Saturday, May 31, 2008

Early Summer

Just before bed last night I got the full effects of what the English call the Lime Tree: The sweet, heavy smell, almost intoxicating, certainly oddly refreshing, but suggestive of excess - edging towards cloying.

Linden it is known as in other parts of the world - the Romanians call it Tae (or Tee, or Tei or some such unspellablity) - but letting you know, in an unsympathetic to nature, practical way exactly what they do with it.

There is a sort of poet from Romania called Eminescu (bad late Romantic) who wrote:

Pătrunză talanga
Al serii rece vânt,
Deasupră-mi teiul sfânt
Să-şi scuture creanga.
While softly rings
The evening's cool wind
Above me the holy lime
Shakes its branch. (translation: M.G.Jiva) on Wiki
No accounting for taste.

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Bad day ...

Looking for something to rabbit on about, searched 'This Day in History - not a lot ... then I came across this ... a couple of times:

May 31, 1678 in History
Event: Lady Godiva rode naked through Coventry in a protest of taxes

Distincly odd I thought ... could have sworn the woman doing that was a bit older. So searched - and, yep, as Wiki will inform you, Anglo Saxon (feisty women in those times).

Seems there was a bit of a revival in 1678 - and for some reason it has been a popular subject since:

The BBC manages to give a linked event:

1076: The execution of Waltheof of Northumbria ends the 'Revolt of the Earls' against William the Conqueror.
Not too many people seemed happy with William the Bastard and the consequences of his take over. Nice to see the BBC getting it right.

Does the mis-date really matter?

What has me ranting is the inaccuracy being promoted - the misinformation! A big danger of the web - as I said, several sites blindly quote the 'FACT' of Gidiva's ride on this date.

Another, more serious as far as I am concerned, is this ...

May 31, 1859

Big Ben goes into operation in London

The famous tower clock known as Big Ben, located at the top of the 320-foot-high St. Stephen's Tower, rings out over the Houses of...

and that is from the History.Com who you'd think would know better!

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Knife Crime

1593: Leading Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe is stabbed to death in a pub brawl in Deptford.

Tragic for the English Stage, not much fun, I imagine, for Mr Marlowe himself.

This is supposedly an 'unusual event': A cover-up story for re-branding Marlowe as Shakespeare; for removing a distinctly colourful young man with extreme views on a number of sensitive issues (religion, politics and sex) and turning him to a quiet, gentle scribe.

I think events in the UK at the moment might give a clue as to the very usualness of the events.

If the newspapers are to be believed (Independent, Economist, Guardian), violent crime in the UK is actually going down. What is rising is the number of young men being killed or seriously wounded through knife attacks.

Taking a knife, to a pub, and getting into an argument when you are drunk can easily cut off a very promising career.

That was as true for the first Elizabethans as it is for the second, modern generation.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

55 today

1953: Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary become the first people to climb Everest, the world’s highest mountain.

There are some achievements which are just plain 'Great' - I think this was one. I believe both of the men involved are now dead - but deat is not going to take away the determination and guts they showed in getting to the top.

I wish a few of my students showed the same determination, forethought and planning in their ascent up the English Language.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

In Black and White ...

Meet Mr Nasty:

That thing is a Magpie, Pica pica to his friends - if it has any.

There was a bit of scuffling going on in one of the trees just outside the kitchen window last week, which turned into a full scale screaming match: Two Magpies were being attacked by a couple of ring necked doves. 'Something up,' I thought at the time. The Doves were vigorous, but ultimately unsuccessful.

I've noticed this week that two of doves come and eat at the breakfast table (my window sill - where I drop seed in the morning for them).

Strange - there'd only been one, and I wondered what had happened to the other - then the penny dropped (too much Agatha Christie?) - one had been sitting on the nest all the time - and the Magpies had attacked, and killed the chicks.

There are two again because the youngsters are dead.

It's good to see them back - but 'Raw in Tooth and Nail' as someone said.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Shakespeare, Fishing and Crap

I suppose I ought to be interested:

A food joint in Mexico I believe ...

but named after ? Could it be this:

Which just happens to be a fishing rod called 'Crappy Hunter'

Made by, you've guessed it:

Untangle that lot if you can!


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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lizards, thunder and an insect bite

Why I love Romania:

You know the summer is on its way when the weather turns muggy and noisy, the first insects start to bite and there is a scuttle across the path in front of you where you just manage to catch the impression of a four legs and a tail.

The lizard, a small one, shot in front of me yesterday as I took my mid-day constitutional beside the Bega, in between the heavy strained storms which manage an intense rainfall for a short time but really don't contribute much to the soil.

The insect bite has been there irritating away for a couple of days - on the hand in a lovely position - really scratchable. It has a less accessible sister on the back, above the left shoulder blade.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Even More Crap!

Look at this for a lot of Crap:

That is the biggest recorded catch - from Thailand.

I was reminded of crap when I was listening to this weeks episode of In our Time
which deals with the Library at Nineveh.

Apparently, the priestly fashion around that time (Nineveh) was to dress up as a big fish.

now - I thought the English were a bit over the top with regard to fishing, but that is ridiculous.
Could be where we get the name Ninny I suppose. - or why the were called ASSyrians.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Gigi the Baptist!

For those of you wondering if Romania will ever escape corruption - this is a story to follow:

Did he didn't he?

Gigi the GaGa is a nasty piece of work if only half of what is written about him is true - check out his Wiki entry.

Not knowing the man personally, I couldn't say - but the president of the country seems very friendly with him.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Big Fish

Some things are just irresistible:

Cris, having made the ultimate confusion - was talking a lot of crap!

Why, of all the words to mix up, do the English call the fish Carp - and nearly everyone else in Europe, Crap?

Big fish = lot of Crap!


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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Remains of the day ...

So small one could hardly see it: Yet, enough to fester. In the thumb of the left hand - a splinter from of teasal I think - possibly a briar. This morning, swollen and black headed. When I squeezed, puss - and the smallest of black splints topping the mixed red and grey. Even, although this could have been imagination, the smell of rottenness.
Even a day in heaven has its remains.

Aches and pains

... after doing the lightest work back at the farm.

A great day yesterday - Cris, Oana and Lucas (Cris's brother) dragged me back to 'Wild Pig Forest' to clean up - which they did whilst I pottered and pretended.

Place hasn't looked too good recently - what with break-ins, weather and resident spiders.

Now liveable again.

But the real kick was just being there - cuckoo in full annoyance, nettles raising their heads and bumps, road rendered prat-fallable after the slightest of showers.

And being with people I love doing something with a visible result - the cleaned and cleared black-current bushes say more than a thousand rich gifts.

A much too rich, rather fine white wine helped, of course.

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