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Leviticus 221/84: Viffing offers best directions to travel ..we need it for 2021

Happy birthday Laura … last of myriad December fests! Of necessity it was a quiet occasion for Laura with her family in Tier 3 now. She's just off for a brisk stroll around the village I can see from the Dovecote. No snow here yet but Mathew has triumphantly sent pictures from Ilkley Moor with the white stuff. Our forecast locally says 'maybe'.

Boxing Day II: It can't really be called Boxing Day twice can it because the purpose was always to meet the tradesmen who've supported you during the year and give recognition by a contribution into their 'box'. Up in Port Seton and Cockenzie the fisherfolk arranged an annual collection in their box for their own 'social insurance' funds. But apparently since Victorian times when the extra day was introduced as a Bank Holiday, if it fell at a weekend the following Monday was used instead. It's the day Good King Wenceslas Looked Out which reminds us it surely is the Feast of St. Stephen, commemorating his martyrdom immediately after Christ was crucified. In Ireland the day is normally know as St Stephen's with bonfire night goings-on door to door carrying dead wrens' feathers in a grotesque ancient tradition. It's also the day the whole family traditionally went/ still goes to the pantomime.
Viff is Steven Poole's Word for 28th but for 29th it's onomatomania … …. just can't remember that word! Literally viff [not our remembered vaff from the Falklands War] means [v]ector [i]n [f]orward [f]light. It was the slang that arose as Hawker Siddley's Harrier JumpJets demonstrated in flight versatility as well as vertical take off and landing [VTOL] in the 1960s. For us today, even ageing Laura perhaps, to viff implies not accepting the way we're going; it can always be bettered by deciding and acting to change our vector by simply halting our forward rush and taking the new tack. It will normally take friends and frenemies by surprise as we've done in Prestonpans by suggesting a five year lease on the Town Hall next year and doing it all digitally this year. The UK's next steps for Boris Johnston after his 'Zero Tariffs/ Zero Quotas Agreement' with the EU is just another. All we have to do is remember the word viff which, if/ when we fail to recall it as we so often might, demonstrates we are simply suffering from onomatomania not the early stages of anything at all.
Talking of viffing, that's something George Blake did on the grandest traitorous scale! And he was aided and abetted in his escape eventually to the USSR by staff member Anne Randall at MCB University Press, now EMERALD, and her husband. His Obit today in the Daily Telegraph gives chapter and verse of the damage he did to MI6 and so many of its members, not least betraying the plans for building the east/ west Berlin escape tunnel. Anne and her husband picked him up as he escaped from jail at Wormwood Scrubs, hid him in London for two months then drove him to Russia in their van! 23 years later her husband published his memoirs and was the placed on trial but not sentenced under the statutes of limitations!
Today's menu full of delights. We began eating the second Conference pear, the one I'd dropped on the checkout floor at Morrisons last week. It was succulent and I took mine within a toasted brioche roll with Blue Vimmy. Plus of course the Vitamin D and C from Orange Juice …. a similar Stilton blue cheese was in line at lunchtime too dropped into a turkey broth prepared with the bones and more from the Christmas bird. Delicious. And this evening I'm promised Grilled Salmon Cajun Fillets with green vegetables. What more could I ask? Well, actually a La Paz cigar and a second helping of Alison Lurie; just finished her Foreign Affairs and I'm hooked on a new author with nine titles to go yet …

Published Date: December 28th 2020


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