February 6, 2015

Peasholm Park

One of our days in Scarborough we spent in Peasholm Park. I was still feeling pretty awful from my allergy, and while a park probably wasn´t the best place for me, going shopping again felt too depressing.

The park is lovely, was opened in 1912 as a Japanese themed park, and is recently restored with the support of the Peasholm Park Friends, a group of volunteers who even set up a website for the park. Now that I have looked at the website I´m sorry we didn´t go see the Naval Warfare thing, which they describe like this:  "For more than 80 years the “Battle of Peasholm” has been played out for 30 minutes three times every week during the summer season, delighting audiences..." They have a gallery of photos, old and new, here. Soo British! We did, however, enjoy the music of an organist sitting in a floating... pagoda, perhaps. He played jolly evergreens like "The sun has put his hat on" from the musical "Me and My Girl", and an ABBA-medley, which he commented with "hördi-gördi*, and all that kind of thing". I guess that´s what the English thinks Swedish sounds like: hördi-gördi. The Brits are crazy about ABBA, you hear it played all the time.

Well, we walked into the park, following the Tree Trail, and all of a sudden we found ourselves in a cemetery. The English kind, that looks completely abandoned. If a stone falls over in a Swedish cemetery, it is considered a desecration and a disrespect to the dead, not to mention a hazard for children (after a child climbing a stone was crushed under it a few years ago - a tragic accident). The English seem to think otherwise. Their cemeteries have a gothic kind of beauty, though, that I like; it really is a place for the dead. Swedish cemeteries are positively cheerful and lively in comparison.

I did do a lot of drawing, there are many photos of me sitting on a bench, red-nosed with a packet of Kleenex in my breastpocket and a drawing pad in my knee. Looking at the drawings now, at least I can say that my skills have improved since then!

No wonder Dracula was attracted to England... 

* I attempted an English spelling of "hördi-gördi" but couldn´t decide on one that I was sure would have an unambiguous pronounciation. The sound that goes with the letter "ö" can be spelled in English with an i, as in bird or first; with an e, as in her or serve; with a u, as in burn or turn; with an o, as in word; or with the combination ea, as in learn or pearl. I would not be surprised if there are more variants. What to choose? One of my old English-teachers comes to mind, who sighed and said that there are no clear rules to English spelling. You just have to learn every word by using it. Perhaps I should have gone with an e - it works after h in her, and after g in Gertrude. "Herdi-gerdi"?

What if the English would adopt the letter ö? I´m sure millions of först-graders would be grateful, easily lörning to spell wörds like börd, först, hör, sörve, börn, törn, lörn and pörl. Of course, pearl and purl would be spelled the same way, but there already are lots of words with several meanings. Wouldn´t that be just pörfect? Hm, maybe not.


  1. Such a colorful park!

    I'm familiar with "hurdy gurdy" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurdy-gurdy -but maybe not in this context.

    1. Interesting link, that was new to me! No, I think our organ player was refering to this guy:

  2. Oh, and English spelling! lol We would like to get rid of "C" since "S" and "K" seem to do fine without it ;)

    1. I know - my grandfolk´s generation often pronounced bacon "bason", with a long a, as in father, you know: baaason. I guess you could say "rökt sidfläsk" as well, but bacon is a loanword and established in the Swedish language now.