Bolly and I had a visit yesterday – from Pixie the Papillon. Boll normally gets on well with dogs, but she seemed utterly mystified by Pixie and just watched her from a safe distance.
My theory is that Boll thought Pixie was a cat in disguise. They’re both about the same size and Pixie isn’t conspicuously dog-like. It’s difficult to imagine her, say, cast as the Hound of the Baskervilles, looming out of the mists of Dartmoor, howling and baring her teeth.
Congratulations to Jaime, Matt and Alfie on the arrival of Evie!
I have a dilemma.
I’m from the north but I’ve lived more than half my life in the south, and I pretty much speak RP English (aka BBC/Oxford/Queen’s English) – with one exception. I use short As. In other words, I say ‘grass’ as in ‘ass’.
It’s not a problem and, until now, I’ve rather liked having a small souvenir phoneme which reminds me of Newcastle.
A few years ago, a frightfully posh BBC producer picked up on it and tried to make me read a script with long As. I refused (quite rightly). But people don’t normally comment on it, although my barber noticed it the other day and started quizzing me on where I’m from. And, as we talked, I realised that I’m now deliberately keeping hold of my short As. My natural instinct now is to do long ones.
In fact, I use long As when I’m alone with Bolly and talking to her (as you do). And, when I drop something, I tend to pronounce the exclamation ‘blast!’ as ‘blarst!’ because it’s an expression I’ve picked up since living down south.
And – yes, heretical I know – I now feel just as much allegiance, if not more, to the south as I do to the north.
So – I’m thinking of having a trial ‘Long A Day’ – possibly today. Should I announce it? Will anyone notice? Will I feel odd? Will I sound like The Queen? I don’t know. It’s actually rather exciting.