“And there was never a better time to delve for pleasure in language than the sixteenth century, when novelty blew through English like a spring breeze. Some twelve thousand words, a phenomenal number, entered the language between 1500 and 1650, about half of them still in use today, and old words were employed in ways not tried before. Nouns became verbs and adverbs; adverbs became adjectives. Expressions that could not have grammatically existed before – such as ‘breathing one’s last’ and ‘backing a horse’, both coined by Shakespeare – were suddenly popping up everywhere.”
Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson
Dear … My face is politeness for You.
It’s been a hard day’s night. As to me. I guess for You too. I must be in a harry – I”m under thumb of my wife. I carefully exam Your docs and let You know some later. Mayby today.
I wish You unforgettable everning. Cordially, Mr …
“Spring drew on…and a greenness grew over those brown beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night, and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.”
Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë
From indoors, yesterday was a beautiful day. The sun shone brightly and I hurried out to work. As I stepped onto the pavement a bracing wind caught my light leather jacket, tugged at my loosely-wrapped scarf and made my feet feel naked in my sockless pumps.
“Along the Paris streets, the death-carts rumble, hollow and harsh. Six tumbrels carry the day’s wine to La Guillotine. All the devouring and insatiate Monsters imagined since imagination could record itself, are fused in one realisation, Guillotine.”
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
We walked slowly, our eyes fixed on the domed roof. The headphone-thingy talked about symmetry, symbolism, liberté, égalité, fraternity. Léon Foucault’s pendulum swung back and forth beside us where it has almost always been since 1851. Christ looked on from his mosaic-ed position on the eastern wall, down at La Convention Nationale sculpture, as if blessing French nationalism … Continue reading Paris when it sizzles at 38 deg C
“The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it’s as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.”
Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett
I’m sitting on our terrace doing a bit of work and writing this blog on a sunny Sunday in London.
According to Hubby, this sort of weather is normal for London – that locals dub it “sunny London” (direct quote).
Joe Fox: Do you know what? We are going to seduce them. We’re going to seduce them with our square footage, and our discounts, and our deep armchairs, and… Kevin: Our cappuccinos! Joe Fox: That’s right. They’re going to hate us at the beginning, but… Kevin: … we’ll get ’em in the end. Joe Fox: Do you know why? Kevin: Why? Joe Fox: Because we’re going to sell them cheap books and legal addictive stimulants.
“… Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome...
… “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!””
Ratty, the rat from Wind in the Willow’s: “There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
Do you remember the ‘Choose your own adventure’ books? The protagonist is “you”, and you are given choices that lead to alternate outcomes. You’d get to a certain page which said something like, “If you want to investigate the noise in the attic turn to pg85. If you decide to put earplugs in your ears and hide your head under the covers, turn to pg76.”
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkein
I had to have a photograph taken a couple of weeks ago for our company website. I’m usually the one behind the camera so this was a little daunting. Hubby did the deed because he has a fairly good eye, doesn’t mind my requests for lots of retakes and responds well to being given specific instructions. Though he took a good picture, the woman I saw staring back at me in high definition seemed considerably older than how I felt or how imagine myself to look.
“If he could have died – like Nelson – in the hour of victory! Would it not have been better for him – happier for me? Often I thought so. For to fade slowly away; to lose his strength and fire and intelligence; to outlive his character, and no longer be himself! No, that could not be happiness!”
Jock of the Bushveld by Percy Fitzpatrick
I’ve finally finished reading Jock of the Bushveld. It was sometimes gripping, sometimes sad, and oftentimes hard going with antiquated, somewhat ungrammatical phrasing akin to the writing of it’s time – published in 1907. And an unnecessary over use of exclamation marks. It was a story I felt I knew well from having seen the film as a child and from Johnny Clegg’s ‘Great Heart’ music video and also in legend. Jock, in South African culture, is a legend of a dog and the stories of his conquests in the bushveld are told over and over again – how many dogs have since been named Jock? Continue reading Little did she know