Thursday, November 07, 2013

Miss Muffet Falls in Love

Bygone days by Nick.Coombs
Bygone days, a photo by Nick.Coombs on Flickr.

Looks like my cheering section's down to a few die hards, those who can deal with the randomness, and the frequent total absence of a blogger on these pages! One of these stalwarts is Isabelle. I was catching up on her blog last night....(I've been very baaad....had to go back quite a ways)...and came upon a post about the Yorkshire Tea Song, complete with video. It was brilliant! I became a Yorkshire tea addict this past August when I visited the OC in England, toppling my former favorite, Barry's, right off its pedestal. I even cautioned the OC when he made reservations to come home in October, that if he didn't bring a very large box of Yorkshire tea with him, he might want to make other plans. It's important to get the priorities straight.

"Hovis - for Grandma too!" - advert issued 1923, illustrated by Rowles by mikeyashworth

The Yorkshire Tea Song reminded me of the Hovis bread advert from back in the last century (I love saying that! It makes the Bean roll his eyes. Silly old lady, thinks she's funny!) Anyone else that ancient remember it?

"Little Miss Muffett sat on her tuffett as busy as busy could be,
When along came a seaman, a stout hearted seaman, who asked her to join him for tea.
But Miss Muffet said "No!" to this bold mattillot, until he produced some Hovis.
So naturally nice, such a wonderful slice! At last she's found out what true love is.
Now Little Miss Muffett's no longer Miss Muffett as she's driven away in a carrriage,
As wedding bells sound, in Hovis they found the perfect beginning to marriage!"

 "Hovis - for Grandma too!" - advert issued 1923, illustrated by Rowles, a photo by mikeyashworth on Flickr.

It must have been a radio commercial back in my teens. It just came flowing out of me like a river, no google , no pen chewing, no wrinkled brow or straining brain. It came like a torrent. Now, why can't I store important things in the part of my brain that so lucidly and cleverly stores rubbish --- with apologies to the brilliant Hovis advert creators.

The memory is an amazing organ, even mine, which those who know me acknowledge is tottering towards oblivion. When the OC calls each evening and asks what I did today the memory routinely fails.

"What did I do today?" I cast about for morsels of memory....

Surely I did something, other than drink tea and pull wool out of my navel? Meanwhile, he's waiting, and breathing. He's not a patient man so I've told him it helps to b_r_e_a_t_h_e  while he's waiting for my memory to kick in. Often, after an especially lame attempt, I'll hang up the phone and then, too late, as Christy Brown said, the full list of my day's accomplishments comes into focus. International calls to cell phones are too expensive so I don't call him back but make a mental note to wow him belatedly with my industry, on the morrow. Unfortunately, on the morrow it'll all have gone south --- again! And so, round and round the rugged rock the ragged rascal runs.

I cannot remember what I did a few hours ago.

But inconsequential ditties from long ago?

No problem! I'll even sing them for you!

One of my recent reads was The Humans by Matt Haig. I loved it! He has so many hilarious observations about humans, English humans in particular.

And yes, I wrote them down. It would be folly to depend on my memory. Here's one:

"I was drinking a cup of tea. The tea seemed to be making things better. It was a hot drink made of leaves, used in times of crisis as a means of restoring normality." (This from an alien who's been sent to earth to inhabit the body of a professor at Cambridge University. Read it yourself. You'll love it!)

 Everyone knows that about tea, right? A nice cup of tea has restorative powers pharmaceutical companies can only dream of. But I hadn't heard it articulated quite like this before and it made me laugh.  I would have posted this several hours ago but I ran into a snag.

I  remembered I'd written the quote down, in one of my notebooks.

 What I couldn't remember was which notebook? They are legion. I can rarely go to Target or Staples without buying another one 'cause you never know when you're going to run out of notebooks. And what, in that unlikely event, would I do then? Thwarted, I went to the library. The Humans was on the shelf and I found my quote.

When the OC called tonight and asked the predictable question, I debated. Should I tell him I spent a large part of the day hunting for something I wrote somewhere then lost? And then more time searching for it at the library? Yeah. You're right. Better to tell him about the bills I paid, the laundry I washed, the vacuuming I did, the weeds I pulled, the grocery shopping. And leave
 him in the dark about the writing, the reading, the blogging, the left-over snickers bars, the nattering and the tea drinking. (Yes, he did bring a big box.).

 I was in luck. He was too excited about Glasgow (though he doesn't understand the language, which is certainly not English, he claims) and the Hebrides and Whiskey distilleries, to have more than a cursory interest in "what I did today."

Next time I go to England I'll be on a mission to rediscover Hovis, that "wonderful slice!" I might even "find out what true love is, and be driven away in a carriage" to a sweet little cottage where I'll live 'til I die, eating Hovis every day, washing  it down with Yorkshire tea and finishing all my quilts. But, based on weather reports from Isabelle, I'd more likely freeze to death in the first few hours.

One sugar or two? 


FeatherDuster said...

I think I'll go fix a pot of tea. :-)

jkhenson said...

You do make me want for a cuppa on this chilly day! :) I loved the photo you posted! Beautiful!

Relatively Retiring said...

