Monday, 20 December 2010

Christmas special

When Dad sang in church he often had to suddenly drop or rise an octave so that the hymn was within his range. The most notable example of this came in Christians Awake, Salute the Happy Morn, usually the opening carol at Park on Christmas Day, during which he would turn to wink and/or nod his head at us. I always think of him at carol services.

And now to the main point of this posting ...

If you thought the previous sound clip was timewarp-tastic then wait until you click on this one. The recordings came about as I received a tape recorder for Christmas in 1977 (a second-hand Grundig from Sirrell's second-hand shop on the Oxford Road). I let it run at one or two points during the big day without anyone knowing - and here's what resulted. Editing the surviving clips has been a labour of love (and something of a learning curve). I apologise for leaving in my "mongy" interjection at the start of Act IV but I couldn't be bothered to edit it out:

Thursday, 16 December 2010

first class

These two words preceded anything for which dad wanted to give approval - "That was absolutely first class!" Although of course someone could also be "a first class ruddy bore, between you and me" (eg Ken Curtis)

More parental violence

ALso has anyone already logged the not very tender sounding "I'll brain you!" yet?

Grace.... short version

this is a bit delayed following previous grace-themed blogs, but it came to me just the other day: "Shall we just thank the Lord and carry on?" (Dad's nose fully in the trough at this stage!)

BTW - LOVE LOVE the auctioneering tape - you are a techno-whizzard Paul - very evocative - although dad's price incrementation (?) sounded a bit dodgy. Nice bell-ringing, John too!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Two more Dadisms - and a sound clip

A couple for you:

1. "Gently, Bentley" - as I said while edging the car down a snowy lane.
2. "You make my blood boil!".

Clip of the day:

All I will say about this is that I discovered it on a tape of old radio recordings, I've no idea how it came to be recorded and it's astonishing to listen to after all these years. (The pic is from a Dales auction mart which Beck, Mads, the kids and I visited in 2007). Hope you appreciate the technical accomplishment of getting this online! There are more clips where this comes from.

Friday, 26 November 2010

"I say!"

Dad would often use this exclamation to attract attention over the general hubbub of conversation before saying something he considered important. Like "shall I bash the spuds?" or "what time's lunch, Pat?" [we're back to food again].

He also went through a phase of saying "morning" repeatedly to every family member he met in an inappropriately formal fashion. I think he picked this up from the round-the-world cruises and cattle conferences.

Pic of the day: Beck and I look like a couple of retards from an austere 60s children's home. Mum again "looking bonny" [another minor Dad-ism, I think].

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Something non food / sleep related!

As we unwrapped Aidan's presents earlier today, I found myself saying "let's make a note of who gave what". I remember Dad obsessing about this over Christmas - usually using the back of a Christmas card to jot everything down.

So, two Dadisms in two days - I'm on fire!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

More food-related (sort of)

When someone couldn't open a tight jam jar they would pass it to Dad. After much grunting and gasping he would turn the lid, declaring: "Man's superior strength!"

Pic of the day:

Makes you realise how much No 33 has changed, this one. Poode just of cute [and Bertie-like], of course ...

Friday, 19 November 2010

recurrent themes and random favourites

Have you noticed that most dadisms can be grouped together under only a few themes - namely eating, sleeping and tennis!?

'Random favourites' refers to his tendency to develop an unexplained soft spot for people connected to us and then ask obsessively how they are eg he was always very keen on "Carolyn makes the grade" (carolyn fulwell, who was never a particular friend or particularly known to dad). Also - "how are Janet and Brian?" - my rather tedious neighbours in suffolk - again, hardly close friends! he was always enquiring after Maggie too for some reason - maybe the santa outfit did the trick there. Then of course if I ever saw Sylvia it was "how is Peter's farm?" (her brother, who i never saw and oddly enough on whom i didn't get a regular bulletin from sylvia either - though i did ask her from time to time simply so as have a reply for him! God I miss him...


One of the joys I have found with parenthood is that I can have a nap with Aidan and not only do I get my 40 winks, but I'm also doing my parental duty as well. Anyway, found myself saying to Kris as both A and I were in the back of the car getting ready "I'm just going to close my eyes for 5 minutes" - a Dad-ism! I always marveled at his ability to power nap for the five minutes before he was called to carve, but it's something I've inheritted. If napping were an Olympic sport, I'd be in the GB vest.

