Archive for June, 2006

Horrid new building.

Monday, June 12th, 2006

Am I the only person who thinks the new flats on the site of the old Iron Horse Pub in Amersham are ghastly? Why does all current architecture have to be fake-something-else. Amersham on the Hill is a late Victorian creation spawned from a railway line. Can a fake-Georgian block of flats be “appropriate” for this environment? If that is appropriate, why can’t a modern design be appropriate? They are both 100 years out of date.

Just don’t mention the new carwash in Amersham. Architectural gem it ain’t. Nice one planning department.

Saxon spoken here?

Monday, June 12th, 2006

As an ex-South African who speaks a bit of Afrikaans, I am always impressed to see old Saxon names surviving in the UK. The Strand in London is a good example and still means beach in Afrikaans (and I dare say Dutch). As teutonic languages, Dutch, Afrikaans, flemish, plat-Deutch and Saxon are at the very least related. I just love Arreweg Lane in the hills behind Chesham. ‘weg’ is a road in Afrikaans and mutated into ‘way’ in English.

More than one customer of ours (their link with history obvious when they say ‘Chezzam’ rather than ‘Chesham’) comes in and asks for ‘mace trips’ instead of mouse trap. Now the funny thing is that a mouse in Afrikaans is a ‘muis’. The vowel pronunciation of muis is difficult to describe in English but is a lot closer to mace than mouse. Are the older folk in Chesham still speaking Saxon?