December 10th, 2003


More dialect. . . continued

(see also the previous `dialect' entry.)


- What's for dinner?
- Brown.
- Oh. :-(
Ever since I can remember, `brown' was what we had on Sundays during the time between arriving home from church and going out again for Sunday school - and on rare occasions we had it at other times too. It was a while before I found out that it has another name, more widely known in the North of England: Pan'aggerty. Heat up a frying pan with some butter, then cover the bottom with sliced potatoes, then add sliced onions and cheese and more potatoes and carry on piling it up until you have enough for everyone, then plonk an inverted metal plate on top and cook it for about 40 minutes. We didn't have time for finishing it off under the grill, which seems to be in most modern recipes, but in any case, by the time it is finished the potatoes on the bottom of the pan have gone a rich brown colour (hence the name) and are the best part of the meal. However, I don't like onions, so this was not my favourite dish.

As we children grew up and our meals slowly got bigger, and especially following the arrival of my youngest brother and his consequent demand for food, my parents found that we could no longer fit enough in the frying pan, so a tradition ended and another began: from then on, Sunday lunch was a casserole of potatoes, sausages and baked beans (much more to my taste) - which had the advantage of being able to be placed in the oven on a timer setting before we went out, so it was ready for us when we got back. A few of years ago I was amused to find that Heinz now markets this as a frozen ready-meal for one.

skue-bly: On a cloudy day, if you see any blue sky, you must not say the words `blue sky' because you will frighten it away again. Hence `I can see some skue bly,' which is much less likely to alarm it because it can't tell what you are talking about.

lyac (pronounced LIE-ak) = yeuch. Something my brother wrote when he was rather young, and we (the other two brothers), being cruel, deliberately mispronounced it and started using it.

mither (also spelled meither - pronounced with `my' as the first syllable): familiar to many Northern English speakers, it means to pester or irritate (a person) by talking on and on about something, particularly when complaining or asking for something.

Put wood in th'ole! = Shut the door!

Honourable mention goes to the word `collapsed' which has its usual meaning but is pronounced `COLL-upst' (another favourite of my granny).


Mailed contribution

Since j4 shared with us a letter from her boss, I thought I would offer a letter that we received from the Chairman of Royal Mail this morning.
Dear Customer, [They have such a flair for the personal touch!]

I would like to apologise personally to you for the delay in getting your post due to the recent unofficial action in your area.

Now our postmen and women are back at work, we are working together to ensure that your postal service is maintained in the future.

We are sorry that our customer compensation scheme does not apply when services are disrupted due to industrial action. However we have decided to make a gesture of goodwill on behalf of all our customers.

Working with Postwatch, the consumer body for postal services, we plan to make a £1 million donation towards London's bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

Again, on behalf of everyone at Royal Mail we are very sorry for any inconvenience caused to you and your family during the recent dispute.

Yours sincerely,

Allan Leighton

Now isn't that generous of them!

Time out

On Thursday buzzy_bee visited and had a day out with bopeepsheep and smallclanger. We were to take the baby for an evening with his grandparents so that we could go and see Mitch Benn, but we found out that the gig had been cancelled (boo). However, we still carried out the first part of the plan and instead of Mitch Benn we went to the Odeon and saw Love, Actually which we thought was quite good, actually.

On Saturday we went out to High Wycombe to do some Christmas shopping, and were pretty successful. T got several new books out of the deal (including a couple of big anthologies).

On Sunday we achieved putting T's cotbed together, although we haven't yet achieved persuading him to spend the night in it.