Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Wise words

My father had many interesting and picturesque sayings that were like a mantra for us.
The very first expression I remember him using to discipline us was "now, just simmer down" said very gently and to great effect. We were always excited about something, from going on holiday to watching the "lovers"  on the grass in the park, we even invented a "waggle bottom dance" to imitate the way the girls walked in their 50 ' tight skirts. He gave Uncle Peter a long pep talk once and kept repeating "They'll just say ^poof^ ", I 'm still not sure what that was about.
He was always telling us  to be "cool, calm and collected" and to use "patience, tolerance and understanding".
Often at  meal times he would say quietly "Now, we are going to have an old Eastern custom", this sounded much more interesting and appealing than just being told to be quiet.
Grandpa would often say he was quoting Confucius, "Keep wise council" he would say solemnly- which meant stay silent.
If people seemed to be behaving badly towards him he would say "not to stoop to their level",
Many people , according to him "Didn't know which side their bread was buttered "- this means they didn't appreciate how lucky they were.
Aggressive people were described as "Pugnacious" and attractive women as "alluring" . Dubious people were referred to as " a rum old lot" and a potentially unpleasant situation as "A rum old do ".Serious problems were described as "no joke".
Any extravagant purchase was met with "having more money than sense",  an unwise one with "They could see you coming".
He would often say "Please protect me from my friends, because I know my enemies".
When we were young he once said that if we could count five friends we would be truly blessed. At the time that seemed very few. He had one great, best friend who is now 91.
Grandpa seemed to be constantly trying to guide us even though he would often say "you can't put old heads on young shoulders". He would often amuse our friends with his forthright approach to life.
 He made a momentous speech to us all when we were teenagers. We were all crowded in the kitchen and he decided to give us all a talk about the dangers of being too provocative, He took a piece of chocolate and started to waft it about in front of our dog's nose. "You see, if you go around in short skirts and tight clothes it is like waving chocolate in front of the dog's nose, after  awhile  he will snap", which is what the dog did. At the same time the plastic washing-up bowl which had been inadvertently left on the electric hob, caught fire. this relieved the tension and caused howls of laughter. This episode is still referred to as "Cindy and the chocolate".


  1. ahahahahah! couldn't remember the bit about the washing-up pot! Sounds a bit dangerous too! These episodes are hilarious and it's great reading them! thanks mum! By the way, all the stories about Napoleon, Cindy, etc could be the chapter of a book!

  2. I really enjoyed this post! I will keep it in mind for my future teenagers!