Thanks goodness for the filter that weeds out those emails from companies trying to sell you stuff. One this morning from National Express, the UK coach people, who think I might want to go to Glastonbury. No doubt to have a weekend camping in mud whilst listening to very average music.
These emails are like being accosted and interupted in a bus station by someone trying to sell you a genuine gold chain. The seller seems a bit dodgy, if he says the chain is genuine gold it’s not, and it’s likely to be stolen. The guy reeks of alchohol and it’s only 9.30 in the morning. The normal thing to do is not to engage in conversation.
I detect that a lot of us are still taking a breather after the political shenanigans of the last few weeks, so I’m going to continue the theme of taking a breath.
I had my own sharp intake of the stuff the other day when I made one of those purchases that is likely to embarrass you. No ,it was nothing medical. Just one of those things that you buy on the spur of the moment. It was in fact a gizmo for cutting the grass on my allotment. Not a strimmer, a clipper. Not expensive, and without those annoying stringy things that are forever breaking on a strimmer. It had a number of good reviews on-line.
It arrived and it was a flimsy and plastic as I only had the right to expect. As a result of years of never reading instruction before assembling anything I have learnt my lesson, and I carefully read the ones included with my new purchase. I assembled it easily and it works, but it looks like a pair of hair clippers on the end of a pole, and sounds like it too. Down at the plot where one’s manhood is judged on the power of one’s strimmer I made sure I was there with no one else around and tried it out. Keeping it well hidden from any other allotmenteers. The fear of anyone coming along and saying: “What the hell is that thing?” was just too much for me to contemplate. I shall have to cut my grass at dawn or dusk.
Re-reading the instructions it appears that I should really not be using them outdoors at all. Perhaps they are hair trimmers after all?
I’ve had a day out at Slimbridge with Betty, my step mother in law, and we are both bird watchers but not twitchers. Slimbridge is on the banks of the River Severn and is a magnificent spot. The Wildlife and Wetlands Trust has it’s place there and the main part of their facility is a rest home for all kinds of wetlands birds. More ducks and geese than you would ever normally see. It has a bit of the look of a theme park in the main area, which is careful fenced, in the main to keep out foxes who would have a field day in there.
Just outside this area is a walk down to the banks of the Severn, a large area to walk through mainly with reeds and grasses and this is naturally a good place to spot the elusive Reed Warbler or it’s brother Sedge. It’s not been my pleasure to spot these before although I’m told by Betty that they are not that uncommon. They are shy little beasts and although we did get a fleeting glance, they were too busy singing at below eye level in the reeds.
I was racking my brains to recall when I had last heard that song, then it came to me. “Are you sure it’s a Reed Warbler Betty”, I asked. “It could be a Sedge she said with utter confidence”. “I’m sorry to disappoint you”, I said, “I think it’s an HP Deskjet Printer which is just getting ready to print. I had one on my desk just this morning”.
The walk of a tourist who does not undertsand what he/she should be doing, or seeing, or indeed why they are where they are at all. Involves walking slowly in one direction and then in another random direction, even the person doing the walking does not understand exactly why or in which direction they might be going. The presence of vehicles makes this a dangerous activity and can result in a split bibury which is where the group is bisected by traffic and can induce panic amongst the assembly. It’s all a sorry sight. Pity them. Common in the Cotswolds.
Japanese avoid this by having someone with a flag leading them which is somewhat sinister. Anyone leading with a flag is sinister don’t you think?
Continuing my theme of true meanings of Gloucestershire place names this is one I have witnessed in many parts of the Cotswolds. Bibury is in fact one of the county’s prettiest villages and attracts many tourists, shame that the spellchecker turns it into bribery.
My book on the subject is in the final stages and I’ll let you know when completed so that you can fund my pathetic lifestyle.
Dear old Matson is just on the edge of Gloucester and has a fine view of the Painswick hills, it has a reputation as a tough area but it also has a strong community spirit. I had a good friend who used to live there and he loved it. This is another in my series of the real meaning of Gloucestershire place names which I’m hoping to make into a very small book entitled “Glossary: the real meaning of Gloucestershire place names”. Available quite soon which you’ll be able to purchase for a very small amount.
One of those jobs done in a house where you wondered why they ever started, like a mini bar in the corner of a lounge made from stone cladding to match the outside of the house, and with a dark wooden shelf. None of the cupboard doors open properly and if they did would reveal a bottle of sweet sherry from 1968 and another bottle that appears of unknown origin containing a vivid green liquid that has shells stuck to the outside. The label of the latter is unreadable but is probably Spanish as there are plastic castanets stuck to the bottle neck.You’d be wise not to drink it, even when someone bets you a lot of money that you can’t.
A daisy chain worn and made by small girls that they make on bright blue summer days for each other. Boys are naturally excluded from this activity. Mothers marvel at their offspring’s dexterity to make them when normally at home they can barely get food into their mouths or tie a shoelace. They forgive them everything as they exclaim: “ Oh look, she’s made a maismore”
Maisemore is actually on the edge of the City of Gloucester and is a relatively small village close to the River Severn. It’s prone to flooding, but I’m sure there are a fine supply of daisies in the area.
More true meanings of Gloucestershire place names, glossary meaning a collection of Gloucestershire place names, as you well know. I’m planning a small book, illustrated of course, with the whole truth and nothing but the truthity truth. I’ll tell you when it’s done.
The outfit worn by a large huntsman. Rather too tight across the backside and gut as the owner has generally owned it and worn it from when he was at least three trouser sizes thinner.
Puts the horse under exceptional strain. See also Hartbury as someone displaying a Frampton will generally respond to to an observation about his Frampton with one single very loud Hartbury.
The sound made when men of a certain age clear their throats before speaking in public, or when someone makes a disparaging remark about them. Onomatopoeic. Emphasis on the HART. Method of dissapproval, see Frampton Mansell. Only ever used by rich landowners who have no need to purchase their own furniture.
If you are outside the UK, then believe me these places do exist. Look on Google maps.
The word cleeve is generally thought to relate to the way a valley is formed, so it’s a geographical term. So a Cleeve is a wooded valley. How it relates to a Bishop is unknown, could be a favourite walk of the Bishop or possibly a parade through the area by religious people.
Can also mean the dark area between a barmaids full bosom, but this is conjecture.
Another place name meaning, I like the idea that a Bishop would go walking in full regalia through a wooded valley. As you can see from the map here it’s near Woodmancote so my theory about a wooded valley holds weight.
The next few blogs were inspired, if that’s the right word, by my evening with the Montpellier Writers Group. The theme was to do with senses for the evening and was testing, so I opted out in a way by just hoovering up little writer’s gems from the evening.
The one above is my own view of probably what I’m like with these sort of things.
Thanks to all those who made more sense of it than I did and apologies for recycling and here and there revamping any of your ideas.