Tuesday, August 14, 2007

word trail, false autumn, crows

Much as I love reading French, I am not a good or natural linguist. I get into tangles and follow strange dictionary trails. This morning I encounter the French word mousson. I confuse it with moisson, harvest. So what does mousson mean? Monsoon. This leads me somehow to recall the word mousse, moss , froth, foam, and so the familiar (in English,) mousse as in chocolate mousse. I end up reassuring myself about moite, meaning sticky, damp; and finally, just to make sure, moitiƩ, meaning half - the end of a curious trail.

People are complaining again that the weather - we're not yet half way through August - is autumnal. Today the autumnal effect is enhanced by what looks like drifts of dead leaves in the Pantiles, but they are not leaves, rather the dry and sear, winged seeds of the lime trees, which form a walk at one end. At one point a street cleaner has swept them into a small heap for removal.

Four crows waddle on the grass in the Grove, in today's rain, almost without people; they peck at the sodden earth.

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