Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Robert Burns Day : A Fiddler in the North

A Fiddler in the North 

Amang the trees, where humming bees,
At buds and flowers were hinging, O,
Auld Caledon drew out her drone,
And to her pipe was singing, O:
'Twas Pibroch, Sang, Strathspeys, and Reels,
She dirl'd them aff fu' clearly, O:
When there cam' a yell o' foreign squeels,
That dang her tapsalteerie, O.

Their capon craws an' queer "ha, ha's,"
They made our lugs grow eerie, O;
The hungry bike did scrape and fyke,
Till we were wae and weary, O:
But a royal ghaist, wha ance was cas'd,
A prisoner, aughteen year awa',
He fir'd a Fiddler in the North,
That dang them tapsalteerie, O.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Muck! : Bring Back the Plain Old Words


 I've been reading a biography of Tolkien and wanted to share an funny passage that I think is worth exploring in our everyday life.

 In chapter 2 of the book, Tolkien's schooling is being discussed. As Tolkien began to discover language, his English literature focused mostly on Shakespeare of who Tolkien was not much of a fan.

 Luckily for Tolkien his teacher, a Mr. Brewerton had something else up his sleeve.

 " But if Shakespeare failed to please him there was other meat more suited to his taste. By inclination his form-master Brewerton was a medievalist. Always a fierce teacher, he demanded that his pupils should use the plain old words of the English language. If a boy employed the term 'manure' Brewerton would roar out: "Manure? Call it muck! Say it three times! Muck, muck, muck!" He encouraged his pupils to read Chaucer, and he recited the Canterbury Tales to them in the original Middle English. To Ronald Tolkien's ears this was a revelation, and he determined to learn more about the history of the language."

 I would love to be able to add some middle and old English in my vocabulary.

 I have run across some vocabulary sites I will post below.

 Middle English Vocabulary

 Old English Vocabulary

 Old English Translator

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Lenten Retreat

 Lent is a time of year that deserves our attention. It's usually an excellent time to do some deep examination of the heart and of the soul. I've decided to try something this year.

 I've decided to take a retreat of sorts to the wilderness. I have limited days off and never two days in a row, so a day and a night will have to suffice, but my plan is to spend a day and night in the woods with minimal food and very little in the way of bedding and comforts. My plan is to pray the hours and spend time in silence while also taking walks around the area where I will camp and in general take note of God in his creation.

 I am currently hand writing a little book of hours taken from a 1500s book of hours. I had big plans to really do some fancy calligraphy, but as I am new at it, I am just doing very simple lettering.

 I've decided to wear my medieval tunic and hood for this experience as they are the most simple garments I own and also because I can stay fairly warm at night with them.

 I also plan to take a small bag that will have my sort of portable altar in it with candles and other devotional items. The area I am going to has a lot of rocks and I plan to build an altar for prayer and fashion a cross of wood to place behind it.

 All in all, I am very much looking forward to this time.