Thursday, 28 May 2009


So yesterday I participated for the first time in Wordless Wednesday, and I had written three paragraphs of text about the gorgeous Rose 'Albertine' before I realised, ahem, that is not strictly within the rules. So here it is on Wordy Thursday, with apologies to those who prefer their flower pictures un-meditated upon by their author. 

Albertine is a bit of a trashy old madame, she'll basically grow anywhere as far as I can tell. As a bit of a Proustophile myself, I cannot help thinking when I look at her of the female character who appears in the second half of Proust's big book, In Search of Lost Time. 

In the book, Albertine is described as being very pretty, with the 'little pink nose of a cat'; herself a bit flirty, she leads the main character 'Marcel' quite heavily astray, managing to get both a Rolls Royce and a yacht for her troubles despite not actually 'putting out' (as they say in 'Grease: The Movie'). 

Albertine the rose does, however, put out all June long. And then, with a bit of tender care and a once-over with the Felcos, she will do a few more flowers in the later summer, which of course I tend to love much more because there are less of them (the contradictions of a woman's mind, let's put that down to). And she smells good too. 

The character in the book was actually based on Proust's chauffeur, for whom he had a long and unrequited passion. Proust was gay, but obviously when it came to writing A la recherche he changed his annoyingly flirty chauffeur love into a girl, to avoid questions being asked. Honestly what a funny man. It's only after I realised that Proust was funny that I got round to reading the books, as up till then I had imagined they would be too loooonnnnggg and borrrrriiingg. 

But I will always think of the rose and the girl (and possibly the chauffeur too) interchangeably: as Peter Beale says, 'A famous old rambler, with a strong constitution.'


VP said...

That's made me giggle - the thought of you posting a Wordless Wednesday and then having to say absolutely loads the day after!

The Garden Monkey said...

Are you sure Pete wasn't talking about his mum Lou Beale?

emmat said...

Sheissen, I hadn't thought of that but actually you are probably right

Esther Montgomery said...

Whereas I have only a word on Wednesdays . . .

I smelled roses for the first time this year when I went into my garden. I have only two varieties - Madame Alfred Carriere and Rambling Rector.

The Madame Alfred has a pretty scent but once the Rambling Rector gets going - well, that's really something quite extraordinary. You can smell it from down the street.

I've never gone near Proust. Are you sure he's not boring?


P.S. I like your cheerful new icon.

emmat said...

esther i love your wednesday

emmat said...

honestly, Proust is WAY not boring. If you've ever tried to read it, you might have started at the beginning with the bit about going to bed, which is quite sleepy and meditative.

But then you get going, and it's gossipy, and passionate, with lovers and jealousy and parties and bad behaviour, and a grandma who rings up on the telephone, and all kinds of touches of modern life, and you fall in love with all the characters. Really good. Really not boring!

I will concede, though, that some of the sentences are Verrrrrryyyyy Loooooonnnnnggg..

but not boring.

James A-S said...

I love it that you are so clever and yet so very silly.
Like an intellectual crispy shelled caramelo.