The London Vernacular

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Kay and I were mates,

always joked about tattoos,

hers would be a butterfly

on her back, mine a dolphin

on my shoulder.

Both too old and crinkly now, but still

“have a larf”- maybe tomorrow

we’ll be bolder. SAM_3792

My Cat

Jess had a crooked neck she’d

come to meet me on the step.

She lived to be eighteen years

– that’s old for a cat!

Then she got sick or old or tired.

Now she’s under the cherry tree.

I still remember her on my knee.



A – Away with the Fairies.

B – Baking Welsh cakes with Mrs Dobson.

C – Coal fire and burnt legs.

D – Dancing, folding clean sheets with Auntie Minnie.

E – Eiderdowns not duvets.

F – Flat caps and long skirts.

G – Garden and mum’s dahlias.

H – Horse carriages and trams.

I  –  Icy winters and chilblains.

J – Jam making from blackberries.

K – Kettle and small irons heating on stove.

L – Lyons Corner House for tea.

M – Mangle, washboard and washing on the line.

N – Nappies soaking in smelly bucket.

O – Outside loo, no bathroom.

P – Policemen wearing helmets.

Q – Queuing for everything.

R – Rent man hide under table.

S – Steam trains and trams.

T – Two up, two down.

U – Underclass: unemployed, sick, old, poor,

immigrants – last but NOT least women!

V – Votes For Women.

W – Wet shaving with a cutthroat razor

X – Factor? Love and Peace a bit sixties!

Y – Yorkshire Dales Wild Women Walkers.

Z – Zenophobia against immigrants –

no change there then?


Phyllis Lane

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