Thank you to those readers who sent me an e mail yesterday evening to see if I was alright as I hadn't blogged yesterday. Remember what I said about blog friends (almost wrote fiends there!) the other day - isn't it heart-warming that people should see I had missed a day. The reason for this was that my computer decided to go slow. In fact slow is an understatement - it hardly moved. Luckily Dominic called and de-fragmented it for me (is that the right word?) I am ashamed to say that I had 756 items in my recycle bin! This morning it seems back to normal. If I have to get the doctor to it I have his number on my desk.
So - what to write about today? Because I wasn't blogging I decided to start a piece of textile work. I sat down at my Bernina sewing machine. It is so long since I used it I had forgotten how to thread it let along use it. So I took it to pieces, cleaned it, oiled it and read the instruction book - and today I am all ready to go.
This week has seen a huge fall of leaves, particularly ash. At the moment it is foggy here and not light enough to see without artificial light in the house. The leaves lie damp along the lane but the sun is scheduled to come out later today so maybe they will crisp up so that Tess and I can walk through them making our Autumn noise. As it is they smell beautifully of Autumn - that and bonfire smoke symbolise Autumn up here in the countryside.
We have harvested the walnuts from our two forty year old trees and have the magnificnet total of 36 walnuts, all very small and sad-looking. The horse chestnut fruits (conkers) have fallen and their prickly green coats have split to reveal the shiny brown conkers inside. The leaves on the horse chestnuts are at their best this week and really glow. There is a row of them in front of The Manor in our village. If the sun comes out later I will take a photograph to show you.
I see it is almost time for the New York Marathon. I hope our New York bloggers will be out with their cameras on the big day. One of the doctors from our practice (Dr Julia Brown) is running in it for charity (Marie Curie Cancer Care) so we have an interest in it this year.
This year several people have been killed in UK by being trampled on by herds of cows while crossing a field. I read the inquest report on one lady in today's Times. She had a dog, of course, and was holding it by the collar in an effort to restrain it from going near the cows. Sadly she was pulled over and trampled. The farmer who owned the cows gave a sound piece of advice. If you walk across a field of cows, stick to the footpath and if you have a dog, let it off the leash so that the cows can investigate the dog rather than you. On the other hand, if the field is full of sheep then keep your dog on the lead. Sound advice I would have thought.
Finally today sees the publication of The Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary - it has been 44 years in compilation. I see that the longest entry is for the word "immediately".
Apparently there are 265 different ways of saying immediately (a lot of words that used to mean immediately now really mean soon). I bet you really wanted to know that!
But there are some lovely words which have gone out of usage. Apparently in Anglo Saxon times (when interestingly, medical knowledge only covered the outer body) there were two foot diseases called Deawwyrm and Fotgeswell. The word for carrot didn't appear in English until 1533 (from French carotte) and before that the carrot was called a tank. Fancy a piece of tank cake anyone?
If I was an Anglo Saxon and I wanted to be rude to you I would have called you a wyrmlic. In Shakespeare's time I would have used Shack-rag and, according to the book, in the twentieth century I would have used tripe-hound. All I can say is that I would never use such language - so I will sign off by saying have a lovely day my bloggy friends.
PS My pumpkin has arrived (it is my birthday on Hallowe'en) so the farmer has a whole week in which to sharpen his pumpkin-carving knife and be creative with its face.