'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

Friday, August 19, 2005

Semiotic Detectives At The Aspatria Co-op

At lunchtime to Aspatria, birthplace of the great Sheila Fell - and an extraordinary apparition in the Co-op carpark. I parked next to a Vauxhall estate whose rear door was adorned with two enigmatic signs, one to each side of the number-plate:

Regular readers will know of this blog's enthusiasm for covert signs of allegiance, secret writings and unreadable messages. But it struck me that this rather took the biscuit. What did it mean? On the way back from the shop I had my chance: the car's owner was about to drive off. What, I asked him, was it all about?
Runes, he replied.
Had them on my car for twenty years. Protects me and brings me luck.
I looked at him closely. He seemed at ease with the world and, so far as I could judge, unharmed by major road accidents.
I wondered if this was further evidence of West Cumbrians' atavistic obsession with their Viking roots. But the god Odin, with his dodgy eyesight, is not the deity I'd sacrifice to in earnest of road safety.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And who is sheila fell?, any relation to reggie and josie?

19/8/05 7:19 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

Anon - at some point I'll get round to doing a post about the work of Sheila Fell, as it's inextricable from the landscape in which this blog is written. I don't know if Reggie & Josie are/were relations - you'd have to ask The Renaissance Man, who's much more up on local families than I am. In the meantime, try this link link for some basic biography.

19/8/05 9:09 pm  
Blogger Lampy said...

I ran your runes past the AP, and she is somewhat confused, the first is aparently Tyr, the one-handed god, and is a victory bringing rune, the second is a water plant that inflicts a nasty wound on anyone touching it. Which is odd.
I am also informed that football matches in the scottish borders in living memory have been enlivened by the cheery cry of 'teerybus and teeryoden' invoking the protection? of Tyr and Odin.

20/8/05 8:40 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

Well it would be a brave man to gainsay the AP on these matters. Though I'm intrigued by her encyclopaedic knowledge of border football hooliganism. But I can see some logic in the descriptions: someone obviously told my rune-bearing driver that (i) the left-hand rune would allow him to drive successfully with one hand on the steering wheel, and (ii) the right hand rune would ensure anybody colliding with his car would come off worse . . .
BTW, what was Tyr the one-handed god of?

20/8/05 10:40 pm  
Blogger Lampy said...

She surprises me too, I suspect it's rugby rather than football, as she was muttering about Hawick and its environs, and they don't do anything as effeminate as soccer there. I will make discreet enquiries about Tyr, ocean racing perhaps?

21/8/05 1:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nick thanks now I have placed her, not connected to reggie, as far as I know. A small girl, went to Thomlinson first.

21/8/05 7:13 pm  
Blogger Lampy said...

OK, Tyr was the god of war (Tyr's day is now better known as tuesday, cf Mars day/mardi), his hand was bitten off/will be bitten off by the wolf fenrir at ragnarok, I hope this makes it all clear. The AP has asked me to make it clear that she was not confused, rather that she couldn't determine which version of loopy pseudo-paganism the runes had ben generated by. As it was, she went back to the roots,as we all should.

21/8/05 10:24 pm  
Anonymous Dr John said...

As I remember the story, the gods needed to capture the wolf Fenrir for reasons that I forget, probably to stop him eating them. Loki persuaded him to have a rope put round his neck, but Fenrir suspected a trap (cunning things, wolves) and insisted that one of the gods put his hand in his (Fenrir's) mouth as a sign of good faith. Knowing that the wolf was likely to end up a little peeved, only Tyr was brave enough to make the sacrifice.

22/8/05 3:01 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

Ah, Tyr=Thor, yes, I should have realised. Lampy, I'm relieved to hear that the AP has only been indulging in respectable forms of sociopathic violence like rugby . . .
Anon - your local knowledge is detailed & clearly goes back. I won't be so crass as to press you for your identity, but please continue to contribute.

22/8/05 7:51 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

Whoops - Lampy, your sister has since corrected me on identification of Tyr with Thor. Seems I can't tell the difference between Tuesday & Thursday. Never could get the hang of Thursdays myself. The afternoons . . .

23/8/05 7:29 pm  
Blogger RenMan said...

Tuesday/Thursday!Thursday/Tuesday! I was once told that a weekend was not a weekend with a Wodensday in it. Was that written in the runes then?

25/8/05 9:41 am  

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