'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The End Of The World News

We spent Sunday at the World's End, a polished archipelago of wave-washed granite rocks beyond Tonsberg, with views across the Skagerrak, skuas nesting in rock clefts, and blue jellyfish making a stately, puffing progress among the tidal pools.
At the little kiosk by the carpark we came upon an obviously professional photographer taking pictures of a newstand full of copies of the Norwegian equivalent of the FT, adorned with bundles of cucumbers. We were baffled.
"Shall we try to tell them we're from Cucumberland?" someone asked.
"Aah divvent knaa aboot that, man," the photographer replied. He was from Jarrow, and his mission was indeed to photograph the local Pink 'Un on a bed of cucumbers. The reason, he patiently explained to us, was that the Norwegian expression for a slow news day in the silly season was 'cucumber news'. I reflected that years ago the West Cumberland Times & Star (see the sidebar of this blog) was known as 'The WC News' because of the predictability of the public nuisance offenses for which local badlads found themselves up before the Bench, in those days the only form of free entertainment locally available.
But at least we learned some colloquial Norwegian from a jovial Geordie . . .


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