Friday, January 18


Every now & then, I will use a word, that is not exactly a word. Such as Maltry. Though I Googled it, to see what came up, & I find it is a Surname.

My use of it is to indicate something that is mean & paltry- hence, maltry. Not just paltry, but mean as well. I know many maltry people, & one of my friends had an employer she said was so mean, he wouldnt even use a full laugh! Just a strangled sort of nasal whinny. Maltry, we decided, fit it perfectly.

For a time, in one of my other lives, I worked in shoe shop. My two co workers initially, were old enough to be my mother & grandmother. Not a great deal of laughter went on in the shoe shop. Tending to people's footwear needs is not brain surgery, but you can meet some interesting characters. The downside of that is, you also meet some awfully whiffy feet!!

When I had been there for some time, the business was booming- it was on the crest of the style popular now, with one foot on display & racks of just the right foot, meant people could try on as many as they liked & when they needed the mate to try we could get it, & watch as they made their choice. Occasionally someone would steal some shoes, & often they would send a child back with the two right feet, & attempt to get a refund, or another pair of shoes.

Ineterviews were conducted, & I was invited to give my opinion on who seemed suitable. A nice young girl called Kaye was employed.

Kaye was young, pretty, bright & so hilarious. Many a day I would be crippled with laughter behind the racks of shoes. We made words up all the time, it became a hobby, & we had nicknames for all the passing parade of people who walked past the shop every day, on the way to their employment. Sometimes we laughed till we cried.

Looking back, the 2 older ladies were quite tolerant of Kaye & I with our hysterical laughter.

The older I get the more I appreciate people who are genuinely happy with their place in life. Their level, if you would. I did get a haircut yesterday. For once I was quite happy with the result. (Of course it looked great when I came out of the salon, but today, I can't seem to achieve the same end result.) Nevertheless I am happy with it, not too short, nor left too long. Even Gom commented it looked nice, some of you who read here often will remember the occasion when he muttered "She made a bloody mess of it, didn't she?" He didnt know he had a near death experience that time!. Daughter J thought this a good cut too.

The man who cut it, has his own modest little salon. He has no airs or pretences. He is nice to customers & staff alike. He charges moderate prices & gives care & attention to his art. It makes him happy, he told me. He is not looking to retire yet, though I think he is 'old enough' chronologically. He says he likes his garden & growing vegetables, but it would not be enough to fill his days. He is married, happily. He is originally from Italy. He loves his life here. A truly happy man.

Gom was such a man when he was a Publican. It was what he loved, so he never felt he worked a day in his life. He enjoyed people, was very good at calming alcohol befumed brains, & rarely lost his temper at anyone.

He was attacked with a large walking stick, which broke in half on his watch when he put his arm up, to defend himself. The stick broke, & a piece flew into a young girl's face, cut it badly, & she almost lost an eye. He has had a gun held to his temple, when he was robbed. He was once whacked in the groin with a large shoe when a huge Lesbian had an enormous row with her partner. As it happened one of our Barmaids was a Lesbian, & her partner was furious, as she said Gom was one of the nicest men she had ever met. She leapt upon the offender & shoved her out the door!

He has had his suit coat ripped in half, his cheekbone fractured, after being shoved into a wall. He still loved being a Publican, & he did run a tidy hotel most of the time. Alcohol will always bring about the unexpected, but Gom did not drink while working, & he always said, if you are not drinking you have the advantage of your wits. I have never seen him afraid of anyone.

When we owned our Country Hotel, we had the toilet stolen, -yes the whole pan, ripped out of the floor!- the lights smashed, furniture broken. All sorts of things happened in that country hotel, & the worst offenders were the students at the nearby Agricultural College. Gom even got them whipped into line, & cut down on the the damage & drunkenness, to the local policeman's undying gratitude. We did make a lot of wonderful friends, & had some great hilarious times.

It was never my choice of life, but Gom was so happy, & it was as though he was born to it. He misses it still, & it is a shame he has no hobbies to replace his time spent 'working', which he regarded as his hobby.

Have you ever noticed that we seem to eat with our eyes, as much as our actual appetite?
Those huge square platters with small stool- like piles of little bit of things like spiach, minced, or pumpkin pureed. Then the urine-like trails, of various sauces, or jus, or salsa splattered about. Finished off with 2 crossed hairschives.

Have you notice how starving you feel after eating one of those? How ripped off you feel, when huge wads of money are transferred from your account to pay for the scraps of food you actually recieved.

Have you ever been eating some item, & absentmindedly put it down, then suddenly realising your stomach is telling you, 'But wait, there was more!'?

I find the smaller the actual dinner plate, the more I feel I have eaten. So trying to trick myself into dieting might be worth trying.

