The Ever Helpful Malcolm from Dial-a-Ride who each week transports Mr B and me to his pampering session, drove us back home this morning via the sea-front. He thought we would appreciate the change of scenery, he said
- and he was right.
I reflected aloud on the fact that Spring was coming and said that in no time at all we would be out walking along the prom, prom, prom
in the sunshine. Yes, indeed, I did actually say “prom, prom, prom” having forgotten I was talking to Malcolm and reverted to Nanni-isms. Malcolm hardly sniggered, bless him.
Wasn’t there a saying about not visiting the seaside until May was over? he asked. He was sure he remembered his mother saying something on the subject. “Ne’er cast a clout till May be out!” I carolled from
my seat in the back of the Dial-a-Ride minibus. Yes, said Malcolm, triumphantly, that was the one. It seems that his mother and mine would have been Kindred Spirits, with an apt proverb always quivering on their lips for the purposes of educating their young’uns
in the Ways of the World.
The thing was, we started musing, just how true were the pearls of wisdom showered upon us by our mothers and grandmothers - and how
far did they stand the test of time? For example, I passed onto my own children my mother’s mantra that you should always wait an hour before going swimming otherwise you would almost certainly suffer dreadful stomach cramps and die a horrible death
by drowning. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters eventually took me to task on this, having been assured by her other half (Dunk’em Dave, so, let’s face it, he should know) that there was absolutely no scientific evidence to support this assertion.
“All those wasted hours when we could have been swimming!” despaired my daughter. Not for the first time I found myself worrying that my offspring may have had a Deprived Childhood.
Going back to clouts and May, I understand there have always been at least two interpretations of this saying. Does it mean you shouldn’t put off your winter clothing until the end of the month of May - or until the
mayflowers can be seen decorating the hedgerows? Didn’t our respective mums tell us that it was the April showers that brought forth the sweet mayflowers? Or are we mixing up our Old Wives Tales?
Malcolm asked if I had been told that if I ate up all my carrots, I would be able to see in the dark? Like a rabbit! I confirmed. Apparently during the last World War an effective propaganda campaign spread the message that
our Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines had their night vision considerably enhanced by a carrot-enriched diet. I was about to comment that while there is scientific evidence to support the value of carrots to eye-sight (be that human or rabbit) the same
cannot be said for the maternal injunction to eat your crusts to make your hair curly. I just manage to stop myself when I realise that Malcolm is even more follically challenged than Mr B. Of course, it maybe that he simply didn’t eat his crusts…
There wasn’t time to explore any further because we had pulled up outside our home. Malcolm set to work lowering Mr B and wheelchair off the bus while I scooted to
the front door to set the portable ramps in place. “I’m getting good at this!” announced Malcolm as he managed to direct the wheelchair up the ramps and into our hallway in one smooth movement. Well, it had to be said, don’t you know?
“Practice makes perfect,” I remarked, doubtless quoting both Malcolm’s mother and mine.