16 March 2022: Orange dawns; Ukraine v Russia; Overindulged Yanks; More Olde English; & Other stuff.

Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable
Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’

Cosas de España/Galiza  

Yesterday morning, Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas posted on FB a reference to orange clouds over Spain but I had no idea what he was talking about – not, I stress, a normal experience – until I read this and this

Talking of sand . . . This looks like a fascinating place in which to see a lot of it.


Richard north today: The Russians, says Zelensky, have “begun to understand they will not achieve anything by war”, in which case Putin might appreciate the opportunity to bow out gracefully, before his ramshackle army takes an even bigger thrashing than it already is. With his main objectives – the occupation of Kiev and the overthrow of the Zelensky government – out of reach, he has nothing to gain from prolonging his stay. And, when this is all over, he will have plenty of time to reflect on his own personal failure. His entire invasion plan rested on a daring coup de main which amounted to a huge gamble. For it to succeed, it needed to be planned to perfection and skilfully executed, with great speed. Instead, in his delusional state, he believed his plodding, ill-equipped force could prevail in a thrust where the parallels with the 1944 Arnhem battle were all too apparent, and where the failures seem to have been repeated.

As for the very brave Marina Ovsyannikova, it’s reported she’s been fined c.€200 but could still be imprisoned for up to 15 years under the new law on the promotion of “fake news” about the Russian army in Ukraine. Hardly a huge surprise that a Putin spokesman dismissed her actions as “hooliganism”. Unlike, say, the murderous invasion of another country.

See this article for the ‘brains’ behind Putin’s beliefs. Final para: Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine doubtlessly has a highly ideological component, but there is another side to this war coin: low-level intelligence-gathering on Ukraine. Both military advisers and security services seem to believe the war will be an easy win. And it is here that the President’s mask slips. It becomes clear that Putin is an aging and isolated authoritarian leader surrounded by advisers afraid of bringing him a realistic assessment of the likelihood of victory, thereby accelerating Russia dragging a sovereign Ukraine, along with the rest of Europe, towards the worst catastrophe since the Second World War.


Are well-off American liberals the most overindulged and cosseted group of people in world history? Possibly. This columnist certainly thinks so. 

Social Media/The Way of the World/Quote of the Day  

An excellent question:What is being done to prevent 3D on line spaces and the nascent concepts of the metaverse being overrun with the same abuse, misinformation and harassment that plague current online spaces?The answer, it seems, is not enough.


Una calima: Un accidente atmosférico consistente en partículas de polvo o arena en suspensión, cuya densidad dificulta la visibilidad.


More words/phrases we’ve lost below, including some marvellous Old English names for the sun..

Finally . . .

I don’t want to get too excited but it’s beginning to look like that, after years of nothing or, last year, just one bloom, this spring I’ll have quite a lot of Wisteria flowers. 

RECOGNISABLE OLD ENGLISH WORDS: PART 8 Pronunciation in brackets

From Hana Videen’s ‘The Wordhord’  

æppel-tūn, noun (ap-pell-toon): Orchard. 

blōwan, verb (blo-wan): To bloom, flourish, blossom. 

dæg-candel, noun (daie-kahn-dell): ‘Day-candle’, the sun. 

dæges ēage, noun (daie-yes-ay-ah-yuh): Daisy (day’s eye). 

dēaþ-bēam, noun (day-ath-bay-ahm): ‘Death-tree’, the Tree of Knowledge. 

enne-lēac, noun (en-nuh-lay-ock): Onion. 

gār-lēac, noun (gar-lay-ock): Garlic. 

geard, noun (yeh-ard): Enclosure, yard, garden, court, dwelling, region; fence, hedge. 

heofon-candel, noun (heh-ov-on-kahn-dell): ‘Heaven-candle’, the sun. 

lēaf-scead, noun (lay-ov-sheh-odd): ‘Leaf-shade’, place shaded by leaves or foliage. 

mere-candel, noun (meh-ruh-kahn-dell): ‘Sea-candle’, the sun. 

ort-geard, noun (ort-yeh-ard): Orchard. 

stenc, noun (stench ): Smell, scent, odour. 

sunn-beorht, adjective (sun-beh-orh’t): ‘Sun-bright’, bright with sunshine. 

sunne, noun (suh-nuh: Sun. 

sunn-hāt, adjective (sun-hawt): ‘Sun-hot’, heated by the sun. 

trēow, noun (tray-oh ): Tree; wood. 

trēow, noun (tray-oh ): Truth. 

tūn, noun (toon): Enclosure, yard, court; estate, farm; village, town. 

un-weder, noun (un-weh-der): Bad weather.

weder, noun (weh-der): Weather. 

weder-candel, noun (weh-der-kahn-dell): ‘Weather-candle’, the sun. 

weder-tācen, noun (weh-der-tah-ken): ‘Weather-token’, sign of good weather. 

wēod, noun (way-odd ): Useless or injurious plant, weed. 

wulfhēafod-trēow, noun (wulf-hay-ah-vod-tray-oh): ‘Wolf-head tree’ (definition uncertain). 

wyrt, noun (wuert): Plant, herb. (As ragwort)

wyrt-drenc, noun (wuert-drench): Herbal drink, potion made from herbs. 

wyrt-geard, noun (wuert-yeh-ard): Kitchen garden. 

wyrt-stenc, noun (wuert-stench): Scent from a plant. 

wyrt-tūn, noun (wuert-toon): Garden. (Weed town/place)