Reminiscing

I remember the 70s, the hey-day of the hippies and flower power.  Those were the days!  I used to have long hair then and sometimes wore a bandana, especially when I sat around camp fires playing folk songs on my guitar.  These are memories I hold dear.

I also recall my junior school with fond memories. And when I cast my mind back, I recall the day I first swam a length in the swimming pool and the times I played trumpet in the school orchestra.  And I think back over all the years that have passed since then.

I will never forget the time my brother fell in a lake, nor the time I got stuck up a tree.  But when I call to mind the past I remember the good times more than the bad-  even if I’m reminded of the embarrassing times by my brother.  He won’t let me forget them.  Like the time I got stuck in the mud.

Sometimes I hear an old song and think, ‘ah! That rings a bell’.  Then past incidents come to mind.  One example is the song, ‘Those were the days’, sung by Mary Hopkins.  When I hear that song I recall, as a young child, how I would sit with mother on the sofa and we would listen to the radio together.  She would normally be knitting.  Yes, she always used to knit, and I would be looking at a picture book.  We used to do this every Friday evening, but I don’t recall where the rest of my family use to be.

These are all dear recollections I will keep forever.

‘Nostalgia ‘aint what it used to be’ – as the saying goes.   Well, here’s four Yorkshiremen reminiscing.  See what you think.


__________________________________________________

Yes, that’s quite difficult to understand.  So here’s some translation and the text.  Any teachers reading?  This is fun to do in class.

Vocabulary: cracked cup (tasse fissuré), rolled up (roulé), damp cloth (tissu humide), tiny (miniscule) tumbledown (délabré),
huddled (blotti), rubbish tip (bout de déchets), septic tank (fosse septique), rotting fish, (poissons de décompositions) dumped (vidé), tarpaulin (bache),
mill (moulin), thrash (battre), gravel (gravier), tuppence (deux pence), slice (trancher), lump (morceaux), graves (tombes)
____

FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
Very passable, that, eh? Very passable bit of risotto.
SECOND YORKSHIREMAN:
Nothing like a good glass of Château de Chasselas, eh, Josiah?
THIRD YORKSHIREMAN:
You’re right there, Obadiah.
FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN:
Who’d have thought thirty year ago we’d all be sitting here drinking Château de Chasselas, eh?
FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
In them days we was glad to have the price of a cup of tea.
SECOND YORKSHIREMAN:
A cup of cold tea.
FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN:
Without milk or sugar.
THIRD YORKSHIREMAN:
Or tea.
FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
In a cracked cup, and all.
FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN:
Oh, we never used to have a cup. We used to have to drink out of a rolled up newspaper.
SECOND YORKSHIREMAN:
The best we could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth.
THIRD YORKSHIREMAN:
But you know, we were happy in those days, although we were poor.
FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
Because we were poor. My old Dad used to say to me, “Money doesn’t buy you happiness, son”.
FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN:
Aye, he was right. I was happier then and I had nothing. We used to live in this tiny old tumbledown house with great big holes in the roof.
SECOND YORKSHIREMAN:
House! You were lucky to live in a house! We used to live in one room, all twenty-six of us, no furniture, half the floor was missing, and we were all huddled together in one corner for fear of falling.
THIRD YORKSHIREMAN:
You were lucky to have a room! We used to have to live in the corridor!
FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
Oh, we used to dream of living in a corridor! Would have been a palace to us. We used to live in an old water tank on a rubbish tip. We got woke up every morning by having a load of rotting fish dumped all over us! House? Huh.
FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN:
Well, when I say ‘house’ it was just a hole in the ground covered by a sheet of tarpaulin. But it was a house to us.
SECOND YORKSHIREMAN:
We were evicted from our hole in the ground. We had to go and live in a lake.
THIRD YORKSHIREMAN:
You were lucky to have a lake! There were a hundred and fifty of us living in a shoebox in the middle of the road.
FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
Cardboard box?
THIRD YORKSHIREMAN:
Aye.
FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
You were lucky. We lived for three months in a rolled up newspaper in a septic tank. We used to have to get up every morning at six o’clock and clean the newspaper, go to work down the mill, fourteen hours a day, week-in week-out, for sixpence a week, and when we got home our Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt.
SECOND YORKSHIREMAN:
Luxury. We used to have to get up at three o’clock in the morning, get out of the lake, eat a handful of hot gravel, go to work for twenty hour a day at mill for tuppence a month, come home, and Dad would beat us around the head and neck with a broken bottle, if we were lucky!
THIRD YORKSHIREMAN:
Well, of course, we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of shoebox in the middle of the night and lick the road clean with tongue. We had to eat half a handful of cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at mill for sixpence every four years, and when we got home our Dad would slice us in two with bread knife.
FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN:
Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night half an hour before I went to bed, eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah.
FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
And you try and tell the young people of today that ….. and they won’t believe you.
ALL:
No, they won’t!

2 comments on “Reminiscing

  1. A good lesson of English. I understood the clip pretty well, but I missed a few words, which I retrieved through the reading afterwards. About nostalgia, yes, I think life in the ’70s was better for there was more freedom. Now there is an only way of thinking and it’s boring. Thank you, Phil

    • english13 says:

      A Monty Python clip – one that has become part of the English consciousness, especially for those of my generation. Comedy styles change often in England, like the music. I like that. Ricky Gervais is the big name now. Amazing that you’ve read so many of my ramblings now, Hubert! I’m greatly honoured. I thank-you for your interest!

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