Today, my Much Love Monday is brought to you by the Beatles, for one of several reasons. So, here’s Help!
The main reason for this song is because of my unmitigated joy at the arrival of my delightful HelpXrs who turned up here on Thursday and have already turned one of my vegetable beds into something manageable and weed-free.
The second reason is, as curious young Americans, they expressed a polite interest in one of my pet subjects. British accents.
British accents (and, indeed, the family of international English language accents from across the world) are all divine. Looking back at John Lennon’s accent, it is so soft and gentle compared to the brittle, nasal sounds of today’s Liverpool. It’s my go-to accent when I’m messing around, on account of the fact that in Malia in 1996, when my sister and I were on holiday in Crete, I heard one Liver Bird lean over the balcony and shout into her friend’s room “Eeyyyy Laurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrra, I tink I’ve gorrra disseeeeese.”
From there, we had a quick youtube tour around all the best and worst of the British accents, via Rab C Nesbitt, Ian Paisley, Geordie Shore, TOWIE and a very, very funny Yorkshire man explaining the Yarksher accent. The Young Americans were tickled by the fact that there are still people in England who use thee and thy (though it’s more of a thar, usually…) and the guy, below, did a fantastic example of “Shut thar cakeoyl” which was my favourite expression ever when I lived in Sheffield. On my first day of teaching in Barnsley, a little boy called Ian asked me “Are thee lakin’ it so fer, Miss?” It took me three repeats to work out that this boy, born 40 miles from me as the crow flies, was asking me if I was enjoying it so far.
I used to work with a girl from Atherton, just between Wigan and Bolton. She grew up 10 miles from me, and yet she often spoke in a language that was almost unrecognisable. She once told me that she was clempt. I had no idea what the hell she was on about. She was hungry. That’s a weird word for hungry. Ironically, it’s not unlike a Flemish expression. I’m guessing the weavers had a lot to do with that word ending up in Lancashire.
Lancashire, of course, has its own distinctive dialect words, and thee and thar are both familiar. I ♥ regional dialects.
So, not only do I have Much Love for HelpXrs (I just went in the kitchen and the washing up is done… that has NEVER happened in this house…) and Much Love for English accents, but Much Love for my lovely friends. This weekend, I have picked up bags of glassware and ceramics from one lovely lady, and another lovely is giving me an embroidery pattern she won in a raffle.
That’s what I love about life here. You get to see the loveliest ladies. Not a one of them has a strange accent like mine though. I know a lady who grew up about five miles from me, and down the road is a Scottish lady who lived in Stalyvegas for a while. (And actually laughed when I called it Stalyvegas, because anyone who knows Stalybridge at all knows this local nickname for this canalside town that is not so much Las Vegas as it is Last Frontier before the moors.)
Anyway, after the pouring rain this morning, the weather has picked up and I’m off out down the garden to fix fences, rid the land of plum suckers and demonstrate the art of pruning a tree. It is so nice to have a little help, especially from such willing and enthusiastic volunteers.
Enjoy your Monday!