As those who follow my blog regularly will know, I’m the new girl in town. My adopted home of Egremont in Cumbria is a wonderful place to be in summer when the sun shines. Not least because I’ve been made so welcome by the Mothers’ Union. This week was their 140th birthday celebration. This is a bit of background.
‘140 years of faithful Christian outreach to families of all faiths and none. Since 1876, when Mary Sumner first brought together parents in her own parish to build their confidence in bringing up their children in the Christian faith, we have grown to an organisation of over four million women – and men – in over 80 countries of the world.’
On Wednesday, Egremont MU celebrated with a birthday party to be proud of. Branch Leader Gerry Christmass and her happy band of helpers put together a wonderful afternoon for us all to enjoy. We were joined by Simon the Vicar and entertained by the Tantony Ringers with anecdotal memories from some long standing MU members. In addition there was a wonderful solo singing performance and to top it all off, a raffle and scrumptious tea.
I met some diverse and interesting people and was chatting to one of the musicians who gave me some examples of the local dialect. I was fascinated and wanted to know more, so did some research when I got home. This is apparently how the local hill farmers count their sheep:
yan = 1; tan =2; tether = 3; mether = 4, pimp = 5; sether = 6; hether = 7;hother =8; dother = 9; dick = 10; yan dick = 11; tan dick = 12;tether dick = 13; mether dick = 14; bumfit =15; yan bumfit 16; tan bumfit = 17; tether bumfit = 18; mether bumfit = 19 and gigot = 20
I wasn’t at the event to promote my novel but when the guests started to arrive, one lady had a copy which she asked me to sign. I was very happy to oblige and she then worked the room, showing it to anyone who was interested (and possibly a few that weren’t) so thank you very much, Shirley!
We cleared away cheerfully at the end of the afternoon and I for one, went home too full to want any dinner! A quintessentially English summer afternoon with great company, in a great cause and guess what – we plan to do it again on Saturday at the church summer fete!
PS: I won a rose plant in the raffle which is now adorning my mantelpiece!