Monday, 15 November 2010

ears and hands

Funnily enough - i have seen other men do that wiggling too - i think it's a way of itching a tickle deep in the inner ear - not wax removal. whatever, it's not particularly attractive so not a practice i would recommend anyone adopts or at least like picking one's nose, only in private.

On another note - yesterday at supper I put some carrots on freddie's plate at the table using my fingers and Freddie said "untouched by human hand"!! he must have got it from me, although i don't really remember saying it.

LOVe the pointing pic - though not impressed with adam's pointing at all - and i look distinctly disinterested (but rather a cutey don't you think!!??)

Frantic ear poking

Talking of Dad's hair-drying technique brings to mind his somewhat over-zealous ear cleaning [was it?] technique - of frantically wiggling his little finger in his ear while his head was titled slightly to one side. Can't have had that much ear wax, surely? And, if he did, was this a good way of removing it? Answers on a postcard, please ...

Pic of the day: What a find this is! Is it the original pointing shot? I like the look of the bloke sitting down below, as if to say "Why are you doing that?" We still wonder ... [Click on the pic to open it at full size].

Thursday, 11 November 2010

hereditary hair rubbing

Spooky moment yesterday when Freddie came out of the shower having washed his hair and started extremely hard and frantic hair rubbing with a towel finishing with a dry, but very vertical head of hair - all mad professor - just like dad used to do. it must be hereditary as he would never have seen dad do it! (or is it just something most men do?!)
It reminded me that Dad would also offer the same treatment to anyone else with wet hair - it was somewhat painful, but quite effective and strangely nice after a freezing swim in the sea.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

I'm back! Pics and milk memories

Loving the vintage pics - and wow mum you do look great in those shorts! adam looks distinctly sulky, but then if he's just been attacked by paul.... i wonder in the other pic if i've just had sand thrown in my eyes by paul..... (or maybe just another gale force wind on a bleak welsh beach!)
I lIke the carpet reminder and the mispronunciations - did he also call Cafe Uno "Cafe You-Know" ?!(or was that someone else?)
Also on the a milkman theme - of course he wasn't called the milkman, was he, but the "dairyman". I think there was also much longing for "gold top" (extra creamy milk) long after they stopped doing it. Then of course every pudding had to have "top of the milk" on it.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Carpet paranoia

Polly was spilling some drink on the table yesterday. "Not on the carpet!" I call in the best of KK traditions - even though we don't have a carpet in the kitchen.

One other quirk of Dad's was deliberately saying certain words incorrectly, for instance:

- "pit-sa" for pizza.
- "steer-e-o" for stereo
- "pew-joe" for Peugeot

Pic of the day: Mum looking particularly slim and good looking in this pic, I think. She says that I made the scratch marks on Adam's face because I either didn't like him or was jealous of him - which I refute, of course!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

One from the weekend

The kids and I ring the bell of No 140. Beck comes to the door: "No milk today, thank you!"

And another Dadism I thought of recently but was prompted by nothing. A grace: "Good food, good company" - which took much less time than to say that it took to get everyone to stop groaning that a grace was imminent.

Pic of the day: There are more questions than answers with this one. Why is Beck shielding her eyes and who's knee is it? [I would love a leg as straight as that]. The Poode looks like Bertie, I think. I like the way Mum's legs edge into the pic.

Thursday, 14 October 2010


I found myself doing an involuntary Dad-ism the other morning - as I emerged from the shower, I could hear Aidan and Kris in the bedroom, so flung open the door, hair tousled and towel around my middle piece and proclaimed "NEXT!". Rather redundant in our house with just the three of us, but I felt compelled to do it anyway. How we managed to get six people scrubbed and dressed of a morning with one bathroom is something of a logistical mystery to me.

On another note, a mum-ism if you will: Am just down with a nasty cold at the moment and there's still nothing like warm orange juice to take me back to those days when you were sick as a kid. You'd be at home in bed and - once the bedlam of getting everyone else out the door had settled - mum coming upstairs with the warm orange juice. It was made from some concentrate as I recall, but a glass of OJ with a minute in the mic is doing great for me today. Thanks Mum.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

photo feedback and new ism!

Loving the pics, but this one too blurry to make out - assume that's me preening in the foreground...

