Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Clouds of Witness cont

Mornin', Mrs. Marchbanks, Mornin' Mrs. P. Well, Mr. Murbles, how d'you like this bili—beastly weather?

Don't trouble to get up, Freddy; I'd simply hate to inconvenience you. Parker, old man, what a damned reliable old bird you are! Always on the spot, like that patent ointment thing.

I say, have you all finished? I meant to get up earlier, but I was snorin' so Bunter hadn't the heart to wake me. I nearly blew in last night, only we didn't arrive till 2 a.m. and I thought you wouldn't half bless me if I did. Eh, what, Colonel? Aeroplane. Victoria from Paris to London—North-Eastern to Northallerton—damn bad roads the rest of the way, and a puncture just below Riddlesdale.
Northallerton is an affluent market town and civil parish in the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire, England. It lies in the Vale of Mowbray and at the northern end of the Vale of York. It has a population of 15,741 according to the 2001 census. It has served as the county town of the North Riding of Yorkshire and since 1974, of North Yorkshire.

There has been a settlement at Northallerton since Roman times, however its growth in importance began in the 11th century when King William II gifted land to the Bishop of Durham. Under the Bishop's authority Northallerton became an important centre for religious affairs. It was also a focus for much conflict in subsequent years between the English and the Scots, most notably the Battle of the Standard, nearby in 1138, which saw losses of as many as 12,000 men.

In later years trade and transport became more important. Lying on the main route between Edinburgh and London it became an important stopping point for coaches travelling the route, eventually superseded by the growth of the railways in the 19th century. Lying in the centre of a large rural area Northallerton was established as a market town in 1200 by Royal Charter, and there is still a market in the town today.

It continues to be a major retail centre for the local area today. As the administrative centre for Hambleton district and the county of North Yorkshire, the council and several other associated public sector organisations have their headquarters in the town.

Damn bad bed at the 'Lord in Glory'; thought I'd blow in for the last sausage here, if I was lucky.
Lord in Glory is a [fictional] inn.

Inns are generally establishments or buildings where travellers can seek lodging and, usually, food and drink. They are typically located in the country or along a highway. Found in Europe, they possibly first sprang up when the Romans built their system of Roman roads two millennia ago. Some inns in Europe are several centuries old. In addition to providing for the needs of travellers, inns traditionally acted as community gathering places.

In Europe, it is the provision of accommodation, if anything, that now separates inns from taverns, alehouses and pubs. The latter tend to supply alcohol (and, in the UK, usually soft drinks and sometimes food), but less commonly accommodation. Inns tend to be grander and more long-lived establishments; historically they provided not only food and lodging, but also stabling and fodder for the traveller's horse(s) and fresh horses for the mail coach. Famous London examples of inns include the George and The Tabard. There is however no longer a formal distinction between an inn and other kinds of establishment. Many pubs use the name "inn", either because they are long established and may have been formerly coaching inns, or to summon up a particular kind of image, or in many cases simply as a pun on the word "in" such as "The Welcome Inn" the name of many pubs in Scotland.

The original functions of an inn are now usually split among separate establishments, such as hotels, lodges, and motels, all of which might provide the traditional functions of an inn but which focus more on lodging customers than on other services; public houses, which are primarily alcohol-serving establishments; and restaurants and taverns, which serve food and drink. (Hotels often contain restaurants and also often serve complimentary breakfast and meals, thus providing all of the functions of traditional inns.)

What? Sunday morning in an English family and no sausages? God bless my soul, what's the world coming to, eh, Colonel? I say, Helen, old Gerald's been an' gone an' done it this time, what? You've no business to leave him on his own, you know; he always gets into mischief. What's that? Curry? Thanks, old man. Here, I say, you needn't be so stingy about it; I've been travelling for three days on end. Freddy, pass the toast. Beg pardon, Mrs. Marchbanks? Oh, rather, yes; Corsica was perfectly amazin'—all black-eyed fellows with knives in their belts and jolly fine-looking girls. Old Bunter had a regular affair with the inn-keeper's daughter in one place. D'you know, he's an awfully susceptible old beggar. You'd never think it, would you? Jove! I am hungry. I say, Helen, I meant to get you some fetchin' crêpe-de-Chine undies from Paris, but I saw that old Parker was gettin' ahead of me over the bloodstains, so we packed up our things and buzzed off.”
Silk crape is woven of hard spun silk yarn in the gum or natural condition. There are two distinct varieties of the textile: soft, Canton, or Oriental crape, and hard or crisped crape. Thin crêpe is called crêpe de Chine ("Chinese crêpe").

