Former East Lobby

Translations

Why Does Hardly Anyone Know About SeaMonkey?

SeaMonkey

SeaMonkey is the successor to Netscape.

I’ve been using SeaMonkey for two years. I’m amazed there aren’t more of us.

Many don’t even know what SeaMonkey is. I’m referring to the browser. Today a lot swear to Chrome, or Safari, and there are even a few who stick with Internet Explorer. It’s not these people who surprise me; it’s those who have chosen Firefox, and specially those who use that with Thunderbird I can’t quite understand.

Seamonkey does the work of both! This browser has the same “engine” as both Firefox and Thunderbird. It has the same technology underpinning it. The only difference is that you get everything in one process on your machine! Like the older Netscape, SeaMonkey is a “suite”. Indeed you get an address book, webpage builder, and chat module as well – and it still goes a lot quicker than Firefox in my opinion!

There’s something odd about us human beings. We’ll use lots of money on software like Microsoft Office when alternatives like Open Office are just as good, and won’t cost a penny! That said, I have to admit that SeaMonkey could have been promoted a lot better than it has been. Many people have quite simply never heard of it.

Nevertheless I strongly want to encourage you to try SeaMonkey. If you’re coming from Firefox, there’s no need to feel uncomfortable with something you’re unfamiliar with: you can actually make SeaMonkey look exactly like your old browser by using a so-called “theme”. So try SeaMonkey now!

this post was a translation from today’s post in the sister blog, CQD.

A Relic of A Gift!

pen

This surprise gift came in the post. It is a relic from my school days – literally!

Today I was really surprised. In a good way! A package awaited me in the post.

My surprise did not lessen when I opened it. I had got a relic! A friend with whom I correspond in England, who went to the school as I did – that same school I have written such a lot about in these blogs of mine – had sent me this pen (pictured) as a New Year present. It is made out the very building material that was salavaged when our school was knocked down.

It is difficult to describe how I felt when I held the wood that once housed our classes – the very same classes that once housed me! Here language and words fall too short.

Yet English is at any rate poorer that Norwegian if I first should try to put words to this. Indeed it was not so long ago that I discussed the (Norwegian) word “vemod” on a Facebook forum. Coincidently enough this was the forum for previous pupils of this very school. “Vemod” is precisely something I should employ to describe how I felt today, even though this does not translate so well into English. When we discussed “vemod” on the forum, Ken Cooke, who has a formidable insight into Norway, suggested that the best translation would be “melancholy”. While strictly speaking correct, “melancholy” is not the appropriate word for what I felt today.

I felt pride and grief all at the same time. In Norwegian I was certainly “vemodig”, but I was also something more. It is completely impossible to describe this (either in Norwegian or English). This feeling was as strong as it was strange. I have only to look at this pen, which is literally a relic from my schooldays, to feel a “stirring” within my heart.

There is no way I shall be taking my pen to work. It is going to remain where I live so that it does not sprout legs and walk…. my pens at the office seem to have a habit of doing just that! I have already thanked my friend by e-post, but I shall of course be sending her a proper “thank you” letter by post.

This gift was really a huge surprise. Adwick School rest in peace.

 

The Subversive Grammarian

By David Grünewald

It wasn’t until after I had left school and several failed attempts that I finally got my English. Photo: David Grünewald

I like blogging. Language fascinates me.

It wasn’t always so. Though my blogs’ theme is based on my old school uniform, my schoolboy English was not something to be proud of. I consistently failed the old “O” level English examination until 1983, two years after leaving school. Indeed I also failed the examination in the Summer of that year as well!

When I decided to retake my failed examination something remarkable happened. This was at the former Doncaster Metropolitan Institute of Higher Education in that same Autumn. They held evening classes at the now demolished site in Waterdale, in the centre of town. All of us attending were there to redo in a matter of a few weeks what we had tried, and failed to do that Summer.

I wish I could remember the name of our teacher. He changed the course of my life – in more ways than I knew at the time, and not only in the English language. He shut the classroom door, and gesticulated that he had something to say to us almost as though he were afraid of saying it and might lose his job if he said it out aloud.

