Thursday, 28 July 2016

Bran Tub # 1 … Usain Bolt, Wallenstein, Hapsburgs et al …



Yes, you never will know what is going to pop up next – another type of series … short and sweet perhaps?!  (Must remember this sentence!) …
'miles ahead'


I spotted that Usain had been to Waldensia Primary School in the Caribbean – strange name for a school in (what was British) Jamaica … and where had I heard that name before?


Waldensia's pupils singing their Olympic Dream song


In case you’re checking those little cells, it’s that man: the Usain Bolt – regarded as the fastest man ever timed – that Usain … or bolting Bolt at all running championships – Olympics et al …




Wracking my brains … but during my sojourn without the internet I had been reading “A Time of Gifts” by Patrick Leigh Fermor … I really needed the internet to reference so many words and places …


… the book has an amazing array of words that are no longer in general use, but obviously were a hundred years ago … Fermor’s book takes us along with him, aged 18 (1933), on a journey from England and London in the 1920s and 1930s to Istanbul …


The places he visited along his route (to the Czech - Hungarian border)
 are all marked - he wandered off up to Prague ...
... the only major deviation from the river route

… starting at Rotterdam … I have only read the first book … up to where he reaches Hungary … oh! by the way he walked, and had very little money but carried and wrote a diary en route ... 


He follows the Rhine upstream … and generally wherever he finds solace he stays for the night.  He has a great background of knowledge … architecture, art, genealogy, quirks of history and language … he passes these thoughts on – just my type!


A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor
It is fascinating as a book, amazing story … and then the history of 500 or more years … we’ve been studying the Reformation period for history in our University of the Third Age class – and have covered many aspects of this period … the Hapsburgs, Luther, Calvin, Knox, geography, etc, etc ...



Then the names of things – each country often names its rivers, forests, area etc with its own name … ie. Vltava and the Moldau (Czech and German names for ‘their’ river) …




Waldenstein Palace entrance

I have digressed from Usain Bolt and Waldensia School … in Fermor’s book he mentioned General Wallenstein (1583 – 1634), or von Waldstein, as a military leader in the 30 year war, and politician in the services of the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II … hence I was able to draw a link … well to my memory if nothing else!


The Waldstein Palace (Valdstejn Castle) was owned by the Wallenstein family, despite falling into disrepair … but as the ravages of Europe through the centuries occurred – the Waldsteins became Germanized, expelled from Czechoslovakia and their possessions seized, moved to Salzburg and Vienna – where some remain, but others returned to Bohemia.


Vltava River running through Prague
Bohemia will get a mention during August … another connection from Fermor’s book …


But with Usain St. Leo Bolt just about to go to the Rio Olympics having easily won the 200m at the Anniversary Games here in London – celebrating the London Olympics 2012 … I had to mention Waldensia – and that connect the dots link


'Lightning Bolt stand'

Also St Leo – I wonder if the St is pronounced Sinjun … as we do here for St in a name … then that linked to hilarity … we know who that belongs to?!


I popped off to look this aspect up … and found this in Behind the Name forum:   

“Now I mention just for hilarity's sake, if you've ever seen "A View To A Kill," one of James Bond's aliases is 'St. John Smith.' When someone calls him [SAYNT-jon SMITH] he corrects with the riotously English pronunciation [Sin-jin SMYTHE].”


Wonders will never cease … well that’s me and the first Bran Tub posting … allowing me to lucky dip ideas together …


My Bran Tub idea – hasn’t shortened this post … but looks like the lucky dip concept will continue on …


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

59 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If there's a historical connection, you always find it!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have the freedom to walk and write? Knowing me, though, as with photo-taking, I'd forget to record the events!

Brian Miller said...

ha. nice bond reference there.
maybe usain bolt will be the new bond,
bringing this full circle.

this is about like 6 degrees of seperation
finding the links between things.

Ann Best said...

I read this intently, absolutely fascinated. Looked up places on the map. I'm woeful with geography and at my age it's step by step with new things...wish I had younger studied history. LOVE your pun "Just for hilarity's sake" :) Your bran tub idea (Lucky Dip photo) is wonderful.

Deborah Weber said...

