Marking time in December 2012
Thanks to the on-line OED I now know that lucy is the name of a fish—the northern pike, Esox lucius. Wikipedia adds some more detail: In heraldry, the pike is called a lucy. It is usually blazoned either naiant (swimming), embowed (bowed) or hauriant (jumping), though pairs of lucies may appear addorsed (back to back)…
I was delighted to find a new meaning of the word sally. I’ll let Charles Dickens explain, as he describes a visit to St Saviour’s Church at Southwark (now Southwark Cathedral). He has just climbed the stone stairs up to the bell ringers’ room in the tower…
The ropes of the twelve bells pass through holes in the ceiling, and reach the floor. Under each is a little raised platform for the ringer to stand on, with a strap for his foot to help him in getting a good purchase and each rope half way up is covered by some four feet by a fluffy, woolly looking covering, technically called a “sally” and intended to afford a good hold to the ringer as he checks his bell in the pull down.—Charles Dickens, All the year round, 27 February 1869. [via].
A Christmas pudding for the lighthouse
Last year’s email Christmas card was received so well, I have done the same thing again—another wood engraving from the Illustrated London News, by the same artist, of a similar sentimental subject involving Christmas, a rowing boat, lighthouse keepers, and a pile-lighthouse.
The handsome young woman, manoeuvring the boat with her oars, is a striking figure in the picture. Is she meant to represent the caring feminine aspect (was it her idea to make a pudding to sustain the lonely light keepers through their Christmas vigil…)? Or is she the original Page Three fantasy?
A visit to Auckland
My interview on Radio New Zealand stirred the Auckland Council to ask me to come and talk about the experience of protecting the character of residential areas in Brisbane. Through the whole of Monday and half of Tuesday I had a queue of meetings and presentations. My visit made some ripples in the press—here is a selection:
The most supportive piece was a press release from the Character Coalition, an umbrella group of amenity societies, picked up by the on-line scoop.co.nz—‘Brisbane heritage expert champions Character Coalition ideas’.
The New Zealand Herald’s Brian Rudman was keen too—‘Heritage move a breath of fresh air’, but the paper’s editorial line was negative—‘City’s blanket ban on razing old homes a step too far’.
The Aucklander ran this story—‘Council eyes house demolition ban’.
At the other end of the country, the Otago Daily Times picked up the story—‘Council ponders house demolition plan’.
Update 10 December 2012: The Auckland Council has made an announcement—‘Fresh approach to protecting heritage’.