I was inspired by a post I saw about local sayings and how they mean very little to those outside the area; it made me think about the things we say chez Cochrane, and whether they’re unique to us.
Some of them must be – I can’t imagine any other family says “Go for it, Marjorie!” when one of them wants to attempt something ambitious. That comes from way back in prehistory, my in-laws playing golf with friends and the aforesaid Marjorie being urged by her hubby to attempt an impossible shot.
Now it’s part of Cochrane folklore as is the (also golf based) exhortation to “Keep walking!” It’s often used in its full form, “In the words of your uncle, keep walking!”, when we need to get away from the scene of the crime, either ours or someone else’s. Refers to a wayward golf shot at a seaside links course which flew over a fence and bounced along a row of parked cars.
I’m fairly certain other people use the expression, “I haven’t laughed so much since we mowed the cat” or its variation, “I haven’t laughed so much since Granny caught her tit in the wringer.” The cat expression usually goes into the dialogue:
“I haven’t laughed so much since we mowed the cat.”
“We haven’t got a cat.”
“Not since we mowed it.”
Can’t help feeling we got that from a comedy show, as we got other Cochrane catch phrases.
Clearly some ‘in-house’ expressions are almost a code, indecipherable to the outside world, a sort of shorthand to save long winded explanation. All Cochranes know where ‘The place we swam outside in the rain’ is and ‘the place which has chickens which doesn’t have chickens any more’ makes sense to us. Exaggeration, the skilful embroidering of the tale, is part of the fun. “The day Mum got drunk and set the restaurant on fire,” is a vile embellishment of an occurrence involving one or two glasses of wine and a mild incendiary incident.
Sometimes things get repeated because they were a classic case of foot in mouth and people will never be left to forget about them. In “The Best Corpse for the Job”, the first Lindenshaw book, Adam couldn’t help saying the wrong thing when Robin’s around, probably because he fancies the pants off him. “I guess that makes me the chief suspect” is hardly the sort of phrase to use when you’re being interviewed after finding a dead body.
By the time “Jury of One” (the second Lindenshaw book) takes place, Adam and Robin are an item, but they still have a habit of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. And then having to live with the consequences.
Inspector Robin Bright is enjoying a quiet Saturday with his lover, Adam Matthews, when murder strikes in nearby Abbotston, and he’s called in to investigate. He hopes for a quick resolution, but as the case builds, he’s drawn into a tangled web of crimes, new and old, that threatens to ensnare him and destroy his fledgling relationship.
Adam is enjoying his final term teaching at Lindenshaw School, and is also delighted to be settling down with Robin at last. Only Robin doesn’t seem so thrilled. Then an old crush of Adam’s shows up in the murder investigation, and suddenly Adam is yet again fighting to stay out of one of Robin’s cases, to say nothing of trying to keep their relationship from falling apart.
Between murder, stabbings, robberies, and a suspect with a charming smile, the case threatens to ruin everything both Robin and Adam hold dear. What does it take to realise where your heart really lies, and can a big, black dog hold the key?
Bio and links:
As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Her favourite genre is gay fiction, sometimes historical (sometimes hysterical) and usually with a mystery thrown into the mix.
She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, and International Thriller Writers Inc., with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes Books, Lethe, MLR, and Riptide. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.
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