Friday, February 4, 2011
Petals and wings
Vio sent out a birthday party invitation accompanied by six flower fairies. The faithful reader has probably already surmised that I'm not a particularly girly girl, let alone a fairy. But let me tell you, I adore the flower fairies, and when I tracked down this one, my all-time favourite, my eyes filled with tears. Her sweet face and graceful pose, and the costume that so delightfully replicates her namesake bloom evoke all my childhood longings for a delicacy and prettiness I would never attain.
Try, faithful reader, not to puke. And I'll try to dissipate the saccharine effect by telling you that Cicely Mary Barker's depiction of the flowers, if not their respective fairies, was always botanically correct.
By the time Flower Fairies of the Spring came out in 1923, fairies were already a popular theme in art and literature. The book I owned, A Flower Fairy Alphabet, was first published in 1934, but apparently fond relatives were still giving to little girls in the 50s.
Here's gorse. I had no idea I would eventually live in a country on the other side of the world that regards this as one of its worst noxious weeds.