Parlez vous Parlourese?

I’m drawn to listening to Talksport radio. My wife hates it and my daughters too; it must be all that blokeish bickering about whether it was a penalty or not. I know what they mean to me honest; it’s full of inane chat and despite having schedules full of ex-footballers/managers it rarely delivers any insight. You could listen to messrs Quinn, Gould, Cundy and Warnock for a 100 hours apiece and never get beyond the cliche-ridden level of comment. It’s like being trapped in a conversation with Alan Shearer but with some cackling thrown in for good measure. So why do I listen to it? Because I love words and phrasing and there’s something compelling about the way footballers talk, the little expressions they use and have all adopted. The undisputed master of the footie jargon is the man with the most endearing rhotic speech mannerism Ray Parlour, often referred to as the Romford Pele, or as Ray would introduce himself Way Pahwer, the Womfud Pehwy. Continue reading


radio ga ga bro

Well whilst we were back home quite accidently I heard two guys I know really well on the radio (in one case, I’ve known him all his life). On the first occasion I was just doing the after dinner dishes at E’s, Radio 4 on in the background with End the Week or Loose Ends perhaps when I heard the unmistakeable voice of Maurice Collins. Maurice was one of the founder members of a self-help group for families with handicapped kids, called Kith and Kids. We joined the group after R was born and it was a tremendous support for us during those early years. The group was full of interesting and really strong people and fascinating kids. Maurice was one of the leading lights and he and his wife remained highly involved even though their own child had grown up and long since moved on in life. We lost touch with the group when we moved from London to Buckingham when R was 10, more than 20 years ago. We’ve had no contact with Maurice since then but his distinctive voice was instantly recognisable.

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One of the things that WordPress provides you with as blog site host is a bunch of daily stats about visits to your site, links through and search terms that people use in finding your site. There are certain search words that come up every day. I once did a posting about Fern Britton and Carol Vorderman entitled Sexy Ladies and unsurprisingly that’s one search expression which features a lot in my inbound list (and right across the internet I’d guess).

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knock, knock…

Another snippet from the radio yesterday on Hawksbee and Jacobs’ excellent afternoon show on Talksport (in my view the station’s best programme). Their studio guest (sorry I didn’t catch who it was) was talking about being brought up in Northampton and describing the game he used to play – ‘cherry knocking’. Up in the north west we used to call this ‘knock a door and run’ – rapping on someone’s door and running off or hiding behind a hedge etc. More childish pranks I know – something of a theme this morning. But it was interesting to hear how the same game was known around the country. For example in London it’s called ‘knock down ginger’, ‘ring bang scoosh’ in Glasgow and ‘knock knock howdo’ in Middlesbrough (not sure they fully get the run-away concept on Teesside). In America it’s apparently referred to as ‘ring ring run’ – well they always did have more technology than we Brits, even on their front doors. Any games/japes you remember with particular affection from your youth and what were they called?


ps not many responses yet but I did find this vid on you tube of some guys who do stunt ‘freezes’ in unusual places. This was done in the main concourse of Grand Central Station. Some very interesting reactions!

gaunty; it’s all gone quiet over there

Some interesting football results over the weekend; the top 4 in the Premiership are all looking formidable and it’s shaping up for a great second half to the season. But the best result for me was Blackpool’s 4-0 thrashing of the Gaunt meister’s favourite team, Coventry. I was looking forward to checking in to Talksport this morning to hear Gaunty’s  words of wisdom on this defeat. It all seems a long time ago  since he was crowing over the win over Man U  in the Carling Cup. But sadly he wasn’t broadcasting today. I don’t know if that’s because of holiday, sickness or the blues (what a great nickname for the club) but I feel cheated Gaunty not to hear you try and ignore the result….!  Ah well.  The Blues have found a new owner – Ray Ranson – the man who’s tried to buy them all over the years but I hope he brings your club some success now…that they’ve played the Pool!


gaunty and cov

Well Gaunty’s had a bad week; there was all that nonsense with the Euro MEP calling him racist during a heated debate from an OB feature at the European parliament the other day, then his beloved football team Coventry City announce they’re on the verge of going into administration (unless the Ray Ranson consortium can come up with the necessary buy-out investment).

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oh yeh gaunty?

I think I’m going to stop listening to John Gaunt on Talksport. I tend to listen in only because it runs through from the early morning Brazil show which is also quite reactionary but in a harmless/well-intentioned sort of way. JG’s more aggressively opinionated as I’ve said recently and it’s not to my taste. But this morning I heard him make a mess of some pronunciation and it made me smile. Continue reading