Wednesday, 31 August 2011

353. A sip of water to take a pill?

Scene:  Two hospitable maiden aunts in their late 80's regularly have cousins and nephews to stay.  This is an overheard half of a telephone conversation.

Aunt Lizzie (86): 

My dear, I’m so embarrassed, I can hardly bring myself to tell you about it.  We had such a busy weekend!  Rosie and the twins came to stay, and then at the last minute Daphne rang and said she was in England and would be in the area, and could she come.  Well of course we were delighted to see her – she’s such a shy person, isn’t she? 

She’s got a very bad leg poor thing, and it was obvious she wasn’t going to manage the stairs, so I gave her my room downstairs.  She insisted she could manage, but of course she couldn’t.  And besides, her eyesight is terrible, she’d have tripped or something.  Maggie (88) offered hers too, but it was going to be too complicated, what with all those little bottles of medication she has lined up on the dressing-table, and her commode and everything.  So I just moved a few things over – it was only going to be one night after all.

I went to bed late. I was catching up on the old newspapers (you won’t believe it but I’ve nearly finished the ones I’d kept from the 1990’s!  I know…! well, I’m getting there).  Anyway, I suddenly remembered that I’d left my teeth in the glass on my night-table but it was too late to do anything about it.  On the Sunday morning Daphne didn’t say anything about it, and she left about lunchtime.

Later when everybody had left I moved my things from the spare room upstairs back down to my own room, and my dear, you’ll never guess.  My dentures were still in the glass on the night-table, but the water level had gone down because they were slightly above the water...

I dissolve a special tablet in the glass to clean them, so it must have tasted simply awful, even though she couldn’t have drunk much of it.

I just won’t know what to say when she rings to thank us.  What do you think?


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

352. What we mean is what we don't say (3)

We say:  Trust me!    (as in: "He knows what he's talking about - trust me!")

We mean:  I know more about this than I'm prepared to let on.

What it says about us: I don't, but I want you to think so.


Monday, 29 August 2011

351. Welsh Idiosyncrasies - Nickname Series (28)

There was Dai Twp because he looked and acted odd.  Another miner was called Satan - because of his looks.  (Imagine being in a remote heading in a mine when the tannoy called for Satan to turn up...)  There was another called Will Jingle Jangle because he was always shaking coins in his pocket, and another called Yunker because he looked like a fledgling.

Ian Price, Cwmparc

Friday, 26 August 2011

348. At the Estate Agents

Young Lady (25):  Aaaaaaah.  How old is he?

Gustavo (38):  Eight months.

Young Lady:  But when was he born?

Gustavo:  Eight months ago, that's why he's eight months' old...

Gustavo's comment:  I hope she's not the one who works out the contracts...

(Loosely translated from Blogudeces de la Vida Cotidiana, with thanks to Gustavo.)


Thursday, 25 August 2011

347. Welsh Idiosyncrasies - Nickname Series (27)

I was born in Llanhilleth in 1930 and remember several nicknames.  Thomas Thomas was Tommy Twice.  Any boy with the surname Evans was 'Yanto'.  The Local dairyman, like many other Davids, was Dai the Milk.  The local farmer who sdlivered the milk was Mr Price Maescynew - the name of his farm.

Walter Harris, Cwmbran


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

345. Welsh Idiosyncrasies - Expressions (1)

On seeing an unrecognised garment left behind -

"Whose coat is that jacket?"


Monday, 22 August 2011

344. On Musical Tastes

Scene:  Sophie (6) and Anna (4) accompany their mother to her monthly Lunch Club.  They’ve been warned to be on their best behaviour.  A discussion is taking place about favourite composers. In a lull a kindly lady turns to Sophie –

Lunch Club Lady (40):  So what sort of music do you like Sophie?

Sophie (6):  I like Shostakovich.

Anna (4):  (In high treble)  I like Mahler…… an’ I like Van Goff.

With thanks to Liz.


Sunday, 21 August 2011

343. Welsh Idiosyncrasies - Nickname Series (26)

As a child in Cwmgwrach, Wales, I knew many people by their nickname only.  Dai Buns, because he took buns in his lunch box every day.  Sammy Sampson, known as Sam Bandit for his gambling habit.  Tal Donk, because he owned a donkey, among others.

Harry Caswell, Dayton, Ohio.

Friday, 19 August 2011

341. What we mean is what we don't say...(2)

We sayWith (great) respect...

We meanWith no respect whatsoever, I know more than you.  Shut up and pay attention to what I'm about to say.

What it says about us:  We think we're inspiring respect by saying it, rather than just plain irritation...


Thursday, 18 August 2011

340. Aunt Winnie

Scene:  Aged Aunt Winnie comes for tea.  She heaves herself gratefully into an armchair and greets the little girl standing in front of her.

Little girl (5):  Hello Auntie Willy.

Aunt Winnie (80):  Well hello – are you going to give me a kiss?

Little girl:  Auntie Willie you’ve got “whickers”.  (Gasp from mother in the background)

Auntie Winnie:  Yes my dear, and when you’re my age you’ll have “whickers” too.


