It was Homer in The Odyssey who first described dawn as having ‘rosy-‘ or ‘rose-tinted fingers’. This morning we saw how apt his description was. There is, of course, as much controversy about the identity of this ancient Greek, or even Greeks, as there is about our own William Shakespeare’s. Something else the two have in common is that their phrases have become part of international language without speakers necessarily knowing from where or from whom they originated. I expect you can all think of examples. For starters, here is one I learned only this morning: ‘Manners maketh man’. We must have all heard this one, but where does it come from?
‘William of Wykeham’, according to Barrie Haynes, ‘was not a bad lad’. This is how my friend began his ‘Between Ourselves’ column of 22nd July 2009, in a Lincolnshire newspaper, Target Series. He then goes on, among other pieces of information, to tell us that William founded both Winchester College and New College, Oxford. The phrase quoted above has been adopted as their motto by each of these educational establishments, for it was their founder who coined it. Thank you, Barrie, I didn’t know that.
Barrie’s column ran for 76 weekly issues from 2009 to 2010. It is entertaining, sometimes provocative, and a mine of information. I am slowly working my way through the collection he sent me. I am not tempted to skip anything. The man is a delight, and I hope he soon succumbs to my pressure on him to start writing a blog.
During an hiatus in the work of Sam, The Lady Plumber, who fitted our dishwasher this morning, I walked the route through Roger’s fields, along the side of the wood, left along the bus route, and back up Downton Lane, pausing as usual to admire the cottage garden on the corner. Cosmos, marigolds, and nicotiana were the plants I could identify.
As I walked along the side of the wood, my face tickled by spider’s strands stretching across the footpath, I felt thankful that I was not a fly, one of which basked in comparative safety on a dead branch.
To return to Sam, she is not phased by any problems she encounters. On each occasion she has worked on our plumbing, she has found the need for another piece of equipment, and has happily gone out and shopped for it. Today the pipe leading from the dishwasher to the water supply was too short, so she bought an extension. Sam is also willing to sort out other problems. Whilst testing the machine she spotted a leak in one of the sinks, unscrewed the elbow and found a broken washer. This meant another trip to the suppliers. She had other jobs to complete first, but undertook to come back to us afterwards, which she promptly did. Matching the washers had been a difficult task, so Sam was justifiably triumphant when she had fixed the new one to her satisfaction.
Work continued somewhat sporadically in the back drive. We are slowly getting there.
The Happy Wok at Ashley once again provided our evening repast, liquid refreshment being Hoegaarden and Bishop’s Finger.