You may be disappointed to find that Hovis is no longer recognised as an aphrodisiac (thanks to the Trades Description Act). Tea still has its charms though, especially on a cold, dark, wet afternoon in Middle England!

aubirdwoman said...

lol hi just catching took me back to a past life.
There is something nostalgic about chimneys on roofs in England.
And yes I do remember Hovis, and now a whole heap of other trivia.
thanks for the journey.
So the OC is in The Scots country.... tell him The Sassenach's Land is better. :)

Pauline said...

Clinking cups with you!

aubirdwoman said...

Still catching up..thanks for list of books.
Trying The Art Of Hearing Heartbeats.

Have you read Mao's Last Dancer ... I have just finished it and consider it a must read.

good luck with the writing, let me know when you publish your first book. will buy the hard copy and you MUST MUST sign it:)

Molly said...

FD: Thanks for stopping by!

Jen: It's nice and brisk here in the mornings now which I love, but it warms up by noon which I also love!

J: Hadn't thought of aphrodisiac, love it! BTW, glad you told me to go to Christchurch --- it was beautiful. Must do a post on it soon.

Birdy" She lives! Wondered what you were up to...Still reading, so much to get through before we close the book for good. You'll like "Heartbeats." Be sure to read "The Humans" too..Have added "Mao" to my list. As for the OC he's just visiting there from The land of the Sassenachs!

Pauline: Maybe by drinking enough tea we'll water the seed of creativity and get inspired again...

Stomper Girl said...

That Hovis ad is fantastic! I'm still a diehard Molly! love it when a post from you pops up in the reader!

persiflage said...

Molly, this post finally appeared this morning - it did not on my other attempts during the last few days. I laughed!
Surely these failing memories are the direct cause of the development of writing. We might never have known what happened to Little Red Riding hood, etc, otherwise.
Now to prove I am not a robot, although probably robots have better eyesight.

dianne said...

three sugars, please - i like my tea the same way as i like my friends (strong and sweet)...

StitchinByTheLake said...

I've never been a hot tea drinker Molly - no hot drinks at all for me. I do love chai tea lattes but iced. And I absolutely must give them up, just as soon as I finish the two boxes I still have, because of the calories. I'm determined that I can learn to drink hot tea. Since your current favorite obviously isn't one I'll find on the WalMart shelf, do you have any other recommendations? :) blessings, marlene

Molly said...

SG ---As I remember, faulty memory notwithstanding, it tasted good too!

Persi --- The infamous "they" were right. "The memory is the first thing to go..." If I don't write it down my memory interprets that as
1. It never happened; or, as in lists of things I need to do --
2. Ain't gonna happen.

So yes. Keep building the stationary and pen stash. These computers could let us down at any moment!

Dianne --- Three sugars. Your dentist must love you!

Marlene --- They might not let you in when you try to visit Ireland. You have to be a card carrying hot tea drinker to get a visa.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I like the randomness.

I'm one of the frequent totally absent ones (although I lurked a bit). Could not be helped, but I'm hoping to be able to be a little steadier, even if less prolific.

Molly said...

SAW --- Glad to see you posting again after your break. Hope it helped.

Ali Honey said...

So Rote learning has it's place. There seems to be room in the head for times tables; rhymes; ditties;lyrics and with me sometimes loads of botanical names - but not always immediately I want them- often popping up long after the time I was dredging for them, along with people's names.
( I don't know about Hovis and I don't like or drink black tea any more. I like lots of the new types though. )
Try leaving a reminder list by the phone of subjects to cover.
He he!

Calvin said...

I remember Hovis ads too but perhaps a later version with a Yorkshire man reminiscing about his days as a young lad with the sound of Largo's New World Symphony in the background. I think your cheering section is still pretty full and I am officially reporting back for duty too.

Molly said...

Ali --- We used to groan when we were assigned lines from Shakespeare, or poems by Milton or Wordsworth to learn by heart. But I have been glad of that a million times over. I like it when the lines I want are there in my head instead of buried in some weighty tome or in Google. And I still mumble my times tables in my head!
The list is up by the phone....

Calvin --- the dead have risen! Great to "see" you again. How are things in The Realm? Your profile won't take me to your blog --- help!

Lee said...

With reference to aubirdwoman's post....."Have you read Mao's Last Dancer ... I have just finished it and consider it a must read."

Below is what occurred here in Queensland (where I live) today...

The man known as Mao’s Last Dancer is now in the running to be Australian of the Year.

Li Cunxin was named Queensland’s finalist for the competition at a National Australia Day Council ceremony at the State Library on Wednesday.

"I really don't have the words to express what an honour this is,” the Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet said.

“It is incredibly humbling to have been chosen as Queensland's Australian of the Year 2014. I am proud to call Australia my home."

I love that first picture you've posted, Molly.

Isabelle said...

What do you mean, weather reports from Isabelle? The weather's been ok here. Only a couple of frosty mornings. It's November, after all. Humph.

Glad you liked the tea advert. Fun. And no, I don't remember the Hovis advert. You must be a LOT older than I.

Molly said...

Lee --- Thanks for backing up Birdy's recommendation. I get the best ideas for books to read from blog friends. Thank you. "Dancer"just moved to the top of my list.

Isabelle --- By at least a couple of months.

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Somerset Wedding Gal said...

What a lovely post, I love your writing style, you have a real flair for it.