You never cease to amaze me Hilary - you have the gift of connecting things in the most incredible ways AND managing to fill my brain with all sorts of new information and facts. I always come away feeling like I've won a very Lucky Dip indeed.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Alex - it does seem to be my connecting force ... and just interests me ...

@ Annalisa - oh yes ... but he had his diary stolen, and lost his notes ... then I see in the second or third part - they found his diary a few decades later ... and he used it to base some of his memories from ...

Photos - they can take time to take ... but add to the story line ...

@ Brian - yes I couldn't resist adding that Forum snippet in - now that would be interesting to have Bolt as Bond - he has the charisma ... he could run from his enemies?!

6 degrees of separation is always interesting to think about - I seem to find these dots rather more easily than many ... still it's fun ...

@ Ann - thanks so much for reading intently and then for looking up places on the map - I'm pretty good with geography - til we hit the historical elements and I've lost the plot re Dukedoms etc ...

I had no knowledge when I started blogging ... but am amazed at how much I appear to know - so you looking things up will just increase and add to your knowledge ...

Thanks re the pun bit ... just such a great find - and the Bran Tub concept ...

@ Debbie - thanks so much ... I do seem to connect things that few others would - but enjoy letting others know via the blog - I'm just glad you and others seem to enjoy reading and being here ...

Thanks to you all for endorsing the Bran Tub idea ... cheers Hilary

M. Denise C. said...

Lovely post, Hilary. Especially having just been to Prague. Thank you.

Rhodesia said...

Fascinating post and yes very interesting as ever.

Sorry have not been keeping up, what with a month's holiday, and taking too many photos..... Also been redecorating the house in a rush while the radiators are all away being sandblasted and repainted. I hand rubbed them all down 10 years ago and had no intentions of trying that trick again! At least there was two of us on the job this time round. Take care Diane

Paula Kaye said...

Sounds like a fascinating book. I am very intrigued by the 'fastest man alive'

Terra Hangen said...

This is a fun post. My husband and I both admire Fermor Smith, and haven't read the book you mention. I have a special interest in Istanbul (went to college there my junior year) and will find a copy of the book.

bazza said...

Shurely James Bond's pronunciation would have been Shcottish!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Terra Hangen said...

Oops on me, I meant Patrick Leigh Fermor. I always have trouble remembering his name. I think Smith sneaked in from your James Bond reference.

Inger said...

This certainly was a free-flowing post that lost me along the way, but gave a good insight into your marvellous mind. I have placed the books on my wishlist with Amazon.

Out on the prairie said...

Quite a trek to partake in, a noble read

A Heron's View said...

Well, here we go, for I am going to throw one into the pot. That name
USIAN looks to me very much like the phonetic of the Irish first name
Oisín and pronounced as Osheen.

Elephant's Child said...

How I love your potpourri posts. Patrick Lee Fermour was, like so many notable figures, a friend of the Mitford family. And a stunning writer too.

Jo said...

Oh, I remember the Mitford Family as mentioned by Elephant's Child. Many, many years ago I went to a Dickens celebration in Satis House, Rochester, and Nancy Mitford read passages from Dickens. Sounds like he was a pretty interesting man, Mr. Fermor. Glad you found your connection with Waldensia. I wonder where the name actually came from in Jamaica though?

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! said...

Hi human, Hilary,

“A Time of Gifts” by Patrick Leigh Fermor, does seem like a good read. Pawhaps the sort of book I should read to my human dad, Gary.

I'm keeping this comment mercifully brief, what with it being almost two in the morning. That's must Bolt out of here.

Cheers and arf!

Pawsitive wishes,

Penny!

D.G. Hudson said...

I love the history you dig up, Hilary. I had never heard of that pronunciation for Saint.I always learn something here. . .on your blog! Hope you're settled in to the new place.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Denise – that’s great … the post has reminded you of Prague – I was there in the ‘behind the Iron Curtain’ days, when it wasn’t so welcoming (1974).

@ Diane – I know you’re up to your eyes in things – how fantastic having the radiators sandblasted and repainted … I agree – get someone else to do that dusty and intricate job. Still it is good to see you called in – thanks.

@ Paula – the book is a very good read – but you need your wits about you … and Bolt – we shall see how he does down in Rio …

@ Terra – that’s great to see you haven’t read this particular book – I’ve just ordered the last two … but how fascinating to hear about your college year in Istanbul – perhaps you’ll tell us about it sometime. No worry re the mix of names – adding James Bond into the mix with ‘sinjun’ can’t have helped!

