Not suitable for people with irony deficiency and
cannot guarantee nut-free

Monday, 14 June 2010

Let's hear it for trouts

I must admit to feeling a bit uninspired and slightly drained. This is probably because today Boy 1 is doing his English Speaking Board exam, to which he violently objects on the grounds that a)it involves poetry and b)he can already speak English. I had to stand firm against the most heart-rending portrayal by Boy 1 of intestinal agony ever witnessed, which came on at precisely 8am this morning, coinciding with departure to school. I am a heartless mother, but at least he will have lots to tell his therapist when he’s in his 30s. There was also a terrific bust up between Boys 1 and 2. I have now re-named Boy 2 “Vuvuzela”.

Luckily, the lovely Faux Fuchsia has provided inspiration by suggesting I do a post on trouts. FF no doubt feels I am well placed to deal with this topic. I do display many troutal tendencies and sincerely hope to grow into a Right Old Trout. (Haha, Mr Blighty, haha). My theory is we need more old trouts to speak their minds, sort people out and generally interfere. Famous Trouts that spring to mind are Bodicea, Queen Victoria, Margaret Thatcher and, of course, my mother, but these gals are all English, we need multi-national trouts, names please!

The trout topic brings me to Cliveden, a huge mansion and country estate overlooking the River Thames in Buckinghamshire. The Blighty family and friends recently went for a walk in the grounds. (Cliveden was where, infamously, the MP John Profumo first met Christine Keeler in the 1950s –see film “Scandal” featuring John Hurt for lurid and most enjoyable treatment of the subject, see v serious report on the affair by Lord Denning if you don't want any unnecessary excitement).

The Thames, a place for quiet repose in your motorboat, until the Blighty mob yomp past

Small boys leaving scene of crime. Where is smaller brother? Can he swim?
Nice little country cottage

In the 1920s and 30s Cliveden was the home of a certain Nancy Astor, the wife of Waldorf Astor. Nancy became the first woman Member of Parliament in 1919. This achievement alone could be evidence of supreme troutdom, and I mean that as a compliment (actually it may have been her husband’s money and the Tory party backing that did it; Nancy was also said to be very witty but later in her career she made some really questionable remarks and fell out of favour).

There are some great anecdotes which serve to enhance her troutal reputation. These are alleged to be exchanges between Nancy and Winston Churchill (apologies as I suspect most people will know these but I couldn't help myself):

“Lady Nancy Astor: Winston, if you were my husband, I'd poison your tea.
Churchill: Nancy, if I were your husband, I'd drink it.”

"Winston, you are drunk"
“I may be drunk, Madam, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.”

(Actually, the second was probably not Nancy but is always being attributed to her).

I do think though Nancy may have taken troutdom just a little too far, as her husband is reported to have had a heart attack after an argument with her about chocolate. I feel there is a lesson in there for me.

So that’s my little essay on trouts. Just hope Boy 1’s poetry recital is as smooth as Winston’s repartee.

STOP PRESS– just looked at FF’s note again. She suggests trout recipes as a topic. **%&$%*!!


  1. Prefer your version of trout to a recipe. Can't think of any old trouts in the colonies. Perhaps we are not old enough? ha.

  2. If Mr EM ever suggests that I have achieved 'Old Trout-dom' I shall immediately instigate an argument about chocolate! Actually the chocolate argument occurs almost nightly at this elegant maison - usually because I'm on a diet and gasping for a 'fix' and Mr EM desperately tries to resolve his dilemma - give in and supply some and suffer my recriminations next day. Or stand firm, remind me of my (self-imposed) diet rules and suffer my rage immediately. He usually gives in and that's why I'm constantly on a diet - plainly HIS fault. Mmmn could be I'm well on the way to Old Trout-dom already.

    As for your Boys, I do sympathize re exams (and the drained mother). I had 'appendicitis' every year of my schooldays at exam time. It's my poor mother who should have needed the therapist!

  3. hi blighty,

    thank you for enlightening me on what a trout is. your language over there slays me.

    i am in the stage of life where my boys are all in therapy and i am no doubt the most popular subject of sessions. i find it quite humorous. really i do.

    i love that boy 1 says he can already speak english. it's like my boys always used to tell me they would never need math.


    meanwhile i'm in the beginnings of diary of a provincial lady. i love it.

  4. Trout definition? Please? For your ignorant trans-oceanic friends?

  5. I have heard those witty Churchill retorts before and have admired the speed with which they were delivered...I think of things to say well after....I am surmising that you fair Blighty might share that gift!
    BTW, a trout recipe might have been nice!

