By Melisseus

Old English

After quite a lot of years, we now have marmalade making down to a fairly well-drilled routine that starts with this and, all being well, ends with the above, via squeezing, scraping, pressure-cooking, iced water, shredding, dissolving, rolling boils, testing, jarring, cooling and turning. Three times. Overlapping batches. 

If you can keep a calm mind it helps, so I listened to a podcast about the collapse of the western Roman empire, leaving room for the Germanic tribes of northern Europe to expand into the vacated territory, including Britain. These were the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes. The Angles originated in what is now southern Jutland - mainland Denmark - an area of land that is shaped like a hook and, in their language, 'angle' meant 'hook' 

Their language, of course, became early English and many of their words survive in our modern speech, including 'angle' - in the sense of 'to fish with a hook'. Curiously, the other sense of 'angle' - the orientation of two lines in geometry - does not come from the Angles; it comes from Latin, via Norman French. Both the Germanic word and the Latin word can be traced back to a common origin - the root language of most of those in western Europe - in which a word that sounds roughly like 'angle' just meant 'bent'. This word also made its way down through 7,000 years into modern English to describe the bottom of your leg, where it bends round to form your foot: your ankle

I love that there are people who devote their lives to working out and writing down this stuff. And others who can turn it into a story that is entertaining enough, after a day standing at the kitchen worktop, to take my mind off my aching ankles

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