Friday, 29 October 2010

Weekword

Katy picked this week's word. It is the apt eldritch. I appreciate a word that makes me learn something!

It made me think, first, of Bodie, where le hub and I visited last summer. It's a ghost town on the border of California and Nevada; it was a bustling centre as long as the mine lasted, and then slowly fell out of use over time. A lot of the buildings are still there, and full of stuff; some places look like people just got up and walked away. It is maintained as a site of historical interest, so of course bits and pieces have been reconstructed. The whole place is a little eerie though. I like such places; it's interesting to think about the people who have walked the streets before me.

Two things that interested me about Bodie: firstly, the old Chinatown and red light street had been completely razed to the ground and there was nothing to be seen of it. It was just a grassy field. It seemed strange to me that that part of town had been completely destroyed, where the rest was still just about standing.

Secondly, apparently there's a curse attached to all the stuff there! If you find something and take it away with you, you will have terrible luck. There's a whole folder of letters from people in the visitors' centre, who found this to be true and sent the items back.


How much of that is created by the site managers to stop people stealing stuff is for you to decide; it did make me throw back a little piece of weathered, purple glass I'd picked up, though.

Eldritch being an old English word for something weird or other-worldly, though, I continued to think on it and it made me think of the Weirdstone of Brasingamen, a book I loved as a child, by Alan Garner. I can't remember very much about it, other than it involved some pot-holing and an adventure through old English countryside, similar to The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper, another favourite.

Sometimes when I am wandering around the countryside I get the same feeling I did in Bodie: who else has walked on this bit of ground, over the centuries? The wealth of history that is lost to us forever is something I can think about for hours at a time, especially when I'm thinking about Wiltshire, which has such a rich pre-historic tradition.

Christine is picking next week's Weekword so pop over on Monday if you want to take part!

4 comments:

Mandyland said...

I get that same feeling when I walk over historic ground. :)

Christine E-E said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine E-E said...

Bodie had that effect on me! what a tragedy seeing an abandoned house with a person's possession left behind. I have wondered if I could sleep in an abandoned house OR my car if I was stranded in a ghost town?? what would you do?

Christine E-E said...

posted my interpretation a bit late. Will be posting the new word tomorrow (SUNDAY)... hope you'll invite some other participants to join us.