Old folk at lunch

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Biriani, sutures and dead people



Today I get the sutures out of my ear resulting from my last cancer excision a week ago. Healing has been very good. Getting cancer on your ear is a bit pesky but my regular plastic surgeon was well up to the challenge.

Jenny has been looking after me to to some extent while Anne is away in Britain and she made me a GREAT Indian biriani last Saturday. I had the leftovers for tea on Sunday too. A biriani is a very fancy curry and rice.

I was thinking of Anne just now and an amusing exchange between us came to mind. She comes from a very similar background to mine so I speak broad Australian with her, using all the brilliant old Australian slang that I love. You CANNOT express yourself as vividly in standard English as you can in Australian slang. I also have attitudes that were mostly mainstream when and where I grew up -- in North Queensland in the '40s and 50's. So I asked her once whom I most reminded her of -- thinking that she might name other Queensland old-timers such as her wonderful old nonagenarian stepfather, Bill. She named a number of people -- all of whom were DEAD! I am definitely a dinosaur.

One of the great ironies about Australian slang is that it is no longer understood by many young Australians, who have their own slang, mostly of American origin, I think. It survives among working class people and country people pretty well, however, but where it survives best of all is among Australia's outcasts: The Aborigines (blacks). A lot of their language is from yesteryear. As they are in a sense the most Australian of Australians, it is somehow fitting that their English is the most Australian too

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