Yes, it’s all too horribly true: my phone ringer is dead. Or maybe it’s sleeping; either way on any of the various occasions when it is supposed to make a noise – alarm, text, call, facebook message, facebook update, reminder and god knows what else – it is content to make a sudden purr like an intermittent cat. In other words it does everything it should do when it’s on silent, but it isn’t. I have checked and double-checked the settings; I have (in the time-honoured way) turned things off and on and on and off again and still it persists in purring. So I must perforce consider the meaning of the term ‘dead ringer’. Jeremy Irons (once my favourite actor) plays twins in a film of that name, Meat Loaf sang about it and the Radio 4 programme features it. So what is it?
The origin of the phrase is apparently from horse-racing: ‘dead’ meaning ‘exact’ (as in ‘dead heat’) and ‘ringer’ meaning a horse falsely substituted for another which it resembles. Hence a dead ringer, meaning an exact lookalike. At least I’ve always understood it to mean a lookalike, which makes the radio 4 concept somewhat paradoxical don’t it?
Still it’s a fun programme: Tom Baker is a staple and they do Boris Johnson brilliantly:
Here’s the Meat Loaf song:
and here’s the film:
A short one today but what do you expect? My ringer is dead…
I am typing this in an invisible box – by which I didn’t mean that I am sitting in some Tardis-like structure with an invisibility booster, but that the box in which the text is appearing is invisible to me. I look forward to seeing some interesting typos and weird spell checker guesses. Anyway, the winemaking season is upon us. And I have been out and about gathering nettles and stewing them with lemon juice and sugar. The nettles appear to be dead nettles rather than stingers, and I am wondering if that will make a difference to the recipe, however it doesn’t specifically say they have to be stinging nettles. Stingers are useful though. Did you know that they are beneficial for arthritis? You have to whip the affected joints. Also, nettle tea is good for a diuretic if you have water-retention.
So much for that. My favourite radio series – or one of them at least – is Dead Ringers. It’s the radio equivalent of Spitting Image but without the puppets which would be kind of wasted on radio. Perhaps this will enliven the 6.30 slot and hopefully replace the dreaded Pam Ayres. Ugh!
I’m writing a poem about the dreaded Pam. It begins:
I wish I’d looked after me verse
being comic’s a terrible curse
I haven’t got enough to even put one stanza together yet, but it’ll come. And then I shall perform it in selected venues across the nation.
In other news, I am probably going to organise some poetry for Water Aid as part of Bede Island Festival, so look out for that.
The nettle wine is fermenting, albeit very slowly. And I made some bread last night and forgot about it. The oven switched itself off and so it just sat there for a couple of hours. I finished baking it and it seems OK…
And that’s me. Happy Easter.