Coming to this a little late as usual, to add to the chorus of thanks for this. I missed the beginning, and I think I arrived about the time of the Horse D'eouvres thing, but it's been great fun watching Mark's reactions to stuff, and occasionally flailing in ROT13 with those who were prepared in anticipation of what was coming. There was a particularly fun bit at the 2014 Discworld Con where Mark was reading the Garfield meets William and Kate fic, where we all started laughing at him commenting that it was unclear whether Garfield is meant to be a man or a cat at this point, but had to tell him we couldn't explain why, as that would be a spoiler (he hadn't got to the bit in Witches Abroad where Greebo gets transformed into a man yet).
So Mark, if you're still around for questions:
1) Which prediction are you most impressed that you got right?
2) Which thing have you been most unprepared for?
3) Do you think you've got more prepared for the puns over time, and which is your favourite?
I've only got the second to last one. When I try to view the image for the others I get a 403 access denied error
We learned a slightly more offensive version of the soldier's song in the playground
a soldier's life for me
To piss, to piss,
two pistols on my knee
F*** you, F*** you
Fight for the old c***, fight for the old c***
fight for the old country.
It just about works in a London accent, but I can't say whether it's true for any others.
It does? I've only ever known the verb to have the headbutt meaning.
When I got to the bit that introduced "Of Piston the Steam" I initially misheard that as "Of Pissed In The Stream" which is ironic given what the elves make it look like they've done to the stream.
And has Mr Sideways built a trebuchet?
I think the bit about the bloke selling off his wife at the market in Slice is a reference to the Thomas Hardy novel "The Mayor of Casterbridge" (not too much of a spoiler as it happens fairly early on). Nanny Ogg's new cookbook "A Little of What You Fancy Makes You Fat" is a play on the song from the Victorian & Edwardian music hall star Marie Lloyd "A Little of What You Fancy Does You Good". The quality of the recordings I've found aren't especially great so here's Jessie Wallace playing her singing it in the BBC biopic
[youtube 5-XMpZ8d9FY&feature=youtu.be&t=1274 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-XMpZ8d9FY&feature=youtu.be&t=1274 youtube]
If I've ballsed up the link it starts at 21min 14
Coming to this late, but Biggerwoods is a reference to Littlewoods, who used to sell clothes and homewares by mail order in the UK. I think in the early days you'd only pay off weekly, but by the time I was a kid, the catalogues would have both the outright prices and the weekly prices in, and it was instructive to work out the difference between how much you would pay if you could afford to pay up front and how much you'd pay if you had to repay weekly instead.
It wouldn't have occurred to me to mention it as an annotation if WanderingUndine hadn't mentioned it down there, but the chapter title "An Elf Among The Feegles" is a riff on the saying "to put a cat among the pigeons" which means to cause alarm or consternation, as well as being a literal description of the events of the chapter.
Coming to this a bit late, but I think my favourite bit of this section was probably Mark's face at the widdle story :-)
My Grandad used to have a shove ha'penny board, and I think the coins were about the size of a modern 2p piece, but possibly slightly thinner.