October 2021



October

Reference books say that “in the old Roman calendars, October was the eighth month of the year and got its name from the word 'Octo' meaning eight. The Saxons called it Wyn Monath because it was the season of wine making. During October, the leaves begin to change colour, transforming England’s landscape into an array of autumn colours.”

Yawn.  Sounds a bit tedious to me.

But last month you recall we celebrated International Talk Like a Pirate Day [Connection warning 1]. Wikipedia tells me that “Captain Horatio Pugwash made his debut in a comic-strip format in the first issue of The Eagle in 1950, then appeared regularly as a strip in Radio Times. In 1957 the BBC commissioned a series of short cartoon films produced by Gordon Murray, starting in OCTOBER 1957. Between 1957 and 1966, Pugwash writer John Ryan produced a total of 58 five-minute-long episodes for the BBC, made in black-and-white”.

The original black and white episodes of Captain Pugwash used for their theme music a piece by accordionist Tom Edmondson, who had learned the tune from watching the well-known (to me) Jimmy Shand's band in Northumberland as a teenager. Edmondson's version was recorded in the front room of his home in Harbottle, Northumberland, on 12 July 1954 by folklorist Peter Kennedy as part of the BBC's 'Folk Music and Dialect Recording Scheme' and Edmondson was paid 30 shillings (£1.50) for his efforts. Now it so happens [Connection warning 2], that Harbottle has a direct connection with a much-loved member of St Andrews – who might that be (not me!)?

I suppose you might have expected me (you really ought to know better!) to write something about our new priest whose induction took place on 25th September. For reasons Covid we actually missed her pre-planned Collation (dictionary definition of collation, “a light meal permitted on fast days” – do they know how many scones were planned??) but we welcome Liz no less warmly,

Her arrival (together with Sam, Oscar and David) has been long anticipated and organised with growing excitement and maybe we all need to learn a lesson about expectations, plans, high hopes etc etc, and learn with the blessed Doris to say "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) and to give Liz and family a simple warm welcome embrace and freeze the scones for another day.

In the words of Captain Pugwash, “Suffering seagulls! Thank goodness you’re here at last!”

Have a scone (or two).

Colin Dixon




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