Auntie Doris’s Book Club #13: “Me Sannies are Brannies” by John Brien


My nephew Michael bought me this book for Christmas. It’s a slim volume, just like his ruddy poetry book is. But it’s a good read. I really enjoyed it. But maybe that’s because I come from Hull, in East Yorkshire, England. (Not that Canadian one.) and the book is all about the Hull dialect, accent and words that are specific to Hull. If you know what “My sannies are brannies” means, the chances are that you either come from Hull, have lived there for a significant time, or know someone who does or has really well. I’m not going to tell you what it means though. Not yet anyway. You will have to guess in the comments box below. So there. Mind you, there’s a pretty big clue on the front of the book.

Any road, I liked John. He doesn’t come from Hull either, in fact, if the truth be known, he’s one of those ruddy southerners. But his heart is in the right place. And besides, he moved to Hull 46 years ago when he was 15 years old, and he has never left. People don’t, until they pass over to the other side.

He seems to be quite a brainy bloke. He talks all about language and dialect and verbs, bowels and constonants, none of which I could ever get my head around, but the book is an easy enough read, and full of funny stories., and words that I haven’t heard in donkey’s ages. It really warmed the cockles of my heart to read about diddlums (Christmas savings clubs) croggies (back seat lifts on a push bike) and bauking (retching or vomiting).

It’s a funny place, Hull. You don’t really go through it to go anywhere else, despite Withernsea being an ideal holiday destination for young and old alike, and despite them building the Humber Bridge, (which isn’t actually in Hull, but just outside and is only really a short cut for people wanting to travel beween Hull and Grimsby anyway. The Motorway runs out twelve miles before you get to Hull, and there are still some parts of the town centre that haven’t changed in living memory (such as that toilet block behind the library.)

Of course, by his own admission, John gets a bit carried away and claims some words and phrases for Hull that are probably used in a load of other places as well. But that doesn’t matter. They are still words and phrases that add to the character of the place, and fill anyone with a heart full of nostalgia and warm feelings (especially if they come from Hull.)

Even if you don’t come from Hull, I reckon it’s worth a read. particularly as Hull is going to be the UK City of Culture in 2017. I am very sorry that I will miss that, what with me being a deceased person. But then again. I might manage to manifest myself through my nephew’s body and join in the celebrations in some small way. You never know.

You can order the book from it is on the Amazon too. But they would send all the money straight to America without paying any tax on it.

Now tell me what you think “Me sannies are brannies” means.

Auntie Doris’s Tarot Card of the Week #41: Death: 11th -17th August 2014

This is the card that puts the ruddy willies up everyone. A Skeleton in a black suit of armour trampling everyone under his horse. He’s already got a King, and a little kiddie and it’s mother are next. And there’s a ruddy bishop stood in front of it, asking it to stop, but I don’t see him getting anywhere with that idea. Death comes to us all! If you think you can avoid it, you’ve got another think coming. No wonder people don’t like this card, what could be worse?
Well, as far as I’m concerned, there could be a lot worse than this card. Look at me… I’m ruddy dead aren’t I? And it hasn’t done me any harm. When I was alive hardly anyone at all knew me, and now I am a world famous blogger and entertainer with literally hundreds of friends, and not all of them are just on Facebook either!
The main thing about the death card is that it means “change.” Of course, death is a big change for anyone who goes through it, but there are other types of change as well, ones that you don’t have to die to experience.
For a start there’s “the change” that ladies of a certain age go through. When my sister Pearl went through that change, she was ruddy intolerable for a bit. It was about the time that my mother died, and she went right overboard about how she should have had that Chinese tea caddy when she knew fine well that mother had wanted me to have it. She didn’t speak to me for years over that.
But there’s other changes as well, in the card there is going to be a change of monarch, because that old King’s ruling days are over, what with him laid under the horse with his crown knocked clean off his head, like Emily Davison at the 1913 Derby. And a change of leader might not be a bad thing. That’s why people change their jobs isn’t it? And why football teams change their managers.
Not many people like change; moving house, a new job, dying… things like that always involve saying goodbye to something that we are used to, and it can be worrying and uncomfortable. But there are symbols all over the card that give you the hope that the change might not turn out as bad as you thought they might. I reckon that the sun is rising in the background, and look at the skeleton’s horse, it is white, and pure and noble, symbolising change for the better. That little kiddie hasn’t been trampled into the ground yet, and even though her poor mother is fainting away, she might yet wake up to find out that her and the Bairn have been spared. Even the bishop symbolises sprititualism defying death. Or something like that.
Finally that ruddy great flag the skeleton has got. It has a white Rose on it, rather than the black Rose of death. The white rose symbolises good things, new beginnings, love, honesty, integrity, and, of course, Yorkshire, the home of all such things.
So don’t go having nightmares, the death card is your friend.
Four things that you might do this week: (i) Apply for a new job, or if you haven’t got one, either apply for a different type of job than you normally do, or take up a new hobby. You never know what will happen when you change your game. (ii) get that skeleton out of your closet, confess to someone about that thing that you did all those years ago. Yes… you! You know exactly what I’m on about, so don’t go pretending that you don’t. I’m not saying that you should go running your mouth off to a vicar or a policeman or anyone, you can tell some drunken stranger in a pub, or ring the Samaritans for all I care, but you will feel better with it off your chest. (iii) Try and make a few new friends, either on Facebook or in real life. Don’t worry about not succeeding, their loss, but it might be fun and it might be life changing. (iv) Book a holiday in Yorkshire. Even if you already live in Yorkshire. The Yorkshire tourist industry could always do with the money, especially in Withernsea, which is a pleasure to visit at any time of the year.