Thursday, 4 February 2010

The day my brother came to help!

During this past week whilst I was languishing in my sickbed, racked with fever and a hacking cough, with Vaseline being my facial moisturiser of choice and necessity, my brain (having nothing better to do with itself) sidled off into a corner and began to ponder on some of life's imponderable mysteries: why was I wrapped in an invisible electric blanket?, where on earth was the 'off' switch?, why can't I successfully grow carrots?, how come I can only see the hills on the other side of the valley in winter? (yeah, yeah - I know it's because the trees are bare! I told you I was pyrexic!), where does the horizon go on grey, snowy days? and - The Biggy - when would my tea house be finished?

I still don't know the answer to the last one (or as to why I can't grow carrots!), but I thought it was time I caught up a bit on where we've got to. My big brother, Our Dave, (not to be confused with my father-in-law, David, who helped put the frame up!) came up for the weekend in July to help put the rafters on.

Introducing Our Dave!

Some of you may now be wondering why he's called Our Dave? Easy - I'm from Yorkshire, that's how we talk! (Himself's NOT from Yorkshire and therefore he speaks posher than I do!) British readers will be nodding their heads sagely at this point but, for the benefit of non-Brits, I'll explain:
In Yorkshire, immediate family members are often referred to as 'Our ..........', to denote to outsiders that they are family. I'm 'Our Liz' or 'Our Kid' (little sister). Some families even talk about 'our mam' and 'our dad'. 'Me' can also be substituted for 'Our' - eg; 'me dad', 'me brother'. Quick, easy, avoids long explanations! HOWEVER, you've got to get the pronunciation right - Yorkshire has quite a flat, guttural intonation, so 'our' is really pronounced 'ower' and you have to be able to hear that w! So he's really 'Ower Dave', oh, and 'Me ...' is pronounced 'Mi' and Monday is pronounced Mundi, but there you go!

So, anyway, back to the tea house!
First Himself and Ower Dave re-jigged the scaffold tower to make a safe working platform.

Health and Safety would have had a field day, but it was actually a lot more solid than it looks - honest!

....take a whole load of wood and turn them into rafters - your time starts ... now!

Standing 6 ft up on a slightly wobbly scaffold tower is not the best position to try to cut precision wedges!

One of many 'bird's beak' wedges carefully cut by Himself and Ower Dave.

Accuracy is paramount.

The first rafter in place and upright at last!

The odd shaped piece at the apex is just a temporary fixture to assist with stability.

It's quite difficult to see from this angle but Himself had marked out every single rafter and taken them down to school where the D&T technician had cut them all with a 5* curve along one long side.(oh the perks of me being a Governor!) Himself had then glued the cut piece onto the other side to keep the width of the rafter whilst giving it a very gentle overall curved shape to make the bottom edge flick out a bit - just like a 'proper' tea house!

Sighting along the rafters prior to the main beam going in.

Finishing off the day by fixing a couple of batons for extra stability - you can never have too much temporary extra stability!

...... and thanks for your help Ower Dave! :)


Liz said...

Hi Liz,

Glad you got there in the end! How many hours did it take to write this blog post??? ;)

I always thought of 'our' as being more of a mancunian thing (e.g. Our Johnny and Our Rita off Johnny Briggs)... But still, I love it.
I don't personally say it, but it's funny all the same and I love coming out with 'yorkshire' slang such as coil for coal, osses for horses, wam watta for warm water, nesh, weth and so on...
Not that I'm posh at all, I grew up almost in Notts and had never heard most of these slang words until I was 18 or so.
The first time I heard coil, I had no idea what the guy was on about! ha ha. Sat there wondering why someone needed a coil of metal or something...

It's been an eye opener living in Sheffield, even for me!
And I always classed myself as a Sheffielder, I now realise I really wasn't/aren't.

It looks like you're finally getting there with your tea house!
And what's wrong with your carrotts?? Get yourself a pot, put compost in, sprinkle seed and leave!
I even used a meatal bucket with holes hammered in it and managed to get carrots :)

Shady Gardener said...

