I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Think of it as 10 cubed

A thousand posts – so what? Were any of them worth reading? That's what matters. Take this one, for instance.

A thousand pounds a year. In the sixties it was my definition of success. Now it's four months' wine bill.

A thousand ages in thy sight
Are like an evening gone
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

Verse from Oh God Our Help In Ages Past

Hundreds and thousands. Multi-coloured granules for decorating sticky buns. To please the eye rather than the palate. A confectionery fraud.

M. A fairly simple Roman date.

Fahsen'. Cockney utters unimaginably huge figure.

1000 AD. Birth of Adalbert, Duke of Lorraine. To be safe, add "circa".

Grand. Useful addition to the world's vocabulary, courtesy the USA.

K. Slightly less useful addition, courtesy the metric system fans.

1000 cc. A large motorbike engine.

Thousand years. Gives rise to a word many find hard to spell.

Thousand (etym.). OE - püsend, Proto-German - püsundi, plus many more, all equally boring.

Twenty-thousand Leagues Under The Sea. Brownie points if you've read it.

Thousand Foot Krutch.
Canadian rock band famous for The End Is Where We Begin. Famous?

Mahler. Symphony No 8. Also known as: Symphony For A XXXXXXXX (Fill in the last word yourself)

A thousand times a thousand times a thousand. The present-day billion debased by the USA. Previously, courtesy the UK, it had twelve zeroes.

** I'm off on a teeny-tiny adventure. I'd be inclined to wish you all the peace of God that passeth all understanding. If it didn't sound uncomfortably like permanent oblivion.


  1. Hooray and bravo and congratulations, may you achieve a thousand more and then some. I must object to your dismissing of etymology as boring, but otherwise this is a delightful bag of sweeties, more a pick and mix of assorted toffees, sherbet lemons, chocolate limes etc than a packet of hundreds and thousands, which I agree are pretty much like talking to yourself when it comes to cake toppings.

    I read 20000 Leagues, and much of the rest of the Jules Verne canon when I was but a nipper, including a rather obscure series set in French Canada during the struggle against perfidious Albion. Funnily enough Tom's lately had an earworm for the song 'A Whale of a Tale' which, he tells me, comes from the film of the book, sung by Kirk Douglas. Who'd a thought...

  2. i have only posted a measly 634 thousandths of your number.

    The search facility on Blogger is one of its best features. I searched "thousand" across my 634 and apart from only about three other examples which were too boring here are extracts from the others. There are surprisingly few bearing in mind that my main interest is in climbing hills, but what emerges is that the word is so often used as a bench mark figure in comparison or scale situations.

    I found it amusing to go back into the archives and remind myself of long forgotten incidents and posts


    We anticipated defenders of sadistic material saying that it only influenced  "a very small minority" to perpetrate copy-cat actions; well, in a city of say 300,000 one in a thousand that would be 300!

    …it is still over a thousand feet of climbing to reach this summit - note the change from metres to feet; the latter always sounds more impressive, and it is quite a tough little climb at that.

    I managed to get an eerie shot of the moon through the trees, and arrived home about eleven thirty well pleased with this, my most ambitious outing since I walked a thousand miles round the Welsh boundary last summer.

    From Churchstoke onwards scenery changed for the better. I climbed up towards the one thousand foot mark and views were extensive.

    Looking at profiles of other geocachers I see some who have found several thousand caches!

    If you want detailed information and definitions go to www.biber.fsnet.co.uk/downloads.html suffice to say there are over five thousand British hills listed.

  3. Two or three, two or three
    Two or three kilometers onward
    All in the valley of death
    Rode the point six thousand.

  4. So that's what it is called:
    Hm, I am thinking of 'eemai etymy'
    which says 'I am ready'.
    Just to show that I was here.

  5. 'A handsome husband or a thousand pounds'. The spurious choice we got as children if we chanced to take the last piece of bread and butter on the plate. (I wonder if anyone still has bread and butter for tea - or indeed Tea as a meal?)

  6. A thousand congratulations, Robbie.
    I think I've probably posted more than a thousand posts but haven't done the arithmetic - what's ten years times something?

    There's also a thousand and one nights, if we're listing references.

    And what wine are you drinking on this lavish 4-month budget?

  7. All: Thank you all for getting into the spirit of the thing - for exploring the word's potential, rather than accepting it po-faced. And does the latter mean having a face like a pot de chambre? Who cares so long as the word (and the phrase) act as springboards to invention.

    Lucy: Is "talking to yourself" a well-disguised synonym for self-abuse or have I finally gone too far? A Whale Of Tale transcends earworms, becomes something entirely pathological. I for one would never a thought.

