Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Dictionary of the Wind

Day 24 (Thursday 24th December 2015, Christmas Eve)

24 full-members is the maximum number of "Companions" permitted to belong
to the 
Most Noble Order of the Garter, the pinnacle of the British Honours system
(after the 
Victoria and George Crosses). It is the world's oldest order of knighthood in continuous
existence (it was founded in 1348). Selection and appointment to the Order can only be given
"by the Sovereign's pleasure" and is limited to recipients from the UK and Commonwealth realms.
Currently there is one Lady-Companion and one Knight-Companion is Australian,
all the others are British. At present there are 3 vacancies.
Twas the night before Christmas and all 'cross the web the people were stirring in festive cheer and good ebb. 

I am delighted to introduce you to a consistently popular contributor to the Advent series, Neil Usher; his often intriguing and always thought-provoking pieces have become part of the annual tradition. Neil is an accomplished wordsmith and this year's piece is no exception. He is employed as the Workplace Director at Sky. He is an experienced and globally recognised property expert who works on the cusp of workspace, facilities, HR, social business environments and approaches. I strongly recommend his blog at and you can follow Neil on Twitter at @workessence. His evocative Advent post touches on what we lose if we are solely submerged in the coal-dust grime of our working lives. I love his imaginative use of self-created language to evoke his walk to work.


I walk to work.  The place I work. To do the work I do.

I have been privileged to the changing of the seasons from the vantage of soft shoe and rucksack, traceless but for a crease in the breeze, the moment whispered in a language shared only with what I see. We all once understood, but have allowed ourselves to be overrun. We may never know this imperceptible extinction.

Beyond a short bruth of concrust from which springs a magnolia, buckled for all but a half-moon of exuberant indulgence, 

I turn past the cracked and fraying Manor that once earled the brickdusted steps and thrust its brittle fingers into tithed commons.

Ancient Strip Lynchets raking the hillside of Manor-owned land
The esklarch rips and stipples the shadows of its clopped-hooved memory, I hear barked, clipped insistence and obliging servitude, the rattle of kettle and reckle of an open hearth, the unquestioning solidification of caste. 

The brittle chill of stone and the damp leuge of heavy winter cloth stifle and suffocate.

As the chime distances, the whelf winds through shillow and copse, crassle underfoot and the wrappling and sackle of brush as I reassure myself of being alone. Minutes pass as my anxiety settles, the felt pad of my heart beating a rhythm to the corntide.

A solitary rheelip breaks the spell, like soft glass. While we feel calm in the ease of our escape, nothing ever settles.

Larshligt bursts at the yawn of the delsh, swayed and unbladed, straddled by the acrsweep of eaglebees and staccato sheffle of the swallow-wisps, nuzzling and peckling from elfswand, hacklemoss and pluise. My stride slows, slows, stops. I could root, stem, branch, I could twine and rupple. It may just be a breath-worth. It may be a lifetime.

The canal veins at the boundary, quarls slowly brushing the brittle banks. 

Hawkwellows whisk-eye the pulfweeds for threshle and lespe. 

Little moves, but moves enough.

As the road opens, my breathing stiffens, the canopy lifted. I return to the common language of normality in which we are all misunderstood.

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