Sorry to hear you're not feeling well, Liz! Hopefully it doesn't last long. I'm so glad you felt well enough to create this post! Thanks for the explanation of Ower and Mi for our and me... I love it. :-)

You always include such great, detailed explanations. Surely it won't be too terribly long before the tea house is actually finished! And then, the decorating! Yea! :-)

FlowerLady said...

Your tea house is going to be lovely I'm sure. A good job so far. It is so nice to be able to build things yourself.

I do hope you are feeling better soon.

I enjoyed the little lesson on saying ower and mi, and of why you say ower in the first place. It makes sense to me.


Cheryl said...

You bought back such bitter sweet memories for me with this post. My father in law passed away a few years ago and he was from your parts. I adored the way he talked....I could have listened to him for hours. I must say I have missed him very much but tku for reminding me just how great 'ower George' was.

Do hope that you feel better soon....there is much going around at the moment. I have the start of something nasty...sore throat, feel shivery (is that a word) and I am aching......

Can't wait to see your tea house finished.......

Di said...

So happy to hear you may be on the mend ma Lady! and pleased to meet your brother Dave. What I am especially fond of are the sweat shirts you and Himself are wearing... it seems we have a pair that looks similarly. :)

And when do we see the final final of that amazing structure? Diana

Laura Marie said...

Dear Me Mum,

Oh how you make me chortle :) The first paragraph was a particular favourite of mine :D

Love, last born :D <3

Woody Wilbury said...

Dear Ower Nutty

Tha mun gi ower bein' badly and get thisen back to work. Art nesh or wat?



Woody Wilbury said...

And I was very impressed with the ongoing story of the teahouse. I hope you'll have a suitable opening ceremony in due course.

Incidentally, if you were from the northeast, like what I was, you'd preface every other comment with Eee.

As in Eee, ower Nutty, Ah'm gannin yam, tappy-lappy doon the lonnen on mi bonny white cuddy. An Ah've got mi wellies on t keep mi feet out o the clarts.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I hope you're feeling better now!
My Nana (Canadian but her Mother is from England) always calls me Our Catherine. I wonder if she picked that up from her Mom? I'll have to ask her sometime.
Your teahouse is looking great. How nice that your brother came to help!

Anonymous said...

I bet that when the tea house is done and the yard is completed, you will become all the more grounded which will then allow you to grow carrots, since they too are rooted into the earth.

Or maybe try growing the white variety of carrots. :)

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

Hope you are feeling better! I thoroughly enjoyed the lesson for us non-Brits!

You'll be having proper tea in your proper tea house before long!


Nutty Gnome said...

Ey up all on yer an' ta fo't' concerns abart mi 'ealth! Ar reckon on anuther day er two an I'll be as reight as rein an' gettin' missen back ter werk!!

(hello everyone and thank you for your concerns about my health! I think/hope that in another day or two I'll be fully recovered and returning to work!!)

Hi Liz - if you'd have been brought up a few miles further south you'd have been a real southern jessy!
It took about 5 hours of doing a bit, resting, doing a bit, etc to finish the post :(

I don't know what I do to carrots - perhaps I'm too kind to them? I planted five long rows of them and got one single solitary carrot - it was indeed a perfect carrot, but it was the only one I got!

Hi Shady - glad you like Yorkshire. Perhaps I ought to do a post on how to speak it properly?!!

I've told Himself that I want it finished by my 50th birthday (in April!)......whether that'll happen remains to be seen, but I'm hopeful!(and eternally optimistic!)

Hi FlowerLady. I've really enjoyed doing the tea house from scratch, but if I'd had ANY idea of the complexity of my 'little' scheme I'd have thought twice ...and then gone ahead anyway!!!

Hi Cheryl - I reckon 'Ower George' would be dead chuffed to know that he's still loved, missed and thought about :)
I really hope you're not coming down with the flu bug I've had - it's horrible! Wrap up warm and drink lots of warm water with honey! Take care of yourself :)

Hi Diana - Ower Dave is great! He's on just my big brother as he's only 11 months older than me, but we've always been close and got on well. We do 'swapsies' from time to time where we help each other out. I took down his bathroom ceiling a couple of years ago - THAT was fun!

