Monday, 30 March 2015

To Turn a Phrase

Regular readers know I like words, and whilst I don't use them very well, the phrases we use on a day to day basis fascinate me. In the car the other day my partner and I were discussing using 'Shank's Pony' which in my parlance is walking. But what an odd phrase, nonetheless, research show this to be a Scottish original phrase relating to a certain Shank's Nag, in other words, a useless animal so much so - you would have to walk. Who or what Shanks was, the reading doesn't reveal, but its a lovely phrase. 

Another favourite of my partner is 'Casey's Court' - meaning a sense of chaos or disorganisation. Although I am struggling to find a definitive answer to this one - it does appear to be a relatively recent phrase perhaps named after an old UK music hall 'crazy' act, created by a William Murray which involved lots of children. 

'Bob's your uncle' is another common one I use, but this one sadly is less clear still. It is said however that a famous politician Arthur Balfour got a job, not on merit but because the boss was his uncle (Lord Salisbury aka Robert Cecil). So there you have it - Bob's your uncle.

Although I am an East Yorkshire lad, I've always been in and around Hull both for leisure and mostly work. My father's family come from there so there is a bit of an affinity I guess. The language and the way it's used is a bit lazy and uncomfortable listening sometimes.  There are however some local phrases which I've discussed before ('snicket' - back tenfoot, etc) but here's another one for you: if you feel warm, here you might say you were "maftin'." Now I'm not sure whether or not that's spelt correctly. It appears in the slang dictionaries but as yet, it appears not to be included in mainstream dictionaries. 

One of Hull's many old town narrow cobbled streets or 'staithes' leading mainly to the river Hull

A phrase used for many years, particularly on the coast is when someone is described as a 'comfort'. I had no idea what that meant until a colleague once told me that it describes a visitor to the place - "I've come for t'day," (spoken with a thick Yorkshire accent)!

I love the word 'nunty.' Its something dull, unfashionable, out of date.  If something is sticky or tacky or even muddy, it's described here as 'clarty.' This time the dictionary tells us that the good old Scottish and us northerners use it as meaning dirty or filthy.

The final one for now I use is 'nithered' and that aptly describes a symptom caused, for example by the current weather - feeling very cold! The Collins English Dictionary is yet to field that one!

Enjoy the week, stay warm. Easter is coming!

Chat soon


Saturday, 28 March 2015

Father and Son Stroll

My son John and I went for a walk in Hull's old town on his return home for a visit on Friday. It was a nice blustery day and still cool in the late March air. We like bimbling around, looking at the architecture and chatting. We visited the new foot bridge over the River Hull which connects east to west and the view up river looks like this:

The Arctic Corsair, now a museum
The Arctic Corsair was built in 1960 in Beverley in East Yorkshire, once a prolific shipyard and is the last surviving Hull sidewinder deep-sea trawler. Although she has been a museum since 1999, she saw action in the 1970s in the so called cod war and in 1973, broke the world record for catching cod and haddock in the White Sea. 

The anchor, now a home for roosting pigeons
The next stop was the Wilberforce House and Museum which had some new exhibits. We also had an average sandwich and a slightly less than average cuppa at a local cafe.

Then a quick look in Hepworth's Arcade in the old town at some vinyl records before home for a cuppa, the first time John has visited my new home.

Hepworth's Arcade with its lovely vaulted glass roof
Dinsdale's Joke shop, it was old when I was a kid
The kitchen I decorated with Linda is finished bar putting a shelf up and we did rather a good job, me being a first time wallpaperer! The bedrooms next, mostly painting this time but some papering is still required - I'm an expert now! 

I was very disturbed to watch the news about the Germanwings plane and the reason for its demise. This will worry a lot of people who are nervous about flying. My thoughts and prayers are with the deceased, their families and friends and the rescuers who have the thankless task of recovery.

Chat soon


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Decorated Man

We've just returned from hospital today and following excellent and rapid treatment on the NHS, a lump in my partner's breast has proved nothing and she's been given the all clear. An end to a stressful time assisted by positive thinking and reassurance from the spirit world.

I've never decorated in my life to be honest. I've slapped a bit of paint about now and then, nothing too artistic and I wouldn't describe that as decorating as such.

However I now have the distinction, being a late fifty something year old Yorkshire man to have hung my first roll of wallpaper. Hold the front page! In my temporary new home, we needed to paper the kitchen. It is anaglypta so no pattern so it was not too dificult to put on the wall, the bubbles were a bit of a bugger, but they went up after some practice and cutting round the light switches and windows was tricky, but it got done and looks pretty decent. Thank you Linda for teaching and being patient.

My mother was a very good decorator , she doesn't do it now and my uncle Les is an exceptional decorator so I have seen it done before and I guess it helped. There's a bit more papering to do and this time with a pattern of sorts and plenty of emulsion to slop about so I'll be happy with that.

My grandfather, my mother's dad who is long deceased, a Londoner and a First World War veteran used to sing for me when I was a child the following song "When Father Papered the Parlour," and here is the chorus:

When Father papered the parlour
You couldn't see Pa for paste
Dabbing it here and dabbing it there
There was paste and paper everywhere
Mother was stuck to the ceiling
And the kids were stuck to the floor
You never saw such a bloomin' family
So stuck up before

Penned in 1911, you have to hear it to appreciate it.

We've been to the cinema recently to see the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the sequel and for a change, the sequel is as good as the original. British film at its very very best. It also shows what a wonderful rich cultural country India is.

Take care

Chat soon


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Paper Man

I am lucky I guess that when I go to the local BBC radio station to do the Sunday paper review,  am allowed to indulge myself with the range of stories I can choose in the many national Sunday papers. It's not a daunting task, you dont even have to have a great knowledge of the subject matter, although it helps to have a point of view - it's just like having a friendly chat with a mate.

The stories I chose were not from the depressing political and Middle Eastern scenarios that are playing large at the moment - I have to consider the interests of a wide more local audience. These are the stories I chose:

The Observer - Here comes the Brits: New acting talent gets its chance in Game of Thrones. 
This is the story of new talent being given a chance alongside established actors in this HBO series.

Sunday Mirror - 8M A&E patients ought to have seen a GP.
A self explanatory story.

Sunday Express - UK is set to spend more on [foreign] aid than our armed forces.

Sunday Telegraph  - Our heroines of the Afghan battlefield.
Following on from the award of the VC, this highlights two females, one a soldier and one an airwoman who have displayed extraordinary courage in the face of enemy fire.

Sunday Times - Menopause costs women jobs, warns jobs tzar.

Sunday People - Spock star Nimoy to be laid to rest in LA

Hope you have a great week

Chat soon

Ta ra