Letter for March 2016
I heard a Nightingale in the night on the 3rd. Fantastic singer!
For more than two weeks, Harry had the worst cold that he has had for many, many years – certainly at least a decade – but it did finally disappear. I am feeling sorry for Harry because he is now getting blood taken for testing regularly and he has medication that lowers his blood pressure and make his blood clot less well – great for the heart but awful for having blood taken. It is nice to have only that to complain about. He is living normally now and having no troubles with his heart. His acid reflex is much less and he is doing exercises from a therapist for his back.
Our car was due for its every-two-years check for road safety and it passed. Harry has been complaining for a long time that the car pulls to the right, but the dealer said there was nothing wrong. He got new tires before the test and the local garage that put them on said the old tires had worn badly because there was terrible alignment. Presto, with the new tires and alignment the car doesn’t pull to the right. We are keeping it insured to use for moving big things, use the trailer and let visitors get around in. He is using the Microcar for normal driving. We are surprised and pleased with just how little fuel it uses.
In the good weather Harry has been working on the garage, but there hasn’t been that much good weather. There is a pic below.
March is tax form filling month for me – all done and dusted, in the mail on the 23th. I bought a few books and Harry bought an alto sax. That is the third instrument that he has ordered direct from China. They were made in factories that make instruments for the big name companies but these do not have the names on them – great quality for a very low price. We thought we were going to have to buy a new oven but it wasn’t broken, the wiring was at fault. What a relief.
We had a terrible wind storm on the 27 and 28th. The cover over the hole for the chimney was blown away and we had to retrieve it and put it back. This was one of the storms that hit the UK but this time it was a bit more to the south.
We were very sad to learn that Marsha Delouchery has died. She was part of the Wight clan, the wife of Brian Day, daughter-in-law of cousin Madeline. She was an amazingly talented, energetic and pleasant – a lovely person. An article from the paper is below along with a photo I cut from facebook.
Here is a little glass brain image from http://loonylabs.org/2016/03/05/brain-connectivity-reveals-hidden-motives/ chick to see the show
What is here this month: March letter; a gif of the glass brain; Garage progress; Thank you letters, memories of George’s problem with writing; Debate from 1254, Mongolian style of debate; Marsha DeLouchery Day, tribute to her and picture; Easter Date, how is it calculated; Shitty language, the many uses of the word shit; England Family History, new information for Barmby and England relatives; Quiz, another silly quiz; March medieval image.
Little has happened this month between weather and health. But more sheathing is on the roof. It was put in place with Harry using his trusty counterweight to get the sheets up the slope of the roof. He has put a ledge along the bottom of the roof to make it safer getting sheets put there. So two flights were up with Bob’s help, another two this month with the counterweight. There is one to go and Paul Henry has offered to help with those when it comes to them later.
Thank you letters
Few phrases are as sad to me as “thank you letters”. I got to the point, as a child, of hoping that no relatives would send Christmas gifts to George and me. Because Mom would insist that each and every gift must be recognized with a thank you letter.
It was bad enough for me. But I had saved a thank you letter that someone had once written – I can’t remember who. I used it secretly to write the letters I had to write. It would not do to thank someone in person. I could do that but it did not eliminate my obligation. A relative could be there when I opened the present and could see my joy and hear my thank you – but still the letter had to be written. Some aunts and uncles would notice if there was no letter – or so I was told and believed at the time. In my heart I resented the whole thing and I saw it as a little payment that was due for a gift. The gift was not actually a gift but a sort of transaction. The kids I went to school with didn’t have to write thank you letters – they got their gifts for free. But like all other writing tasks I protected my secret with all the skill I could muster. Absolutely no one must know about my problems with reading and writing – this was my normal life.
I would not remember that whole scene except for George’s problem. He would be sitting at the table trying to write a thank you letter. After hours of writing and erasing with paper ripped from too many erasing, there would be a badly written letter with obvious tear stains on it. George would be a nervous wreck and Mom would be beside herself. She would resort to things like writing a letter in big dark letters and having George trace it. The letter writing seemed to go on forever but probably was only a couple of days.
