The weather has taken a sudden turn for the better and for some strange reason, my wife along with a considerable number of the population has had a funny turn, I suspect it may be related to sunstroke. However out of the blue, she said, “I’m going to do a barbecue tomorrow,” whereupon I said, “have you taken leave of your senses, you’re having a bubble.”

Now for those of my readers who don’t live in Britain or are not familiar with Cockney rhyming slag, I had just slipped into a phrase familiar to many a Londoner, be they Cockney or not.

Cockney rhyming was invented in approximately 1840 and was used as a cant, a language designed to disguise what was being said from passers-by, “having a bubble,” being, I imagine a fairly modern version of Cockney. Many a phrase was coined, for example, “butchers hook,” for “look,” which is generally shortened to “butchers.”

The reason I’m guessing, “having a bubble,” is a fairly modern expression is because the full expression is, “having a bubble bath,” which as Cockney wasn’t invented until 1840 where in those days vast numbers of impoverished Londoners lived in extremely squalid conditions and would have been very lucky to have a bath at all, let alone one containing bubble bath.

Having lived in London for quite a large part of my life, it is inevitable that one picks up these phrases as they have become more commonly used, hence my use of “having a bubble.” For those of you who haven’t worked it out, “bath” rhymes with “laugh,” well it does with cockney pronunciation, “barf,” and “larf.”

I love useless facts and am delighted to have recently found the derivation of the expression, “a monkey,” used in, “can you lend me,” or “I’ll wager,” which originally comes from soldiers returning from India where a 500 rupee note had a picture of a monkey on it. They used the term monkey for the 500 rupee note and converted the note into Stirling when returning to England, hence a “Monkey,” being £500.

Now, returning to my original comment to my wife concerning her desire to have a barbecue, I cannot understand why anyone in their right mind would want to eat in this fashion, hence my comment, “you’re having a bubble.” Firstly one spends vast amounts of money on lashings of meat products, which one places on an open fire in the garden and stands about whilst being bitten by various insects, the only saving grace being one is expected to consume vast quantities of lager at the same time.

As you may be able to tell, I don’t consider this to be my favourite pastime, but I never like to let my wife down so we have both been frantically mowing the lawn, putting out the table, cleaning the chairs and readying the barbecue, should the event prove successful, I may post a further blog tomorrow, but don’t hold your breath waiting for that.


About The Diary of a Country Bumpkin

I am a retired actor, although to be honest I only retired because I wasn't getting any work due to losing my agent when I became a full time carer to my mother who had dementia. and the option of becoming an unemployed actor/waiter at my age was ludicrous, especially as my waiting skills are non-existent. Having said I’m retired, I don’t think there really is such a thing as a retired actor for I am still available for work, I just don’t have an agent or any connections with regards to obtaining any worthwhile work. I have over the years done student films when there is nothing else available, always low paid (if at all) the only incentive was always the promised copy of the finished film for your show reel which nine times out of ten always failed to materialise. I spent many years looking after my aged mother and shortly after her death I was lucky enough to run into an ex-girlfriend of many years ago and our romance blossomed once again, resulting in us getting married in 2013. My move to the countryside inspired me to write The Diary of a Country Bumpkin which tells of my continuing dilemmas in dealing with the rigors of the countryside from the unexpectedly large number of pollens, fungal moulds and hay products waiting to attack the unsuspecting townie. I enjoy writing, see my play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori on The Wireless Theatre Company, The Plays Wot I Wrote and The Battle of Barking Creek both available on Amazon.co.uk and am very fond of classic cars so my ideal occupation would be acting in a film I had written set in the 1930s/40s, we live in hopes. I am delighted to say that since venturing to the countryside where space is not quite the premium it is in town, I have due to the availability of two double garages acquired more classic cars to form a small collection the pride of which are a 1947 Bentley Mk VI and a 2000 Bentley Arnage. My various blogs and websites are continually evolving and I’m sure that by following the appropriate links you will find something which will edify or amuse. I have written a number of different books all available on Amazon, so don't be shy should you feel the urge to purchase. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Joe-Wells/e/B06XKWFQHT/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
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