{01/02/2013}   Receiving flowers

Yesterday, at the end of a mere four-day job, though one which had been challenging, leading to thoroughly hideously awful by the last afternoon, the arbitration room erupted in loud applause as my colleague and I were thanked for our hard work and presented with a lovely bouquet of flowers each.  I had honestly been close to tears with the incomprehensibility of our final two heavily accented Nigerian witnesses, then next thing I knew I was trying to steno our being bigged up so then I almost burst into tears with the loveliness of being acknowledged, thanked and appreciated.  In my ten years of being a stenographer, I have never received flowers, or any kind of gift, and, while four days really isn’t long haul, I was so truly touched.  It is amazing how appreciation and a gorgeous bunch of flowers can made awful things seem at least a tiny bit better.

I don’t remember the last time I received flowers but I do often buy them for myself, though usually daffodils (I have some now) or occasionally a cheap bunch from a supermarket or Colombia Road flower market.  Oh no, that is unfair, my mum fairly often brings me flowers from her garden and they are hugely appreciated.  Ah, and I have now also remembered that a friend brought flowers not that long ago when she came round for dinner.

When we had been given our flowers last night, unsurprisingly a bit of a light-hearted discussion ensued about the giving of flowers, to which one gentleman made the observation that he felt he couldn’t give his wife flowers as she’d always asked why he was giving them whenever he had given her flowers in the past.  It’s awful really because I have done the same.  All too often flowers are given by way of apology, or at least guilt for having done something wrong, whether admitted to yet or not.  If I had a boyfriend who gave me a bunch of flowers out of the blue, I’m afraid I would wonder with suspicion why I was being given them, unless he had a good reason, for example to cheer me up after being ill or whatever.

I don’t know where the tradition of giving flowers came from but I’m pretty sure it’s a long-standing tradition in the UK.  I have been to other countries, for example Latvia, where the giving of flowers when you go to someone’s home is pretty much obligatory.  I haven’t taken flowers to a friend’s house for ages, I normally just take wine or dessert or chocolates, ie food or drink, but actually it really is lovely to give flowers.

As for my fairly dreadful day yesterday, I am pretty sure my colleague and I wouldn’t have been anywhere near as chirpy and giggly as we would otherwise have been were it not for the joy of receiving the thank you flowers.  Mind you, most of the giggles were actually hysteria as listening to the audio back-up against the “inaudible” markers in our transcript was pretty much futile and we really couldn’t work out how to spell “furfurrrrfurrfurr fur fa fu fur”.  So thank you to the lovely people who thought to give us flowers, it made us both unexpectedly happy.


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