(Continuing our series in Matthew chapters 8 & 9, and looking for the big picture Matthew’s trying to get across.)
Sometimes, my grandmother would speak a different language. Not a foreign language. It was still English. I understood the words – they just made no sense.
For example, a favourite saying of hers was: “I’m not as green as I’m cabbage-looking.” Right. Never thought you looked like a cabbage. More, say, cauliflower, if I had to make a vegetable comparison. What on earth are you saying?
Or if you were looking for something, and asked her where it was, she’d say: “up in Annie’s room, hanging on a tack.” Theirs was a single-story house, but I was for many years suspicious of a hidden attic containing a family secret.
She’d sometimes say we had “eyes like two burnt holes in a blanket”. I wouldn’t know. I don’t smoke in bed.
And my favourite, if my shirt wasn’t tucked in properly: “Giddy giddy gout, your shirt’s hanging out. Six miles in and seven miles out.” I used to point out that that meant there was only a net of one mile hanging out, which, proportionally, wasn’t so bad.