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A Potter's Moll: The Perfect Day For A Red MG

Today is an extra-special day for the Robisons. Younger son Lloyd is getting married.

His mother Liz Robison took time out during an extraordinarily busy week to write this sparkling column.

Do visit the Web site of Liz’s potter husband Jim Robison http://www.jimrobison.co.uk/

I came across this clever little poem in our choir newsletter and it is such a visual treat that I thought I would pass it on – it does not work if read aloud. I have no idea where it came from or who wrote it, so cannot give credit where it is due.

I have a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a quay and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong or write
It shows me strait a weigh

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can putt the error rite
It’s rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased too no
It’s letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew

I have just taken over as editor of the aforesaid choir newsletter, and have just put the first one to bed. I want it to have a genuine musical feel to it and to reflect the activities and news of the choir and its members. It had latterly become something of a vehicle for those endless, and to my mind boring, strings of jokes that people send indiscriminatingly via the internet to everyone they know.

One of the current items in our repertoire is a lovely song called Cross the Wide Missouri and I found myself thinking about what I know of that mighty waterway. My husband was born in Independence, Missouri, the hometown of President Harry Truman. The town grew up because it was here that pioneers over-wintered and prepared wagons and supplies so that they were ready to cross the river when the ice melted in the spring. They then followed one of three trails: to Santa Fe, to California or to Oregon.

We once visited St Louis, Mo. where the Missouri is a mile wide; the water is always very brown as the bed of the river is mud rather than stony, hence the nickname Old Muddy. Farmers used to say it was ‘too thick to drink and too thin to plough’.

Our younger son, Lloyd, is getting married today, so there is lots of nervous excitement in the air. I think the thing I am most looking forward to is having my three siblings and their families here for the weekend. We have hired a small coach to take everyone to Bradford, so there should be lots of hilarity.

A week or so ago I attended the bride’s ‘hen do’, with some trepidation, I have to say. (I could not see myself wearing horns or rolling around town dressed as a nun.) I need not have worried as it was initially a meal for fourteen in a nice Italian restaurant, then the young ones went clubbing while the bride’s mum and aunties and I went home. The only cringe I had was the distribution of some very rude drinking straws.

Our son had his ‘stag do’ in town – thank goodness no trips to Amsterdam, Dublin or Estonia for this Yorkshire born and bred lad! His dad and he both agreed that it wasn’t really dad’s scene, so they decided to have a trip up the Yorkshire Dales with an overnight B and B stay in Ayesgarth. The novelty here was that they would drive in Dad’s newly refurbished 1974 MGB. This renovation has taken five years, so the fact that it is finished in time for the wedding is hugely important, because we had decided to give the car to the couple as a wedding present.

Lloyd and his dad have always had a thing for cars and Lloyd remembers going to collect the car with Jim when he first bought it: he was six years old. As a teenager he went on annual classic car rallies with Jim, so the car has somehow become a symbol of the very close bond between father and son. In the pub after an evening walk round Ayesgarth Falls, Jim told him it was to be a wedding present, and I think there were two distinctly dewy eyed men in that bar that night.

The MG is a bright red, the shade officially called ‘Blaze’. I always teased Jim by calling the car ‘Throbbin’ Robin’, Thinking this had overtones of Robin Reliant, he would refer to it as ‘Blazing Saddle’. I remember a man at a vintage car rally in California saying ‘You can tell the age of the boys by the size of their toys.’

Our University of the Third Age classes have begun again. Our ‘Remember When’ class, which writes and shares episodes of memoir, has some new faces. The challenge for next week is to write about something funny. This has been a spur for me to write about a topic that has been at the back of my mind for a while – some family holidays we took in the USA when our children were young. We usually borrowed a tiny camper van from Jim’s brother and would be on the road for about three weeks.

When I mentioned this topic to my brother, he immediately reminded me of one incident when we were on the way to Yellowstone Park. Outside a general store and gas station in a sleepy small town in South Dakota, some rather sad looking buffalo were grazing behind a fence. Five-year-old Lloyd went up and studied them for a while and then turned round and said ‘Those buffalos didn’t buffle me!’

More from me in a fortnight.


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