be careful what you wish for

Or just be careful.

I decided that I would not tap-dance tonight, that is, pick a subject and improvise my way to a blog. I have all kinds of folders, most of them labelled blog, full of clippings and reviews and notes and ideas. I thought I’d just browse a little, pick a topic that appeals, and go for it.

Big mistake.

That was a few hours ago. I kept finding stuff I loved. I began new files on the floor around me, with disparate items to refile and to work on. And in a few weeks I will start the filing to do for my fonds (University of Manitoba). Quelle richesse. Oh dear.

I found a sheet of words that Robert Macfarlane wrote to The Manchester Guardian in February, 2015, and that i can copy and share with you before i go to bed asap. You remember Robert Macfarlane? (Landmarks) I wrote about him when I was so delighted to find him and his book(s) about places and indigenous words he found in various English country regions. He collected several glossaries of distinctive words a few of which I passed on to you, and now here are a few more, some of which I will ‘contribute,” as Macfarlane puts it, “to your word-hoard”:

aftermath: the first growth of grass in a field after it has been cut (English, regional)

coire: high, scooped hollow on a mountain side, usually cliff-girt (Gaelic)

didder: of a patch of bog or marsh; to quiver as a walker approaches it (East Anglia) [I like this one.]

eawl-leet: dusk, lit. ‘owl-light)’ (Lancashire)

fizmer: the whispering sound of wind in reeds or grass (Fenland)

grimlins: the night hours around midsummer when dusk blends into dawn (Orkney)

gruffy ground: the surface landscape left behind by lead-mining (Somerset)

grumma; a mirage caused by mist or haze (Shetland) [Don’t you love these words?]

hob-gob: a dangerously choppy sea (Suffolk)

muxy: of land; sticky, miry, muddy (Exmoor) {Another useful one!]

outshirts: the fringes and boundaries of a town (Cambridgeshire)

roarie-bummlers: fast-moving storm clouds (Scots)

snow-bones: long thin patches of snow still lying after a thaw, often in dips or stream-cuts (Yorkshire)

turn-whol: a deep and seething pool where two quick streams meet (Cumbria)

zwer: the whirring sound made by a covey of partridge taking flight (Exmoor) [I remember this one.]

The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.

Answer to Comment: My copy reads outshirts, with an h.