November has come in like a lion, so I fully expect it to go out like, well, a lion, since that's what winter tends to do around here. I would be lying if I told you that I don't look with great envy at the blogs of my Southern Hemisphere pals like Heidi and Ruth, traipsing around in sandals and garden-hopping. sigh... This snow won't stay, but it is a harbinger of things to come.
Hmm - am feeling obsessive these days about the origins of words and of course I know what a harbinger is, but for the life of me could not have told you its origin. Well here 'tis:
Of course, this is from Dictionary.com, so I anticipate rebuttals from the historians and linguists in the house.
Did you know Barry is trained as a linguist? Yes, prior to his career in policing he gained his BA in English with a specialization in linguistics.
Furthermore, did you know that his birthday is on the 15th and that he has ordered me to order this for him for his birthday, since he is an arbiter of good taste?
I was thinking of the word arbiter the other day and for good reason as I am reading Dickie Arbiter's new book:
I've always had a soft spot for Dickie, since for North Americans, he is the 'go-to', along with Andrew Morton and Ingrid Seward, to explain all things Royal to we in the colonies. I always like his no nonsense approach to things and so when I saw this book, I downloaded it right away and have been making my way through it. Arbiter deftly weaves his experience as press secretary for Buckingham Palace with his own colourful life, which begins as an orphaned German Jew and moves on to Rhodesia. People do lead colourful lives and this bloke seems to have landed in the right place at the right time, although not without some nasty bumps and experiences along the way.
Of course as soon as I started reading the book I became obsessed with where the word Arbiter came from:
One of the most interesting facts in the book, aside from the Royalty stories, is that he legally changed his name from Richard Winston Arbiter to Dickie Arbiter, and long before he became famous. Dickie is an unusual name, from a North American perspective, perhaps best known when used derisively for this gentleman:
And speaking of Tricky Dicky, I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to acknowledge the death of Ben Bradlee a couple of weeks ago.
Bradlee was a giant in journalism and no doubt the reason that countless young people flocked to the profession in the 1970s and 1980s.
As Editor of the Washington Post, and the guide for Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward's investigative journalism of the Watergate scandal, Ben Bradlee was a shining light of integrity - pushing his staff to get the fact straights through sufficient corroboration of sources.
I can remember reading All the President's Men in the mid to late 1970s. I admit to being an uber-geek around this sort of thing, and having spent a summer watching a good bit of the Watergate testimony in 1973, reading the behind-the-scenes accounts of how the two reporters pieced the story together and how it brought down a government, was riveting. At one point in my life, I was desperate to be a journalist, but I suspect I would have spent my entire career relegated to reading the weather or covering You Tube videos...
Most of you no doubt know that Ben Bradlee and his wife Sally Quinn bought the run down Grey Gardens and restored it to its former glory after Big Edie died.
Hard to imagine that this
Became this once more
We take our delights in life where we can, and Ben and Sally obviously loved restoring and living in this fine jewel.
And speaking of delights, one of my, and Barry's, great delights while travelling is listening to Car Talk on NPR Radio. The show began 37 years ago, but we only discovered it 15 or so years ago.
The Peabody Award winning show has been in reruns for the past few years after the hosts, Tom and Ray Magliozzi, retired. Sure they were talking about cars, but mostly they were joking and cracking wise and spreading their love for all things vehicular with their audience.
|Tom and Ray|
Sadly, Tom passed away today at 77. It is hard to imagine one of these brothers without the other, given the obvious delight they took in ribbing one another about their knowledge or lack thereof of cars when folks called in. The Magliozzis are from Cambridge Massachusetts, a fact obvious to anyone who listens to the show.
When you listened to their show, you always felt that these were a couple of guys who really enjoyed life. The older I get the more I love to hear people who love what they do. So many people do not, and what a gift to just be thrilled to go do something you love.
At the end of every show, the two brothers would sign off and say "Don't drive like my brother", but I would change that now to say "Don't drive like Wendy" because yes,
I had a car accident last week.
Perhaps car accident would be too harsh a word, since in reality, whilst backing into a parking spot I scraped my neighbour. It is amazing how much scraping your neighbour can cost. Luckily there is insurance for when you scrape your neighbour, but insurance cannot blot out the embarrassment of scraping your neighbour to begin with, can it? No, I can tell you unequivocally it cannot.
|Insert back end and you'll just about it right...|
I just hope this little scrape is not a harbinger of things to come....
You did wonder how I was going to keep this in a continual loop, didn't you?
Stay safe out there - and I mean it! xoxo wendy