I can’t remember now when the course began, but he didn’t have a lot of time to change our failed examinations into passes. Therefore I can’t remember exactly how many weeks he said that we had, but what he said was truly astonishing. He said that we had only so many weeks until the examination, but he could guarantee us success if we would follow his method. There was only one catch: his method was an old fashioned one, and some did not approve of it in modern teaching.

Until these evening classes, I had used English “automatically” with my internal “autopilot”. That is to say that I wrote what I should say, and never thought about it any more than one thinks about how one walks. It is my belief that many people are now doing this very thing, and without most of these realizing it, their language does their thinking for them rather than letting them express ideas that they themselves have put together. Our teacher wanted us to analyse our language.

Obtaining so our surreptitious consent, he then introduced us to what we had thought was a very dirty word – grammar! In some respects, English is like a building that has lost one of its rooms. We started looking not just at how that building was today, but how it once used to be.

English address is a good example of this, where the plural has now to double up as a singular. Unless you know that, then it seems like the use of a plural verb, “are” for example, when one is addressing only one individual is just one of the many exceptions-to-the-rule that plague anyone who wants to use the language. Unless you have the grammatical bird’s eye view from above, then indeed it will seem like many complicated rules and exception to the rules just as in our example here.

We started writing out tables…. I am, thou art, he/she/it is, we are, ye(you) are, they are. We briefly looked at Middle English, but I have to say that most of what I now know of that came later. Nevertheless it was from the interest this evening class ignited inside me. Needless to say, I could see why verbs ended the ways they did very quickly. In Modern English, one simply cuts out the “thou” address, and replaces the “eth” verb ending with the “s” that we have today in the third person singular. Not complicated at all!

One of my major sins used to be the misplaced apostrophe. This subversive grammarian taught us that there were two types of apostrophe: the first when the apostrophe was used to show omission, and the second use to show possession. This was before I ever even heard of things like the genitive case, through my own study that followed!

Since I often pop into George Barton’s blog, and follow him on Twitter I have been introduced to the term “the apostrophe police”. This refers to those (like me) who have the audacity to pick people up on misplaced apostrophes. Nevertheless, for those of you who once and for all – guarantee! – want to learn this so you never make a mistake again, I shall give you the infallible rule.

The first use of the apostrophe is for an omission. Instead of writing the two words “it is”, you can contract these to “it’s”. The apostrophe stands for the omitted letter “i”. Instead of writing “you are”, you can contract to “you’re”, and the apostrophe is in place of the omitted letter “a”.

The second use, which I began this post with when I referred to the school uniform theme my blogs now use, is to show possession. You can very simply find out where to put the apostrophe here by rewriting the sentence using the preposition “of”. For example:

  • the children’s toys – rewrite, the toys of the children (you know to put the apostrophe between “n” and “s”)
  • the child’s book – rewrite, the book of the child (you know that the apostrophe is between “d” and “s”)
  • the boys’ choir – rewrite, the choir of the boys (unless you really mean that one boy has started, and perhaps leads the choir, and that it is his project – then you know there are several of them, and the apostrophe comes after the “s” at the end)
  • the boy’s friend – rewrite, the friend of the boy

So, whatever it is that you actually mean, write it first as an “of” sentence it you are in doubt! This always works! So if anyone thought that I had made a mistake at the beginning of this post, it should now be apparent that I was writing about the theme of my blogs (and not my blog). Yorkshire Viking Norway is twinned with a Norwegian sister blog.

I wish I could remember the name of our teacher who got me my English qualification. I should like to thank him. However I cannot, but I pay tribute here. What is more, if you follow the advice above, neither will you go wrong. Ever!

The Peak Is Back!

A Translation of “Tinden er tilbake” in the Sister Blog

Sneisa

The Sneisa Peak – I connect this closely with Adwick School

This blog started when I left Lenvik Parish. That is where John Blamire now works.

I had only just obtained Norwegian Citizenship, and determined therefore to write my blog in Norwegian. Nevertheless do note that I then used the Bokmål standard (and not the Nynorsk you now see). My intention was to end the English blog that I had kept since starting in the job I then was leaving.

