Some words just seem to go together don't they? We say them so often they create a sort of flowing groove in the brain, the connection between the two words an easy harmony. Some couple's names are like this, you know how its almost always easier to say one before the other? Ruth and Toby, Tom and Becky (sorry you guys, if you're reading, you were just the first I thought of!)
Sometimes its hard to undo these connections in your brain if for example the couple separates and then, worse, form new partnerships. How many of us have bitten our tongues and swallowed a Rachel and quickly replaced it with,.... err, Claire. Or not!
So it was with Freddie and Lily. Best friends, worst enemies, always together. I have called them for dinner a thousand times..'Freddie and Li-ly', shouted across a wood, a field or up a stairs. I have talked about them a thousand times, 'oh that's just like when Freddie and Lily....'
They weathered everything together, my break up with their dad, house moves, 6 new siblings (not all my doing!) They were a pair almost more than they were separate.
And I've had to bite my tongue so many times in the last two and a half years to stop the Lily coming out. Except she often does anyway. Which is fine among the family, but some people go a bit silent and wonder if I'm going to cry.
We have a new pair of course, Tansy and Leo, who are definitely more of a pair than separate. And I have a new cry, across the wood, across the street, up the stairs...'Tansy and Le-o'
On Easter Day we walked out towards Huntingdon Barrow or Heap of Sinners on Dartmoor, and the pairing changed. Leo's short legs needed Mummy and Daddy's company and encouragement.
Tansy's slightly longer ones ran in little eager panting bursts to keep up with Fred's. Freddie and Tansy. So strange to say, it felt like someone had handed me an grapefruit when I was expecting an avocado.
Freddie and Tansy. Brother and sister.