I say!

I had a surprise earlier this week when there was the sound of struggling from our front door (or to be more precise, from someone outside the front door, not the door itself) and then there was a loud ‘thunk’. It was our postlady pushing a package from Amazon through our letterbox. It was just small enough to fit through with a lot of effort.

The surprise was not so much at the effort and ‘thunk’ but that I had a package from Amazon. I had not ordered anything. At least I was not aware of having ordered anything and I was worried that I may have ordered something in my earlier drug-induced haze following my operation. I was delighted to find, when I opened the parcel, that it was a PG Wodehouse book that had been ordered as a gift for me by a very kind friend (thanks John!).

I loved the TV adaptation of the Jeeves and Wooster stories but had never got around to reading many of the stories for myself. I have been reading the book this week and have realised what I have been missing. While the TV adaptation was clever, funny and made visual much of what I had imagined the stories to be like in my imagination, they cannot do justice to PG Wodehouse’s style of writing. He has some wonderful similes:

He was a tubby little chap who looked as if he had been poured into his clothes and had forgotten to say “when!”

Her face was shining like the seat of a bus-driver’s trousers

As for Gussie Finknottle, many an experienced undertaker would have been deceived by his appearance and started embalming on sight

Similes do not come across so well on TV! Wodehouse also manages to create some delicious scenarios with outcomes that you cannot predict (unlike the film I saw yesterday – see yesterday’s blog). That all makes for some wonderful reading and has reminded me of how wonderful a medium the written (or spoken) word is for communication: able to paint a more vivid picture than even moving pictures can. 

Yesterday I reflected on the impact of the things we do for other people. Extending that thought a little further reminds me that we can also underestimate the positive impact our words can have on other people. A letter, an email, a card, a text can all be a blessing beyond the expected impact of the words we write. I have found this in the messages that people have written me in some of the cards I have received.

One more PG Wodehouse quotation:

I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.

I love that sentence, having only very recently come across it, because I have often wondered whether the opposite of being disgruntled is to be gruntled, and PG Wodehouse clearly had the same thoughts. I want to start a movement for the adoption of ‘gruntled’ into everyday usage and also to introduce a word for making someone who is disgruntled to feel better – ‘regruntled’. Clearly if someone has been dis-gruntled, their gruntle has been removed so it need to be restored.

** Extra bit following England 0 – 0 Algeria
This country needs to be completely regruntled and the England team need to be refilled with as much gorm as possible!

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