When the work on this blog began I was therefore entering a new epoch. I was returning to Lødingen where I had been the organist many years previously. That is why I chose the Sneisa Peak to take pride of place on my blog. “For I remember so well this mountain”, as the poet Elias Blix wrote. I used to see Sneisa Peak every time I had had work in Vestbygd (a part of Lødingen Parish), and the peak was not least a personal symbol of that time I had travelled to England with two schoolboys – one of whom was living very near it. That was our journey to Adwick School which at that time still existed. I had remembered this mountain, and it had become an icon for me that stood both for the first time I had worked in Lødingen but also for my school. Therefore Sneisa Peak was given first place when this (Norwegian) blog www.cqd.nu came online.

It was precisely my old school that was to be the reason I developed a common visual “theme” for both my blogs – including the English blog Yorkshire Viking Norway which was then called Play My Tune. The news story about Adwick School soon came to dominate everything I wrote in both Norwegian and English. As a result of the common theme Sneisa Peak was exchanged for my new logo, and later for the picture that Janet Roberts took of the place my school once was – it has as we now all know been razed to the ground. Janet had also gone to this same school and long fought against the powers that be to save it. Her picture still remains in place on the English “twin”.

The intention was that that blog should close down. But into this comes Mr Blamire with his sparkling fresh new blog called Arctic Organist! I wasn’t surely going to let him blog away without competition? Not only did he come into Norway directly from South Carolina USA, but in addition he was starting to do everything I myself had been doing with my English blog all those many years before he ever thought to come here! The solution was naturally to save my English blog from closure, and both blogs were “wed” together into the “Twin Blog” system you see today. They both remain two independent blogs, but they have a shared appearance and identity.

Janet’s picture is very good, and I have written about it in Yorkshire Viking Norway. There it will continue to have the most important place that I am now returning to the Sneisa Peak in this blog. It belongs there, whereas here in this blog the Sneisa Peak is much more “at home”.

Ironically though the Sneisa Peak is still a symbol of that last contact I ever had with my school. Both my blogs shall for that same reason continue to use the Adwick colours and my Viking raven logo. All of this is of course a continuing expression of my schooldays.

Adwick School rest in peace.

Þe Olde School Tie Tradition

I have now placed my school tie back into its draw, most likely for another year. However, here is a tongue-in-cheek account of my tradition. I don’t want anyone thinking this is some modern nostalgia! Therefore, lest you should think it…. the whole (more serious) point of this, is that the tradition has not just occurred now that I have become Norwegian, but has been constantly in use since (at least) 1988.

It hath long been my custom (as I bare witness herein in mine aforementioned posts) to take up the colours of our school at Adwick in Doncaster, whensoever certain occasions have presented themselves.

There is a problem with this picture on mobile devices.

One of the earliest uses in Norway. Christmas Eve. Kvenvær Church, Hitra 1993

Which tradition hath furthermore continued long after those hallowed buildings ever were occupied by an alien entity, and verily now after they in these latter days have been destroyéd by the same. And whereas (and lest) the minds of some slanderous folks should perchance question my motivation, that peradventure this be a mere vain invention of more recent times, it hath pleased me to go diligently unto mine archives for to prove what long standing my said tradition most surely hath.

1993

Christmas Eve – Kvenvær, Hitra 1993

Wherefore doe I present unto you this photographic evidence, taken in sundry years, that ye now may know the certainty thereof, and that this same childhood relic continueth in use whensoever it be meet and right for it to do…

1993

Christmas Eve – Fillan, Hitra 1993

And whereas the custom of this blog doth but permit the same school colours, and whereas these pictures are therefore published unto you in monochrome (save for any portrayals of this relic which by very nature thereof are herein permitted), thou mayest click upon each same to show it in original colour! Thou shouldest click upon the resultant picture once more if this breaketh the confines of thy computer screen forasmuch as the majority of browsers will then adjust it for thee! 🙂

Resignation

My resignation from Hitra. 4th July 1994

And from these mine earliest times in Norway, I did take away my facial hair in 1994… pictured showing my resignation from my position on the island of Hitra. Ye that truly and earnestly make examination of the above picture shall be able to make out my first logo, that preceded that ye now see above my work, which I used from the year of Our Lord 1990 – until 2012.