Yes, me and Himself do a nice line in equally manky, tatty work clothes :)

Ey up Loobie mi luv!I'm happy I can still make you laugh when I'm ill!
Love you too. Mum xx

Nah then Ower Woody - gi o'er - tha knows tha's reight, am dead nesh me! A'll get missen back ter werk a Tuesdi ar reckon!

By 'eck you're a proper Geordie - even though you sounded more Shef'ild on the dvd!
I am planning on a proper Tea House opening ceremony in due course ... but whether it's tea or G&T remains to be seen!

Hi Catherine - wouldn't that be a lovely coincidence if your nana was from round here?! Nana is a very Yorkshire name for grandmother - but it's pronounced Non-nar here!
Ower Dave worked really hard that day, bless him! :)

Hi Bernie - I'm hoping for the tea house to be completed by April, but the garden...? that may never be completed, so I might have to try your suggestion for growing white carrots instead!

Hi Cameron - I'm getting there! Definitely coughing less, but still so tired a lot of the time ... but it does feel like I'm improving now, at long last!
I'm really looking forward to the tea house being finished. I have the advantage over you in that I know where it's at in real time and you're all still a few months behind on its progress! April is a definite possibility for completion!

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

All these 'ower' and 'me'comments could make this start to read like a monty python sketch.

With the best will in the world, Woody Wilbury seems to have wholly embraced it.

Even Cameron is touting 'proper' tea.

By 'eck you've even created a 'yorkshire slang' label at the bottom of the post.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Hey, I know who Johnny Briggs is, LOL! It's nice your brother was of such help. Also, I like the word pyrexic--does it mean you turned into a glass serving dish (ha ha)? Once when I was sick, I had a sort of half-awake dream that I was a sheet cake (chocolate of course) being sliced up by Deanna Troy of ST:TNG, even though I kept asking her to stop. I hate how the mind goes loopy when one is sick!!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Rob - in my defence, my accent's not THAT broad (as you well know!) but sometimes 'me Yorkshire roots' just slip out!

I'm resisting the urge to wander into 'You were lucky...'type comments - even though they pop up in our house (or should I say 'ower 'ouse?) with amazing regularity!

Woody's comment really made me laugh!

Hi Monica - Yep, saw right through me! LOL!
Good grief but you have weird dreams woman!!! At least you were a chocolate cake though :)

Jude said...

I love the word 'nesh'...takes me back!
I do hope your feeling much better.
Thanks for all the lovely comments..
Knitting? it's like falling off a log...easy!!
Take care

joey said...

So enjoy our connection, Nutty! I love tucking your tender tidbits into my life :) Get well soon!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Jude - I reckon I wouldn't be quite so nesh if I lived in sunny Crete instead of soggy Chesterfield!

I don't consider myself to speak very broad Yorkshire but writing that bit in my post made me realise just how much sneaks in without me realising!

Me and knitting just don't get on! I can't even knit a dishcloth without it ending up triangular,full of holes and with weird lumps where I appear to have invented some strange new stitch never before known to knitting-kind!Falling of a log I can do ...knitting, forget it! :)

Hi Joey - I've never had my tender titbits tucked anywhere before so thanks for that!!!

I am starting to feel more human again, but am still at the stage of getting very tired very quickly. However, I can see that at some point soon I'll be back to my normal self and whizzing through life at great speed again! :)

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

I hope you feel better now, Liz! With so many good wishes coming your way, you should! You have some good muscles there! I wish I had such help. Can not wait to see the tea house!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Tatyana - thanks for that. I'm definitely feeling more human today than I have done for about a week!