@ Bazza – it probably was – James Bond Schottish it shurely would have been …

@ Inger – I’m just glad – despite my free flow … you’ve put the books onto your wish list at Amazon – try the first one …

… I’m fairly certain Gustavus Adolphus is mentioned … there was a lot of history and the Swedish Empire as one of the great European Powers in the 17th and 18th centuries – which were brought into Leigh Fermor’s mix of writing.

@ Steve – I think they just did that sort of thing in those days … it is an extremely interesting read.

@ Mel – that’s fantastic to have more input – I’m happy! I do wonder so often where people get their names from … and you could so easily be right … Oisin (pronounced as Osheen) giving us Usain … though I say his name without the ‘sh’ bit!

@ EC – thanks so much … I’d sort of noted Leigh Fermor’s family connections in educated circles … but hadn’t absorbed the Mitford family connection. Certainly his writing is fascinating …

@ Jo – the Duchess of Devonshire was the last Mitford of the sisters … she died in 2014 … but I’m sure the Mitford name will live on.

Waldensia – I’m guessing the name came in via the Catholic or Protestant missionaries – who would have travelled with the Spanish* when they conquered Jamaica at the start of the 1500s, then the British from the mid 15th century …

… *noting the Hapsburg Empire covered and included northern Europe.

@ Penny – good to see you and Gary … it is a very good read – and may well fascinate you … then you can have discussions about various aspects mentioned?! Nice to see you though …

@ DG – I know my history is a right mix isn’t it … I was quite glad to post that snippet on ‘sinjun’ … and saint. I’m settling in very slowly …

Thanks so much for coming by all of you and adding to the mix of extra information – and priming me to clarify or add a few snippets – cheers … we have some cloudy weather here and a cooler weekend ahead … take care - Hilary

Bob Scotney said...

An inspirational post indeed.

Suzanne Furness said...

Loved dipping into your bran tub Hilary and plucking out a prize! Your book reading has led you on another fascinating journey in history and geography.
Only a week to Rio now.

Deborah Barker said...

Hoping you are enjoying the summer Hilary. After a hectic couple of months (daughter's wedding, mother's flooded living room and insurance claims, a holiday in Portugal (wonderful) and various crises with the children and grandchildren, I am ready for a rest and am back to blog country. One of my distant relatives was a St John (Sinjun) Stevens - that English pronunciation always fascinated me! :-)

Gattina said...

This book must be very interesting ! I love all books which contains history !

Elsie Amata said...

Variety - the spice of life!

You mentioned castles...one of my favorite things to do while I lived overseas was to tour them! Such fun!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Bolt - his last name really fits him, doesn't it?

Diana Wilder said...

Hilary, your posts always have me eyeing my bookshelf and saying 'Hmmm... There is room on my shelf for that one!

Off to browse... (and enjoy your weekend!)

Joanne said...

usain bolts to the Olympics and you get us on a roundabout journey. Your historical connections are fascinating and when you tie it up at the end, there's not a nut left over. Excellent

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

It's fascinating how things come together. You've got me interesting in the book too.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

It seems to me that you had a verrrrry good time writing this post, because it was a lot of fun to read. I love the bits of humor here and there, as well as the clever ways you tied everything together.

Are you taking a college history course now? If so, YAY for you!

Cheers! Have a super weekend.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Bob – something clicked that’s for sure ...

@ Suzanne – thanks so much … yes that book certainly sent me off and round many thoughts – re history and geography … I do so enjoy the Olympics – just wished they didn’t come around quite so quickly …?!

@ Debbie – good to see you – how lovely to have the wedding, the flooded living room not so good – the holiday in Portugal sounds good, crises also not so good – but they all make the world go round … I’ll be over to see your latest escapades …

I know our pronunciation keeps amazing me … Cholmondeley (Chumley) and Saint (Sinjun) … thankfully I don’t need to learn English!

@ Gattina – the book is a great read …

@ Elsie – variety that is for sure: if you visit this blog. Castles are fantastic – did you see my A-Z posts on them in 2012 (4 years ago … )?