A song was mentioned on the radio yesterday which immediately made me sing the title (as the only words/tune i knew) because dad used to sing it... "Little man, you've had a busy day!"

Another food-related phrase

When presentation of the dessert isn't all it could be: "Beautifully served!"

Then, if it was a small portion, Dad would say sarcastically: "Can I have less than that?" And Mum would, of course, oblige.

Pic of the day: Who is the third child?

Monday, 11 October 2010

Phrases in a Scottish accent

1 "Co'ot the way!" - as in get out the way.

2. "Pit the licht oot!" - as in put the light out - and often appended with "Johnny" regardless of who the instruction was directed at.

And one other along similar lines but not delivered in a Scottish brogue:

"Is anyone going out again tonight?" asked at 10pm when clearly no-one is going out or even thinking of it.

Pic of the day: I'll beat you all to it with the caption. Yes: two little squirts, ha-ha-ha!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Telling yourself to shut up

Nearly a week has passed without a post ...

Cycling back from collecting B last night I started coughing and couldn't get whatever it was from my throat. "Shut up!" I admonished myself like Dad used to during such coughing fits - when he would rock progressively to the point his backside was practically lifted off the seat.

Pic of the day: God, my head looks huge and doesn't Grannie look fearsome! I remember pushing tennis balls up those holes in the wall.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Tennis again!

Not sure which is a richer seam of dad-isms, food or tennis....

Anyway - today Faye did what Dad would have described as a "frying pan shot". (Incidentally, I played rather well having had some private coaching - so some more tips for you too paul if you would like to contact!)

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Calming phrases

1. Doing things "quietly", i.e. calmly and even if the activity wouldn't ordinarily make noise anyway.
2. "Gently, bently." As above.
3. "Don't break the toy". Used especially at Christmas when we were trying to open or start something with too more urgency and insufficient care [even if it wasn't a toy].

And one other, on a different topic:

"You are the man for the job!" - said every time I went for an interview. Great confidence to have in your lad! Then there was Dad's urge at these moments to "exercise your personality".

Pic of the day: Aunt Mollie pretends to look impressed as Mum proudly models the latest in lightshade chic c. 1962.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Lowering the tone a bit

Have been in an email chat with Beck about Aidan's potty training (which is finally getting there) and his penchant for whipping his willy out first then running off to find a tree to pee against. His exhibitionism reminded me of the old boys preference to have a wee at the end of the garden rather than the - sometimes closer - bathroom. Must run in the blood.

Also, while we're on the subject of the trouser department, was Dad the only person who referred to man bits as your "John Thomas"?

Monday, 27 September 2010

she's nicest of all when she' s sound asleep

Rather a hurtful one this (scarred me for life!) . When he picked me up from a friend's house and I'd politely said thank you for having me, the host's mother might say something like how nice it had been having me there and dad would reply "she's nicest of all......"

Thursday, 23 September 2010

A few more triggered by your earlier posts

"Your eyes are bigger than your stomach" when ever you couldn't finish anything.

Also, the threat of the wooden spoon when we didn't go up to bed or similar. Why the wooden spoon? More to the point, why were we so scared of it? I don't think he ever used it and even if he did, it's not like the buckle end of the belt.

On another theme, in a bizarre coincidence there is a blog, that became a book and now a comedy show (;fall2010_mydadsays) called "Sh*t my dad says" that's getting popular here. It's is all about the kind of thing we're doing here - capturing the quotes / wisdom of our fathers (though in their case the witticisms are funnier and full of expletives).

Going to bed

Going to bed very early was a particularly notable Dadism, and he would also announce the fact with "I thnk I'm going to retire now". When I have used this expression, this has caused some non-plussed guests to look quizzical - Paul and I used it this weekend without batting an eyelid!


I told Kris about this blog and she commented how Dad would always offer to carve - even if "the bird" [as chicken was always known] had just gone into the oven. He would also want to carve regardless of what was for dinner [eg casserole]. Then there was also the frantic sharpening of knives with the [actually pretty useless] steel and constant anxious request to Mum to check the oven, spuds, or whatever.

I also attach an archive pic of the day.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Cheese and biscuits - panic

You forgot to say that if anyone ever DID say yes please to the casual offer of cheese and biscuits, there would follow a frantic scrabble at the back of the fridge trying to find a piece of cheese without mould or newspaper print finger prints on it, followed by a similar desperate search for some biscuits!

