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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

In the Pink

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas FEBRUARY. 16, 2021

[199-365] 16th. February 2021- This is the local High Street and me trying to find something interesting and different to photograph on my daily walk.

Several of the buildings are undergoing restoration. Building work is something that never really stopped even during the first lockdown. Many of the villages around here have a high percentage of holiday homes and second homes, as many as forty per cent in some areas. The region is very popular with people from London and the South East.

As a consequence, during the first lockdown nearly a year ago it was still permitted for construction work to carry on in homes that were not occupied. So those trades never really felt the full wrath of lockdown, in fact many prospered better than in a normal year.

Why? Because the owners of the properties were not hit financially and at the same time were not allowed to travel to their second homes, so many took the opportunity to get major work done through the early part of the holiday season during lockdown, when the properties would normally be occupied.

In the pink - in extremely good health and spirits.

The origin of the phrase "in the pink" dates back to the late 1500s when a version of the saying appeared in Shakespeare’s classic, "Romeo and Juliet". In Shakespeare’s usage, though, it meant an outstanding example, with no connotation of health or vitality.

Why pink has been chosen to epitomise the pinnacle of quality is more likely to do with the Dianthus flower, many varieties of which are called Pinks. It is known that society in the reign of Elizabeth I admired the flowers, hence the first uses of pink with the 'excellent' meaning in that period.

What is interesting to speculate on is why the flowers were called Pinks. You may think that a silly question, as Dianthuses are almost always pink. There are two quite believable theories. One suggests, that it is the flowers that gave their name to the colour, rather than vice-versa, and that the name derives from the Dutch 'pinck-ooghen' - 'little eye' (literally - to blink). The second theory is based on the earlier verb form of pink, which means to cut or to pierce - in a style that would now be done using pinking shears. Dianthuses are said to be called Pinks because their edges are pinked. Take your choice.

A year ago, not long having moved, we were having central heating installed in the most terrible wet weather. During the chaos a swan appeared and walked up our drive, just standing there and watching what was going on. Two young guys who were working on the installation were rather taken with this visitor and offered it small morsels of their lunch. The swan just hung around quite happily at home. They were able to stroke him and get down next to him and have selfies taken with him, it was all a little surreal and a nice interlude in the working day.

Eventually the swan wandered off and everything returned to normal. The next day the two guys were late for work and when they arrived they explained that the swan had been standing in the middle of the main road and had stopped all traffic, until the police arrived and put it in the back of their van to remove it to the swan sanctuary. We later heard that it had been suffering from a broken wing, and a few months later he was back in the creek with his lady friend. Although they were swanning around by the bridge for most of the summer there was no flapping of tiny wings so at the end of the season we still just had the two swans.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because today six swans landed in the creek, someone spotted them flying in. So there is a buzz going around the village now, will they stay or are they just passing through? If they hang around, don't be surprised if they make an appearance here.

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