Mrs. Pettigrew-Robinson rose.

“Theodore,” she said, “I think we ought to be getting ready for church.”
“I will order the car,” said the Duchess. “Peter, of course I'm exceedingly glad to see you. Your leaving no address was most inconvenient. Ring for anything you want. It is a pity you didn't arrive in time to see Gerald.”

“Oh, that's all right,” said Lord Peter cheerfully; “I'll look him up in quod. Y'know it's rather a good idea to keep one's crimes in the family; one has so many more facilities. I'm sorry for poor old Polly, though. How is she?”
The Quota System (also known as The Quod), introduced by Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger in 1795, required each English county to provide a quota of men for the Royal Navy, based on its population and the number of its seaports — London, for example, had to provide 5,704 quotamen, while Yorkshire had to provide 1,081.

Because of the brutality of the Navy, it was often compared to being in prison. Thus quod soon came to be a term for prison as well.

"Polly" is a nickname for Mary, which was derived from another nickname for Mary, Molly. It is sometimes used as a name in its own right.

“She must not be disturbed to-day,” said the Duchess with decision.
“Not a bit of it,” said Lord Peter; “she'll keep. To-day Parker and I hold high revel.
Peter is referencing Horace (Roman poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65-8 B.C.),
Ode 1.1

Ivy for me! The grove for mine!
Where nymphs and satyrs hold high revel.
Where I can join the gods divine,
A bit above the lowbrow level.
And if you say: "Some bard, this guy!"
My soaring head shall touch the sky.

To-day he shows me all the bloody footprints—it's all right, Helen, that's not swearin', that's an adjective of quality. I hope they aren't all washed away, are they, old thing?”
“No,” said Parker, “I've got most of them under flower-pots.”
“Then pass the bread and squish,” said Lord Peter, “and tell me all about it.”
Squish is slang for marmalade.
Marmalade is a fruit preserve made from the juice and peel of citrus fruits, boiled with sugar and water. The benchmark citrus fruit for marmalade production in Britain is the "Seville orange" from Spain, Citrus aurantium var. aurantium, thus called because it was originally only grown in Seville in Spain; it is higher in pectin than sweet oranges and therefore gives a good set. The peel has a distinctive bitter taste which it imparts to the marmalade. Marmalade can be made from lemons, limes, grapefruits, mandarins and sweet oranges or any combination thereof. For example, California-style marmalade is made from the peel of sweet oranges and consequently lacks the bitter taste of Seville orange marmalade.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Scrabble superseded Wimsey

I just put on a Scrabble tournament yesterday here in Cheyenne - not as successful as I'd hoped. There are 8 people in my club - they showed up, and that was it. Despite the fact that we'd gotten a nice write up in our Wednesday paper - it generated no new people and no new spectators. Very disappointing.

But preparing for the tournament had taken up all my time, and that's why I've been lax here.

Regular posting starts tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Clouds of Witness ch 2 cont

“Well, after all,” said Mrs. Marchbanks, “as Helen so rightly says, does it matter? Nobody's really got anything to be ashamed of. There has been a stupid mistake, of course, but I don't see why anybody who wants to shouldn't go to church.”
“Certainly not, certainly not, my dear,” said the Colonel heartily. “We might look in ourselves, eh dear? Take a walk that way I mean, and come out before the sermon.
A sermon is an oration by a prophet or member of the clergy. Sermons address a Biblical, theological, religious, or moral topic, usually expounding on a type of belief, law or behavior within both past and present contexts. Elements of preaching include exposition, exhortation and practical application.
I think it's a good thing. Shows we don't believe old Denver's done anything wrong, anyhow.”

