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Eay Times Uv Changed

It's nice to see the kids growing up and making their way in life, they seem to expect so much more than we did, they know what they want and go for it with the confidence that would have seemed incredible two decades ago. The modern outlook and work ethic however doesn't always sit too comfortably with older generations who feel a little envious perhaps. It's sometimes hard to maintain your composure when they fail to grasp the basic principles of bookkeeping and recognise that lifestyle parameters are determined by income. They prefer to set the lifestyle and worry about the money later, they talk on their mobile phones at every opportunity (how did we manage without them) and send the bill to the old man.
"I needed some new text books dad" the most common excuse when my blood pressure's gone through the roof after receiving another massive credit card bill. Will they ever learn to live within your means? I know I have a reputation for meanness but coping with modern consumerism in ones offspring can be a little wearing. When will daughters learn how to make soup from a piece of string like my parent's generation could? When will they begin to curb the passion for cyberspace, Ocean Colour Scene CDs, Nike trainers, precious metal body piercing, maroon hairstyles and expensive tattoos? The thought of a wedding gives me nightmares, once the choice was Church of England or Methodist, now it's Acapulco or Vegas! At what age does fantasy become reality? Where will it all end? In the words of Lancashire philosophy when do the 'gormless' become 'gumshus'?
The daughter of darkness (sorry the apple of my eye) has been in London for the last three years taking part in the government's "one nation campaign", taking the message and the language south of Watford and in general giving them a bit of a culture shock. I'm learning to live with the fact that I will be penniless for the foreseeable future and have taken to the bottle (only after seven though). I've also discovered a collection of dialect poems which are full of old fashioned wisdom relating to thrift and making ends meet during the cotton famine. They have become a source of great consolation in my darkest hours when my cash flow is languishing south of the comfort zone.
They translate well to the conditions in the so-called "poor students" seedy bedsit accommodation of Camden and Whitechapel, where the only cause of hunger is when there's an argument about whose turn it is to go to Sainsbury's to stock up the fridge. Whenever she is having a particularly bad outbreak of spending fever I email another verse by Henry Yates, Thomas Brierley, Samuel Bamford or Edwin Waugh. She still spends a lot but it curbs the wilder excesses. Her friends are convinced we communicate in code or are Bosnian refugees others sympathise and treat us as harmless but eccentric.

Palfreyman - August 2000 

Aw once yerd mi mam give her answer reet weel,
When they axed if her brass filled th'owd stockin' to th'heel;
Hoo turned reawnd quite sharply an' snapt eawt "Theaw foo";
"It's nod wod aw'm earnin', but wod aw mek do!"

Ther's some larnin' for t'wise when they ponder sich words,
For they touch lowly peasants as weel as big lords;
Depend on't as greed connod breyk so weel throo,
Wheer little's but needed an' less is med do.

It's a curb-cheon for t'greedy, a check-rein for self;
It's a auditor perfect for cupboard an' shelf;
It's a gowden-framed maxim for vanity's schoo'
"Why covet gay peacocks when chickens 'll do?"

One con dine o' good fish, ay, an' hev id weel fried,
Wheer t’breadcrumbs are saved, an’ kept cleyn, an’ weel dried;
Theaw may sit on a ceawch, or a cheor, or a stoo’,
But theaw nobbut pays t’bill just for wod theaw meks do.

Id ud save lots o’ frettin’ an’ mony a wild race;
Id ud keep away t’wrinkles fro’ mony a nice face,
If t’truth wor but heeded, an’ acted on, too -
“Fooak live among plenty ‘at mek little do!"

Owd Rauf o’ Big Judd’s, he’s bin hearin’ me talk —
(Rauf’s gone to t’far end of his tick book an’ chalk),
“Ay, ay!”, said th’owd toper, “I’ mi own case it’s true -
When aw corn’d raise a quart aw’ve to mek a pint do!"

Asbach Uralt

“It’s Wod We Mek Do"

Here are some pearls of wisdom from Henry Yates
1841 - 1906


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