Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Purring in ripples (Off Seaton Sluice)

By The North Sea

Her cheek was wet with North Sea spray,
We walked where tide and shingle meet;
The long waves rolled from far away
To purr in ripples at our feet.
And as we walked it seemed to me
That three old friends had met that day,
The old, old sky, the old, old sea,
And love, which is as old as they.

Out seaward hung the brooding mist
We saw it rolling, fold on fold,
And marked the great Sun alchemist
Turn all its leaden edge to gold,
Look well, look well, oh lady mine,
The gray below, the gold above,
For so the grayest life may shine
All golden in the light of love.
Arthur Conan Doyle

[Photo: North Sea off Seaton Sluice]


  1. Seaton Sluice being in Northumberland, I don't think I'd want sea spray in my face. No doubt natives of the area could cope better.

    1. The local Chavs probably love it. Sleep in it. (Note that I found a place to use the new word I learned (learnt?) recently. Whilst colouring. I mean sourfing. :)

  2. The ocean is pretty angry around our ridges at the moment; and the status quo looks like remaining for some time yet.

    1. I have seen your area (and others) on the news here lately, reporting on bad things, Angry oceans are the least of it.

  3. My neck of the woods. Indeed, often a wild sea. Love it.

    1. I hope your neck has never slipped into the sluice. :)

      (Sluice, noose. Cockney rhyming slang. Get it? Get it? Never mind.)

  4. Purring....
    Back a hundred or so years, 'Purring' was the name given to a particularly vicious form of fighting.
    In a purring match, two men would fight, naked but for steel toed, wooden soled clogs on their feet.
    The object was to kick the opponent into either submission or unconsciousness. The clogs had 'clog-irons' on their wooden soles, like horseshoes. Purring made bare-fist fighters look soft and effete. Some times it was a fight to the death. A good fighter could win a lot of money. The fights were illegal, of course.
    "One newspaper report from May 1843 tells of a clog fight near Manchester involving two men named Ashworth and Clegg, “both in a state of nudity with the exception of each having on a strong pair of boots”. Ashworth won, but both were severely injured. The winner, it was claimed, went on to kill an opponent in another of these shin-kicking matches before emigrating to Australia."

    1. Purring seem a particularly odd description of ripples on a shingle beach. They really don't purr in any sense that I know. Maybe they act differently when being walked along by his lady love.

    2. @Soubriquet- Adullamite saw that match in person.

      @A.- I would never ever recommend mixing ripple with shingles.

      I note that one (dictionary) meaning means to speak in a low voice, "Would you like your back rub now?, she purred." Perhaps Conan-Doyle was taking poetic license. I would have used "Sweet Afton-like murmur" but I am quite advanced in the art of clarity.

      I have never looked up his love life but I would wager he was not the ladies' man and should probably stick to murder mysteries.

    3. @Soubriquet - They still have purring matches in the nether regions of Tucson, or so I've heard from Tucsoninians. Your average denizen of the Tucson drug trail is a liar, as often as not, however. But they say: Kicking is not confined to the shins and, of course, no referee. Often the vanquished will lie twitching on the ground, and the "after-kicks" sometimes bring on a sort of vibrating purring sound from his unconscious throat. After-kicking, incidentally, is not confined to simply breaking ribs or knees for the loser to enjoy when he wakes up. No sir. Depending on the transgression that brought on the match in the first place, there can also be curbing/kerbing (in which the vanquished is dragged over to the side of the road on his belly and his mouth carefully placed upon the curb apex; the winner then being allowed one kick to the back of the head which is intended to fold in the unfortunate's dental work. No points are awarded if the kick goes amiss and lands below the back of the head and causes high-cervical paralysis.) Alternate to curbing is "plugging", an odd local rite in which the loser's limp body is raised in the air, spine down, over a fire hydrant and dropped upon it. This too, can be survived, they say, though why one would want to survive it is a mystery.

      I would prefer to be forced to watch cock fighting over this, and I despise cock fighting (even using chickens.)

  5. Either this blog has broken down or the author is in jail again.......

  6. Lovely. I find both the sounds of waves of the ocean and a cat's purr soothing.



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