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Five things: desk-clearing and tab-closing [Feb. 9th, 2014|09:13 pm]
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  1. The mornings are getting lighter, at last. We notice it most the days we go out early to the pool. Last Monday the sky was dappled pink; on Thursday it was veiled in grey, but cleared to sunshine while we swam. The river is high, and flowing fast, but still within its banks. What will tomorrrow bring? We shall see.

  2. But there is still winter ice to be had, if you know where to look. Such as this Flickr set of the Ice Caves of Apostle Islands.

  3. This weekend's Saturday poem in the Guardian is And by Alison Brackenbury:
    Sex is like Criccieth. You thought it would be
    a tumble of houses into a pure sea
    and so it must have been, in eighteen-ten.

  4. Clearing my desk, and indeed my entire study, is a long-term project: sorting, shelving, filing and occasionally discarding. Occasionally I discern progress. This week, I have closed the top drawer (the one that was pulled out so that things could be stacked on it as if it were an extension of the desktop); admittedly, the stack of paper on the desktop is higher and more precarious than it was, but still, I have closed the drawer. And found the 2013 puffin calendar that I bought in Anstruther - I wondered where that had gone...

  5. In the process, Gregor Lamb's Orkney Wordbook came to the top of a pile. Opening it at random I found:
    skrivver a skrivver and klanker a pancake coated with rhubarb jam (Sanday) [ON skrifli, fragment; see KLANKER]...
    klanker, klankertony, klunkertony, a big jellyfish (medusa), a scone and rhubarb jam (the jelly fish looks like rhubarb jam!), [Eng sea nettle; ON klungr bramble, ONþrn a prickle; the jelly fish, nettle and bramble sting or prick]

    On the same page, there's a rhyme to recite if you meet a long-legged hill spider or kirsty-kringlick.

[User Picture]From: durham_rambler
2014-02-10 11:50 am (UTC)

It's not so long now till 2019...


... when your 2013 puffin calendar will match up with the days of the week. Just put it back in the drawer till then.
[User Picture]From: weegoddess
2014-02-10 02:48 pm (UTC)


::adoration for this comment::
[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2014-02-10 12:28 pm (UTC)


I love how Old Norse still sneaks into Orcadian English!
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2014-02-10 05:22 pm (UTC)


I love the image of the pink jam like a jellyfish (I know exactly which kind) - and the attribution to Sanday, which is pretty specific. Do you think this is generally used, or just something that someone's granny once said?
[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2014-02-10 05:58 pm (UTC)


There are dialect words specific to each island pretty much. The term 'fatty cuttie' for those yummie homebakes belongs to Westray for example although it's escaped. On North Ronaldsay a seal is a hoyde (or hide) which I've not heard used anywhere else.

What is intriguing is how words are found at opposite ends of the country though.

On Orkney, a puffin is, as you probably know, tammy norrie. On Lundy, a puffin is tommy noddy. It's not the usual Norse as the Norse word for puffin is 'lund' (hence Lundy).
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2014-02-11 11:07 am (UTC)


I've never been to Lundy, but it's on my list.
[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2014-02-11 12:27 pm (UTC)


Smaller than North Ronaldsay and gorgeous.
[User Picture]From: weegoddess
2014-02-10 02:49 pm (UTC)


That's right! We're in the time of year when the daylight returns to Durham like a ball gathering speed as it rolls down hill!

And then you'll have the lambing storms...
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2014-02-10 05:20 pm (UTC)


Frost this morning, snow forecast for Wednesday: wintewr isn't over until it's over. But at least we can haz daylight.

(Love that ball rolling downhill!)
[User Picture]From: karinmollberg
2014-02-18 11:26 am (UTC)


Or in the café, smoked with fat, you wait.
Will dolphins strike the sea's skin? They do not.


Ms. Brackenbury has heard too many Miss West lines as have I. One could also say something about taste in towns but I digress (sniggering along quietly).

And now, how shall my sleep I sleep? When that long-legged hill spider comes galloumphing downhill by way of a yellow tram, what on Earth am I to say?