Sunday, 17 April 2011


My dear Mum, rest her soul, wouldn't hurt a fly. I had my wicked moments as a child and was a real test of her parenting skills and yet I cannot remember her ever hitting or slapping me which of course was commonplace when reprimanding children in those days way back when Adam and Eve were toddlers.

However threats were another matter entirely. When I was sent on an errand for instance, in order to ensure my close attention to the matter in hand and my prompt return having accomplished the mission, all manner of hellfire and brimstone would apparently fall on my head if I failed in the task.

Her favourite and most frequently used threat was to disembowel me and make practical use of what she discovered within. A good example of this would be 'If you're not back by 10 o'clock I'll have your guts for garters'.

It seems that the first reference to 'guts for garters' appeared in Robert Greene's The Scottish Historie of James the Fourth, which was written around 1592:

"Ile make garters of thy guttes, Thou villaine."

I'm pleased to report that my intestines are not only complete but are also in reasonable worki
ng order.

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