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Oh, Just Some Things
by Ken Simm

My Mother, who was so tight fisted that she once dropped sixpence on the floor and it hit her on the back of the neck, used to say
“Don’t eat all those apples they don’t grow on trees you know”.

“But they do,” I would reply knowingly whereupon she would hit me.

She also said, “Stop yer scrikin or I’ll give yer somert to srike about.” Er? Whereupon she would hit me again, on account I suppose.

When she was on the telephone to her sisters she would say “Oh it wuz about that big,” sketching out the size with her fingers. What always surprised me is that they would know what size she was talking about.

My Mother would Meemaw. That is mouth the words whenever she was talking about something she thought you should not know like “Have you seen that one at number 19, well she’s no better than she should be”.

How good should she be, I thought? Having learned to translate the exaggerated mouthings at very early age for personal survival reasons, I suppose. And then she would hit me again for listening or looking when I shouldn’t and finding out about Mrs Playtex’s operation scar. (Don’t ask me why she was called that, I still duck at the memory)

Meemawing by the way was invented in the weaving sheds of Lancashire so that my Mother could be understood above the sound of Jenny and Mule. It was developed into a fine art across the yard walls of the back to backs and was not official meemawing unless dressed in the obligatory curlers and paisley pinny (see translation).

Other sayings of my Mother before she hit me again…

“Hast anyonyer getting anyonyer?”
“Hast binman bin?”
“Thas nobutt bin ere but ten minutes”
“Ee ee wouldn’t stop a pig inna ginnel”
And finally one of my Dads, the translation of which might be the new game craze if I’m lucky.
“Eee Ah gettin up morn neet just this side o’ sparrarfart and ah thort, met goo aatt neet get a few daann me but tha nose wot its like owd biddy would aa non of it, tha nose so ah stayed awhom and watched tellie.”

Perhaps I should do a Lanky word for windows. What do you think?

Partial translation.

Srikin.  Crying as in mardarse.
Somert  Something as in soomertup?
Hast      Have or are as in Hasterallreet?
Anyonyer   Any on you?
Binman    Refuse operative.
Tintintin   It isn’t in the metal container
Ee           Ee.
Ginnel    Alleyway. The person was slightly bowlegged.
Yacht?   Question Are you hot?