Why this blog is called "Gallimaufry".

gal-uh-MAW-free\, noun.

Originally meaning "a hash of various kinds of meats," "gallimaufry" comes from French galimafrée; in Old French, from the word galer, "to rejoice, to make merry"; in old English: gala + mafrer: "to eat much," and from Medieval Dutch maffelen: "to open one's mouth wide."

It's also a dish made by hashing up odds and ends of food; a heterogeneous mixture; a hodge-podge; a ragout; a confused jumble; a ridiculous medley; a promiscuous (!) assemblage of persons.

Those of you who know me, will, I’m sure, understand how well some of these phrases (barring the "promiscuous" bit!) fit me.

More importantly, this blog is an ode to my love for Shimla. I hope to show you this little town through my eyes. If you don't see too many people in it, forgive me, because I'm a little chary of turning this into a human zoo.

Stop by for a spell, look at my pictures, ask me questions about Shimla, if you wish. I shall try and answer them as best as I can. Let's be friends for a while....

21 March 2007

Daffodils / Jonquils / Narcissi

The reason why I'm waxing lyrical over this flower is because, aside of a few sad clumps of candy tuft and a solitary Arum Lily, our garden is pretty much bare of flowers. Spring, this year, seems to be in a "to be or not to be" mode! Cloudy one day, sunny the next... At this rate, how am I to go about planting my favourite flowers?

And, no, I refuse to quote Wordsworth or Herrick when the word "daffodils" is mentioned. That's just too predictable!

Here, instead, are two old favourites:

One is from Shakespeare's "A Winter's Tale"

That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty.

The other's by Philip Larkin. When asked if he ever thought about becoming poet laureate, he said "Deprivation is for me what daffodils were for Wordsworth"!

This flower is named after Narcissus. Legend has it that for the Greeks Narcissus stood for vanity and insensitivity. He died, it seems, because he could only love his image at the expense of himself.

To balance to poetic with the prosaic, daffodils or narcissi belong to:

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Genus: Narcissus

My favourite's the golden yellow variety.
Today's post is respectfully dedicated to Ms. S. Chandra, my Botany teacher in Std. VI, Sophia School, Kota.
Bless you, Miss, wherever you are.


Anonymous said...

Ok so I'll go and take some photos of Narcissai for you.

I link pink ones.


Gallimaufry said...

Thank you, Cyber. Would love to see pink ones. WE only get white, cream and yellow ones in India.
Plus, pink's my favourite colour!

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