or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Friday, September 28, 2007


Well, I'm back from the UK, and more or less completely de-jetlagged (it takes longer than I would have thought).

Frank wrote about my last posting, after a disappointing stay in Cardiff:

So, no flirtatious pansexual time-travelers in WWII coats running around Cardiff chasing aliens then? What a shame.

There certainly might have been one or two hanging about, solving crimes and avoiding certain death, or whatever pansexual time-travelers do these days, but we didn't see them. However, we did see this item, which, Jim tells me, is used in the show "Torchwood" as an emergency exit or some such:
Water runs down the other, curved side of it, in waves. It's really very pretty.

In the tiny, charming town of Chepstow, to which we took the train to get the bus to Tintern Abbey (astonishing and moving, and well worth the visit), we saw this sign:
It excited me tremendously, because just look at one of the words on the topmost, leftmost sign: "Eglwys".

Well, so what, you're saying. But "-w-" in Welsh is pronounced "-oo-", so the word, phonetically, is something close to "egg-loo-iss". And the French word for "church" is "eglise"! It stands to reason, but it was an interesting way to discover that the Norman invasion of the British Isles didn't affect only English. ("Eglwys" and "eglise" are related to English "ecclesiastical" and also "Ecclesiastes", which are from Greek "ekklesia", "assembly".)

English got the word "church" from the same language: Greek "kuriakon", "of the Lord". Other Germanic and Norse languages took the same word: "Kirche" is German for "church", and you may have seen something resembling that in the Scots word for church, "kirk", as in the Wee Kirk O' the Heather.


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