Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Writing on the Tea Cups

Here's a closer look at the oversize tea-cups shown in my last post. A number of you asked for a closer look at the script. It's Italian, which I don't know, but I can figure out a few words. For a long while now French phrases are everywhere so I was surprised to see these in Italian. And I ask - Is Italian the new French?

I'd like to study another language (in addition to French and Spanish) and I'm torn between German (my heritage) and Italian. The latter would be easier, but I've always been partial to German, too. My parents didn't speak English until they went to school in Canada and would speak it occasionally together when I was growing up. Mostly to keep secrets. But they had suffered teasing and worse as children and determined that their own children would be fully Canadian and wouldn't need German.

That went on a bit of a rabbit trail. 

Tim bought me a tall glass vase containing stones and three paperwhite bulbs. I added water and here's the result. Deep magic!

And another view. Do you think they will bloom by Christmas? The instructions said to add a couple of tablespoons of clear spirits at this stage to prevent legginess, but I don't have any and I'll probably not purchase it just for this. If I did, I could make some vanilla with the rest.

Teaching calls continue. Half a day yesterday. Today. I mentioned to Tim this morning that my work is directly related to the health of the general population. He agreed and said that it's not even winter yet and the hospitals here are overflowing.

So. Languages - do you enjoy them? Any bulbs poking little green shoots up at your house?  I'm off to work and will chat later.


  1. No second languages here,,,but I wish I could speak Spanish. My grandparents would speak German when we were younger, and only when they didn't want us to know what they were talking about as well!! Stay healthy and have a good day!

  2. My French is not bad, and I suspect it wouldn't take too much to resurrect my two years of university Spanish. And I did 3 years of high school Latin, a very good foundation to have, I think. I'm hoping to spend more time on language-learning in retirement, one of my big goals.

  3. Even after living in Normandy for 18 years my German (14 years) is still better than my French. Today I repotted some narcissus bulbs into a different place oudoors, no indoor bulbs for me but I plan of buying a few Poinsettias at the weekend, the question is red or white?

  4. Anonymous10:51 AM

    I'm sure your paperweights will bloom, and hopefully for Christmas. Glad you are getting lots of supply work. I used to supply (before getting a permanent job) and some days I just wanted to turn the phone off as it kept ringing and ringing.

  5. My kids are fantastic at French but I'd have to use Google translate (which I do when I write to an aunt in Paris). I'm looking for hyacinths at the moment to fill the house with some lovely scent, along with poinsettias for my living room. Enjoy the rest of your week my lovely x

  6. You have had a lot of supply teaching lately. I guess that's good for you but not for the teachers out sick. I used to speak a wee bit of French. We grew up in a mixed English/French neighbourhood and played with French speaking kids but they learned English much better than we did French. I have an Amaryllis bulb planted and it's starting to sprout green stems. I enjoy watching them grow and the huge bulbs that bloom later on. Have a good evening.

  7. I bought 3 paperwhite bulbs also, and they are showing about the same amount of growth as yours...I am thinking they should bloom by Christmas.
    Those cups are interesting...I think they might be giving the impression you already know the language...LOL!

  8. English and German are closely related. I have been "taking" Duolingo German lessons for two years. Wish I could say that I know more about it. What can I say? Slow learner here. I admire someone who studies multiple languages.

  9. No bulbs here but I do like to grow amaryllis sometimes.
    I only have high school French which could be enhanced I suppose since we are a country of two languages.

  10. Thanks for the closer look. Adorable cups. Your paper whites appear to be growing well--maybe you'll see the white soon. I took Spanish in high school and retained enough to communicate fairly well in my nursing job with the Spanish population. I never had much patience in language but think I might have been good at it if I tried. Good for you to learn German maybe--but then it's in your blood right? It's not an easy language.

  11. Lorrie, I loved your rabbit trail! I have oft wished to learn German (my heritage), Spanish because I lived in South America for several months years ago, and French since I live in a bilingual country. (I know a spattering of each but not enough to make a difference).

    And what a lovely surprise treat from hubby. Won't those smell wonderful in a little while?

    Happy Day!

  12. My husband always has paperwhites in the house at this time of year. I think yours will be blooming by Christmas. Ours are already blooming because he gets in a hurry to get them started, then they are gone by Christmas. I love growing them this way.

    As far as languages, I only know English, but have wanted to learn French. I took a French for travelers class a few years ago, but they went so fast I got discouraged. It did however help when we traveling in France because I could pick up some phrases easier than my husband. I loved being able to understand a bit eventhough I couldn't really speak it much.

  13. I tried to learn Italian. I bought the audio books and used a little notebook to write words down. But I finally realized, I am at a disadvantage with my 'serious' Southern drawl. hahaha! Most people here in Florida can't understand what I say in English. lol Hugs!

  14. PS Someone commented on my blog today and called me Lorrie....I took that as a compliment! Hugs!

  15. I love the magic of bulbs. I have tulips, daffodils and hyacinths that need put in the pots - they are beginning to sprout a little - maybe this weekend.

