Back to the … present

It’s my Lowestoft auction tomorrow, so I’ll be busy. I have got everything packed and ready, remarkably enough. Last night, I thought I’d be scurrying around at the last, but a few hours were well spent this morning and, having been mostly awake since 4am, I had a nap in the afternoon.

I’m feeling more optimistic about the auction than I have in the last couple of years. The *political situation* – let’s not go further because, whatever our views, I think we can all agree that it’s been tricky – has cast a damper on the market, I’ve found. But, rather to my pleased surprise, it’s been like old times this week. I’ve got quite a number of bids in the book and several phone calls to make during the sale. I will have to be rigorous about that – none are for the same piece or within a lot or two, but I mustn’t lose track and forget anyone. I won’t, of course, but if I were the worrying sort (hahahahahahah…sorry, hysteria kicked in there for a moment) then I might lose sleep about it. I think that sheer whatthefuckery has taken over and people have shrugged and got on with their lives.

But on another tack entirely, I was listening to a radio programme yesterday. It was on a couple of weeks ago; I don’t listen to anything live but just download things. It’s a series called ‘That Reminds Me” and the tagline is “Well-known names reminisce and entertain with tales from their lives.” I don’t listen to all of them, but this one happened to be Nerys Hughes, the Welsh actress. She spent the first five minutes talking about Under Milk Wood, Dylan Thomas’s much-loved radio play. She said she’d played every female part, over the course of forty years, except the oldest woman – this recording was a repeat from the early 00s, so maybe she has done that too by now.

The thing is, she repeated the name of the play several times – Under Milkwood. I’ve always said/thought Under Milk Wood, with equal weighting to each word. But she should know, I suppose. I’ve never heard anyone call it Milkwood before, though. Any thoughts?

It made me think of other quirks of pronunciation though. For example, the actor/celeb/whatever Tim Brooke-Taylor. I don’t suppose you’ve thought about it but, if you have, you might have noticed that he’s always introduced as Timbrooke-Taylor. I assure you. And an actual mistake by the divine Delia Smith. She often has advised cooking with groundnut oil. Groundnuts are peanuts, of course. But she has always called it ground nutoil. Driven me to distraction for decades, that has.

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