Some pics too this time

1. "Apply your mind to ..." To think properly about something rather than skate over it. Used this when talking to Beck last night about which US holiday house to go for.

2. The cheese and biscuits conundrum. When new guests [usually girlfriends or boyfriends] were invited to The Club for Sunday lunch for the first time Dad would ask them after pudding if they would like cheese and biscuits. Mmmm, the guest would think. Is it polite to say yes or is the old fella just being polite? And what if no-one else joins me? Jenni, we believe, said yes and then had to endure the looks of surprise and amusement on the other diners' faces and then to eat the said cheese and biscuits while everyone watched.

And here for no reason - other than I've just come across some old pics in my drawer - is a pic of Mum and a cow. [I won't do the obvious joke - but she doesn't look too enamoured with the beast does she?] Click on the pic to see it at full size.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Back to theme of food again

After seconds have been dished out and we claimed still to be hungry... "you'll eat us out of house and home"

Also when very annoyed by some naughtiness: "I'll tan your backside"

Saturday, 18 September 2010

sorry,, one more - bath time checklist

"Have you washed your middle piece?" (followed a little later have you dried your ....)

..and finally for this session

Someone has started doing something mildly amusing and it is getting progressively silly:
"All right, all right, the joke's over"

More tennis inspired

what i love about the Dadisms is that they just come out of one's mouth from some deep down place when you're not expecting it! I was playing tennis yesterday and we lost a ball in some bushes outside the court. I called out to a friend passing on the path: "James, do you fancy a spot of bird-nesting?" needless to say he was quite non-plussed as were my fellow players (to my surprise) so I had to translate! - can you get in that bush a find our ball!

Childhood vocab always handy

Found myself saying, on arrival at Naworth last night, "I'll just pop in here for tinky tonk"

Just overheard Paul doing one he didn't realise was one!

To Bertie before our outing: "go and do your toothipegs"

First question after a trip?

"So you left home at what time?" Still a good way for the inquisitive to encourage a traveller to recount his/her tales in sufficient detail.

Friday, 17 September 2010

And two more

1. "It's been a lovely Christmas". A handy phrase to use just before retiring to bed to lament the passing of a pleasurable day. Used this one at The Club on Wed night.

2. Standing in the middle of the road gesticulating in a misplaced attempt to help a driver reverse into the road - and actually causing a hazard much bigger than the traffic [usually there is none]. On special occasions accompanied by a wave of the handkerchief as the driver pulls away with a double toot [which Mum winces at].

Thursday, 16 September 2010

More following Aldbourne inspiration

1. Calling orange juice "orangeade" - as I did when looking into the fridge last night.
2. Asking "How long are you going to be in there, mate?" when anyone's been in the bathroom for more than three minutes.
3. Asking "Would you like a boiled egg for breakfast?" regardless of what time the diner is setting off, where s/he is going and what sort of eating need s/he will have. [This memory was prompted by Adam serving me a first class bowl of porridge as requested at 7.30 this morning].

Dirty tea towels

Don't know why I thought of this, but Dad's washing up technique comes to mind - ie. frantically swishing the brush in circles inside the pan, bum wiggling in time, dumping it on the draining board with outside still covered in food = permanently dirty tea towels at no.33!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Always wanting to greet people by their names

When we arrived at the hotel for Paul's wedding, the young, fresh faced bell boy offered to help with the bags etc. Dad leaned forward and looking at the lads name badge said "James eh? Good for you!"

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

A visit to Aldbourne

Now I'm in the homestead the Dad-isms are flowing:

- Whistling as you open the front door. [Dad had a two note signature, John did a sort of fanfare and, at one point, I did Woody Woodpecker - or it may have been the other way round].
- Throwing the newspaper - usually the Sunday Times sports section - at someone so that all its pages open and it falls on the floor in front of them - in response to a request for the paper. Just as I did to Adam tonight.
- "First class ruddy bore": used by me to describe myself when I kept blathering on about my clippings!

Also, last night, Jenni remarked about Polly's growth. My response: "Stand back to back, then", which they obligingly did. And, yes, Polly isn't too far behind.

Man's superior strength

When presented with a "stiff" jar to open by his weak little wife!

God Almighty !!!

An exasperated "God almighty" was usually the expression that Dad used after a particularly loud crashing of pots and pans from Mum in the kitchen.

