Heard today that the reason for naughty items being referred to as blue was down to the colour of the censor’s pencil, and also to the fact that ladies of negotiable affection wore blue robes in prison.
It’s been a while since we had a dictionary delve, occasioned today by my idly wondering if “global pandemic” is tautology?
The dictionary in question was therefore temporarily relieved of its 21st century function as the prop for the iPad when Zooming, and duly interrogated.
We know that tautology itself* comes from tauto, the same, and legein, to speak – or logos, the word? As for pandemic, that in turn comes from pan – all and demos, people. So, it’s fairly safe to assume** that global means much of the same. It might be more correct to speak of a global epidemic, (epi, among) but right now pandemic seems to be the one that has caught the zeitgeist.
What a cheery subject. And it’s all empirical.
**it’s rarely safe to assume.
Been a while since I had a photo that I felt was worth sharing, this is Cockleroy in West Lothian, not the highest hill in Scotland but one of the best views in eastern Central Scotland, from the Trossachs to the Pentlands, Fife, the islands of North Berwick, and even Arran on an exceptionally clear day. Sharing the view with family for the first time in what feels like forever, and knowing that others were meeting loved ones too, it was a good day.
Another happy trawl through the dictionary, occasioned by the news of a new orthopaedic wing for Kirkcaldy’s hospital. Orthos is straight, genuine or right angles, leading to orthodox, orthotics and new to me, orthoepy, the study of correct pronunciation. It is also much used in chemistry and by association, geology.
On the same page, ortanique, which sounds as if it should derive from old French, but is actually a portmanteau word: orange tangerine unique. People get away with just making this stuff up!
The concept of portmanteau words was of course brought into being by Lewis Carroll, where he used two words to make one, the most famous being slithy, from lithe and slimy. Porter is to carry and manteau is a cloak.
As the estate agents never tire of telling us, one of the many grand things about Fife is its coastline. We have several beautiful beaches within easy reach of our home, a fact which has made the last 9 months just that bit more bearable. In anticipation of yesterday’s Level 4 announcement we tootled off to Aberdour, for a chilly, bracing march along the sands and back. The light changes constantly, which will be news to no-one, but it continues to fascinate.
Other than that, chef made his own pasta and we won the Saturday Quiz. And one of my chums typed Aviemore as Aviemoron on FB, that made me laugh more than it should have.
For some years now some of our family have been discussing the mystery of The Sicilian, a female ancestor about whom very little was known. Thanks to some new research, she has been identified as Elizabetta Calabro. She and her spouse, Andrew Walker, had a daughter named Mary, in 1815. Mary was born in Gosport, and was referred to as English. Mary is our direct ancestor.
Andrew Walker was “of this parish” in Towie, Aberdeenshire, so the birth was recorded at his church. Family legend has it that Elizabetta was a contessina, and eloped with Andrew when he was en route home. Maybe they were on their way north when the baby was born?
Andrew was recorded a a wine merchant, which could explain why he visited Sicily in the first place.
Ban the Wasp was originally set up to share family history; it’s good to know that there is still an interest. For anyone brave enough to ask, I now have a family tree printout – it’s three metres wide….
From my walk today, some wild, some planted. The poppies are at the end of the Dunfermline Road out of Limekins, an infamous junction where there is no place to linger.
Today I was listening to my current podcast of choice, The Moth, thank you Fiona for the shout, walking along, when I became aware of a moth in my specs. Of course I behaved like a grown up and made sure it was settled safely in a nearby hedge, but I must confess that my first thoughts involved ocular ingestion.
Apolgies for the numbering, WordPress and iPad do not make easy bedfellows.
Finding myself on the Lakeland page and seriously considering an egg coddler, I remembered that it is possible to use this interweb thingy to post as well as to shop.
I’m surprised that I haven’t been keeping a lockdown diary. To be fair, 100+ entries of “got up, didn’t go out, tried to sort my hair, went to bed” would eventually pall, but it might have been an interesting experiment to document the change of attitude as the days stretch on. But, as I have no refreshingly cool or mordantly witty statement to make on the whole pandemic and the various reactions of countries to this, I haven’t really thought of much to write. If best selling authors are only raising their heads above the parapet to show their latest jigsaws, then I don’t feel too guilty.
I think most of us are experiencing sleep issues during lockdown. For me, it’s a mix of wakefulness, wild dreams, dozing instead of non REM, sensitivity to the early dawn, and so on. One aspect is that I wake up, frequently, singing. Many tunes wash through my cerebral cortex, I would love to say that each one is a celestial aria, worthy of the greats, but in fact they are usually monotonous three note riffs which would not occasion any loss of sleep for a Novello nominee. You may experience something similar.
However, I defy anyone to tell me that they also sprang to wakefulness today at 03:15, singing “Hey, hey! I’m a bicuspid!” * Takes that dream about all your teeth falling out to a whole new level.
I was laughing so hard I had to decant to the spare room.
*tune available on request.
My liking for train travel is well documented, I have been reminded of this during lockdown by two separate emails, both from subscriber lists.
The National Railway Museum in York is a fascinating destination for normal times, I have mentioned before the thrill of sharing the same space as these leviathans of steam power. I am always delighted to see large reproductions of the classic rail travel posters, deliberately evocative and romantic. Whilst neither term would describe train travel just now, I was none the less intrigued to see a re-imagination of these artworks, on the Museum’s website. Sample below gives a flavour of this.
From Waterstone’s bookshop (other bookshops are available) came news of a new train travel opus, which looks like a grand way to escape the current everyday for a few hours. Review here – no prizes for originality in the article title, but oh, how different it must be from the 07:09 to Edinburgh Waverley.