Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Happy Winter Solstice Everyone!


To celebrate the passing of the shortest day here in the northern hemisphere I thought I'd post this snowy pic. We haven't had any snow worth mentioning yet this year - I took this photo a couple of years ago - in March, actually - but it fits the mood of these darkest days of the year.

So Happy Squidmas, Christmas, Mithras, Solstice to you all. It gets better from now on!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Scottish words for rain

Inspired by sandwriter's recent post on soggy Ayrshire winters, and being reminded of the chat a few years ago about the number of words the Inuit have for snow ( it started on the publication of Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow , where the main character was an expert on snow and apparently described nine Inuit words for snow), I thought I'd have a go at a little rain experiment.

When the debate on the Inuit snow thing was ongoing, I remember feeling very inadequate. It was one of those cases where indigenous people seemed to be more in tune with the natural world than we urbanized gas-guzzlers - it affected them more, so they had a more plentiful vocabulary to describe it. But recently, I realised that we Scots have a not inconsiderable number of words for rain and the act of raining. After reading sandwriter talk about her experience of her first winter in the soggy Ayrshire countryside I thought I'd have a go at listing all the words I know of in current use to describe the plentiful rain that we endure here in Scotland.

Quite often we describe the action, rather than the quality of the rain itself, so we have lots and lots of verbs. Right, here we go:

the rain itself can be: damp, wet, smirr, spots, drizzle, shower, rain, downpour, torrential, cataract,

the action can be: pelting, spitting, coming down in stair-rods, raining cats and dogs, pouring, teeming, driving, bucketing, chucking it down, throwing it down, tipping it down, horizontal, lashing,

and one can be drenched, drookit, saturated, soaked, wringing wet, by rain

I make that 28 different unique words and phrases for rain and its effects. And that's without going into the delights of sleet and hail, mist and haar.

I'll add to the list as thoughts occur to me (or as I get soaked, drenched or saturated by the damn stuff!) And if anyone can think of any words - British or not, let me know. Maybe we could start a celebratory dictionary of rain!

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Life and other interruptions

Eek! I can't believe it's been weeks since I last posted. Apologies to the legions of readers who have been sitting in darkened rooms awaiting my return...I am back!

Life got in the way, which is a novelty for me as I haven't had a life for a long time. I haven't been an employee for twenty years or so. I was a stay-at-home mum and then I ran my own business from home but now that I don't have anybody else at home, having a home-based business seemed a little silly, not to mention bad for my mental well-being. I got so fed up being alone that one grey morning, after a night where I actually phoned the Samaritans, I was so lonely, I decided that anything was better than this - even work - and applied for a job. Amazing to relate - I got it! It's part-time and just over Christmas but it's a start.

So the last two weeks I have been dipping my toe in the warm but scary waters of work. Hence the non-posting. End of excuses.