Hastings Half Marathon

After all my training, I succumbed to injury and was unable to run my first ever half marathon. I was gutted. After five weeks of rest, my shin splits are slowly getting better. I’m just hoping that my fitness hasn’t declined too much

I did go down to the sea front to show my support and naturally took photos.

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I’m now thinking of starting the gym (I hate gyms) to do non-weight bearing exercises and will be looking to do another half marathon in the year. If you have any suggestions, let me know.


Parental advisory explicit content

If you’re easily offended, then I suggest you fuck off. Now.

Now after that rude introduction, on to the post.

Swearing has been around for aeons, and was probably uttered before writing evolved. Bad language was rarely written down because, well, it’s offensive. My English teacher once told us that he had to cross out the word ‘bloody’ in his Shakespeare text because it was rude. I, however, have been known to utter the word in public and not suffer any reprisals.

We swear for all sorts of reasons, but mainly when we’re frustrated or stressed. Studies suggest that our brains process swearing differently than other words. It’s believed that we process words like ‘fuck’ or ‘shit’ in the lower section where we process emotion and instinct. I can relate to that.

But where do these words come from? The origins of most swear words have been lost because they weren’t recorded, but here’s what I’ve found out.

Fuck is one of those very useful words to describe a whole host of situations such as ‘I fucked up big time’ (made a big mistake) or ‘fuck you’ (go away) to ‘I’ll be fucked if I know’ (having no idea) ‘let’s fuck’ (to fornicate) or even ‘fuck the fucking fuckers’ (not happy).  The general consensus is that it stands for ‘Fornication Under Consent of the King’ or ‘For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, however, this website believes these acronyms are wrong and that this old word was likely to have Germanic origins.

I know we shouldn’t believe everything we read on to Wikipedia but as a Bexhillian, I had to include this:

“An Anglo-Saxon charter granted by Offa, king of Mercia, dated AD 772, granting land at Bexhill, Sussex to a bishop, includes this text in a mixture of Anglo-Saxon language and Latin:

Þonne syndon þa gauolland þas utlandes into Bexlea in hiis locis qui appellantur hiis nominibus: on Berna hornan .iii. hida, on Wyrtlesham .i., on Ibbanhyrste .i., on Croghyrste .viii., on Hrigce .i., on Gyllingan .ii., on Fuccerham 7 and on Blacanbrocan .i., on Ikelesham .iii.;Then the tax-lands of the outland belonging to Bexley are in these places which are called by these names: at Barnhorne 3 hides, at Wyrtlesham [Worsham farm nearBexhill ] 1, at Ibbanhyrst 1, at Crowhurst 8, at (Rye? The ridge north of Hastings?) 1, at Gillingham 2, at Fuccerham and at Blackbrook [may be Black Brooks in Westfieldvillage just north of Hastings ] 1, at Icklesham 3.”

Who’d knew that Bexhill is connected to the third most offensive word in Britain?

For more information about the usage of fuck view this video here.

Shit is another word with many uses such as ‘getting shit faced’. You can also smoke, sell or buy shit. Once believed to be an acronym for ‘ship in high transit’, its now accepted as a myth.  Acronyms weren’t commonplace until after the Second World War (the word acronym didn’t exist until 1943) and the word can be traced back to 1526. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word ‘shit’, again, is likey to have German origins. It states:

“Old English scitte ‘diarrhoea’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schijten, German scheissen (verb). The term was originally neutral and used without vulgar connotation.”

I also found out that ‘tits’ and ‘fart’ were used as long ago as the Anglo-Saxon times. I have visions of King Offa walking around his castle asking: “Now, who the fuck has farted? It’d better not be the one with the fucking big tits.”

Here’s a great comic strip on swearing by Tom Gauld.

This post was brought to you by those who replied to my Facebook thread about tits and farts. I would like to thank Bill Bryson for his book Mother Tongue from which I have learnt some very enlightening facts about the English language. I suggest you look at Chapter 14 for the inspiration.

My day job

I write for an arts and culture magazine called CQ. This issue I was given the chance to write most of the articles, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Because it only comes out every quarterly, I’ve started posting up mini interviews on our website to drive more traffic to the site. I’m a bit perplexed as to how to make the site more interactive, so I’m hoping that people would spend a bit more time looking around.

Two weeks in I’ve got the location manager of Brighton Rock, Jason Wheeler, and Daragh O’Malley, who is staring in Dancing at Lughnasa.

The printed magazine is out, but hopefully I should be able to put a link up to a downloadable version. Do have a look and let me know what you think!

In other news, I finally revealed my surprise birthday present to my boyfriend three days too early. Whoops! I’m taking him to Iceland (the country and not the shop). Hoping to see the northern lights.

Books, books and more books

Happy World Book Day. Because I live in the UK, I can celebrate it twice. Everywhere else celebrates it on the 23 April. So there! It’s like my new year. Being part Chinese, if my western new year doesn’t go according to plan, I get another stab at in around February/March time. And I get money. Good times.

@WorldBookDayUK asked everyone to tweet in their teenage reads. Reading through, tweeps were name checking Lord of the Rings, To Kill a Mockingbird, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights. Mine felt trashy and lowbrow. I’ve always been embarrassed about what I used to read, but I am no longer ashamed.  So I put it out there – Point Horror and the Sweet Valley High series. I worked very hard for my books. I got pocket-money if I had done my chores, which I would save it up before going down to WH Smiths and purchase my one Sweet Valley book. I remember being outraged when the price of books went up. Once upon a time, they used to be four quid.

Other times, I would trundle down to my library and pick out my Point Horror books as well as Brian Jacque’s Redwall series and anything else I could get my hands on. Anything with talking animals I loved. Pre teen, my favourite books was The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark and The Tales of Time Rabbit.

On the subject of books, people are starting to challenge library closures though the High Court. The pro-library group, Campaign for the Book, has launched a judicial review case arguing that the cultural secretary, Jeremy Hunt, (otherwise known as Jeremy C*** to James Naughtie and Andrew Marr) had failed in his legal duty to properly oversee the management of local authorities and their library services. He is being challenged under the  1964 Public Libraries Act. The Guardian article is worth a read, especially the comment by karlos2179, who makes an excellent point. He’s a jobseeker and the only way he can get information is to use the internet at his local library and adhere to his agreement.

Karlos2179 also proves that it’s not just middle-class Radio 4 listeners who use the library. That general sweeping statement is completed and utter bovine balls.

On a light-hearted note, I got excited when I got a reply from author Paul Smith after I had recommended his book Twichhiker to another tweep on Twitter.