Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

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Four Things Make a Jam
My brother, en route from Brighton to Wales for a few days, picked my mother up at her home and dropped her off here. She'll be staying till Monday - a rare foray, and of course I'm doing my best to make this house into a replica of her own. Unfortunately, tomorrow is forecast to be a day of rain and gales, so our plan to visit Cheddar Gorge may have to be put on hold, but we can always stay in and do a crossword.

I mention this only because their car was delayed on the M4 due to a tailback caused by four different groups converging on Bath, which is playing host simultaneously to:

* a University open day
* a rugby match between Bath and Leicester
* a Jane Austen festival
* a re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg

I've been happy ever since, imagining the road rage possibilities.

In unrelated news, yesterday I passed the halfway mark in my kanji book: just 1,100 to go. Also - cultural factoid - apparently in Japan one travels "up" to Tokyo and "down" when travelling out of Tokyo, irrespective of direction or altitude. It's a usage old-fashioned people also apply to London. I wonder if this happens with other capitals?

Gettysburg? Ooo-kay then.

"All roads lead to Rome."

In the classical era, one went "up" to Kyoto and "down" to everywhere else. Somewhere in the Edo period, when Kyoto was still formally the capital but Tokyo was the center of power where the Shogun lived, this switched, but I've never gotten a clear answer on when.

---L.

Gettysburg? Ooo-kay then.

I know, I know - but Bath is (for reasons unknown to me) home to the American Museum.

Somewhere in the Edo period, when Kyoto was still formally the capital but Tokyo was the center of power where the Shogun lived, this switched, but I've never gotten a clear answer on when.

That reminds me of the old story - I suspect apocryphal - about the country that changed from driving on the left to driving on the right, but told its citizens not to worry because the change would "take place gradually".

Maybe how Maine is always said to lie 'down East.'

Another east (though less on point than yours) is the phrase "back east" (meaning the USA's east coast) even written/spoken by people who hadn't come from there or necessarily been there. I always notice that "back" and what it implies. Lots of politics behind that.

I want to see the Jane Austen vs rugby bit, please. I wanted to see Gettysburg road rage, but I fear speeches (which would then cause more jams).

In Israel you "travel up" to Jerusalem and "travel down" from Jerusalem -- which does make some sense as it's on a plateau, although there is also a connotation of mystical-spiritual 'altitude' involved. And the same verbs are used for moving to or from Israel generally (aliyah is literally 'ascent'), but for some reason only if the move is permanent.

Thanks. If I'd stopped to think about likely candidates, Jerusalem would probably have been top of the list!

I remember memorizing the second chapter of Luke (KJV), and getting all tangled up in the bit about "And Joseph also went UP from Galilee, OUT of the city of Nazareth, INTO Judea, and UNTO the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David." No idea whether the distinctions really reflect the Greek or not.

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Thanks for the link to that comm - I'm definitely going to join!

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I was in Bath yesterday, and it was very very crowded. Definitely a missed opportunity - if only more of the Leicester RFC supporters had turned up dressed as tigers...

My mind is awash with vivid tableaux!

It could have been worse. Bath could have been playing Newport / Gwent Dragons ...

It's not Leicester RFC, it's just Leicester FC. If you need to distinguish the bunch who wear blue shirts and play with a spherical ball, they are Leicester City FC.

My first thought was that you go up to / down from Oxford as well. Then I remembered Oxford had been England's capital briefly during the Civil Wars.

True - though you only go up to Oxford if you're attending the university, and the university has a whole vocabulary running at a 90-degree angle to reality (for example, you might be rusticated to Tower Hamlets).

And not just their vocabulary ... ;-)

Obviously this came about because someone foretold the existence of the glorious Spooner, and "You must leave by the next town drain."

I'm relieved such a combination of events wasn't going on when I visited Bath, because I've only had the two opportunities to be there. However, the rain and gales were definitely on at least once, and at about the same time of year, too.

Like many sailors, my grandfather believed firmly in equinoctial gales, and although they have little standing among meteorologists my observation tends to back him up.

a University open day
* a rugby match between Bath and Leicester
* a Jane Austen festival
* a re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg


I'm picturing all of these as a conglomerated mish-mash, with the emphasis on the battle. Also, for some reason, with some St. Trinian's schoolgirls thrown in for good measure. Probably wielding pick-axes.

It would take Ronald Searle to do the scene justice!

That would be kind of cool. With Molesworth in a Viking helmet.

Yes!

Lydia Bennet: I used to be all for men in uniform, but I never thought of SCHOOLGIRLS in uniform! What fun!!! Is that a base-ball stick? Hockey? Well, never mind what it may be called, I should so like to try one!

I now see this as a mural running the length of the motorway between Junctions 17 and 18. And yes, I'm sure Lydia would be in her element. (I think she might appreciate some of those rugby backs, too.)

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