I'm very lucky in the amount of muscle I can call on for help! The tea house is looking good ....more posts to follow to get up into real time :)

L. D. Burgus said...

Hey, you can call me our guy Larry from Iowa. I will tag along for awhile until you tell me to get lost. I want to see the finished structure for sure. Thanks for stopping by. I have a few British and Scottish blog friends that put up with me and that is how you must of found me. Take care of that cough, Over here that nagging cough was diagnosed as H1N1 and we had it for a month.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Larry - glad to have you along for the ride! Feel free to stay as long as you want's a pleasure to have you around :)

I'm hoping the cough is just a cough and not H1N1, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Hi N G! Thanks for visiting my Yorkshire site. Chesterfield eh - have passed through it by train a few times and seen the crooked spire - have relations who used to live at Inkersall. Nice to read your blog. Hope you will call on me again.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Weaver. I may be a Chesterfield girl now, but I'm a Rotherham lass born and bred! Last-Born's boyfriend lives in Inkersall!

Thanks for coming over to visit and I hope you'll come back. I enjoyed your site, so I'll certainly be popping in from time to time :)

altadenahiker said...

Oh, now I want an entire course in speaking Yorkshire. I'm not a complete novice -- I read Alan Bennett.

Yan said...

Hallo Nutty Gnome, I followed your link to find your lovely teahouse project. I now have visions of you in a kimono and tackety boots, performing your first tea ceremony for Himself and Ower Dave, saying, "Alreight, sup up."
Hope you're feeling better.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Altadenahiker, good to see you again. Ha ha - Alan Bennett is from a posh bit of Yorkshire up near Leeds, so he speaks quite differently to me .... I'm from the land of pits, steel works and heavy industry (pits are coal mines!)and big hills!

Actually quite a few people have commented about wanting to know how to speak proper Yorkshire (or maybe just 'proper'?!), so I might well do a dialect post soon!

If you want to get a feel for the Yorkshire accent and dialect most similar to mine, then can I suggest you watch the original film of 'The Full Monty' with Robert Carlyle and Mark Addy. It was filmed in Sheffield (8 miles from where I was brought up - and where Liz of 'Gwirrel's Garden' and Woody of 'Allotment 81' live now) and is VERY accurate in its use of language, accent and use of dialect! It's also a very funny film! :)

Hi Yan - I LOVE that vision of yours, it really made me've got me so sussed so soon!!! I've got a kimono, but I suspect me grandad's tackety boots have long since been thrown away - I'll have to make do with my furry Bearpaw boots instead - 'cos I'm a reight wuss!

I'm definitely starting to feel much more human now. I'm not coughing so much, but still tiring very quickly though. It's my first day back at work today ... so I'll know how much better I'm feeling after that! Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Liz! I really appreciate the language bit. It's amazing how so many things are very similar to how we use Russian language in day-to-day life. "Our..." - is SO my family thing. My dad can easily refer to Mum as "Our Mum". I'm called "Our Ol'ka" or "Our Kid" :) Max's family is different, they are posher, too :)
The tea house looks very impressive and I like how precisely and neatly everything's done - well done A... sorry, Himself :)

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Olga! I love your blog name - it makes me laugh ...... but I think you need to change it to Yummy Mummy! :)

I also love it that you get called 'our kid' and that Max's family are posh! Having met both sets of parents, I think all 4 of them are great - but as I don't speak Russian, I can't tell who's posh and who's not!!!

The tea house would be very precise and neat - Himself's in charge and I have a much more slapdash approach to life! :)

See you for coffee soon?! :)

Anonymous said...

*munching a 100th doughnut* Thanks for the compliment Liz :) Food is my addiction (sadly the eating bit only, not cooking :))

I'm very glad you're feeling much better. Can imagine how many things you now have to catch on with...
Coffee sounds great! When you have a window in your schedule, just let me know.

PS I also should thank you for the story about your walk at Curbar Edge. We went there couple of weeks ago - it was beautiful!

HappyMouffetard said...

That's quite some construction! I'd not heard of 'nesh' until I moved to Cheshire (which isn't 'properly' North, really).

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Olga. I was feeling better - but 2 days back at work has done me in ...I'm shattered now!
I'm glad you liked Curbar - it's one of my very favourite places to go for a walk AND there's a very nice pub that does excellent lunches only a few minutes away! (always a bonus!)

I'll be in touch about coffee - it's half term next week, so I'm off work.

