Sunday 19 February 2012

Bridging the divide

I think you all deserve a little time off for good behaviour, so there will be a short interlude before Part 3 of the wind turbine debate. Our Lass and I have just spent the weekend visiting First Born and her boyfriend in Lancashire, who have moved into their new home since our previous trip.

We spent Saturday afternoon walking along the Rochdale Canal in the teeth of a chilly north wind and the occasional rain squall, but Sunday morning dawned clear and bright, with blue skies and hardly a breeze.

We drove over to nearby Hebden Bridge, a small market town in the Calder Valley, as my interest had been tickled, and my ire irked, following a recent article on the BBC News website. You may be thinking "Ire? I didn't think I&T was so stuffy as to mind about such things." And you'd be right, for this hasn't anything to do with sexuality, it's to do with the use of the phrase 'lesbian people'. Now, despite what one of my work colleagues cheekily asserts, these won't be gentlemen, will they? Pretty unlikely, I reckon. Which kind of narrows the field down a bit, so why the need for the word 'people'? Rarely has pedantry steered me towards the bold at the rainbow's end.

However, much more interestingly, the bohemian culture described in the article brought to mind a certain fictional town in Alaska, the Cicely of Northern Exposure fame. This 1990s TV programme is a firm favourite at Tense Towers, so we couldn't resist a visit to a place that seemed to share its genetic make-up and joie de vivre.

And we weren't disappointed. Hebden Bridge is a charming town where a multitude of communities come together. Whether it's the outdoorsy brigade hiking through the Pennines, the barges navigating the Rochdale Canal, the cafe culture of a Fair Trade town, or the vibrant alternative movement, it's all there and working together for the good of the area.

I mistakenly thought this was a training school for chimney sweeps.
A proper cinema! Films advertised were Tin Tin and The Iron Lady. It must be Metal Night.
Bubbles issuing from an upper window of the Yorkshire Soap Company
'Quod petis umbra est' - What thou seekest is a shadow
And I can't leave you without an honourable mention for pun of the weekend. The homeware and lifestyle shop, Home...Oh! And charming guys they were, too.


Tales of a Bank Vole said...

Ouch! I think you may just have prodded a slumbering Bank Vole with a pointy stick.

Now, let me just say right from the start, I too, really do not care, when it comes to consenting adults, who does what to who, with what, in the privacy of their own homes (or in the case of MPs, their second or third, state sponsored, rented to/from relatives homes).

But, when it comes to pedantry (as a fully certified member of Pedants UK for English)regarding the abuse of what use to be the mother tongue, I really must put in my four penn'orth (1.66666p).

Having followed your excellent link to the aforementioned "article" I think the line which has irked your ire is the one refering to "gay and lesbian people".

Now when I went to school (yes, I did) this could well have refered to a group of people from lesbia who are also joyous,carefree, happy and/or of colourful and lively disposition.

However, since the redefining of the word gay, we are now informed by the OED that it refers primarily to gentlemen who prefer their blondes to be blokes - but can also include, in a wider sense - those ladies with an eye for the sensible shoe.

I think it only charitable in this case, therefore, to give the benefit of the doubt to the "article" and assume that by gays and lesbians they mean both boys and girls which reluctantly I have to agree are people.

As a fair and impartial judge, jury and executioner (who still thinks you gave him your cold)I must, therefore, find you guilty of gross pedantry in a built up area, after dark, without due cause or consideration. Your punishment to listen to Noel Harrison singing "Windmills of Your Mind"

As an aside Gay (John)wrote the Beggars Opera.

PS glad you had a good weekend

Imperfect and Tense said...

That's not a comment, that's another blogpost! Congrats, Tony, you hold the record for the longest comment yet on an Imperfect and Tense post. I am told that there are cultures in the world where there are more than two genders, which makes us look rather frugal and poor in comparison. Perhaps this is where the phrase "the more, the merrier" comes from.