Sunday, August 17, 2008

Couple of Odd Socks

...the title was meant to be metaphoric but as I wrote it, it occurred to me that I actually do only have odd socks. Fortunately they are mostly more or less the same colour so I think I get away with it.

My dad used to say,

"Are you wearing odd socks?"

"Yeah, and funnily enough I have another pair just the same at home."

Right so... erm...

Oh yes, on Friday it was 15th August. To most of you simply a day. To me, for two reasons, a bit more.

Firstly, here in Deepest Bavaria (and in Greece), it is a public holiday, Maria Himmelfahrt (which, due to a linguistic coincidence between English and German, provides us Anglo-Saxons with a little puerile amusement - Himmelfahrt... tee-hee-hee).

Had I not lived in Greece and Deepest Bavaria and been asked maybe ten thousand times by English students what this day is in English, then I, like you, wouldn't have known that it is, in fact, Assumption Day. Reassuringly, having told the students this, you can then ask them, "and what is Assumption Day?" and find that they have no idea!

So, it's a day off in Deepest Bavaria and Greece but also in Greece it is the "end of the summer" or rather, "The End Of Summer". This is another thing I like about the Greeks - they are totally loopy.

I first heard this end-of-summer thing during my first summer in Ioannina probably somewhere round about today, 17th August:

Greek shopkeeper: Brrr, you can tell it is the end of summer!!

Me, soaked in sweat: But it's 45°C!!

Greek shopkeeper and other (Greek) customers: Brrrrr!


The other odd sock is that yesterday evening there was a lunar eclipse here in Deepest Bavaria. Unfortunately, in these days of street lights and living indoors, nobody so much as notices it but it's an amazing thing... and it is easy to imagine how it must have struck terror into the hearts of our hunter-gatherer forefathers and mothers. Very, very slowly a shadow creeps over the surface of the full moon, turning it a sort of miserable bluey-grey until the shadow totally consumes the moon and it then goes a dull red-brown.

I find it amazing to stand there and look at it and imagine that a line from the moon to my eyes which would then be extended back through my head and through the earth would point to the sun, shining away million of miles behind us.

And what links these two socks? No idea actually... hmm, maybe the full moon itself.

I think (in the sense of I am now making this up) the full moon has something to do with the dating of Assumption Day and I am relatively certain (= 100%) that it really has something to do with the eclipse.

Once again Douglas Adams' fundamental interconnectedness of all things to the rescue.


Jay said...

ROFL! You've outdone yourself. And yes, Douglas Adams would be proud!

One of my sons refuses to buy anything but plain black socks on the grounds that whatever happens, he'll always be wearing a pair. We could all learn something from his logic. ;)

Neutron said...

Ah! The benefit of early socks education.

How many sons do you actually have Jay...offhand?

Anji said...

We had a holiday too, people are very fond of their religious hilidays considering that we live in a republic.
i put all of the odd socks into a drawer and they find each other after a while....