July 29th, 2003

View from study (sunny)

Driving home last night

Listening to Ar Log (Welsh folk group) and tapping out the syllables of a haiku on the steering wheel.

two horses running
a bay and a skewbald
glimpsed through the fine rain
  • Current Mood
    awake awake
View from study (sunny)

Driving in to work this morning

Disconcerted to see that everyone was being diverted up my short cut. It's a narrow lane that goes up and over the hill instead of staying on the main road and driving around it. But there must have been a road accident between the turn off and the roundabout at the top of the Horseshoe Pass, because a chap with a landrover was blocking the road and waving everyone to turn left.

I get diverted every so often because of crashes, and it's always a pain because the traffic from the main road just doesn't flow too well down a single track road with passing places. I'm normally the only car going over that lane; this time there was a procession, with other vehicles trying to come the other way.

I was very pleased when everyone else turned off right, down another little lane I haven't explored, just before the tiny airfield, thus leaving me to complete my journey as normal.

When I first started working at this college, it took me a while to work out what the airfield was. "Why is there a windsock in that field?" I kept thinking. "There is no way you could land a plane there." But I was wrong. Partly wrong, anyway. You can land planes there if they're model ones.

Details of the crash have not yet filtered in via the grapevine. A colleague had seen police rushing in that direction, light flashing, so something was definitely up.
  • Current Mood
    awake awake
View from study (sunny)

Reading Welsh

I managed another two paragraphs of Harry Potter a Maen yr Athronydd this morning. Fortunately the first book of the series isn't as fat as the later ones, or at this rate I'll be reading it for the rest of my life. I'm hoping that I'll eventually speed up as I stop having to look up one word in every sentence.

Half the time, it's the borrowed words that floor me. Until I read them aloud, that is. I've taken to reading like a 5 year old again, muttering aloud and tracing the words with one finger. But there is no way that I can read silently yet. I was on the point of looking up friffces when I finally got the pronunciation right and the meaning clicked. It's just "briefcase" spelt in the Welsh manner ("briffces") but with the first "b" mutated to "f" because of what it was following. Similarly "ddreif" is "drive", as in "the front drive of a house", but not the verb, which is "gyrru".

It happened once in a Welsh class. We were talking about housework and answering questions from the book. As you do, I had counted down and worked out which was my question. The problem was, I knew everyone else's vocabulary, but I didn't recognise the activity I was supposed to talk about. It came to my turn. "I'm sorry," I said in Welsh, "but I don't know the word 'hwfrio'... Oh, yes I do!" because the moment I said it aloud, I realised it was just the British English verb "hoover" (meaning "to vacuum") Welshified by adding the ending "io". Doh...
  • Current Mood
    productive productive
View from study (sunny)

I just love Amazon

I downloaded my e-mail last night and, as I was deleting the spam, I saw a message from Amazon with suggesting a book I might like. Seeing the title I started to go, "Ooo! Ooo! Ooo! I want, I need, I must have!" and went straight back on line to order Last Tango in Aberystwyth by Malcolm Pryce, which is a sequel to Aberystwyth Mon Amour. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it lives up to expectations, but if it's only half as good as the first book it will be well worth reading.

It seems to fit into the category of books known amongst SF fans as "weird shit", which isn't a term I would use myself, but it describes it absolutely. When you read a synopsis, you feel it just shouldn't work, but it does and I thought the first one was the funniest book I've read in a long time. Yes, funnier than Pratchett, who has actually got more serious as the years have gone by. Not that that has been a bad thing. Oh, and then while I was pre-ordering Last Tango in Aberystwyth, I saw that there's a new Pratchett coming out too. But I didn't pre-order that as it's not published until October. I'll cave in before too long, but I don't need to order it now.
  • Current Mood
    silly silly