SWB and the Grammar Police

It is Saturday and my phone rings. I am looking at some crockery, (circa 1936) at an Antiques Fair. I don’t frequent such fairs as a rule but it’s held once a month at the church halls where my children do Spanish.  I love looking at the old brooches and watches and whimsical postcards while I hear the wee ones gabbling away in the room next door. Most agreeable. Anyway, it’s the Mothership, obviously.

THE MOTHERSHIP: It’s me here, and I hope you have a minute as I need to speak with you.

ME: I’m in a bit of a rush here, I can hear them singing their goodbye song at Spanish. I’m at the Antique Fair.

THE MOTHERSHIP: Well for some:;I would like to be at an Antique fair. Do they have any Royal Doulton? In fact, ask if anyone would like to buy some Royal Doulton. Have a look round. I’ve also some salad servers and cruet sets I want rid of. Make enquiries.

ME: Did you say there was something important?

THE MOTHERSHIP: Ah yes. A matter of some urgency. Now, your latest post, I see quite a few people have read it, and made a few comments on Facebook. However, there are some glaring grammatical errors which need addressed.

ME (with a deep sigh): Go on then.

THE MOTHERSHIP: Now I just need to find the piece of paper. Ah yes, here we are now. (THE MOTHERSHIP adopts her reading voice:) “Ack, Judith Kerr has died, and her meant to reading at the Hay Festival.” That should be SHE, not HER, meant to be reading at The Hay Festival.’

ME: Noted.

THE MOTHERSHIP: And another one, on down, where was that now….. ah yes : That should be ‘WE parents,’ not ‘US parents, falling over cats and children…’ Really, you need to come down here, and we will go over these pronouns. You seem most ill-informed.  Can you fix it? The sooner the better.

ME (Thinking yes, if I ever get off this bloody phone): I will, later.

THE MOTHERSHIP: Make sure you do . And simply no need at all for that vulgarity about the Lego, although I have to agree with you, that standing on Lego can be very sore. You ought to wear slippers. At ALL times. Especially in your house. You could break your neck if you’re not careful.

ME: If that’s all then…

THE MOTHERSHIP: It certainly isn’t. I had Derek on the phone last night, asking how your dad was. ‘Is Ronnie alright?’ he said. ‘He’s rightly,’ I said, ‘why do you ask?’ And it turns out, he’d been reading your blog, and VERY concerned he was, that your dad was not ‘steady on his feet.’ I had to put him straight, and tell him there is nothing wrong with your dad.

ME: There was a while back when he wasn’t in great shape.

THE MOTHERSHIP: Very little wrong with him now. Sure isn’t he playing his tennis and giving people lifts and helping at the church lunches? He’d be offended, if he thought you thought he was ‘unsteady on his feet.’

ME: Well he definitely shouldn’t be up a ladder.

THE MOTHERSHIP: No. At least that much is true. Some people just aren’t practical. Like you. You’re not practical.  Anyway, ‘Derek,’ I said. ‘Derek dear, you shouldn’t believe half of what you read on that blog, and Helen is often given to artistic embellishments, as most writer folk are.’

ME (harassed and with small children hanging off me): I’m away. Stevey and I are going for lunch and a day of frivolity after we’ve dropped the children over West.

THE MOTHERSHIP: How nice. Where shall you be dining?

ME: Ginger.

THE MOTHERSHIP: What? Ginger? They don’t know what to charge in there. You’ll have no money at all. I was reading about an ISA I thought might suit you…

ME: Bye Mum.

(Reader, the blog has been rectified-well the pronouns anyway. Incidentally, Ginger was CRACKER. I would recommend their fish soup with homemade wheaten – enriched with black treacle and Belfast Black ale for malty goodness, and their haddock risotto, with lemon and shredded crab. I had two glasses of Verdejo, after which I was positively BUOYANT. Sometimes a splurge is called for; especially after conversations like that.)

And the Mothership now thinks I belong to a community of ‘Writer Folk!’ Imagine! People, I almost feel as though I’ve MADE IT!



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