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Bluenote

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.

Gnothe sauton

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.

Broken shell, St. David’s Harbour, June 2021

*couldn’t resist

**it’s rarely safe to assume.

Cockles

Cockleroy June 21
Cockleroy June 21

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Straight Up

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.

Abu Dhabi

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.

Edinburgh sur Mer

Moon

Silver Sands looking east

Grey

Plantastic

For anyone with an interest in plants, art or indeed both, below is a link to the degree show at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh.  They offer training in botanical drawing, a uniquely special method of documenting the life story of a plant.  I have long been in awe of this, and its practitioners.  There is a short film at the bottom of the page, and with all that’s continuing to happen in the world I can think of worse ways to spend 9 minutes, while waiting for the solstice and the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.

Thanks to Fife Contemporary for the nod.

Whilst we’re on the subject of links, it will come as no surprise to anyone if I point you, gently, in the  direction of the Christmas shows on line from the Lyceum theatre.  Well, who knew, Karine Polwart has made one…..

 

 

 

 

Against the Dying of the Light

So it rumbles on. Mid November, return to lockdown for some areas here,  and all over the world.  Tantalising glimpses of vaccines, stories of very bad behaviour in the corridors of power, and meanwhile the winter avian visitors have arrived.

Fieldfare, Auchteralyth

Wild geese, Perthshire

Swamp,. Loch of Kinnordy

Autumn colours

Goosanders, Townhill Loch

Last of autumn colours

Beadnell’s About

Pictures from our week in Northumberland.

Sequoia Chillingham

Beadnell bay

Honeysuckle

Beadnell Bay 2

Sand blowing

Ice cream

Dahlia Chillingham

Chillingham

Craster

Chillingham crest

Flowers and insects

Chillingham dining table

Chillingham corner

Lobster pots. Craster

Dunstanburgh Castle

Yacht, Beadnell

Lost and Found

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….

Birth of Mary Walker