A housewife's lot, according to Dorfy

OUR late dialect writer Dorfy often made astute observations on the relationship between husbands and wives.

A Hoosewife's Lot was written after the Second World War, by which time the writer, Mrs Dorothy Samuelson-Sandvid, was living near Hexham, but it evokes the earlier years of her marriage in South Shields.

But if you wish to keep this extract, please print it out, as these pieces are unlikely to be reprinted in the near future.

NEEBODY seems t' reelise that a hooswife aalwiz gets 'the thick end o' the wedge' quite apart fre' wawk.

At the beginnin' of 'or married life, not ondly hez sh' t' dee 'or wawk with aboot half the propor tools sh' needs, but sh' hez t' stand bein' criticised biv a husband that's maist likely been the spoilt darlin' of a capable mother that's been runnin' a hoose for twenty-odd yeers.

It means nowt t' him that wheor 'ees Ma had six pans, 'ees new wife just hez two. 'E'll still expect some good Scotch broth, follard b' meat an' two veg, an' stewed fruit an' custard.

And' while 'e's guzzlin' 'ees dinnor, 'e'll tell 'ees wife sh' shud ax 'ees Ma hoo t' myek nice thick gravy!

An' hoo ridickulously conscientious a wife kin be aboot 'or hoosekeepin' is weel demonstrated, Aa think, b' the fact that Aa kin remembor vividly hoo, in 1924, Aa bowt a blackberry tart for the tea - an' et it aall mesel'!

Aa had myed mesel' a orly eftornyun cup o' tea, an' Aa meant t' hev jist a tyest o' the tart. But the tyest wuz that luscious Aa kept hevvin' another tyest till wat wuz left wasn't wawth keepin' for Elec.

It shows hoo Aa wuz se little used t' hevvin' owt gud aall t' mesel' that Aa've remembored the incident for 35 yeers.

If hard times comes, an' money's short, it's nivvor that short thor's nyen for baccy. An' if thor isn't nyuff t' pay whativvor's due, it's Ma that hez t' face the man at the door.

Mind – it's wor aan fault. If wo're daft enyuff t' let worsel's be imposed upon it sorves w' reet.

The trouble is, wo're that natchrilly unselfish, it tyeks w' t' be merried aboot thorty yeers afore w' realise hoo soft w' are.

Tyek a simple mitttor like likes an' dislikes, for instance.

Aa like carraway seeds in cyek, an' Aa loathe corrins in a rice puddin'.

Elec cannit abide carraway seeds, an' is pashnitly fond o' rice wi' corrins in.

Result – Aa nivvor eat rice puddin' cass Aa aalwiz put currins in, an' Aa nivvor eat seed-cyek, cass Aa nivvor myek onny!