Friday, 10 September 2010


Found myself doing a classic, involuntary Dad-ism last night. A new fish and chip van was due to call at the village. I got bored waiting and left some cash with Poll saying: "Bring back as much change as possible". The line was most commonly used by Pa when providing money to buy ices on the beach.

[The van was a fiasco. About 30-40 people were waiting in Green Hammerton but the van didn't turn up. Bert and I cycled to Kirk Hammerton, the previous stop, and bought supper there - at a time when the van should've been leaving Green! In the end the van dropped Green from its schedule all together. Really brought the village together - a bit like a long delay on public transport gets people talking to one another. Absolute hoot].

Thursday, 9 September 2010

gear stick wiggling

... remembered last night that aswell as pressing the button constantly on the hand brake, he would also keep taking the gear stick to neutral, wiggle it back and forth then put it into first gear again - usually done several times while waiting at traffic lights for instance.xx

Wednesday, 8 September 2010


  • He had this nervous little habit of always checking the handbrake was off in the car - just reaching down and pressing the button
  • Polishing shoes - sadly I rarely do mine, but when I do, I always follow the same routine including the patented shoe between the knees and vigorously rubbing the toe cap with a cloth
  • Well remembered, but worth noting - The patented way of entering the sea by running in and then launching on to your back and kicking furiously. Deployed just last Sunday by yours truly
  • Shaving - I remember clearly the faces he used to pull with his top and bottom lips as he shaved in the morning. To this day, I use the same palmolive shaving soap and brush as the smell reminds me of him...

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Food theme again...

Was there one like: "get your elbows off the table - you can't do that in a restaurant!" to which one of us wits would reply, well that's ok we never go to restaurants anyway! (apart from fish and chips at the Red Barn in Devon of course)

A couple more food related ones...

  • (When having Scotch pancakes on a Sunday evening) - "Save that, I'll have it for my breakfast in the morning"
  • The classic: "I always like to give the chef a wee peck" and then chasing mum around the table
  • (When having pre-lunch drinks to mum) - "The potatoes aren't boiling over are they", to which she exasperatedly replies "I don't know, why don't you go and check"
  • Not a quote, but a memory - when carving how he would use the carving fork to feed himself large, dripping slices of fatty meat. Same for the mash potato, where a tea spoon was needed to "test" the spuds
  • When asking for what he wanted for Christmas, it was always the chocolate mouse
Funny how our father had so many memorable quotes (or catch phrases) - especially when he wasn't a great conservationist.

Songs and hummings!

Just thought I'd start another thread (is that the right term?? - ooh this blogging lark is fun!)....

"Some enchanted evening, you may see a stranger, you may see a stranger, across a crowded room" (I think he like to think he was the character Emil!!)

"They say that falling in love is wonderful, is wonderful, so they say..."

Joining in the posts - new thread: Dad specific actions

Tooting the horn on the hairpins / blind corners - he did this to our delight going towards one of the holiday homes as I recall. Never seen anyone else do this, but it worked for me on the bike the other day when I pinged my bell at a blind corner and avoided a collision with another cyclist.

Monday, 6 September 2010

And another couple about food

- I'll have half of that. (When Mum had just cut a ridiculously small slice of a tart he didn't like).
- I don't want that. It's fattening. (When he really didn't like the tart or whatever and when it didn't have anything fat in it anyway).

Just remembered another one!

Sitting at the table before a meal and optimistically asking mum: "Can I have an egg on top?" (Answer from mum invariably "NO!")
(When finally emerging, pasty-skinned, from the changing tent on the beach in a large pair of baggy trunks) : "You too have a body like mine!"

(After loud crashing noises/someone like Paul losing his rag) : "Don't break up the happy home!"

I'll be after you with the wooden spoon!

Manners maketh man

Your eyes are bigger than your stomach

(When referring to any female member of his office staff) : "Lovely nylons!"

Note to boys - Shall we start a sub-section of songs he used to sing/hum?

And a few more so the blog looks busier

- It takes a genius to write a book and an idiot to destroy one.
- You make my blood boil!
- I'm going to brain you!
- Many, many pennies (in responses to questions about how much things cost)

Some tennis sayings to get us started

- You've got to be really good to do that.
- What a scudder!
- If you do that again I'll give you a shilling.