Many years later Mom got a very nice thank you letter from some child for something she had done for the school or something. She went on about how nice it was to get a thank you letter. The memory of George at the table flooded back. I said something a little edgy about making George write those letters. Mom said something about how important it was to learn to do things like that and that Aunt Marjorie noticed and appreciated thank you letters. I really lost it and shouted that it was nice to know that Mom cared more about how her sister felt than how her children did. I very, very rarely was angry with Mom but that was one of time. And I had to apologize for being hurtful (like calling it torture) and explain how deep the scar was of those thank you letters.
I also lost my temper with my cousin Madeline when the same image of George at the table flooded my mind. Madeline had a monthly letter for which many cousins sent her things to be included. George sent her a letter and she was so very happy that he did. It was written in the sort of English that people used in computer forums and bulletin boards. (U for you, 2 for to and the like). When we were putting the pages together, I did not see George’s letter. But it was there – Madeline had carefully transcribed the letter into proper English. I told her that was the last letter she would get from George and it served her right. Again I had to apologize and explain the problem of George writing letters in my memory and why it was something that just angered me in a flash.
I don’t like losing my temper and I especially regretted shouting at Mom and at Madeline. They did not deserve my anger.
Description of a debate staged by Mongke Khan in September of 1254 – from Jack Watherford via Mark Liberman
This is the time of debates – everyone is debating. We are becoming over dosed with debates. So I thought you might enjoy the description of Mongolian debates that were modeled after wrestling matches. Mongke Khan was Genghis Khan’s grandson and one of the most powerful of the khans.
“The Mongols loved competitions of all sorts, and they organized debates among rival religions the same way they organized wrestling matches. It began on a specific date with a panel of judges to oversee it. In this case Mongke Khan ordered them to debate before three judges: a Christian, a Muslim, and a Buddhist. A large audience assembled to watch the affair, which began with great seriousness and formality. An official laid down the strict rules by which Mongke wanted the debate to proceed: on pain of death “no one shall dare to speak words of contention.”
Rubruck and the other Christians joined together in one team with the Muslims in an effort to refute the Buddhist doctrines. As these men gathered together in all their robes and regalia in the tents on the dusty plains of Mongolia, they were doing something that no other set of scholars or theologians had ever done in history. It is doubtful that representatives of so many types of Christianity had come to a single meeting, and certainly they had not debated, as equals, with representatives of the various Muslim and Buddhist faiths. The religious scholars had to compete on the basis of their beliefs and ideas, using no weapons or the authority of any ruler or army behind them. They could use only words and logic to test the ability of their ideas to persuade.
In the initial round, Rubruck faced a Buddhist from North China who began by asking how the world was made and what happened to the soul after death. Rubruck countered that the Buddhist monk was asking the wrong questions; the first issue should be about God from whom all things flow. The umpires awarded the first points to Rubruck.
Their debate ranged back and forth over the topics of evil versus good, God’s nature, what happens to the souls of animals, the existence of reincarnation, and whether God had created evil. As they debated, the clerics formed shifting coalitions among the various religions according to the topic. Between each round of wrestling, Mongol athletes would drink fermented mare’s milk; in keeping with that tradition, after each round of the debate, the learned men paused to drink deeply in preparation for the next match.
No side seemed to convince the other of anything. Finally, as the effects of the alcohol became stronger, the Christians gave up trying to persuade anyone with logical arguments, and resorted to singing. The Muslims, who did not sing, responded by loudly reciting the Koran in an effort to drown out the Christians, and the Buddhists retreated into silent meditation. At the end of the debate, unable to convert or kill one another, they concluded the way most Mongol celebrations concluded, with everyone simply too drunk to continue.”
