A friend posted this list of British Expressions – most of which I knew but it was the last one that struck me: I’m off to Bedfordshire. I said something similar for years now and I was trying to recall where I first heard it. I believe it was in an Alan Bennett play called Forty Years On with a Nanny putting a young lad to bed. Other gems from that scene including warnings about sitting on hot pipes,getting piles and your insides falling out; going out without your wellies on (it will make you go blind the way it did St Paul on the Damascus Road!); and policeman cutting “your little tail off” if you don’t lie down and go to sleep. Ah the good old fashioned way of bringing up children: terrorize them!
The “Bedfordshire”phrase also reminded another friend of an old Vera Lynn record. It was the 19 year old’s first commercial recording in 1936. I’ve always been a big fan of Dame Vera’s but I don’t honestly ever recall hearing this one before.
The etymology of the idiom “up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire” is well explained in this entry at The Phrase Finder. Though the Phrase Finder suggests that it’s rather “twee” given my age I find it rather sweet – particularly as sung by Dame Vera.
Thanks to Olin and MJ for inspiring this one.
On this day in 1915: World War I: The Battle of Gallipoli begins: The invasion of the Turkish Gallipoli Peninsula by British, French, Indian, Newfoundland, Australian and New Zealand troops, begins with landings at Anzac Cove and Cape Helles.