“Nice ‘avin a man like that.” Bob was leaning over my fence as I arranged the tulips in the dirt. “Sugar Candy that’n.” He gestured to the local man I had hired to fix my stairs.
I nodded out of politeness. An American transplant to Wootton Bassett, I was thrilled when my neighbor Bob decided to help me settle in. His helpful tips about the village and insight into the locals were invaluable. That is, what I understood of his advice was invaluable. Often I felt as if I had cotton in my head when he spoke. At least he hadn’t steered me wrong yet. “He is okay looking I guess, but he is great with his hands. He can fix anything.” I said in response.
Puzzled he looked at me and said, “That’s what I said doll. Sugar Candy – Handy. Right? He’s doing a right robin ‘ood job on yer apples’n’pears.”
Confused I nodded. I was pretty sure that’s not what he said. Worse, I had no idea what apples and pears had to do with anything.
“Still might rabbit a bit. Never know. Might be ‘is trouble’n’strife.” He grinned.
“Trouble and strife? What are you talking about Bob” I sat back on my heels as he just grinned.
“Plates’n’dishes luv, trouble’n’strife. Get on with it. On yer plates and rabbit’n’pork now that ya got yer song!” I just blinked a bit, thoroughly confused.
Shrugging he said, “Might put some net down luv, or you’ll ‘ave nuns nibbling at yer plants.” He turned and headed back to his cottage. Looking up I saw the Sugar Candy William laughing and shaking his head. He was rather attractive. Perhaps I should get up and go talk to him a bit. Offer him something to drink. You never know what could happen.
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Authors Note: I have always been fascinated by Cockney Slang. My first exposure to it was in a Dick Francis Novel. My attempt at it’s usage may be off. If so please let me know so I can fix it.
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Sugar Candy – Handy
robin hood – good
Apples n pears – stairs
Rabbit – Rabbit and Pork – talk
Trouble and strife – wife
Plates and dishes – missus
Plates – Plates of meat – feet
Song – Song and dance – chance
Nuns – nuns and habits – rabbits