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.