Wednesday, 23 February 2011


My dear old Auntie Monica was a real character. She used to run a dog kennels and having been put out to stud herself she had produced two boys. (She would kill me for saying that!) She wasn't actually a relative, just a very close friend of my mother's since their childhood. My Mum had also produced two boys and this allowed them to compare notes on a regular basis.

They both seemed to agree that they were better off having boys than girls. Their reason, which they freely admitted, was that they remembered how dreadfully behaved they had both been as little girls. I remember Auntie Monica talking about what trouble it would have been to bring up daughters. Her main concern was about protecting them from the attention of boys.

Her suggested solution was that if she had given birth to daughters instead of sons, she would have started secretly putting the contraceptive pill in their cereal every morning from the age of nine onwards.

My Mum's mother had a different method. Apparently, she would urge her wilful daughter to "Keep your hand on your ha'penny". This lovely old phrase was in very common usage and was a gentle way of telling them to keep their hand firmly between their legs so as to deny their boyfriends access.

In the circumstances, I am very grateful that my Dad was able to persuade Mum to spend her halfpenny - to coin a phrase.

1 comment:

  1. "A penny saved is a penny earned" I'm not sure how this relates to your post but is what came to mind. Really tired of winter on this side of the pond LOL