Friends remember Marsha Day’s spirit by Cam Fullar, Saskatoon StarPhoenix. Mar 14, 2016
“It is very hard to sleep during an electrical storm. A barrage of bangs, thunder and deafening cracks shatter the equilibrium. Thousand-pound bowling balls drop and rumble across the skies. The earth shakes. Blinding flashes pierce the darkness while everyone takes cover, shaking in their tents.”
That was Marsha Day writing about the Kenderdine Campus at Emma Lake in one of her art columns for the StarPhoenix.
Day, an artist herself, wrote about visual art for the StarPhoenix for four years from 2011 to 2015. She reluctantly gave up the assignment to fight cancer — a battle that ended on March 9.
Friends are now remembering Marsha DeLouchery-Day’s passion, energy, sense of humour and spirit.
“She was my best friend,” said her sister in-law Muriel Garven, who knew her for 38 years. “She and I spent many hours walking together, laughing. We travelled together, told stories about people we knew, and we shared a lot of similar interests.”
Marsha DeLouchery grew up in the Annapolis Valley and was a graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She also studied at the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus which she would later fight for when it closed. Her artist’s eye was drawn to the prairies, particularly the province’s iconic grain elevators; one of her paintings on that subject went into the Mendel Art Gallery’s permanent collection.
When she met and married Brian Day, they settled in Weyburn where he developed a greenhouse business which became Day Grow Greenhouses in Saskatoon. The couple had two children, Emma and Joe. Marsha was predeceased by Brian. “Marsha was an amazing caregiver to Brian when Brian had cancer. She and I probably even got closer during those years,” said Garven.
Arla Gustafson first met Day when they were working to save the Broadway Theatre. “She had a passion for the arts, for the community,” said Gustafson. She laughs recalling a huge project Day and her fellow volunteers took on when they dyed the theatre’s curtains. “Every time I go to the theatre I think of the energy and the commitment of what she did. She was never afraid to work hard. That for me is a memory that will always be there.”
Kim Fontaine was recalling Day’s “joie de vivre.” “One of my favourite memories was when she organized a concert for Lyn Besse McGinnis, Bev Zizzy and myself at Solar Gardens. When the din of the room got a little too loud, she’d walk up to the stage, grab a microphone and in her own Marsha way, respectfully tell the audience to shut up and listen.”
“Her spirit was unbelievable,’’ added Sharon Fyke, who knew her from their book club. “She was just so much fun when we’d go to discuss a book because she was always open to looking at it through different eyes.” Fyke also admired her friend’s StarPhoenix art column. “I told her ‘Oh my God, I love your reviews’ because they were always passionate. That’s another word I’d use about her is passion,” Fyke said.
In the picture Marsha is sitting with the cup and saucer, standing on the extreme left is Muriel Garven her sister-in-law, and standing third from the right is Marcia Clark, a cousin. I believe this is the book club.
Wondering about Easter date?
Easter can occur any day between Mar 22 and Apr 25. How does this work? In principle it is tied to Passover – or, the Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. But there were arguments early on about whose observations of the seasons and moons should be followed. So it was decided that the equinox would be replaced by Mar 21 (it is usually the 20th or 21st ) and the date of the full moon would come from a particular table rather than observation. So if you were to calculate the date yourself from your own observation, there would be years when you would be wrong. However, for most years you would be right or just an even week out. If your following the Eastern Orthodox calender then you would have a different calculation because of the 13 day difference. The two Easters can theoretically happen on the same day or be more than a month apart or anywhere in between. Of course, Passover has its own ancient calculation and is not that likely to be at the same time as Easter. The other holy days that move on the calender are those that are tied to Easter, being so many days before or after the Easter Sunday.
This year we had a full moon on Mar 23, a Wednesday with the following Sun on Mar 27. The equinox, full moon and following Sun, all occurred in the same week and therefore an especially early Easter happened. If the full moon had been just before the equinox, just a few days different, Easter would have been especially late. I have to ask myself if this is a reasonable way to run a calendar – jolly quaint and a little ridiculous.