Hi HM. Nesh is such a lovely descriptive word for someone who feels the cold isn't it?! and I am dead nesh!
You're right - Cheshire isn't properly north's just playing at it!
Glad you like the tea house ...more to come soon :)

Ruth said...

Arr-eight mum, av read yr blog n all that, just luvley. Ant seen ower dave in donkies yonks.
luv n ugs xxx

The Idiot Gardener said...

Mrs IG is a Mancunian, and her family does tend towards the "Our ..." form of address. As a Londoner, I've taught her to talk proper now.

That's an impressive bit of building going down there; it'll be good to see it once completed!

Nutty Gnome said...

Ey up Beeg! How yer doin luv? Wot yer doing up at arf four int' mornin'? I'll gi thee a bell later.
luv n ugs back byt' buckitload! xx

Hi IG. Hang on ....'Londoner' and 'talking proper' in the same sentence...?!!Hmmm!

Thanks for following me - I'm dead chuffed by that!
I'm hoping the tea house will be finished by Easter - that's THIS Easter, but I've been saying that for 3 years now! It all turned into a much bigger project than I'd thought it'd be ...although, to be fair, I didn't really think it through at all!!!

Titania said...

Hope you feel better from your terrible cold. It looks like spring now spring is in the air. This is going to be a "bonza" teahouse.
English people have got nice "accents"!
Thank you for your visit.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Liz, thank you for visiting my blog. I have enjoyed looking through your archives! Your energy shines through your words, in fact I feel quite exhausted :)

So sorry you have been under the weather and hope you continue to improve!

It was great fun reading this post, as far as I know there are no Yorkshire connections in my family but some of the expressions have definitely crept in. My Mother and Grandmother would always 'mash' a pot of tea rather than 'make' one, I think that is a Yorkshire expression, have you heard of it?

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Titania and thanks for visiting! I'm feeling much better now thanks - I'd forgotten how much flu takes it out of you!

Considering Britain is such a small country, it has a huge variety of accents! Mine isn't one of the 'nicest' but it is very distinctive!

My cousin moved to Australia 25 years ago and he came back for a visit a few months ago.It was really strange to hear him speaking in an Australian accent, but with a Yorkshire inflection!

Hello ShySongbird - I have to confess to not feeling terribly energetic at the moment, but it'll come back!

'Mashing' tea is very definitely a Yorkshire expression and "Shall I mash?" is often heard in our house! My brother-in-law is from Manchester and they 'brew' ...funny lot Mancunians!!!

Pondside said...

This one made me smile - and thank you for the phonetic instruction! helped! We too say 'our' but it's just a family thing because we use and re-use family names - so our Lillypad is differentiated from Big Lillypad (her auntie). It avoids confusion.
I hope you're feeling a whole lot better!

Green Lane Allotments said...

Thanks for leaving a message on my blog - just wondered what the problem was with your carrots as when we first took our plot back in the dark ages we were told that we'd never grow carrots but we do - in fact we are still digging them at the moment - not the original ones!

If you pop to my blog there is a link to my website. From the webiste sidebar go to GrowIt where there is a section on how we grow our carrots.

I'll pop a link here just for you to go directly

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Pondside - I'm pretty much back to normal now thanks - or, at least, as normal as I ever get!

Oh I so want someone called 'our Lillypad' now, it's lovely! :)

I'm glad the phonetics were useful! Maybe I'll do a bit more on how to speak proper Yorkshire at some point soon?!

Hi GLA - thanks for that link. I'll pop over in a minute and have a look!
I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong with the carrots. Our veg garden soil has had 40 years of other people's hard work. It is wonderful soil - moisture retaining, well draining, slightly alkaline, well composted. Should be perfect.
I planted 5 long rows. I measured the distance between holes. I mixed sand with the soil - which I'd graded beforehand. I put 2 or 3 seeds per hole. I nurtured them, but only a few came up - then they just disappeared and I was left with one solitary carrot! Mind you, it was the best carrot I've ever grown! ....I'm off to your blog to see what I should be doing. I've told the carrots if they don't grow this year, that's me and them done!