Sunday, 10 May 2009


O.K. - so it’s 7:18 p.m. and it's 82F/28C in Sarasota, FL. I am not complaining.


Three St. Boniface Church friends came to my home for lunch today. It was a jolly time. “Entertaining” is one of the delights of my retirement.

They each agreed (without prompting!) that Penny is the most handsome of dogs; and that Ada and Adelaide are the prettiest of cats.


Penny was resting in my bedroom later in the afternoon. I did no more than look at her, when she began to wag her tail. I liked that!


I awaken most morning with some song or tune racing through my mind.

This morning it was a silly song which, as children, we sang to the tune “The Ashgrove”.

We sang:

“Old Hexworth’s a funny ‘un
with a face like a pickled onion
with a nose like a squashed tomato
and feet like flat-fish”

I “Googled” this song, and found that it had many variations in the various regions of England,
so please do not “correct” me if you remember it differently!

As I walked Penny my mind went on to another silly song of my childhood, this one sung to the Toreador song from Bizet’s “Carmen”.

“Oh Eliza look at your uncle Jim
He’s in the bath-tub, learning the way to swim.
First he tries the breast stroke, then he tries the crawl.
And now he’s under the water, and he can’t swim at all”

My “Google” search led me to many other silly songs from the British Isles. Here’s another one of Scottish origin, which I’d not seen before this morning.

Fiona Hawke came up with this one from her father, Stuart Wotherspoon

You canna shove your granny off a bus,

You canna shove your granny off a bus

You canna shove your granny,

Because she's your mammies mammy,

You canna shove your granny off a bus.

Michael McLaren found another verse ..

You canna shove your granny off a bus,

You canna shove your granny off a bus

You canna shove your granny,

Cause she makes your mince n tatties,

Oh, you cannae shove your granny off the bus.

and Charlotte Bleh provided the second verse

Oh, ye can shove your OTHER Granny aff a bus,

Ye can shove your OTHER Granny aff a bus.

Ye can shove your other Granny,

Cause she's yer DADDY'S mammy,

Ye can shove yer other Granny aff a bus.


I began to giggle later in the morning when I read an article in the Daily Telegraph (London).

The article was about double-barrelled surnames, but went on to discuss multi-barrelled names.

One of the best known in England is “Twisleton-Wickham-Fiennes”, but the following (from the Telegraph article) takes the biscuit!

"Multi-barrelled identity has not died out in Britain. While Windsor remains the formal royal name, the present Queen has created a new double-barrelled surname - Mountbatten-Windsor - for her direct descendants.

Elsewhere among Britain's elite, the armed forces have always deployed multi-barrelled names in large numbers.

Unforgettable in this tradition was Admiral Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurley Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, sent in 1939 as a special envoy to Moscow.

It sounds more like an elaborate and sinister code than a name.

And the Admiral was conspicuously unsuccessful as the Soviets opted for an alliance with Nazi Germany rather than the Britain of Admiral Drax (etc etc.)"

The good Admiral is second from left in this archived pic.

1 comment:

  1. How about tongue twisters? One I remember from my youth was;

    Our Bob said if your Bob don't give our bob that bob your Bob owes our Bob our Bobs going to give your Bob a bop in the eye!

    For people in the colonies, a "bob" was a slang word for a "shilling" a coin of the realm worth 12 old pence.