Well we took the band (Full Circle) down to the muso’s night at The Pot Belly Tavern in Belconnen, Canberra and it went down a treat! Great crowd, wonderful atmosphere. We trialled a couple of new (for us) pieces like Old Joe Clark – an Appalacian fiddle tune and the crowd loved it and called for more. So a good night was had by all!
… so over dinner we were discussing how to spend tomorrow together, and Sharon suggested she might like to spend her voucher at the bead shop. Interesting concept: a ‘voucher’. I wondered if it might be Norman French perhaps derived from the morphemes: vous and cher – you and dear (in both senses of ‘valued friend’ and ‘your expense’. I wondered if perhaps, like computer the word originally meant a person – in this case who vouchsafed for something, provided a third party guarantee – and indeed it seems I was not far wrong. It does derive from the Old French, including versions of voch, vouchier etc which meant to claim or to invoke – ultimately from the latin Vocare, to speak or to call (hence giving one’s word). But the term is first recorded around 1325 – somewhat after the Norman invasion of England, but perhaps it took a while for the word to be absorbed into the language and customs of the time.
According to the Oxford Dictionary the voucher was indeed a person, who did the vouching and the vouchee was the one vouched for. This seems to have predated the widespread use of a written guarantee.
By 1531 the word ‘voucher’ was being used in terms of a piece of paper that provided a guarantee as solid as the thing itself – in that case the reference was to the revovery of a voucher which would stand as good as if the land it represented were recovered in payment.
So tomorrow, Sharon will present her voucher which will stand in place of the money previously paid as guarantee that the payment was made before any goods were exchanged, and receive in equal value the beads that were virtually purchased before she even entered the store, enacting a tradition of trade that predates the widespread literacy of the modern era.
Three items of news have gained some prominance today: the Indonesian volcanoes erupting in the vicinity of the recent earthquake and tsunami activity; a deadly flu virus distributed across the world in flu testing kits; and a first look at one of the oldest stars in the universe. Amidst all these cataclysmic natural forces and plagues, it seems almost churlish to remark on a politician breaking an election promise doesn’t it? Why should we be worried about an erosion in health care funding promises in the face of tectonic plates doing their bump and grind in the Sunda Strait.
The way the media has juxtaposed these items – the way the volcanic activity demonstrated precursor signs that perhaps might have given some warning – alongside a politician signalling a promise of further erosions to come, gives a kind of air of natural forces to the acts of our political leaders. Quite clever when you think about it!
I’ve been using a Macally single button mouse with the iMac ever since we got the iMac about five years ago. Yes the mac is still going strong, and so is the mouse. But when my daughter discovered that the mouse worked really well in her Apple iBook laptop that she picked up second hand, there has been a bit of a bottleneck for use of the mouse.
So today we headed out at lunchtime, marched into the Apple store and took advantage of the curious salesperson who strayed too close to us and inquired whether we were just browsing… “No.” I said. That flumoxed him for a moment and he turned to leave us to browse. “I’m after a rodent” I declared. He regarded me curiously as though I might perhaps be looking for a pet shop before I rejoined “a simple mouse – USB please”. “well,” he started, “we have the apple white mouse at AU$50…” “Sounds fine to me” I said before he could tell me it had no visible button and there are various scrolling multi-button mice just over… “I’ll take one thanks”.
I don’t think he was used to people behaving decisively, but he managed to rescue his composure long enough to dig out a small box. The transaction was done in five minutes flat and we then had time to find a good eating spot.
The mouse is unusual – great looking as is all Apple stuff. The ergonomics are okay – once you get used to putting your hand’s weight on the back end. So much better than the infamous puck mouse served up with the original iMacs!
And now no more bottleneck!
Well I finally got around to updating the band’s website a little to take account of the National Folk Festival and St Patrick’s Day.
Still a bit fluey from the festival lurgy but recovering well. learning some hardanger music, including a couple of schottisches and a ganglat! And a wonderful waltz called “Vals efter blinder Peter”