The Year of Words: Day 361 - The fifth day of Christmas

Just four days remaining until the conclusion of the year of words challenge.

An example of the waggy finger

Yesterday, I found myself subject to a chiding, a telling-off and a reprimand from an occasional contributor who deployed the waggy finger in my direction.

"Why?" I hear you ask

Simply because I forgot to mention that yesterday was the suprapropreantepenultimate post within the year of words.

Luckily, I have the perfect word for yesterdays outburst. I find I was subject to a forceful pusseyvan. I do hope the same doesn't befall you today.

To avoid a further pusseyvqn, the fifth day of Christmas is (for those who need to know the word for fifth from last) the propreantipenultimate, so enjoy them while they last.

Thomas (a) Becket (1119-1170)

Just as the second day of Christmas is a feast day for St Stephen. (The day good King Wenceslas did his looking out) so is the fifth day.

Since the thirteenth century it has been the feast of Saint Thomas (Becket Arch Bishop of Canterbury under King Henry II).

He was killed this day in 1170 by four knights of King Henry at the altar of Canterbury Cathedral. This was seen by the church as their Arch-Bishop being martyred while standing up to Henry to prevent the powers of the Church being weakened.

Since the early 1200s Saint Thomas Becket's feast day has been marked on the anniversary of his death. Although the Anglican church isn't quite as hot on saint's days, it too marks Becket (a saint in both Catholic and Anglican eyes) on the same day and with a service in the cathedral where the murder took place. 841 years ago today.

An interesting aside is the name of the Saint, known as both Thomas Becket and more commonly Thomas a Becket. The Franglaise addition of the a was originally thought to be a form of name descendant. These are common elsewhere in names such as Magnusson (son of Magnus) or Ericsson (son of Eric). However, scholars recently concluded it was little more than façade so either is now considered acceptable.

In other news we have some vivid and much needed Yuletide colour at the Acreage with a rather seasonal deep red Amaryllis bursting into flower.

Though the variety is black pearl, the colour is more of a deep burgundy red. The initial stem produced four flowers; The more observant will notice that the bulb has produced two flowering stems so there appear to be more yet to come.

I'm not certain why this one flew out of the blocks so quickly. There are three other amaryllis bulbs following on, so January looks like being a colourful month.

Around the World in 80 days - (2021 Television Version)

At the time of writing we're trying the latest television version of Around the World in 80 Days.

I loved the book but though I'm giving the first couple of episodes a fair crack, this version is somewhat problematic for me (other opinions are available).

It's been gender balanced by the introduction of a new female character and the loss of jeopardy from a trailing inspector. The casting has also been made more balanced in terms of ethnicity.

Several new story lines such as an attempted assassination of the French President in Paris and driving a train over a viaduct with unsupported rails have been introduced. In addition the introduction of a love interest between Passepartout and the new addition Amelia Fix brings a new dynamic and changes that between Fogg and Passepartout. This jury is out on the idea.

More importantly, the laws of physics appear to have been overlooked with a hot air balloon without any burners and therefore no hot air. High Edwardian dress is widespread in the mid-Victorian era and the props are replete with items that had yet to be invented.

For me these changes to cater for modern sensitivities, change both the dynamic of the characters and the feel of the book. At best it could be described as inspired by Around the World in 80 days. I did wonder what the whirring noise was around 10 minutes ago. I think it may have been Jules Verne rotating at speed. He's probably having a pusseyvan now I thing about it.


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