    Sir Hugh: Any posts where you've struggled to avoid using the word? No help from Search there, I fear.

    MikeM: The charge was led by Lord Cardigan. These days a cardigan is a knitted jacket worn by men who smoke pipes and whose best years are behind them. I may be wrong but I seem to remember Celia Johnson's husband in Brief Encounter wore a cardigan. If he didn't, he should have. Lucy will know.

    Ellena: No need to explain. I'd have known that footprint anywhere.

    Fed: That revelation comes entirely out of left field (baseball term). These days it wouldn't be allowed on the grounds of turning kids into materialists. When my mum parted brass-rags with my dad we stopped having tea as an identifiable meal distinct from dinner; a year or two later I stopped drinking tea. Bread and butter appears at dinner as an accompaniment to frittatas and to eggs mornay,

    Natalie: Blogger does the arithmetic for me. Ten times something is rendered deliciously by adding a nought - so, so easy if you've been struggling with fractions. Superscripts and subscripts are - or can be - related, if you've run out of zeroes.

    Lavish? Nah. Last month's wine bill came to £367. Savennières, a rarish white from the Loire, is a recent re-discovery. Highly individual taste - sometimes when left too long like sucking pennies. Expect to pay £25 a bottle.

  8. A thousand pardons for coming late to the party. Prost to you, dear Robbie. I shall raise a glass of Berliner Weiße mit Schuß in your honour tonight.

  9. Sounds pretty lavish to me. The most I've ever spent for a bottle of wine is about £8.00, and that's in the higher bracket. But I readily admit to ignorance in this department.

  10. RW (zS): I tend to think of Weisse as the beer for practised drinkers. You'd fit that category wouldn't you?

    Natalie: If an £8 bottle suits you, then that's fine. Unfortunately my oenological education came backwards way round. My father (who in blind tastings could identify different years of the same chateau) exposed me to bottles from claret's Big Five: Haut Brion, Margaux, Mouton Rothschild, Lafite and Latour. They set standards of maturity for the wines I can presently afford to buy but can't come close to matching. Most people have never drunk these wines and thus are quite happy with less expensive bottles.

    What I spend may sound lavish but in absolute terms it's chicken-feed. Take for instance this anecdote I've already posted several times.

    On the day I retired my employer took me and several of my publishing colleagues out to lunch. I noticed some unbelievable wines on display at the restaurant. "Is this place for real?" I asked my boss.

    He disappeared then announced he'd come to an arrangement with the restaurant. A bottle had been picked but there was a good chance it had "gone off". It would be opened (very carefully) and I would get to taste it. If it had gone off the restaurant would charge Price A, if it was OK they would charge Price B. So here are the details:

    The bottle was a 1945 Richebourg (burgundy) created while the Nazis still occupied France. Price A was £450, and Price B (which was paid, since the wine was OK) was £550.

    Now please, please no whinging. Don't tell me that no bottle of wine is worth that kind of price. Because "worth" is measured by the price someone is willing to pay. If you'll allow me, let me assume the Richebourg wouldn't have been worth £550 if you'd been paying. But suppose someone else had been paying. You might have had a sip but you may still have concluded it wasn't worth £550. But would this have been a useful judgment? What would you be comparing it with?

    The final comment came from my boss who'd stumped up the cash."A bit of fun," he said. I agreed. About six of us each got to drink a serious bit of burgundy and I was able to file away an experience that would help me make better informed judgments in the future. The fact is I don't just drink wine I like to make comparisons. To do so I need to push the boat out a bit. I suspect you don't do this. Understand I am not trying to convert you and yes I am aware that Yazidis are dying of thirst on a mountain in northern Iraq. And yes I do drink bottles of wine costing £8 (though rarely any less).

    Faced with a wine list in a restaurant (with the usual restaurant mark-ups) I try to pick the best bargain according to my lights. Bargains are measured on a sliding scale so the price may lie somewhere between £25 and about £80. To remove any suggestion of exploitation I often offer to pay.

    Wine snobbery? Maybe. But the results are usually better than those based on wine ignorance. Especially willful ignorance.

  11. Anyone else worried about that double asterisked addendum? We now know that one month's wine budget would put our hero in tight leathers and a helmet, but with a thousand other possibilities open I think we need to offer a thought to RR's relationship with the unfathomable.

  12. Do you think if 2000 leagues had been a mere 1000 leagues, the story would have been any different? If someone had called "hundreds and thousands" "tens and twenties" would they have been less popular?

    There is a song, you won't like it but the lyric is with me often. "If I live a thousand years, Every day, I'll think of you. A thousand years, Do you think I'll see it through?"

    Well done by the way - blogging is a strange art but even strangeness takes commitment!