05 Mar

A Discovery

Since retiring from Feba my only journey has been to Derbyshire for a holiday with my wife, Marian, last November (2008). We noticed how beauty, hills and proximity to wealth in cities made the proportion of 4x4s higher than in other places. Steep hills and a wintery imagination made Imagine this in the snow! a holiday catch phrase. The snow in February justified these beasts’ existence, though. A different journey this morning: Exploring the word outwith. Grace Community Church, my home church, will welcome a new pastor in April. He’s Scottish and has lived in France for 15 years, giving him challenges to begin to think again in English and get used to southern English ways. Erwin usedoutwith in one sermon at GCC. Another GCC member, also a Scot, usedoutwith since, whetting my curiosity. A Google search reveals this to be a word in current use in Scotland, even in a government web site about home schooling–children being educated outwith school, as it reads.Outwith means beyond or outside, just like the older meaning ofwithout. In the Victorian hymn There Is a Green Hill Far Away Without a City Wall, the hill is outside the city wall, as later editions of the hymn have it, not a plot subject to possible enclosure. It’s good to be on the journey still.

5 March, 2009