“London was having a conversation with himself”

Said today in church, by the father of a baby who was about to be baptised. He stood up and talked about some the disruptions and difficulties his family were experiencing earlier this year – a flood forcing them out of their house for a while, having to travel abroad for work leaving wife and older kid to fend for themselves in temporary accomodation – and then said that the baby was born in that week when “London was having a conversation with himself”.

Its not the way a first-language English speaker would have put it but we all knew exactly what he meant. (I’m not sure what his first language is but I guess it might be Akan/Ashante as one of the boy’s names is Kofi) But its a striking phrase.

Meanwhile, from the other end of the way we speak now, Lucinda Lambton has just been on the radio. Despite originally being from Tyneside she has a very much RP accent, and I noticed that she said the word “violet” as I would expect most eastern or south-eastern or RP English speakers to say “varlet”. Those words are not homophones for me but I bet they are for her.