Friday, 20 May 2016

Radford Semele (I learnt about leggetts)

On Thursday afternoon we went for a circular walk around Offchurch and then looked round the village itself.  Two houses were being rethatched including the Stag, the pub we visited on Wednesday.

The new thatch on the roof apex of this private house before being cut and shaped

The thatch on the apex of the main roof of the pub has been cut and shaped

As I try and learn one new thing each day I thought there’s bound to be names of thatchers’ tools I have never heard of.  I was surprised but the only name the guys could come up with was ‘leggett’; this is a tool, traditionally made of elm, which is used to bash the edges of the trimmed reeds.

Leggett, my new word for the day

Leggett reminded me of a family WhatsApp (or WhatsUp as we call it) conversation we had had the prevoius day.  I had sent a picture of Buddy standing in the pouring rain and Sophie had responded saying that it looked like he only had three legs in the picture.  She also remarked how odd it is that we still retain the old way of pronouncing ‘ed’ at the end of some words as in ‘three legged’.  

I spent the rest of the walk I was on at the time trying to come up with other similar words and reasons why the pronunciation is different.  I suspect it’s dependent upon whether the word is used as an adjective or verb such as, ‘The single legged legger, legged the boat through the tunnel’.  (Probably for my interest only but I came up with: legged, handed, beloved, jagged and learned).

Back to our walk around Offchurch on Thursday.  We had a look round the graveyard and it was good to see that those tending the yard are keen to make sure that cutting and trimming is only done at those times of the year that have least impact on insects and other wildlife.

How a graveyard should look at this time of year

Not sure that the family had chosen the right epithet here – or maybe they had.

Unforgettable in more ways than one?

The sundial on the church tower had recently been replaced as explained on this sign.  The explanation about the time difference calculation made me chuckle.

The new sundial with an inscription telling you not to waste too much time looking at the time (DO NOT FORGET TO LIVE)

On our way back home we went over the bridge that featured smoke deflectors in yesterday's blog.  A couple of people had mentioned that they couldn't make out the smoke deflectors in the picture I had included so here is another shot, this time looking down on them.

A clearer view of a smoke deflector

The May or Hawthorn blossom is just about to go over now but has been stunning this spring.  It's odd but some people don't like it because they believe it smells of cat wee.  Fortunatley I'm not one of those people so can happily walk past it.
May blossom

In the morning, after catching up on some admin, I had cycled into Leamington Spa with Buddy to top up with fruit and veg.  The towpath from here into town is hard so it is easy to ride on and Buddy gets a good run.  We were thwarted by a family of swans when we were nearly in town.  I know you can be purposeful and walk past swans and they tend to get out of the way but these weren’t going anywhere.  We watched one cyclist getting past using his bike for defence and the pair of them really went for the bike.  Other walkers gave up and turned round.

You can just see some of the five cygnets

I decided not to try and pass because of the dog.  There was no way I could control a dog and a bike on such a narrow section.  To be honest, a swan could break a dog’s leg with its wing.  Not a particularly good picture but you can see there’s not much room.

Coincidently Les, a friend of ours who is currently headed for London on his boat, posted a picture on Facebook last night of a similar situation.  In Les’s case the swans were next to his boat and were  not intimidating passers-by.
Les's family of swans

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