@ Diane – yes you’re right I should have mentioned bolting – it certainly fits him …

@ Diana – delighted if my thoughts on books resonate – I keep emptying my shelves ... only to have them fill up again! That’s good … the book is excellent …

@ Joanne – I’m afraid my mind seems to work that way – thank goodness I can get my posts out into the blog! Just delighted everyone seems to enjoy them …

@ Holly – thanks … I enjoy all the links (as you’ll have gathered) – that’s great … if you get the book … enjoy …

@ Susan – many thanks … it was amusing to write – as I always slightly worry about others getting my gist and take on life – thankfully many of you do … and I do like to tie everything up …

The U3A is a charity for us elderlies … it’s around the world – groups in various towns – we have three here in Eastbourne … but with a variety of courses … we have 40+ courses in our section. I learn as I give talks for the Social History and History groups, and write articles for the newsletter … but I am a member of the geology group too … so no exams!

Cheers to you all and enjoy your weekends … Hilary

Vallypee said...

What an interesting story! Of course I picked up in Rotterdam, but I liked that idea 'wherever he found solace, he stayed the night'. I've not heard of Usain Bolt. Forgive my ignorance, but I'm guessing he's someone important in the sporty scheme of things. I'll have to look him up! Now to Google!

TexWisGirl said...

sin-jin - hadn't heard it expressed that way.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

That was such an interesting path to follow. And amazing how you put it all together.

Denise Covey said...

Love what turns up in your Brain Tub. I wonder how Usain Bolt will go in Rio? All those expectations on your back...::-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Val - yes I wondered if you'd have a chance to come by ... it's a fascinating book - and you'd know loads of the places.

Usain Bolt - I expect you've found out about him by now - still probably won't mean much ... but I've always loved sport - not boating!

@ Theresa - I thought the Saint thing would amuse readers ...and it obviously has ...

@ Susan - many thanks ... it's easy - sadly it's the way my brain works ...

@ Denise - my Bran Tub is full to overflowing - some of these things need to be pulled out.

He did well in London last week at the 200m ... so he at least seems to be without niggles or injuries - he was relaxed about it all ... so we'll see

Thanks so much - enjoy the weekend .. cheers Hilary

Kathleen Valentine said...

You made me remember something from long ago when you mentioned 'St. John Smith.' When I was girl I was in love with JANE EYRE and read it so many times! Of course, the young man who rescues her when she runs away from Rochester is named St. John and, being a good Catholic girl, I pronounced it "saint." When I finally saw the movie and heard the correct pronunciation, I was flabbergasted!

cleemckenzie said...

Your mention of Fermor's book and his on foot odyssey makes me want to grab a blank journal and set out into the world. And all of those beautiful, historical connections! Makes my mouth water. It makes me think about a book I'm ordering called From Silk to Silicon. I heard the author speak and was very impressed by his scholarship to create this book. I love history and I love the perspective it gives me.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Love how your mind works, Hilary. I knew you'd figure it out. I also love the connection because Hilary and Hilarity. Your lest for knowledge is inspiring and not at all hilarity.

DMS said...

I love seeing how you connect the dots and I truly never know what gems I will pick up on your blog. :)

So sorry my blog is giving you such trouble with commenting. :( Boo! I have had trouble on other blogs and one thing I have done is after I write the comment I click preview instead of publish. Then I click publish when the preview view comes up. Not sure if that will help- but otherwise you can do what you did and comment on another post with your comment. :) I am hoping the blog will start cooperating and I really appreciate your efforts! Thanks!
~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Kathleen - I probably read it as Saint - when I read Jane Eyre ... I 'gathered' names as I grew older and heard the pronunciations - or got ticked off as I said something in the wrong way! I can quite believe you were flabbergasted! thanks for your story ...

@ Lee - I have to say I did too - wouldn't it be wonderful to have the stamina and the wit to set out on foot - not (sadly) a good choice today. Thanks for the nod to "From Silk to Silicon" - it's on my wish list ... and sounds really fascinating. I too am growing in my knowledge of history ... and love learning more.

@ Joylene - thanks ... the hilarity and Hilary - I had to include - such a serendipitous find. I do enjoy connecting those dots or waiting for the piece of knowledge to fall into place.

@ Jess - thanks .. I did try your route - and then of course it works easily next time - I must just remember to keep a copy and then keep trying - strange minor challenge with blogger ... I logged out too ... c'est la vie! But we are connected!

