Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Feeling Silly?

I had a lovely surprise today when the post brought me a card with a photo of a piglet on the front. The piglet was wearing a fuzzy shocking pink headband with a pom pom bouncing on the end of each of a pair of ant- like antennae.
The caption said
"Take Time Every Day To Do Something Silly".
(I'd love to re-produce the card for you to see but I don't want to break the image copyright, so you'll have to take my word for it this is one appealing piglet)

Apart from the encouragement and news sent with the card the words on the front set me thinking, which I guess was what they were supposed to do.
First thought, "Is this a suggestion that I need to plan for more silliness in addition to my ordinary spontaneous stuff?"
Second thought, " No, this is an endorsement for the silliness I already do and an ENCOURAGEMENT to stick with it." (Kate, who sent me the card knows a bit about how silly I can get).
Threaded with these thoughts was a background sense of the derivation of the word "Silly". Hadn't this word at one time meant "holy"?
Somewhere a bell was ringing so I followed it up with a bit of research and found that prior to 1280 a.d. the word meant
"innocent", "pious", "blessed", "blissful" and "happy".
Only later did it slide towards the meaning we now know.

I re-called something silly that I did a while ago which I suppose had been partially planned in as much as I had thought about doing it for a while before I got around to it. I must admit I'm a bit proud of it because not only was it publicly silly, it hurt as well!
We live near the lovely little town of Kenilworth which as well as a castle where Elizabeth the first was entertained, also has the ruins of an abbey. The Abbey Fields are steep at one side with a long descent towards the Abbey Ponds. Every time I went I'd eye that bank and think, "One day I'm going to roll the length of that like we used to do as kids," but for one reason or another I always baulked. Then one day I just handed hubby my glasses, checked the area for doggy does, and got on with it.
I have to report the first time really hurt. I hadn't done this since I was a skinny kid, and well, how can I put this? - there were now more bits of me to get bumped on the way down. And where had I put my arms all those years ago? The third time I got it right, but it was a real learning curve. Or should that be learning slope?
Anyway the reason I'm telling you this isn't just to display my eccentricities but today, remembering this alongside the etymology of the word "Silly", I wonder if the layout of Abbey Fields was the same when the monks were in residence, and if it was, did the monks ever relax and exercise their innocent, blessed, happiness by rolling down the hillside as well?

Whatever they did , hand me my shocking pink headband. No, not that one. The one with the antennae and pompoms...

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