Why I Now Write ‘Favourite’

Why I now write ‘favourite’.
Read a Jonathan Franzen piece last week on his Oprah woes. Apparently, people had two kinds of reaction to the news that she had chosen The Corrections for her book club—delighted congratulations, or outraged sympathy. Franzen confessed that, being the type who immediately picks up a Texas accent in Texas, he agreed with each with complete conviction. This got him into all sorts of trouble.

I’m sympathetic. Haven’t been able to keep my accent straight since I’ve been home. I veer across several counties (and states) in a single sentence, much like Tom Cruise in Far and Away. At Christmas dinner, my irritating American tones disappeared completely for a moment and I channelled another being, who said:
“But sure, how did Grandad fodder the cattle?”
Only I actually said “foddher”, in flawless takeoff of my grandfather’s Tipperary accent. My sophisticate sisters were baffled.
“How did he father the cattle? Jesus, what are you talking about now?”

I’ve decided to use Hiberno-English spelling for the duration of my stay. It reflects my shifting loyalties.

Under the weather
Dad and I went for a bike ride to Patrickswell this morning. Round the block, he calls it, but it’s six miles, with the wind in front for three. Ireland is blustery and ‘threatening to rain’ since we’ve been here, but sometimes the changing light is enough to make me want to lie on my back in a wet field and stare. When I lived in Spain, I used to puzzle why Ireland produced fine writers but no painters worth talking about. It occurs to me now that the Spanish sky is an endlessly patient model, but no paintbrush is fast enough to catch Irish light. When we got back, Dad rushed inside for the camera to get the full double rainbows that framed our house. By the time we got outside again, they’d gone.

Jason does not like this climate. Tonight he announced: “I am going home to America and I intend to invent the electric hat.”

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