1993

Waiting for the Newspaper outside Fillan Church (4th July 1994)

Thus I stood that same day outside Fillan Church, forasmuh as the tidings of my departure had reached unto the local scribes who publish the tidings of that island, and there did wait upon them for that they wished to speak with me…

Nordbotn

My last service at Nordbotn, Hitra – October 1994

And so it was that in October 1994 I played for my last service in Nordbotn Chapel, on the island of Fjeldværøya, and there did give a farewell concert unto the residents thereof. Afterwards they presented unto me their tributes, with flowers and good wishes.

1994

Home at Fillan (Hitra), before leaving for Lødingen in 1994

And thus I departed those parts, and came hither, unto this Arctic abode of Lødingen. Now in those days there was a military fort in these parts, and exceeding greater opportunities for employment.

blog3

Unknown occasion 1995. Music room Lødingen High School.

And thus I began my service in Lødingen – both as organist and music teacher. Ye see me here even in the classroom. As for the occasion that surely did merit this tie I now wot not. It suffice to say that I have only ever used the tie for special happenings, and this must therefore have been one of such.

1995

Music Tour 1994, pictured Orkanger

These were the first days I therefore platyed the organ in Lødingen, and at that time I should also travel to the nethermost parts of this great land to entertain others in concert…. So it was that, that same first Summer, I went on a tour in Trøndelag and in Møre and Romsdal. And it was from this time that the School Tie became a part of my concert routine. Before it had only been used at Yule.

1995

The concert at Rindal. Summer 1994.

The last of these concerts was at Rindal. Here I am pictured with the other musicians three. The tradition of the School Tie was therefore well established, ere ever our school had ceased to be…

Arna

2005 in Bergen, after Adwick School had ceased to exist.

Now I remember putting upon me this Tie in the year of Our Lord 2000, but two years later our old school was deposéd by a new.  And all that which we once knew – which by then had waned so greatly that I had foreseen the end as early as 2000 (and had written in that year a great chronicle concerning the decline thereof) was finally lost to history. Peradventure I failed to observe the Tie tradition in 2002, knowing our Rome was sacked. Yet ere the new Empire of Wakefield laid claim unto its land, I restored the traditions in memory of yore! Here ye see me before I left Bergen in 2005!

Now this is the account of my Tie tradition, for those that would say it be a modern invention now that I have joined the Viking tribes, and made myself as one of them. Forsooth I say the Tie tradition goeth long way back, even unto my time as a student at Huddersfield. Even from there did this begin! And not even the great Arctic Organist himself hath ought quite like unto Þe Olde School Tie Tradition of mine that hath so greatly influenced the making of my Yorkshire Viking Norway Blog!

Merry Christmas

Vestbygd Church

Vestbygd Church also gets filled for once!

Lødingen

Christmas Eve. Full church in Lødingen

I intended to write this post yesterday. We put a lot more into our services on Christmas Eve than we usually do. Yesterday we therefore supplemented them with extra musicians. However, being as I wrote in yesterday’s post completely knackered afterwards, it will have to be today.

That’s not a problem though. In Norway it is Christmas Eve that de facto has become the day; Christmas Day itself has been very much overshadowed by that. I am not sure I very much like this development. How much the festive masses who now fill our churches on the 24th December actually remember and still less listen to what is preached remains a moot question. Today, which should be the most important celebration is something of an anti-climax, with almost empty churches.

It's one time we tend to put a little "more" into the services.

It’s one time we tend to put a little “more” into the services. This is from Vestbygd Church.

Because of that and because having no family I don’t really bother with Christmas myself, I have a little more time to update the blog. I see I’m not alone. Arctic Organist has been doing the same. He has also linked to a very poignant Christmas letter from the Bishop of South Carolina. I recommend reading it.

In about half an hour, I shall be taking my telephone off by putting it into “plane mode” so that I can listen to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s undisturbed. Internet is an amazing thing. I am able to listen to the same broadcast that used to be a tradition for my family when I was growing up in Doncaster, England. As noted in my previous post, I too have my traditions.

VBCH

Playing for the Christmas service at Vestbygd Church.

As you can see from the pictures, I have a very special one of my own only on the 24th December and occasionally when we have concerts. The Adwick School tie is in excellent condition, and I wish to keep it that way (it is now completely irreplaceable since the school no longer exists) , so it really is a self-limiting thing that cannot be done too often.