  6. Another well-observed post from you, Blighty, on an issue close to my heart at the moment. My mother-in-law is coming for another visit next week; she deserves an OBE for Services Rendered to Troutdom. If that is a word.

  7. I am not a fan of trouts so feel free to skip the recipe for my benefit. But I do love Old Trouts. A fine example of an Australian Old Trout could be Mrs Mangel from Neighbours.

  8. Your posts are a joy Blighty. Please post more about trouts. I think I might be one and would love further insight.

  9. Ok Blighty I'm going out on a limb here and professing my ignorance....I only know trout to be fish.

  10. Blighty,
    Here is the link to another blog that I think you will like, she is a friend of mine with a similar sense of humour to yours, you both make me giggle!!
    from the Mother of 4 who madly went camping and froze!! ( no it wasn't that bad) we may go again sometime in 2050)....

  11. Dear ladies, thanks for your comments, most interesting.
    Elegance - I am with you on the chocolate, I am completely addicted, have to have choc every day!
    Janet - so glad you like Provincial Lady - Ladies Please borrow from your local libraries like Janet did, libraries are fab and it would be terrible if you bought a book at my recommendation and hated it, I would have wasted your money! (suppose it would be a change from wasting my own!) Boy 2 confidently tells me he does not need to learn any more Maths, it is "pipsy" (boyspeak for easypeasy) and he now knows it all (he is 7); when quizzed on 7x9 he gets huffy and shouts "We haven't done that yet", he sees no inconsistency whatever in these various assertions (maybe he will become a politician?)
    LPC - trout definition - this had me running to the Oxford English Dictionary where it says "old trout" an annoying or bad tempered old woman; but I don't think that's quite it, I think I mean a woman of any age who knows her own mind, is not afraid to speak it and does not simper or do what people( = men?)expect women to do or spend her time trying to please; this needs more work; there can, I suppose, be good trouts and bad trouts. Good trouts are fantastic, and we need more of them! i often think if there were more good old trouts or if more GOTs were active in positions of authority, who were not afraid to interfere, there might be less of those dreadful abused children cases (sorry to introduce serious note) where people miss warning signs or don't interfere for worry of causing offence etc. I actually put this in my original post but then took it out as too serious and not in the style of the blog!

    Hostess - you are very kind but I am not good at witty retorts, that's why i am so enjoying doing this blog, it gives me time to think up stuff to say, in real life I am very over excitable and squeaky, which is just not cool;
    Septicsue - Thank you for commenting, you are the only one of my real life friends who are doing so, so you will be the only one getting a Christmas card this year! Good luck with MIL - can you book her on some sort of activity course e.g. abseiling or pot holing? just a thought.
    Anon - thanks for the link to Make Mind Mid, I am going over to hers right now.
    To everyone - if I don't mention your partic comment, it's not that I have not read and enjoyed it, I have, it's just that I have become overwhelmed with housewifely guilt and must go tackle that of which I dare not speak (ok, the ironing).

  12. (Not sure who referred you to my blog. Happily, all my friends dumped me years ago!)

  13. Hi Blighty - just to let you know that I have tagged you in my latest post. I just fell about laughing and thinking of you and your male household when I saw the pic - so hope you're not offended!

  14. Blighty, excellent post. Some random thoughts:

    *Cliveden is divine, did you think of Christine Keeler the whole time?

    *I do have a recipe for smoked trout pate

    *Love the blog xx

  15. Thank you for a very informative essay on trouts, Blighty. I am shamefully ignorant of history in general and you are helping me greatly in my pursuit of a more informed view of the world.

    By the way, I too did several years of English Speaking Board type exams. Except, being in Australia we have a local equivalent. The AMEB.

    I am now way past 30 and have yet to present to a therapist with any fallout from those years so your children are safe! Tell them I told you to tell them....

    SSG xxx

  16. PS: My ironing pile is bigger than yours. It is the current world champion.

  17. Germaine Greer. That is all.

  18. FF - when I got home, I tried taking off my clothes and sitting on a chair the wrong way round a la Christine Keeler but everyone told me to stop as it was putting them off their dinner;
    SSG - my view of history is very random and scatty I am afraid, I only like the juicy bits - Henry V111 and wives yes, Dissolution of the Monasteries, no thanks.
    Paddy - I think of Greer every time I clean the loo. My ironing pile may be smaller than yours but it's been around a bit more - it's what you do with it that counts!


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