    I speak a little Spanish - my three adult children are fluent - comes from living on the California/Mexico border - more Spanish speakers than native English speakers so they picked it up quickly. I think learning any language is wonderful - just increases our contacts in the big wide world.

  16. Anonymous6:14 PM

    I do enjoy languages but I'm not gifted in learning them. My daughter is and my youngest brother is, too. You might be working a lot this season!!

  17. I am fascinated by languages, although my actual learning is limited to my three years of high school French. I enjoy etymology, so I suppose that relates to languages.

    As an aside to the topic, my oldest daughter once purchased a kit to make Indian bead bracelets, but all of the instructions were in French! I had to draw heavily on those high school lessons, and then fill in the blanks, too, in order to help her learn how to make a bracelet. (She did make one, so I guess I must have remembered more than I thought.) :)

  18. Isn't it amazing how a couple of over sized teacups can inspire a person's creative vibe to learn (in your case - yet ANOTHER) language?! I'm fluent in conversational Greek, my written is fair. When you consider that the Greek alphabet has 4! vowel sounds for the letter 'E', that's not too shabby. There are echoes of my French lessons all through high school, and if I had the courage, I'd love to pick up where I left off. Then, I'd head straight to Paris...to practise, of course!;))

    Have a lovely day, Lorrie.


  19. Hello Lorrie
    I had lots of fun trying to read the visible part of the text on your cups!
    Italian is a fascinating language, but if I were you, I would certainly choose German. Do you have old family papers in German? Just think of finding some really interesting looking ones...

  20. I just LOVE languages. Beyond words. I was always the best in English in my class, and as an Alsacian family, my parents always spoke the dialect but we didn't understand anything of it (my sisters and I picked it up later when we went back to Alsace, because of my grandma - who by the way was born German, became French at the age of 7, then turned German again during WWII and French again after the allies' victory, and German was always her written language of choice).
    We then lived in Germany 7 years, which helped immensely, and then I got curious : started Hungarian and just loved it, (I was fluent at one point and lived in the country for 2 years), tried my hand at Italian, Polish, Arabic but had to give up because teaching doesn't allow for much free time. We hosted Slovak students 5 years ago and also had a little insight at that.
    My dream would be to go back to University and indulge in philology, studying the origins and interactions in most languages (loved the Old English module at University).
    If I had had money after my studies, I would have attended the Institut des Interpr├Ętes et Traducteurs in Strasbourg. Sadly it was way too expensive for the two years it would have taken... but translation is my asset and is what helped me succeed at the teacher's certificate.
    One lady once told me in Hungary, (loosely translated) "That many languages you speak, that many people you are".
    Have a nice week !

  21. I had 7 years of French years ago, and can only read a little of it now. Italian seems so romantic. There's a lot of French phrases in classic literature, so that would be my choice to brush up on.
    I've done a little of the free DuoLingo, it's kind of fun.
    Have a Happy Thanksgiving Lorrie!

  22. Anything technical, anything having to do with foreign languages, and many other things really get me, for I am clueless. I would love to learn to speak Italian, but probably will never do it~

  23. I did French 'A'Level (at 18yrs), still can manage it reasonably well
    ~ I love the language. But I have no other (aside from English).
    France is the country I'm most likely to visit, it's just across the water from us!
    I would love to learn Swedish so I could ttalk to my Scandi friend!

  24. Stunning cups, really. LOL, well as a dyslexic, I struggle enough w/ English!! Clarice

  25. No bulbs in the house, but my irises are up by 2 or 3 inches. They were fooled by this warm fall and I'm not sure how they're withstand the colder days to come.

  26. I really love those cups, they are gorgeous! I always love text printed onto things, whatever the language. I know a little French and German from schooldays. I tried to learn a little bit of Italian when we went there for holidays, would love to learn more...
    Happy weekend, Lorrie.
    Helen xox

  27. I say learn German. I could even help you. I've studied Spanish and leaned Portuguese as a child. They say the more languages you learn the easier it is to learn another, but knowing only one language gives you nothing to compare it with... no foundation to understand how language can be the same but different. Sometimes I find English just does not have an expression for something and I revert to German.
    I'd love to get some paperwhite bulbs. They are so pretty!

  28. Oh gosh, no real second language for me. I can struggle with a little Spanish but that's it. It seems incredibly intimidating to me. I see paper whites each year around the blog world but I don't get to stores where they are so forget to try to get some. I suppose I could order online. Next year...........

  29. I planted paperwhite a month ago. They came out of the package with some green tips already and now they are all starting to bloom. I had intended to give them as gifts the week of Christmas but I have been delivering early and they are ready for advent.
    I've been anchoring mine to deliver with some curly willow which looks beautiful with the greens.


Thank you for commenting. Each comment is a connection between us. I read each one and will usually visit your blog in return. If you are a no-reply blogger, then I will not be able to respond to you directly. If you have a Google+ blog, I am unable to comment there.

Summertime, Summertime

On summer mornings, the days stretch out luxuriously with hours of delightful possibilities. There are few things I really have to do a...