Gallery

“You know you have to pay to sit up here”, I joke when people start coming to find place on the organ gallery in Lødingen Church

Tomorrow I shall be having my glass of port wine – another speciall tradition from my childhood. Then I shall have to start thinking about the New Year. The bishop will be coming to our parish at the end of January. So that means I must start trying to organise yet more musicians to add some extra seasoning to the services while he is with us.

Jørn

In Lødingen we had a trumpet solo for the Christmas service.

F.A.Q

Phew! I’m knackered! I’ve been at it all day, so I haven’t had time to read the stream of messages reminding me that I have suddenly aged yet another year on Facebook.

So thank you everyone. My post today will be a kind of F.A.Q. Don’t take it too seriously. After playing for one service at 11am, then driving 45 kilometers on very slippy roads to Vestbygd Church for another service at 2pm – and then when that was finished driving all the way back for the last Christmas service in Lødingen Church at 4pm, I’m feeling too tired to post anything more. For those who don’t regularly drive on ice, I can tell you this can be mentally draining in itself.

Anyhow, let’s get started….

Screen shot

A screen shot from my Facebook profile.

  1. Marni Turnill seeing this “selfie” post asks if the tie is the Adwick School tie. There are two answers to this. The first is that Adwick School doesn’t exist anymore, so it can’t be. That would however be a little disingenuous. The second is that you can apply the famous “duck test”. James Whitcomb Riley (October 7, 1849 – July 22, 1916) invented this. He said, “when I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.”….
  2. Ron Ketley (yes, from Adwick School, Marni) says that I seem to be…. ahem … a little “broader” than I used to be. I’m not sure that I know how to answer that one, except at the very least that I hope I am now less “narrow” minded.
  3. Anita J. Jones thank you very much…. BAH! Humbug!

Yorkshire Viking Norway wishes its readers a Merry Christmas!

The Same Procedure As Every Year…


Norwegians insist on watching this “Dinner for One” sketch on the 23rd December every single year.  However, they are not alone: I have German and Dutch friends who inform me that the same sketch appears regularly on their TV stations as well. If you actually do feel the overwhelming desire to watch this, press the play button above. I shan’t be joining you..

Such is the power of tradition that we do the most illogical things. Woe betide anyone who doth not understand this. I shall never forget the year I chose not only not to have the Norwegian hymn “Deilig er jorden” (“Lovely is the Earth”) when I planned a Christmas service, but not to place it in its obligatory place at the very end. No variation is possible, for this hath been handed down even from Jesus’ time…. That foolish mistake was back in 1995, and since I have come back to the same parish I can tell you that it was never forgotten! Needless to say, I have never repeated it either.

Other Traditions

It is easy to scoff at the unreasonableness of such a thing. Yet I have only to consider the way in which Mark Damazer, the newly appointed controller of BBC Radio 4 got rid of a certain long standing tradition in 2006 before I too start feeling “hot under the collar”…

As you know, I grew up in the United Kingdom, and through my childhood (and more importantly in þe goode olde dayes of Adwick!) I would listen to the opening of that station. All through my formative years Radio 4 would open up with Fritz Speigl’s “UK Theme”. Indeed, on Sunday mornings I would wake up extra early at six o’clock to hear this before cycling off to Woodlands All Saints’. This was in those halcyon days of Adwick School, when the service used to be at nine o’clock. I could have laid in for at least an hour too, but such is the power of tradition. Every time I now find myself dragged out of bed at some God forsaken hour of the morning to play for a school service before Christmas, I think about what I put my poor mother and father through then. There is justice in the world….

I was not the only one to like this tradition. When Mark Damazer decided to end opening the station with this theme every day, he quite rightly incurred the wrath of the public. It went all the way to parliament. Sadly, however, it wasn’t enough to save it. Although he has now left the radio station, the “UK Theme” is now history. I shall never forgive him. In my opinion, the only reason it had to go was so that Mr Damazer could prove that he was the man in charge.

My Tradition

So I have to be careful about condemning others for traditions. Indeed I have them myself. Every year, on Boxing Day, I take a glass of port wine. This is now my very special way of remembering my parents. The only times I have not done this have been when my job required me to drive on Boxing Day (in which case I took this traditional glass the day after). The reason I do this also cometh from þe ancient dayes of Advicium.

