Thursday, 28 May 2020

Confinement 26.

sketchbook/may 2020


Zechariah, book of.

That is what popped into my mind when I wrote Z.

What does the Nouveau Petit Larousee (from 1968) that sits alongside me at this desk have to say on the matter?

(I hear you asking).

Vingt-sixième lettre de l’alphabet et vingtième des consonnes.

Nothing about Zechariah so far.
Nothing about Zebedee either, another word that pops into mind today.

What else does this dictionary have for me?

In mathematics; Z symbole de l’ensemble des nombres entiers relatifs.

Numbers again.

Which is also one of the books in The Old Testament version of The Bible.

Now there’s a co-incidence!

And numbers – like all things – are relative.  And relative to this series of posts we are at the end of a run.

Possibly at the end of confinement – even though all the things I love (cinema, cafés, theatres, travel) remain closed.

This post is titled ‘confinement 26) but in fact today is day 73 of being this way.

It’s probably time for me to move on.

Zap the Zeitgeist.


Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Confined 25.

sketchbook/may 2020


Yep, oh to be confined with Yolanda!!

Well, maybe not.

Not unless it was back then.



Vingt-cinquième lettre de l’alphabet et sixième des voyelles!!!


Didn’t they tell me at school that there were five ?!!


Symbole chimique de l’yttrium.


Hang on…. It’l be here somewhere…yttria, yytrialite, yttrifrère…. Yttrium!!!

Métal (metal) de (of) numéro (atomic) atomique (number) 29 (3929), du groupe des terres rares.

Unchartered waters.

Here we come.

Here we are!

Yearning to be back on solid ground.




Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Confined 24.

sketchbook/mai 2020


Xylophone – you could use confinement to learn how to play the xylophone.

If you had a xylophone.

And if you had the desire to learn.

Incidentally, I’ve never met someone who said ‘when I grew up I want to play the xylophone.’


Some things just are.

Vingt-quatrième …….dix-neuvième.

Le ‘x’ est une consonne double.

Maybe Lionel Hampton did.

Chiffre romain qui vaut dix.

Which means that in French you could say – X vaut dix.

Which, pronounced ‘Ixvodis’ – sounds like a character from an Asterix and Obelix  story.


En algèbre x représente l’inconnue.

The unknown.

Like – what happens next?

And there’s a lot of that been asked right now.


It would be useful right now.


Monday, 25 May 2020

Confined 23.

sketchbook/may 2020



Wondering what was…..

Wondering what was whatever …

Wondering what was whatever, the thing I promised to tie up when I got to W.

Vingt-troisième lettre de l’alphabet et la dix-huitième des consonnes. Symbole du watt, symbole chimique du tungstène.

Hang on…..

Found it!

Back there in T – except I forgot to write it, or else I edited it out.

It was weber.

What is a weber?

Hang on….

Wattman, wattmèttre…weber! 

Hmm….. electrical.

Beyond me, I shouldn’t have mentioned it.


What else….

Lettre propre aux langue du Nord et qui n’est usitée en France que dans les mots emprunté à ces langues avec leur orthographe.

Like 'Wellington'.

As in wellington boots – for example.

Look it’s complicated – but basically if the French want to buy some wellington boots they have to borrow the word from English. (or German - for example Wagon)

In my book – All Things Unconsidered (as yet unpublished) – if you borrow something you eventually give it back.


When?                                                    (also a good question to pose for this confinement)


Saturday, 23 May 2020

Confined 22.

sketchbook/may 2020


I have the feeling that I should say virus!

But you know what?

It’s vermillion that comes to mind – a colour not unlike red, though I’d prefer yellow.

And veranda – a word coming from either Hindi or Portuguese, though I’d prefer (for no rhyme or reason) Portuguese.

A vermillion veranda in Valado dos Frades, Portugal.

I'd like that.

But vacation...

out of the question...


Vingt-deuxième lettre de l’alphabet.

22! There’s a catch there.

Le dix-septième des consonnes.


My first house number, still significant after all those interVening years.

Chiffre romain qui vaut cinq.

Worth five to anybody I’d say.

Five fingers.
Five toes.
Five wounds of Jesus Christ.

They were probably vermillion.

Symbole de volt.


Not vault.


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