Archive for June, 2011

Crustacean crossings

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Things you never quite expect to see in suburban English cities: crayfish carefully picking their way across the road.

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The first photo feels like I should edit in some 5mm-tall people fleeing the monster.

Photography was suspended briefly for a car to drive over it. (Literally: the wheels passed several feet to each side) The driver couldn’t see what was in the road, but guessed we were photographing something small and fragile, and looked at us with a very guilty expression as she passed…

Restorative justice, sixteenth-century style

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

From the evening’s reading:

In 1547 Janet Bruce’s priest told her to go on to the High Street of Edinburgh, donate a wax candle to a chaplain, seek out Isobel Carrington, and say to her, in front of witnesses and in good Scots: ‘I grant here before three honest persons that I have fairly and wrangfully injurit and defamit you, sayand and allegand you are ane common bluidy whore. I knaw nothing but ye are ane honest woman and keeps guid pert to your husband.’
Janet was to say also to Isobel’s husband, Robert: ‘I failit far to you and your wife calling you ane cuckold, whilk I confess is nocht of verity for your wife is ane honest woman.’
For the sake of satisfaction on every side, Isobel was then to go to Janet and say: ‘Ye are ane honest woman, I never knew that ever ye swiffit with the auld official, and insofar as I rehearsed the samen I ask God forgiveance and you.’

Edinburgh: a history of the city, Michael Fry, 2009

Give or take the ‘swiffit’, not much change there in four hundred and sixty years.