Home

Every year I toast my mum and dad on Boxing Day.

Here beginneth the story that my dear mother was so fond of that she spoke of it till her dying day. Unlike here in Norway, where there often seems to be a taboo about alcohol, I was brought up with the idea of wine every Sunday dinner. My father made it himself, with varying results (although in the end, I have to say he became quite adept at the art). My parents believed that it were better to introduce children to alcohol at an early age, so they would know how to use and enjoy it properly. They believed that denying it until it were suddenly “legal” was the reason that many young people then went completely mad, and got drunk on it. So from about ten, I was allowed a very little drop of wine when we had our Sunday lunches.

When I was about fourteen (I cannot actually swear that I were either fourteen or thirteen, but it was one of those years, and if the later these events took place in þe olden time of Adwick School, which maketh it far better), my parents decided that I could try some port wine on Boxing Day that year. I was told that I had to sip it, and not to drink it like pop. Needless to say…. that I did what I was told not to do, and then had to spend about three hours on the sofa because I was so dizzy! My silly behaviour was later the subject of much mirth, and my mother would relate this story from year to year thereafter.

Port Wine

Port – My Boxing Day Tradition!

I should perhaps state that I was not drunk, and neither have I ever been drunk (not then, nor later in my life). The amount of alcohol I was allowed was not very large. Neither did the experience scare me off port. Some years later, when Adwick went into decline (during my years at the former Polytechnic of Huddersfield, I should lament seeing the slovenly condition of our once proud uniform when returning home on visits) a certain nostalgia for those bygone times spawned this my own very special tradition. Later, when my father passed away in 2001, this became my way of remembering not just childhood – but the family I no longer have.

That then is the reason that every boxing day, I take a glass of port. Ideally, I like to watch something entertaining on the TV, but these days that is becoming increasingly unlikely with the ever greater amount of garbage one sees there. Nevertheless, I do now sip my port, and I toast to my mother and father each time I sit back to enjoy it every Boxing Day!

For those who can read Norwegian, I wrote about my tradition last year on the Sister Blog. You can find that post at http://www.cqd.nu/blog/2012/12/17/ebeneezer-scrooge-kom-du-attende-alt-er-tigjeve/

 

A Parallel World

Reality

Yorkshire Viking Norway – A Parallel World

None of you might have read this. My English blog was set for retirement just a year ago. I was already blogging in Norwegian.

Thanks to competition from Arctic Organist  I chose instead to redesign my oldest blog. That rebuild sat an indelible mark not just upon this, but also upon the newer Norwegian blog. A “duality” became central to the new twin blog design:  the two blogs are both separate, and yet joined.

Those of you who share my Adwick past will for example recognise the colour scheme. Perhaps for you it is somewhat backward looking; I however am proud to re-employ it as a badge of identity. Yet these associations mean nothing to my Norwegian readers. Because of the “duality” where the design of one blog shows up in the other, it is perfectly truthful to claim this colour scheme (in our context) as just an original blog design – and a highly original one at that, for which I have already received a lot of praise.

Conversely, those of us living over here will also see something straight away. This is likewise meaningless to you back there. Just as the blog has a set colour scheme, so it employs a set language code. I do not pretend to be doing anything less than cultivating certain forms of speech, often elevated for poetic reasons: the Norwegian twin is crafted not in the most commonly used form of Norwegian, but in the Nynorsk standard I learnt to love in my time at Arna (from 1998 to 2005). In that sense, that blog is also “backward” looking, though again I am proud to re-employ its language as a badge of my identity. In a much deeper sense this rubs off on this English blog, since there are close parallels between the Nynorsk way of thinking and English.

World

Another world looms over the town

Make no mistake, just as photography is not reality but an expression or an interpretation of reality, so is the blog you now are reading. I was one of you. Mine was a reality of towns and shopping. Yet over those shopping centres loomed God’s mountains of providence. They can for each of you as well.

Yorkshire Viking Norway is my parallel world, an interpretation of old and new, where both combine. My world is both yours and ours at the selfsame time!

City

Town and Mountain Meet