August 20, 2012

Nobody looks back . . .

. . . and remembers the nights they got plenty of sleep.

Good morning friends, the title of the post is probably more gong than dinner.  But whilst you’re flipping those Pfannkuchen for breakfast, consider this. 
I often ‘cruise’ the Internet for factual, fictional, or downright obscure knowledge.  Why, despite an extensive education, do I have a hankering for knowledge of the autodidact?   Difficult to say.  The glorious thing about the Internet data is instantly available, and turbo-charged with on-line libraries, newspapers, Facebook, and blogs.
People get cross about Facebook and blogging and insist that it is too self-involved.  To the contrary it is often because of blogs that I look into corners of the world, and areas of thought, that I had not previously explored. That too is a sort of pleasure. Every day I learn something, and this gives me an inordinate amount of satisfaction.
So I have decided to share some of the more obscure facts I have gleaned in exchange with other blogger.  Every time I discover something fascinating, I am going to share it on this blog. If it gets too pedantic, dull or geeky, just shout at me and I shall stop.
Here is how last nights ‘obscurity’ originated. I found a wry little message on Facebook: “Having SNP (Scottish National Party not single-nucleotide polymorphism) guests for supper, shall I offer English or French mustard?”
Quick as a flash Mona replied: “French, in honour of Bonnie Prince Charlie, who was of course Italian.”
Bonnie Prince Charlie Italian, surely not!

I remembered all those crazy old risings at school and university, and thought I knew everything about the '15 and the '45.  Bello Principe Carlo was never on the agenda.

So I looked him up. I had forgotten that he was in fact born in Rome, but I also discovered that his ‘mum’ was Polish.
The great hero of the Scots!   This is an auld alliance I never suspected. Charles Stuart's mother was the pious and melancholy Polish princess Maria Klementyna Sobieska. She did not much like her husband, spent a great deal of time praying, and died young, at age 32.  Alas!

And, as one good thought leads to another...I remembered another famous Pole, Joseph Conrad.  When I first read him I learned that English, in which he expressed himself so beautifully, was actually his third language. Kudos!

Keep your minds...


- Miss Jean Brodie said...

"Educate, from the Latin, e meaning out of, ducare meaning to lead."
Always happy to learn something new. Thanks.

Anja said...

…Marie Curie (Big Kudos)
Guillaume Apollinaire
Isaac Bashevis Singer
Billy Wilder
Magneto (X-Men)

a fan said...

You are the very model of a blogger inspirational
Your application's are groovy and your context viable
Your posting facts are mostly verifiable
You are the very model of a blogger that’s reliable
Kudos, Ms Edna

a fan 2 said...

Bravo for writing this wonderful blog! I've encountered many kind, interesting and funny thoughts, and the kind of people I would never have met, living as I do in the wilds of the Ural mountains.
спасибо Ms Edna, you're a tonic!

Linda said...

The Internet has given me a completely new window on life. When people ask me how I can be so juvenile as to use ‘that thing’ I just smile and let them go on. It's they who are missing out.
Your ‘obscurity’ me laugh out loud, great post.

SvO said...

Love it, almost tempts me to be a blogger too. Such wonderful insight, don't ever stop.

Mona said...

stick with me, woman-
you'll be f******* through silk! ツ

Ms. Edna (squared) said...

spot on Mona
friends, what would we be without them?

Charles said...

So that is why we had French mustard at the luncheon table today!
Bless you bonnie prince Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart.

Alistair from the land of Calvin and sulphur said...

Poor Bonnie Prince Charlie-the other -Philip Arthur George his Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland – he could have been a contender.

Dr. Bunsen and your gaggle of fans said...

Bonnie Prince Charlie and all that…lost in the fog of history.

Original version by Noel Coward, abreviated and embellished by Dr. Bunsen.

Born in an obscure Scotch manse of Jacobite parents, I Maggie McWhistle will go down to immortality as perhaps the greatest heroine of Scottish history.

And perhaps not.

What did I know of the part I was to play in the history of my country?
I lived through my girlhood, unheeding; helped my mother with the baps and my father with the haggis; and occasionally I would be given a new plaidie.

One dark night there came a hammering on the door. I leapt out of my truckle, and, wrapping my plaidie round me—for I was a modest girl, I ran to the window.

“Wha is there?” I cried in Scotch.

The answer came back through the darkness, thrilling me to the marrow.

“Bonnie Prince Charlie!”

I gave a cry and, running downstairs, opened the door and let him in. I looked at him by the light of my homely candle. His brow was amuck with sweat; he was trembling in every limb.

“I am pursued”, he said, hoarse with exertion and weariness. “Hide me, bonnie lassie, hide me.”

Quick as thought, I hid him behind a pile of cold griddle cakes, and not a moment too soon, for there came a fresh hammering at the door. I opened it defiantly and never flinched at the sight of so many men.

“We want Bonnie Prince Charlie”, said the leader of the crew in Scotch.

Then came my well known answer, also in Scotch.

“Know you not that this is a manse?”

History has it that the men fell back as though struck dumb, and one by one awed by the still purity of the white faced girl, the legions departed in the night. Thus I Maggie McWhistle proved mysef the saviour of Bonnie Prince Charlie for the first time.

There were many occasions after that in which I was able to save and hide him. I would conceal him up a tree or in an oven at the slightest provocation. Soon there were no trees for miles around in which I had not hidden him at some period or other.

Poor Maggie—perchance she is finding in Heaven the peaceful rest which was so lacking in her life on earth. For legend hath it that she never had two consecutive nights’ sleep for fifteen years, so busy was she in saving and hiding her Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Now, had he had use of our thoroughly untested Coil-Powered Catapult a.k.a.The Spring Fling, the world may have become a different place.

Ms. Edna (squared) said...

Wisdom dwells with prudence, and finds out knowledge of witty inventions?

Dr. Bunsen and gaggle of fans said...

Well-considered, carefully thought out designs, plans, conclusions, and da’ath [“knowledge”] is all!

Purrfectly content said...

Dear Dr. Bunsen, Noel Coward, and gaggle of fans.
I love funny historical recounts, especially historical romance where the characters step on banana peels on their way to the bedroom or up a tree.

Anonymous said...

Speed bonny boat like a bird on a wing,
Onward the sailors cry.
Carry the lad that's born to be king,
Over the sea to Skye.

Thanks, great post.