David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

25 July 2011

DINKING with Dad and Oppy and Cadel

dink (regional : Australia, New Zealand)

verb (t)
1. to convey as a second person on a horse, bicycle, or motorcycle
2. a ride obtained from being dinked

Below is an uncropped photo, taken by mum : Dad, with his Malvern Star bike and Gladstone bag on the handlebars, about to dink your junior correspondent to school. Most likely it was for my first day at school, with dad on his way to work as the local pharmacist - Kangaroo Flat, Victoria, 1956. (Mum also designed that pair of lotus flower wrought-iron gates.)

"Can you give me a dink?"

Such a means of transport is illegal now, but back then we all rode bikes and dinking was common. Even double-dinking, with a second passenger on the handle-bars. True. (There are also accounts of this at the Macquarie Dictionary's Australian Word Map.)

Kangaroo Flat is on the Calder Highway, 4 miles to the Melbourne side of Bendigo. That gum tree lined road can be glimpsed outside our Lotus Gates. Bicycle racing was very popular in Victoria back then so as well as people riding past our place to and from work and school there were always large numbers of cycle athletes going about their training.

Even before that, when dad was young and living in Shepparton, he and his friends would cycle and race from Shep and back to Bendigo and Melbourne and so on. I'm pretty sure dad said he knew and cycled with Oppy, who came from nearby Rochester.
Sir Hubert Ferdinand Opperman, OBE (29 May 1904 - 18 April 1996), referred to as Oppy by Australian and French crowds, was an Australian cyclist and politician, whose endurance cycling feats in the 1920s and 1930s earned him international acclaim. (See photo below)

read wikipedia entry here

This is my photo of dad beside the statue of Oppy at Rochester in 1997 on a trip back to Shep.

1997_Dad with Oppy Bicycle Monument_sRGB_400

Hubert 'Oppy' Oppenheim has been mentioned by many in the last 24 hours, in the light of Cadel Evans' magnificent victory in the Tour de France. Australia, and Victoria in particular, has had a century of bicycle culture which is now realised and recognised in the crowning of Cadel Evans in Paris.

Thanks for the dink, everyone.

Vive le Tour!

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