Why Say One Word……

I’ve just returned back to a sun drenched Casa Strachiona after a thankfully brief shopping trip with Karen.

Our presence at an out of town shopping centre was at the request of my Geordie consort, with the express desire to acquire greetings cards for up and coming family occasions.

So on a beautiful summer morning we braved Bank Holiday traffic and the throng of would be consumers to purchase five cards; the earliest of which isn’t required until next Tuesday.

God bless my bride of 28 years, she is ultra organised but potentially the thought processes utilised in this situation weren’t her most sagacious. Luckily we got there early (last Friday!) to beat the crowds, or we might have had the ignominy of having to revisit the same retail location on a quiet, less congested day outside of the school holidays.

One of the cards purchased was for my mum who celebrates a special occasion next week. On Tuesday it will be the 50th anniversary of her giving my brother Ian his first rollicking and clip around the lug.

The inaugural scolding of my brother was for eating a bag of plain flour. She wasn’t that bothered about him eating the flour, her issue was more when he sneezed halfway through his eccentric meal. This resulted in him looking like he’d coated himself in white gloss paint (a trick he didn’t undertake until the following year!).

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We plan a special party for this auspicious occasion, at which time we will be graced with our Ian’s presence. He has agreed to travel down from Gateshead for the festivities, after my mum has promised him a buffet of his favourite plain flour based snacks and a cake made out of balsa wood……. It’ll be more flavoursome than the plain flour, trust me!

To mark the occasion my mum will rant at our Ian for 15 minutes (45 minutes shorter than when he was younger), before clipping him around the ear while offering the generic advice, used by generations of northern mums, of “Think on!”

At this juncture our Ian will probably well up with the emotion of the occasion, belch and open his 3rd bottle of Pinot Grigio!

I’m looking forward to next week’s party as our family do’s are generally a decent time, unless Ian starts kicking off due to a lack of plain flour related treats on the buffet.

Another of the cards Karen purchased was for her dad who has a birthday sometime in September.

I’ve written before of her dad’s unusual north eastern colloquialisms, which at times render his verbal communication akin to wild west frontier gibberish. As a result of this, Karen likes to get her family orientated pater a card that incorporates his eccentric use of the English language.

For all the years I lived in the north east of England, I don’t recall anyone else using this style of verbal interaction. It’s certainly unconventional and the lack of using real words also means he’s not that good at Scrabble!

For example, his birthday card greeting last year was ‘Hippsy Happsy Burthda Fatha’. For Fathers Day Karen got him a card with ‘Hippsy Happsy Fathas Da’ Fathas’. Not forgetting his Bar Mitzvah card this year wished him ‘Hippsy Happsy Bawa Mizvawah Fathas’.

As her inarticulate creation unit isn’t Jewish or aged 13, I’m not sure why he had a Bar Mitzvah, but those Birtley lads love a party!

There is a tongue in cheek saying that mocks people who unnecessarily elongate conversations, which is “Why use one word, when a thousand will do!”

When I think of my spouses pater I generally adapt it to how he may say it. “Why say one word, when ye can jibbery jabbery the nas.”

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