Saturday, 19 March 2022

Meeting targets. A bit of a drama. Celebrity Virtue Signalling. And old words and names.

 The fine spring weather has continued today. I walked into the village early to pick up a couple of things at the shop, and to meet my daily step goal. I didn’t run because I was expecting our small grandson at around 10 o’clock and I didn’t want to complicate matters by having to change after running. His five year old sister was appearing in a show organised by her drama club, held in the little theatre in our village. The original plan was that we would go en masse, the doting parents, at least one grandparent, a couple of big sisters and one small boy. Then they said no under-threes were allowed - too disruptive! - and the tickets were £11 apiece, that on top of paying for her costume and a £5 fee to take part. It all seemed a bit steep for a children’s drama club performance. So in the end only the doting parents went and the small boy came to our house. After a late second breakfast - the child can put toast and honey away for England! - we walked to the park where he stuck a stick in the sand, piled sand around it and proudly told me, “A castle!” Over and over again! As small children do! All went well!

Keeping my step count up is a bit of a joke! My fitbit sets me a goal of 10,000 steps per day. If I cycle, even quite a long distance, it only recognises a smallish number of steps. If I push a buggy it assumes I am riding a bike and reduces the number of steps again. Of course, it is of no importance whatsoever. I know I’ve done the exercise. It just mildly irks me that I am considered to have missed my target!

We don’t like to be misunderstood. Maybe former PM david Cameron feels misunderstood. He is apparently driving a lorry of stuff to Poland. Here’s a report from The London Economic:

“David Cameron posted a picture of himself at his local food bank before embarking on a humanitarian mission to Poland – much to the bemusement of people on social media.

The former prime minister is driving a small lorry full of supplies for Ukrainian refugees to the country’s border.

He announced the trip on Twitter, where he said he had been volunteering for two years at a food project in west Oxfordshire called the Chippy Larder.

“I'm currently driving to Poland with two Chippy Larder colleagues to make our delivery to the Red Cross. It’s going to be a long drive, but I’ll keep you updated along the way. #StandWithUkraine️”

But the former PM, who is widely regarded as the architect of austerity Britain, was called out on social media for creating the problem he is now trying to solve.

A report released in 2018 found that the benefits system, epitomised by Universal Credit, was driven by the desire to get across a simple set of messages that the state “no longer has your back” and that “you are on your own”.

He said: “What goes along with that is a sense that we should make the system as unwelcoming as possible.

“That people who need benefits should be reminded constantly that they are lucky to get anything.””

But he wants to be seen to be doing good! So it goes!

All the same, I wish him a safe and successful journey and hope he doesn’t get tied up in Brexit red tape at the ports.

My friend Colin ( has been including odd bits of old English in his blog. One thing he offers is 

“bāt, noun (bawt): Boat. “

The pronunciation fits in nicely with the modern Yorkshire way of saying “boat”.

Another is “cēap-stōw, noun (chay-op-stoh): Market-place. “ 

Now, there is a place called Chepstow, which must surely come from that old English word. This is what Wikipedia says about it: 

Chepstow is a town and community in Monmouthshire, Wales, adjoining the border with Gloucestershire, England. It is located on the tidal River Wye, about 2 miles above its confluence with the River Severn, and adjoining the western end of the Severn Bridge. It is the easternmost settlement in Wales, situated 16 miles east of Newport, 28 miles east-northeast of Cardiff, 18 miles northwest of Bristol and 110 miles west of London. Chepstow Castle, situated on a clifftop above the Wye and its bridge, is often cited as the oldest surviving stone castle in Britain. The castle was established by William FitzOsbern immediately after the Norman conquest, and was extended in later centuries before becoming ruined after the Civil War. A Benedictine priory was also established within the walled town, which was the centre of the Marcher lordship of Striguil.”

But personally I reckon it started off as a market place for the region. 

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone! 

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