I spent most of my childhood wondering what my Nanna meant when she said “Six of one….” and left it there. I now know that the saying is ‘Six of one, half a dozen of the other’, meaning that there is no difference between two things. But looking back, my Nanna seemed to say this all the time, leaving me constantly baffled – “Six of WHAT?!”, I was thinking!
Then there’s the situation where the literal meaning of something seems ludicrous. My sister-in-law collapsed into an armchair one afternoon and exclaimed “Phew! I haven’t sat down all day!” Her son, who was five at the time, looked concerned and said “But haven’t you been to the toilet yet?” Touche.
All the classics are there, from ‘being away with the pixies’, having ‘ants in your pants’ and ‘running around like a headless chook’. I admit that I often say that it’s so noisy I can’t hear myself think and yes, I’m guilty of declaring everyone ‘needs’ an early night when I’m particularly tired.
“My mum says the strangest things.
Mum tells me I’m as good as gold.
Mum tells me I’m still her baby.”
Tom Jellett has again supplied the illustrations, which so perfectly depict Germein’s words – in a very literal way. There are piglets standing in the ‘pigsty of a bedroom’, square eyeballs watching television and crazy expressions on the faces of people who are victims of the ‘wind changing’. I suspect that Jellett’s illustrations will be the first clue many kids get as to what their mum actually means when she says very strange things!
Find My Mum Says the Strangest Things at Fishpond.