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Ireland

Ireland

Monday, 09 January 2012
Dim and dimmer

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According to the “advertisement-rich” Dictionary.Reference.Com website the word Dim has a number of meanings:

adjective, dim-mer, dim-mest

  • not bright; obscure from lack of light or emitted light: a dimroom; a dim flashlight.
  • not seen clearly or in detail; indistinct: a dim object in thedistance.
  • not clear to the mind; vague: a dim idea.
  • not brilliant; dull in luster: a dim color.
  • not clear or distinct to the senses; faint: a dim sound.
  • not seeing clearly: eyes dim with tears.
  • tending to be unfavorable; not likely to happen, succeed, befavorable, etc.: a dim chance of winning.
  • not understanding clearly..
  • rather stupid; dim-witted.
  • verb, dimmed, dim·ming.
verb, dimmed, dim·ming (used with object).
  • to make dim or dimmer.
  • to switch (the headlights of a vehicle) from the high to the low beam.
verb (used without object)
  • to become or grow dim or dimmer.
Verb phrase
  • dim out, (in wartime) to reduce the night illumination of (a city, ship, etc.) to make it less visible from the air or sea, as a protection from enemy aircraft or ships.
Idiom
  • take a dim view of, to regard with disapproval, skepticism, or dismay: Her mother takes a dim view of her choice of friends.

The word comes to Modern English from Old English, which in turn inherited it from the Old Norse dimmr (dark).  According to Edenics the words dim and dumb share a common and ancient root. They highlight that in Russian smoke is dim; in Turkish it is duman.

Note: I took the photograph of the building looming over the lamp post in Dublin last year.

Posted by bigblue on 09/01/2012 at 07:17 AM
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Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Dublin street

Dublin Street

A wet street last week ...

Posted by bigblue on 27/12/2011 at 09:06 AM
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Wednesday, 21 December 2011
Loch Chinneidge

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At the start of the walk.

Posted by bigblue on 21/12/2011 at 03:05 PM
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Two Father Christmases

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At Occupy Dublin yesterday morning.

Posted by bigblue on 21/12/2011 at 10:03 AM
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Thursday, 22 September 2011
The Seaside Town

Oh how I didn’t wish I was not here.

Posted by bigblue on 22/09/2011 at 09:40 PM
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Sunday, 18 September 2011
The Grave

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The “final resting place” of WB Yeats and his wife George in Drumcliffe, County Sligo, Ireland.  Her full name was Bertha Georgie Hyde-Lees, but according to Brenda Maddox (writing in The Guardian) within one year of their marriage:

Yeats renamed her “George”, explaining that “Georgie” was intolerable. A more likely reason is that he wanted a solid rhyme for “forge”, when, in 1918, he wrote: “I, the poet William Yeats/ With old mill boards and sea-green slates/ And smithy work from the Gort forge/ Restored this tower for my wife George”.

Well Brenda, I am no expert on Yeats but I really find it more plausible that he found the diminutive Georgie insufferable than that he wanted his wife’s name to rhyme with the word forge.

Yeats died in France on 28 January 1939, and a year later his body was moved to Sligo where it was reburied.  The epitaph on his grave is taken from the last lines of his poem “Under Ben Bulben”, one of his final poems:

  Cast a cold Eye
  On Life, on Death.
  Horseman, pass by!

Posted by bigblue on 18/09/2011 at 08:00 AM
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Saturday, 17 September 2011
Coco sign

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A few strange things struck me about this sign:

  1. Surely the phrase “no illegal dumping”, implies that legal dumping is allowed? I wonder what legal dumping entails.
  2. I assume (from the context) that “Co. Co.” is an abbreviation for “County Council” but I am not familiar with this abbreviation.
  3. The capitalisation of the (transitive verb?) “Dumping”, which I don’t associate with the English language.
Posted by bigblue on 17/09/2011 at 08:44 AM
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Thursday, 15 September 2011
Listoghil

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Listoghil (also known as “tomb 51”) at Carrowmore is situated at the highest point in the Carrowmore complex, about 50m above sea level. It is surrounded by a cluster of ‘dolmen circles’. Unlike these uncovered chambers however the central monument had a cairn or covering mound of stones. It is also much bigger than the satellite tombs, being about 34 metres in diameter, whereas the satellites average about 15m. (Queen Maeve’s tomb close by, on Knocknarea, by contrast has a cairn twice the diameter, and stands at about 10 metres).  There is a good description of Listoghil at the Standing Stone who also comment on the redevelopment/restoration of the cairn, thus:

In 2003 the tomb was restored somewhat controversially. There was debate as to how to restore the tomb if at all. It was in bad repair and something had to be done. It was decided to replace the cairn but not to the extent that it would cover the tomb. Rather the cairn has been built up (I’m not sure if the farm walls built from the cairn material were deconstructed for this or not) with a large central area left clear so the tomb can be accessed. To do this, stones are held back by a very ugly wire mesh. The effect is that you really feel part of a modern garden structure rather than in an ancient tomb of some significance. At least the plans to cover the tomb with a concrete dome were scrapped. It is amazing to me that we take our best antiquities in Ireland and rebuild them with so little concern for their original appearance (just as at Newgrange). While this is the most important tomb at Carrowmore it is the least interesting to me having been butchered by poor restoration attempts.

The description is accurate, but on the positive side the appearance will improve with time, and the reconstruction allows one to enter the cairn via a passage which provides one with a strong sense of the scale of the monument.

Human bones found in Listoghil were a mixture of cremated, and un-cremated bones whereas the older, smaller tombs around it generally contain burnt bones. The older burial sites in Ireland such as those in Carrowmore are the only ones in Europe that have been found to have practiced cremation rather than inhumation.

Posted by bigblue on 15/09/2011 at 08:08 AM
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