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20th Apr 2020

John in Lockdown (9)

Instalment 9

by Burns Team Writer

Coronavirus Lockdown April 18th 2020

This morning on Radio 2, I heard a song, ‘Climb Every Woman’. Eh? Actually it’s ‘I’m Every Woman’ by Chaka Khan. This is an example of a Mondegreen. What’s that, you may wonder. As with most things interesting or useful (?) there is a Scottish connection.

A mondegreen is a word or phrase that results from mishearing or misinterpreting a statement or song lyric. The term mondegreen was coined in 1954 by American writer Sylvia Wright after hearing the Scottish song The Bonny Earl o Moray.

“Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands o where hae ye been

They hae slain the Earl o Moray and hae laid him on the green

Ms Wright clearly was puzzled as to who Lady Mondegreen was and history was made.

Here’s another example:

‘The girl with colitis goes by’ (for ‘the girl with kaleidoscope eyes’ in ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ by the Beatles)

We probably have examples of our own: Here’s one of mine: ‘She’s a muscular boy’, for ‘She’s a must to avoid’ by Herman’s Hermits.

Her, for free is another new word.  It’s new to me anyway. Dactylography is the examination of fingerprints. I got that from Babylon Berlin, the crime serial set in 1930s Nazi Germany on Sky Atlantic.

I’ve been gardening. 

In theory I’m a keen gardener although to be honest about it I’ve done very little for years. I used to be keen but that was years ago and strictly vegetables, for the eating.  At the lockdown, our gardens at the office had to be abandoned as there were no community groups to attend to them.  Trays of seedlings were left drying out so I decided to plant them out.

Stay at home photos Canolfan John Burns

I’d like to say I enjoyed myself but I didn’t really.  Gardening is supposed to be a chance to unwind and commune with nature.  Neither worked for me so perhaps I need more practice.  Mine jew, I’ve got reservations about the getting back to nature.  Isn’t gardening more a fight against nature?

I need to expand on that last point.

When gardening, the first thing you have to do is get rid of the weeds.  Weeds are wild plants which you don’t like or want. If you leave the weeds most of them will eventually flower and provide food for insects and birds and so it goes.  I rarely cut my grass.  It looks untidy but see the photograph of my lawn below.

The primroses (and other “weeds”) are taking over.  They may end up inside my house.  I’ve got the best crop of dandelions in the village and the bees love it.  Perhaps the answer is permaculture or biodynamic farming.  Look them up if you’re interested.

Primroses taking over John Burns garden wild flowers on John Burns' lawn

My nephew Dylan gave me a present of a book which I haven’t read yet but will. It’s called “Rewilding” by Isabella Tree. Good name.

Coronavirus update.

The PPE Personal Protective Equipment debacle continues.  Most PPE, like coronavirus is coming from China.  But it appears there are lots of low profile British manufacturers capable of producing PPE.  They say they’ve offered but been ignored although there’s been quite a fanfare as fashion brand Barbour produces PPE.

Sunset over Ferryside

Photo Caption: Sunset over Ferryside where I live.

Stay safe,