostly) uncaring audience? Oh, come on now, I still don't like to look at other peoples babies and I have one of my own, so if you're without kids, feel free to Alt-F4 and not look. I know I would.

We're desperately hoping that the Worlds Hairiest Newborn Contest is still open for submissions 'cause I think we'd have a real shot at it.

Happy Friday everyone!