Swisser came round for supper last night and as soon as she arrived on the yard she went off in search of Bert who was working in the big shed. I carried on cooking. About ten minutes later I spotted her coming out of the shed carrying one of my director's chairs and placing it in the boot of her car. Almost immediately Bert came in whereupon I lit on him like a thatcher.
I lit on him/her like a thatcher. This is a phrase I heard my mother use. As I understand it, it means to challenge someone in a very forceful way. It has nothing to do with the former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, although I'm sure she lit on plenty of people. I just asked Bert what he thought it meant and he said, to give someone a good eating. That would be eating as in ate the head of him. I've been trying to figure out why, in the days before the Dragon Thatcher, that thatchers, as a trade, should be seen as particularly belligerent or scolding.
But to get back to Bert. Says I to him,
What's Swisser doing with my chair?
Sure we never use them.
We do so! You've no business to be giving away the things that I buy with my own money without asking me first.
Sure you didn't even know where they were.
I did so! One was is in the poly tunnel, your man was perched on it yesterday and the one she's lifted was in the shed, folded against the wall behind the seed potatoes.
Swisser comes in so even though I'm still cross I pretend not to be.
We converse generally about this and that. Then she spots the lovely enamel pie dish I bought in TK Maxx a few months ago.
Oh! That's a lovely dish.
Before I could stop myself, I say,
You should tell Bert how much you like it and then he'll probably give it to you.
Oh dear! Awkward situation. Bert tells her I'm mad she got the chair and she immediately offers it back. I demur. She insists. She returns it to the shed. When she comes back I tell her that this is not the first time Bert has done this. A few weeks ago Banjo Man was idly looking at some bits and pieces on my dresser when he noticed a little brass box decorated with shamrocks. He asks Bert about it. Bert says,
That's something belonged to Nelly's mother. Isn't it Nelly?
Actually I found it among your mother's things.
He immediately offered it to Banjo Man not taking into account that I must have liked it enough to have it on display. I protested and got to keep the little box although it made me feel a bit selfish. But I'd have felt worse if Bert had given it away without taking my feelings into consideration.
I talked to Bert about this today and he informed me that he'd told Swisser to sneak the chair into her car without me seeing and then he said, “She blew it.” So I lit on him like a thatcher.
Pictured above - Bert sitting on my lovely chair quite a few summers back. It still rankles, nay it enrages me, that some light-fingered toad stole that hat he is wearing. Maybe I do get far too attached to material things.