Thursday, July 16, 2009

ragwort, name tabs, jay


Posted by Picasa Ragwort is in flower all over the place at the moment, at least on uncultivated land and land where livestock does not graze. This bold plant, seen in the mass, can be magnificent to behold "so bright and glaring that the very light of the rich sunshine doth to paleness turn". (John Clare). It is poisonous to horses and cattle, as one of its country names, "mare's fart", indicates. I was glad to see it growing in the area of the Grove, which they have left unmowed to encourage wild life. So far no horses or cattle graze there.
In the window of a drapery shop is an advertisement for made-to-order, traditional woven name tapes. Examples of the different styles of embroidered lettering are shown. The names, chosen to illustrate the styles, are: H G Wells, Florence Nightingale, Charles Dickens, D H Lawrence,Thomas Hardy, Samuel Becket and Oscar Wilde.
The pigeon, which I often see on the fence outside the bathroom window, looks different today. To my pleasure I realize that this morning I am looking at a jay, a bird which is not too common round here, while there are probably more pigeons than people.


7 comments:

Barrett Bonden said...

What sort of typeface would best help illustrate the qualities of Smauel Beckett? More important, can you imagine the Godot-meister using nametapes?

Plutarch said...

Interesting question. Beckett played cricket apparently with skill and enthusiasm. He attended Portara Royal School in Enniskellen,(the school Oscar Wilde attended), where he excelled as a left handed batsman and left arm medium paced bowler. It seems highly likely that there would have been a nametape on his blazer, since in those days people who played cricket might have been expected to arrive in the pavilion wearing one, to say nothing of all his other gear. One could construct an imaginary scene where Beckett plans Waiting for Godot, while waiting to go in to bat.

Lucy said...

I'd heard that he loved just reading cricket scores.

The literary and distinguished names on the Cash's name tapes - I assume they are still Cash's, very redolent of nostalgia, or rather that slight sinking feeling one had quite early in the summer holidays when retailers would balefully remind one of the crushing inevitability of 'back to school' - confirm once again the elevated and intellectual nature of the general tone of Tunbridge Wells!

Plutarch said...

In fact Wovena of Bodmin, Cornwall. The name tapes on my school clothes were always Cash's.

Barrett Bonden said...

Mine too were Cash's; a Gothic typeface was chosen without my consent.

Tunbridge Wells. Just as there is a purgatory which precedes Hell, it seems realistic to believe that that is a staging post, an ante-chamber, for those who are making the upward trip. TW may not provide this function but may be an earlier, discarded prototype before the laurels were given to Harrogate.

Plutarch said...

On a point of order, and for the sake of accuracy, the name tapes are displayed in a shop in Sevenoaks and not Tunbridge Wells.

BB Did you, as your wording implies, protest at the use of gothic script on your name tapes?

Lucy said...

I'm not too happy at all now with 'redolent of nostalgia', it seems a tautology. I'm afraid I would have loved Gothic script on my Cash's nametapes, I think I merely had a sober dark blue serifed majescule... we also had to embroider our intitials on our games sweaters in neat chain stitch. Bet you boys didn't have to do that!