Random DWJ discovery of the day

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Fri Mar 11 09:51:52 EST 2005


Dorian and me in conversation:

>> Dorian entered a caveat:
>>>Oy!  The Stone of Scone, as those Scots insist on calling it, is *ours*,
>>>damnit!
>> Ah.  I thought that was a different one again.  My error.
>Nope.  Ours.

Your error, or your lump of rock?  I hadn't realised that it was a wossit
out of *1066 And All That* and probably living in a bucket.  I thought it
was the English who were meant to have nicked the stone or stones from Tara
and used 'em for Stonehenge, or something.  Having left their own down the
back of the sofa, I expect.

>> Each of the
>> countries I was thinking of had its treasures: a stone, a cauldron, a
>> spear, and so on.
>The Four Great Treasures of Ireland are: the Lia Fail, the Cup of the
>Daghda, the Spear Luin (spear of Light), the Sword Freagarach (the
>Answerer).

The Welsh have a similar lot, in the Mabinogion (which I am *not* going to
go and read in order to locate references!) and the English seem to have
had rumours about some -- who lost or relocated those is unclear, but the
sword Calibran seems to have ended up either buried in Glastonbury Tor or
at the bottom of a lake, for instance.

>> Mostly nobody knows where they are any more.  (I am not
>> convinced that the thing they took up over the border a few years back was
>> the original stone of Scone, that seems to have been had away with at some
>> point by someone who didn't want anyone crownded on it, and quite possibly
>> a ringer returned a bit later on.)
>Well, if it's the real thing, the Lia Fail is currently in Edinburgh Castle.
>I don't believe anyone knows where any of the other three are now, though.

Possibly just as well, given the way that spear seems to have behaved in
the wrong hands?

>> Some Scots call it "the stone of destiny" as well, but in Gaylic rather
>> than Garlic, or Gallic, or whatever the difference of pronunciation for
>> the different branches of the tongue is.
>Their language is Scots Gaelic (to us outlanders); ours is Irish Gaelic (or,
>if we're not explaining things to outlanders, Irish (if we're speaking
>English) or Gaelige (if we're speaking Irish)..."Gaelige" is more-or-less
>pronounced GAYL-guh - hard Gs, both).

Thank you.  The "Gallic/Garlic/Gaylic" thing is probably
Brittany/Cornwall/Wales/Scotland pronunciation of a transliterated word,
then, intended to make mere English folk confused.

>> So I ought to have added Ireland to the list, but I'm unsure whether it's
>> several different places most of the time (Leinster Ulster Munster...) or
>> one as well.  What does it think about it?  Does the power still reside in
>> the place of the crowning of the high kings, or has it split up?  Anyhow,
>> it isn't part of the same island as England so it can stand aloof from
>> this minor argle-bargle and look smug.  :-)
>Hm.  Overall, Ireland is one place, though its individual places sometimes
>try to assert their individuality.  There is still a lot of power at Tara
>(one-time home of the High Kings), but there is also a lot of power in other
>places.  Tara itself is currently under threat from a motorway; I think the
>land may have been spreading its power out because of this threat and others
>like it.  Most of it is still concentrated in the Boyne Valley, though, if
>not necessarily at Tara itself (it probably isn't a coincidence that one of
>the most important human battles in our history was the Battle of the
>Boyne).

obDWJ, the partial model for the desecrated Garden in TMC has simply been
abandoned by its goddess, who has gone away to live in a different lot of
water and left the place she used to be, which has become a tourist-coach
destination with a strong financial motive for its custodianship, to stew
in its own juice.

>>>(Patrick and I had a certain amount of...discussion...with the tour guide
>>>in Edinburgh Castle on this topic.)
>> WAINS?
>With the who what now?

An expression of the opposite of incredulity, m'lud, an accronym of the
words "Why Am I Not Surprised?"

Minnow


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