Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Little Match-Girl of Memes


If Emily is the Queen o’ Memes, then her brother, Ian, must the Knight of Memes. He has just tagged me for Why I Blog, which I shall try to address below, and Emily recently tagged me for the 10 Best Compliments meme, which I have been avoiding for a while (because compliments are hard things for me) but which I now attempt to tackle. I don’t make ten, though.

Ian and Emily have two other siblings, Forsyth who blogs at Froshty Mugs (I beg you to read this post of hers) and Lindsay who is an artist. I have a slight bloggy crush on the whole family: one, because they are funny and I love funny; two, because they are all patently so fond of each other; three, because they are using their blogs to keep in touch and four, because they are not scared of words. Their posts are all wonderfully wordy. I love that. Ian and Emily even have a joint blog where they revisit events in their past separately but together.

I also come from a large family, but unlike theirs, there are no sisters and nobody blogs. Ideally, until someone in my family gets married, starts blogging or at least reading mine more than once every six months (you’d THINK, you really would), I would like Ian and Emily and Froshty and Lindsay to adopt me as a member of their family. I can provide charming nieces and a nephew, an outpost in Germany, a nifty line in cakes, a lackadaisical attitude to housework, an appreciation of wine and the ability to talk and laugh late into the night with no care for what tomorrow brings.

So, here is my adoption application, in the form of a double meme.

Knight o’ Memes, this is why I blog:

1. I love words.

2. I am addicted to the Publish button. When I first started blogging, I used to shake with adrenaline each time I clicked Publish. Now, I chase that initial high, but tragically for me it’s never been as good as those first few hits. I’ve gone cold turkey a few times, but I can’t resist its seductive charms.

3. I like being part of an avant-garde. I know that every Pam, Sue and Ally has a blog now, but even so, as a stay-at-home mother living in provincial Germany, being part of the blog-o-sphere gives me a thrill. I’m not on Facebook though, and I don’t have an avatar playing me in Second Life yet. But you never know.

4. It’s a bit silly. It’s like a playground for grown-ups, where we can have a bit of fun, make some new friends and not harm anyone. And it’s a wonderful way to avoid housework.

5. I have to blog in order to keep my English intact. I have English-speaking friends whose world has become so eingedeustched that they struggle to tell the two languages from einander. I want to avoid that. I want to keep my English pure, pure as the driven Schnee.

6. Oh, and I’m a stark raving narcissist, so in love with the content of my own navel that I like to share it with all the world. That too.

Queen o’ Memes, here are some compliments that I recall:

1. Today Lily told me that, unlike some ladies of my great age, I have managed to “keep my beauty”.

2. Yesterday, Ollie called me Papa. Today he ate four slices of an apple and almond cake baked by Papa – the selfsame cake rejected outright by his sisters for being “too nutty”.

3. I recently acquired a freelance job to ghost-write a book, with my blog serving as the writing sample.

4. I have German friends who speak far better English than I speak German, but I regard it as a compliment that German is the language of our friendship.

5. My best friend at school once told me I had high cheekbones (we were reading a lot of romance literature at the time, so that sounded like a great compliment, but when I told my grandmother, who was British and not into effusive floweriness, she said, “What’s good about having high cheekbones?”). Around that time, still in the romance-reading phase, I asked my mother what my best feature was. I was hoping I’d hear something along the lines of your beautiful eyes that reflect your soul, your Cupid’s bow lips, the delicate whorls of your ears. She replied, “Your hair.”

That’s all I can think of now. I hope you will consider my application.

Sincerely yours,


*smiles winningly*


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

14 thoughts on “Little Match-Girl of Memes

  1. Consider yourself the newest member of the family. We’ll let you know when the next sibling reunion weekend is (we try to have one once a year). You’ll return to Germany with six-pack abs from all the laughing (or maybe we should have it in Germany?).

  2. You are sweet. I think it’s that I would dearly love to have sisters. Four brothers and not one sister in sight yet. It doesn’t seem right or fair.

  3. I like the eloquence of your reasons for liking blogging – very well put. The Playground For adults, as you describe it, is very apt 🙂

  4. My family/close friends don’t read my blog, either. If I mention it, they’re like, “Oh yeah, I forgot you had that! What’s the url again?”

  5. My family don’t read mine either!

    I loved your bit about keeping the English intact. Sometimes I have that gevoel too 😉

  6. English is my mother tongue and all, but there’s definitely something attractive about German: eingedeutsched? That ability to succinctly (albeit often a little heavy on the consonants) put into expression otherwise complex ideas is so fascinating to me.

  7. Charlotte, Don’t be shy with listening to or mentioning compliments given to you by strangers or good-looking fellows in the past, or new friend’s in Berlin (that’s me!)… I’m sure, if you were willing to overcome your shyness you receive compliments all the time. Only five! Perfectly shameful.

    You could take a novel approach and just turn your personal attributes “a nifty line in cakes, a lackadaisical attitude to housework, an appreciation of wine and the ability to talk and laugh late into the night with no care for what tomorrow brings” into compliments and up the list to ten items in no time flat.

  8. Charlotte, I can think of a few compliments for you. I don’t want to bore your readers, so I will just highlight one ;). My dear soon-to-be-Mann, J, absolutely adores your family. Whenever he spends time with your lot, he speaks very highly of the way you raise your family and what a warm and comfortable feeling he has during and afterwards. He has been more open to the idea of having children of our own, and I truly believe that it is in part due to your family unit. This coming from a man who, now brace yourselves, sometimes calls children crotchfruit! So, on that note, thank you Charlotte for creating such a strong and lovely family that is quite highly revered from the soon to be Stone family.

  9. I enjoyed reading this post — and the ghost-writing job sounds really interesting!

  10. Hi Trousers. Yes, having spent more hours than I would like to count at playgrounds for children, I am very happy to have my own one.

    Dew and Ash, it never ceases to surprise me that they aren’t the least bit interested. They are also technophobes, which is part of the problem, but nevertheless, I don’t get it.

    Henitserk, the problem is English corrupted by German. It is not pretty.

    Lia, point taken. Will try to think of more compliments in future.

    Tesha, I love that! Thank you. So cool that J “Crotchfruit” Stone likes my kids.

    Dorothy, the job is cool and I really, really must stop blogging and go and do some work now.

  11. Love the reasons why you blog. I need to do this meme today – it’s been hanging over me. And fantastic news about the ghost-writing! Shows the power of blogging and the quality of your work.

  12. This is great. I’m still struggling to balance all my jobs with blogging though! I ghost-wrote a book two years ago and defintely wouldn’t have found the time to blog as often and as well as you do! Go girl!

  13. Welcome to our crazy family, and yep, I’m a narcissist too. Can you be a narcissist if you don’t know how to spell narcissist? I just mangled the word pretty badly and had to check your spelling to correct it.

  14. I liked how you said it’s a playground for adults. That’s a perfect description. And just like a playground, I have my favorites.

    Nice meme Charlotte.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s