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

339. Welsh Idiosyncrasies (25) - Nickname Series

When my nan died the undertaker was known as Dai the Box, and the local vicar was John the Book.  My grampy had friends named Dai Six Kids and Dai Crackers.  And my uncle was the milkman in Aberfan and was known as Will the Milk.

Claire - ex Merthyr


Sunday, 14 August 2011

336. How to be posh

Scene:  In a wine bar.

Smart & worldly young woman to blind date (18):  What will you be having for lunch?  I rather fancy the paté...

Aspiring young man on first date ever (19):  I'll have a qwitch.


Saturday, 13 August 2011

335. Welsh Idiosyncrasies - Nickname Series (24)

When I lived in Pontypridd our street was full of Davids, myself included.  Our next-door neighbour, who was also a David, became Dai Next Door, and the name stuck.

David Towell, Melbourne, Australia


Thursday, 11 August 2011

333. Political Commentary TV Programme, Argentina

Presenter: Buenos Aires today the opening has taken place of a new suburb named "President Nestor Kirchner", with one hundred and forty-seven new homes...

Son (8):  If every time a president dies they do so many good things, it would be better if more presidents died...

Comment by Gustavo:  This kid has the capacity for more political analysis than Morales Solá and Grondona (political analysts)

Loosely translated from Blogudeces de la Vida Cotidiana, with thanks to Gustavo.


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

332. Overheard at work

Work Colleague 1 (40):  Thing is, I'm not sure you can do the job..

Work Colleague 2 (50)(flustered) I strongly resemble that remark, I really do.


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

331. Welsh Idiosyncrasies - Nickname Series (23)

I vividly remember two teachers from Aberdare Boys Grammar School in the 70's, both of whom taught myself and my Dad (my Dad in the 30's, by the way).  His name was David Daniel Davies and was known as Dai Cubed, and the famous Tom Evans known as Long Tom - he seemed to me to be 6'16" when I was in form 1.  Fabulous guys, proper teachers.

from Rob Davies, Merthyr (Aberdare Snake originally)


Sunday, 7 August 2011

329. What we mean is what we don't say... (1)

We sayI think you ought to know...

We meanI'm dying to tell you...

What it says about usI'm a busybody who loves giving bad news, and the look of shock on your face makes it all worth while...


Saturday, 6 August 2011

328. Concrete doesn't need watering...

Where:  Overheard, walking down the hospital main corridor.
Who:     Two men from the Estates Department

Estate man 1 (50’s):  My jasmine is coming up lovely, gorgeous.  It’s this high and this wide, and the perfume!  Superb.  Last year no flowers at all, this year it’s bursting out all over.  Lovely.

Estate man 2 (40’s):  Mmm.  I thought you were saying the other week that you’re taking up the lawn??

Estate man 1:  Oh yeah I’m taking it up in the autumn, don’t want lawn.

Estate man 2:  So your jasmine will have gravel around it then?

Estate man 1:  Oh no, that’ll go as well.  I prefer concrete really.

Estate man 2:  Ooh ah, I’m with you.



Friday, 5 August 2011

327. Welsh Idiosyncrasies - Nickname Series (22)

There was a man in Govilon who was called Tom the Lion who would get drunk and fight anything including the lamp post at the bottom of Blaenafon Road.  When he shouted his battle cry "when the lion roars Gilwern trembles" everyone including the police disappeared.

from Peter Stockham


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

324. Bobby the Budgie

Marie has called in the security company to service her house's alarm, and a very nervous young character arrives on her doorstep one morning who seems to jump at the sight of his own shadow.  Marie is distracted this particular morning, because her beloved budgie Bobby is out of sorts and she needs to discover whether he is showing any signs of sickness.

The alarm engineer sets to work in the room next to the kitchen, while Marie puts the kettle on to offer him a cuppa.  She chats in friendly fashion to the man, who stutters in reply, clearly preferring his own company.  He's relieved when the noise of the kettle drowns out conversation and he withdraws further into the little room with the alarm and starts to dismantle it. 

He hears the sound of the boiling water reachind a crescendo and then dying away, and the clattering of cups.  Then he hears Marie's coaxing voice -

"Are you going to be a good boy and have a drink?  We don't want you to get dehydrated, do we?  You're SUCH a HANDSOME boy, we don't want anything happening to you, do we?  Come here, let me give you a little tickle..."

Marie hears the back door slam and then the sound of the engineer's van door slamming and the engine being started, and wonders what's going on.  He returns some time later, telling her he had to go back to the workshop to get a part.  He's changed his mind he says, he'll skip the tea.

(With thanks to Marie)

Monday, 1 August 2011

323. Welsh Idiosyncrasies – Nickname Series (21)

My father was Gwyn Trott born in Resolven.  He had a friend Thomas Thomas nicknamed Tommy Twice.  Also at one stage apparently there were so many Trotts working in the mine at Resolven that the level was nicknamed the Trott level.

Peter Trott, London