So good that you enjoyed the post ...

Cheers to you all - and am so happy you enjoyed my funny mind and my dots of connection ... Hilary

Juliet Batten said...

Hilary, your post is a good reminder that books are loaded with information too. You being a kind of Sherlock Holmes when it comes to follow a clue, will always ferret out what you want, internet or not.

Nilanjana Bose said...

That book sounds totally fascinating! Thanks for the glimpses...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Juliet - yes some books definitely end up with markers all over the place to different links and ideas. You're right too - I do like to look things up and find out what I need to know ...

@ Nila - the book is well worth a read and then a keep!

I'm happy you both enjoyed the look in ... thanks for commenting - cheers Hilary

Robyn Campbell said...

The fastest man alive astounds me. WOW. And I must read A Time of Gifts. It sounds wonderful. That man is fantastic. Walking these great distances. Love, love the picture of you and your Lucky Dip. :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Robyn - so good to see you ... I know things have been happening - but it's good to see you around. The book is extraordinary ... a walk across history - my bran tub - wish I was that young again! No perhaps not! Cheers Hilary

Mark Noce said...

Wow, I never would've made those connections - how fascinating! :)

Romance Reader said...

Hiya Hilary!

An interesting and fascinating post as usual. One I enjoyed reading! Thanks!

LD Masterson said...

Fascinating. And you triggered a thought...remember when we didn't have the Internet and we used reference books to check reference in other books. Took forever to read anything.

Silvia Villalobos said...

Lovely, the historical connection. Hilary.
My husband is a huge track and field fan, so we watch/watched Bolt's races whenever possible. I don't really know if he's still running, or if he retired, but remember watching him a lot. Just amazing speed and discipline.

Karen Lange said...

Fascinating info, Hilary! It's always interesting to see those dots connect, isn't it? It is indeed a wonderful and amazing world. Have a great week!:)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mark - nor would I probably ... but for the fact that I'd just read the book and we'd been studying the Hapsburgs ... fun to do though ...

@ Nas - thanks .. good to see you ..

@ LD - absolutely ... and you're right there's no ways I could have done this if we didn't have the internet ... I might have the books-but the space to spread them out and check the references ... nope - I need the internet and the books ...

@ Silvia - thanks so much. Bolt is still racing - he was having a warm-up practise in London, on the anniversary of the London Olympics 4 years ago, I hope he wins in Rio ... but it will be interesting - he is very disciplined, but willing to give back ... he's funded lots in Jamaica to help the schools etc ...

@ Karen - yes ... so many links can be made with unlikely tie-ins ... couldn't resist this one ...

Thanks so much - it's been fun ... cheers Hilary

Lynn said...

That does sound like a fascinating book! And I love that you made that connection. I'm looking forward to the Olympics.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lynn - the book is a very good read and there's so many more connections coming out of the book! Me too ... I shall enjoy the Olympics ... cheers Hilary

T. Powell Coltrin said...

You are one of the bloggers that I miss the most when I don't get to visit blogs. Love your content, as always. A taste of your world with historic value. LOVE it.

Teresa

Crystal Collier said...

The history... Absolutely love it. Slogging through books from other ages can be such a difficult trek, but the insight we get into another time? Truly fascinating.

Murees Dupé said...

Walking that far and keeping a diary takes some serious commitment. That is amazing. Awesome of you to make that connection. You are wonderful, Hilary. Take care.

M Pax said...

Sounds like a great book. I love old books. I just read a book about Istanbul. Last Train to Istanbul, I think it was.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Teresa - thank you so much - wonderful comment. Yes ... there's always extra around here. Just so happy that you 'love' it!

@ Crystal - another lover of history ... this was a fascinating book and I've just got the second - also wonderful by the look of it. I am learning so much though - but will probably re-read the first one ... as I can now check in with the internet to look up things.

@ Murees - writing was what he loved and recording, or noting things as he went ... and he always aimed for the libraries in the big houses he visited to see what he could find. He was always looking ...

@ Mary - the second one's come and so I'd recommend both. But your Last Train to Istanbul - must be a fascinating read ... I've added that to my Wish List ...

Thanks so much - the Leigh Fermor books have really resonated with me .. and it's wonderful to see many of you with a similar interest ... cheers Hilary