Sunday, October 21, 2007

wine glass, interest, interesting

This morning, in the twitton - the local name for the narrow path between the back gardens of houses in parallel roads- is a lone wine glass on top of a wheelie bin. It is half full of red wine, a rememberance, perhaps, of last night's rugby disappointment. Two sad balloons are tied at the twitton's entrance.

Is there an expression of interest as intense as that of a pigeon on the pavement, searching for crumbs, its head tilting to left and right, and its little eyes popping with eagerness?

As I pass a couple I know, who are sitting on a bench in the Grove, we exchange greetings. "It's really interesting sitting here, watching the world go by," says the wife. I say, "yes, isn't it!" But the husband makes a face and rolls his eyes.


Lucy said...

There are those that understand and those that don't!
Re 'twitton',it was a word my mother used from her childhood in Brighton, but growing up in Hertfordshire we used the more prevalent 'snicket'. Apparently words for small urban footways between houses are still very locally variable, and of interest to those who study dialects!

Unknown said...

I realise that I did not spell the word correctly. The Oxford English Dictionary says "twitten". But you are spot on Lucy. It calls it a Sussex dialect word, and specifically mentions Brighton. This quote from a local newspaper is given: "Having traced a series of twittens, they issued forth into West Street". An alternative spelling is "twitting". The Oxford Dictionary also has "snicket", which it refers to as a northern dialect word.