On the other hand, I am really put off by overly large servings of things sometimes. I see some photos from Restaurants in the USA boasting of the size of the meals, & I just feel sick to look at it.

Cat Stevens, Tea for the Tillerman.


Catalyst said...

Maltry! A fine word, indeed. Seems like GOM, the Publican, had some maltry customers!

Mike said...

A very good friend of mine is a bar tender. He inherited his dad's bar and has been running it since he was quite young. He loves the work. He also has some great stores and some very great near misses as well.

I am going to try to use the word maltry every chance I get now. Thank you.

Josie said...

Heh, heh. Are you going away for a few days? You have three posts in one here. :-)

I LOVE made-up words. I do it all the time. And often the made-up word is more appropriate and descriptive than the real word.

I am going to borrow the word maltry. I know someone who just happens to be maltry. May I use it?

Marja said...

Oh so nice to make up words. That's how language evolves. I work with an older person in the children's home who is hilarious. When I come in I already have to laugh and I keep on laughing till he goes home. That makes work so much fun.
Gom met some scary persons. I lived between 2 cafes back in Holland and saw some strange things happening as well.

bluemountainsmary said...

what a lovely full post - it should keep me


While I am away.

There - a word which means satisfied by Meg's blog!

meggie said...

Hi All, Please feel free to use the word maltry whenever you like!

It could be a scary old world in the pub life, at times, but we did have a lot of fun too, & met some wonderful people.

Glad you enjoyed the ramblings. After I posted it, I thought noone would want to read witterings like this! I was in a hurry to collect my daughter, so had no time to proof read. Enjoy your weekend Mary!

Bren said...

My Kyle used to call people "muzzly" when he was upset. I finally asked him exactly what was a muzzly?? He said "You won't let me say moron, so I say muzzly instead!!" Here the kid had called me a moron and I giggled about it! He is smarter than we all think!

meggie said...

Hi Bren, I love that word! It is perfect- I dont mean for you, but for some people I know.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I will try out "maltry" too. It'll be incorporated into the Oxford English Dictionary before you know it if we all give it a go.

I have a (rather irritating, I fear) habit of saying feak and weeble, instead of weak and feeble and my children have actually grown up thinking that it was a real phrase. Ooops!

It is good I think when you find your "niche" in life, particularly with work. I could never enjoy running a pub as I would feel swamped out by people. But I love writing so I am happy too. It's lucky really that different people like different things. Else there would be even more arguing and fighting, I guess!

Ragged Roses said...

I love reading your posts Meggie, they always make me smile. You two have certainly had a few adventures along the way. I don't like maltry portions of food but I do find those excessive servings quite horrible!
Glad it was a good haircut

Ian Lidster said...

I think 'maltry' is a wonderful word. I may steal it from you.
As per your comments on food and its appearance, my wife, who is a trained chef among her other accomplishments of the sort that put me to shame, has told me that 'placement' is nearly everything in a dish, with color coming a close second. Don't serve white fish with cauliflower.

etcetera said...

Thanks for visiting wordsetcetera! I love the word "maltry" and hope I can use it. In academia we get to make up words too and everyone just assumes we know what we're talking about :)

Granny J said...

As for those American restaurant plates heaped with food, I've chucked an semblance of pride and am quite happy doing the Thrifty Old Lady bit -- asking for a ToGo box, which does into the freezer and is usually good for at least two more meals.

smilnsigh said...

Know what you mean about the hair style never looking the same, the next day. In fact I kid my hair man about coming over every morning and doing his magic on my head. He laughs and says; "Sure, he'll pop up out of the laundry hamper." ,-) To which I replied; "Nope, you'd not want to do that! We have a laundry shoot all the way to the basement and you'd not want to have to pop up, that far."

Anyway, it's a lovely day dream, to have a hair dresser come every morning, like some of those rich ladies do.

And not to worry about my granddaughter having too many caramels and ruining her teeth. Her parents have put too much money into all these years of braces! They will not let her not take care of them. :-))))


jellyhead said...

Made-up words are the best. I love bluemountainsmary's suggestion of 'meggified'. We could all do with some meggification of our lives.... I see it as being entertained, in a darkly humorous, warm, insightful sort of way. Thanks Meggie for another of your fabulous posts :)

Molly said...

Love that without alcohol GOM had the advantage of his wits! The grossest thing for me is when they show eating contests on tv. It is revolting to see people cram food into their mouths needlessly when so many in the world are hungry....

Don said...

I like maltry; it's just that I try to stay far, far away from such people. I'll keep in mind though for the ocassional person I might otherwise characterize as an a** hole.

Loved hearing the stories of the pub. It's always been my dream to own one but I know in my heart I don't have the spirit. And now, not the stamina!

Lovely posts. Thank you!

BBC said...

I hate moving, I hope that I never have to move again.