Mark Liberman pointed out how varied is our use of the word ‘shit’. A sample:
apeshit: “Out of control due to anger or excitement”
batshit: “Too irrational to be dealt with sanely”
bullshit: “False or exaggerated statements made to impress and deceive the listener rather than inform”
chickenshit: “Petty and contemptible; contemptibly unimportant”; “Cowardly”
dogshit: “Something disgusting, abominable, or useless.”
horseshit: “Serious harassment or abuse”; “Blatant nonsense, more likely stemming from ignorance than any intent to deceive”
Does a bear shit in the woods?: “Something too obvious to need saying”
Like shit through a goose: “Something trivially easy to process”
are you shitting me?, (as) X as shit, (as) happy as a pig in shit, VERB for shit, (when) the shit hits the fan, VERB the shit out of, VERBED to shit, ain’t shit, and shit, bad shit, big shit, built like a brick shithouse, crock of shit, does a bear shit in the woods, don’t shit where you eat, dumb shit, eat shit (and die), for shit’s sake, for shits and giggles, full of shit, get/have xr shit together, give a shit, good shit, holy shit, hot shit, in the shit, king shit, like shit, like shit through a goose, like stink on shit, loose xr shit, no shit (Sherlock), not know jack shit, not know shit (from shinola), piece of shit, same shit different day, shit-eating grin, shit a brick, shit fire, shit fit, shit for brains, shit happens, shit heap, shit hole, shit hot, shit list, shit on a shingle, shit or get off the pot, shit out of luck, shit pile, shit sandwich, shit show, shit stain, shit stirrer, shit storm, shit the bed, shit through a tin horn, shit ton, shit xr pants, shit-faced, shitass, shitbird, shithead, shitheel, shitload, shitting match, shitwork, shoot the shit, slicker than cat shit (on a linoleum floor), sure as shit, talk shit, the shit, think xr shit don’t stink, tough shit, up shit creek (without a paddle), went (out) to shit and the hog ate him.
How can you define a work like that? Is this an overused word perhaps?
England family history
I have some information on the family tree (England branch) but I have not yet found time to update the tree. Tim England provided the information – HOW KIND.
He gave information on Daisy England/Hitchcox to correct a speculation of mine and I will erase the speculation from my old site.
He gave several generations of information on the Englands in this email.
William England and Sophia are my 4 x great-grandparents. William was baptised in 1788 and died in 1851. In the 1841 and 1851 census he is shown as an agricultural labourer rather than stone mason. In 1835 the Warwickshire Agricultural Society recognised a Wiiliam England of Ratley & Upton as having completed 36 years working for same farm or master. In 1851 there was an inquest at Ratley into the death of William England, a labourer, killed by the falling of an ash tree which he was felling –verdict accidental death. Sophia died in 1858. I have found 8 childred.
Thomas (1800) – my 3xgreat grandfather
Mary (baptised 15 Mar 1807) (JK -this is our ancestor)
William (1778) had parents Thomas England and Mary Graves. This Thomas had parents Thomas & Alice Lea/Lee. The parents of this Thomas were Thomas & Judith.
Sophia (1778) had parents Robert Townsend and Mary Brooks. The parents of Mary Brooks were Edward Brooks and Esther.
Of course where I say “were or had ” it’s really what I believe – I’m always ready to be corrected.
(JK note William’s birthday has a typo 1778 or 1788)
Tim also included some information on people with the name Hitchcox which is probably very useful but that I haven’t sorted out yet.
I really should break the habit altogether rather than get enticed by the odd quiz. This one was the colour of your personality. It seems a OK description except that I am not a worrier by nature and never have been.
“’You have an ORANGE personality! According to Dr. Carol Ritberger, this means that you’re a “let’s just get along” kind of person. You are kind, cooperative, and always put others first. You appreciate order and organization, and you respond well to rules. Dr. Ritberger adds that as an Orange, you probably tend to worry and are susceptible to lower digestive issues.”
Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Barry – March