“You forget, dear,” said his wife, “I've promised to stay at home with Mary, poor girl.”

“Of course, of course—stupid of me,” said the Colonel. “How is she?”

“She was very restless last night, poor child,” said the Duchess.

“Perhaps she will get a little sleep this morning. It has been a shock to her.”

“One which may prove a blessing in disguise,” said Mrs. Pettigrew-Robinson.

“My dear!” said her husband.

“Wonder when we shall hear from Sir Impey,” said Colonel Marchbanks hurriedly.

“Yes, indeed,” moaned Mr. Murbles. “I am counting on his influence with the Duke.”

“Of course,” said Mrs. Pettigrew-Robinson, “he must speak out—for everybody's sake. He must say what he was doing out of doors at that time. Or, if he does not, it must be discovered. Dear me! That's what these detectives are for, aren't they?”

“That is their ungrateful task,” said Mr. Parker suddenly. He had said nothing for a long time, and everybody jumped.

“There,” said Mrs. Marchbanks, “I expect you'll clear it all up in no time, Mr. Parker. Perhaps you've got the real mur—the culprit up your sleeve all the time.”

“Not quite,” said Mr. Parker, “but I'll do my best to get him. Besides,” he added, with a grin, “I'll probably have some help on the job.”

“From whom?” inquired Mr. Pettigrew-Robinson.

“Her grace's brother-in-law.”

“Peter?” said the Duchess. “Mr. Parker must be amused at the family amateur,” she added.

“Not at all,” said Parker. “Wimsey would be one of the finest detectives in England if he wasn't lazy. Only we can't get hold of him.”

“I've wired to Ajaccio—poste restante,” said Mr. Murbles, “but I don't know when he's likely to call there. He said nothing about when he was coming back to England.”
Ajaccio is a commune on the island of Corsica in France. It is the capital and largest city of the region of Corsica and the prefecture of the department of Corse-du-Sud.

Poste restante (French, trans. post remaining) or general delivery is a service where the post office holds mail until the recipient calls for it. It is a common destination for mail for people who are visiting a particular location and have no need, or no way, of having mail delivered directly to their place of residence at that time.

“He's a rummy old bird,” said the Hon. Freddy tactlessly, “but he oughter be here, what? What I mean to say is, if anything happens to old Denver, don't you see, he's the head of the family, ain't he—till little Pickled Gherkins comes of age.”
The gherkin is a vegetable similar in form and nutritional value to a cucumber. Gherkins and cucumbers belong to the same species (Cucumis sativus), but are from different cultivar groups.

They are usually picked when 4 to 8 cm (1 to 3 in) in length and pickled in jars or cans with vinegar (often flavored with herbs, particularly dill; hence, "dill pickle") or brine to resemble a pickled cucumber.

Why the son of the Duke of Denver is nicknamed Pickled Gherkins is anyone’s guess.

In the frightful silence which followed this remark, the sound of a walking-stick being clattered into an umbrella-stand was distinctly audible.

“Who's that, I wonder,” said the Duchess.

The door waltzed open.

“Mornin', dear old things,” said the newcomer cheerfully. “How are you all? Hullo, Helen! Colonel, you owe me half a crown since last September year."
The half crown was a denomination of British money worth half of a crown, equivalent to two and a half shillings (30 pennies), or one-eighth of a pound. The half crown was first issued in 1549, in the reign of Edward VI. No half crowns were issued in the reign of Mary, but from the reign of Elizabeth I half crowns were issued in every reign except Edward VIII, until the coins were discontinued in 1967. The half crown was demonetised (ahead of other pre-decimal coins) on 1 January 1970, the year before the United Kingdom adopted decimal currency on Decimal Day.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

On travel til Wednesday

I'm visiting elderly relatives in Box Elder, SD who do not have internet.

Will try to sneak out now and again to an internet cafe to post, but more than likely will not be posting until Wedneday.