Thursday, July 23, 2009

C is for

Cogenhoe which is a village near where I live.

A prize will be awarded to anyone who is able to tell me how Cogenhoe is pronounced.

Decided this is too difficult so will have to tell you that for those in the know, Cogenhoe is pronounced 'Cook - know'. God knows why.

But I am not going to write about Cogenhoe even though I have indeed been there on several occasions.

There are two English counties that I just love which both begin with C and they are Cornwall and Cumbria. I have gone on recently about the innumerable delights of Cornwall, so I am going to talk about Cumbria today, although obviously there will be nothing original I can possibly say that William Wordsworth hasn’t already covered. Such are the little challenges we bloggers do face.

Carlisle is of course in Cumbria. It is not an issue for my family this coming season as by managing to get ourselves relegated we are no longer in the same league as Carlisle, but the last time we went to Cumbria it was on account of the football fixture list. “Can we go to Carlisle away?” is the question I always get asked by my insanely fanatical Cobblers fan of an eldest son. This particular season I said “Only if we draw them away in August. If we do we will have a week in the Lakes at the same time.” We drew them away in the August, and that was how a group of 9 members of my family (it kind of escalated) came to be in Keswick the week leading up to the Big Match – Northampton Town v Carlisle. One of those family members was my niece, then aged 8. My niece will be given the last word in this post. (She always likes to have the last word.)

I have been to the Lake District many times. I’ve been up Helvellyn via the notorious Striding Edge, and I have been up Great Gable, but I have yet to go up Scafell Pike. In common with many other parents over the years, I have taken my kids up Catbells for their first real hill climbing experience. Also in common with those other parents over the years, it was mainly a nightmare of moaning and complaining, until they reached the top and then I had to listen to the bragging about how easy it had been. Choosing a favourite spot in Cumbria would be difficult, but I have to say that I can see why Alfred Wainwright chose Haystacks as the spot where he wanted to have his ashes scattered. The views in every direction are breath taking. I am so jealous of Gill and
Karen who both live in this wonderful county.

This particular week was mainly (as is so often the case) wet. In fact it was very, very wet. There was serious flooding and we thanked our lucky stars that on this occasion we were in a house and not camping. I am afraid very few hours went past that week without someone (and very often it would have been me) complaining about why the bloody hell we had to draw a match against Carlisle this of all weeks? Holidays often have a theme. Ours was very definitely the fact that we were in rain sodden Cumbria all on account of a bloody football match against Carlisle.

The day of the match dawned and off we went to Carlisle. My niece and sister for reasons that can only be attributed to sanity did not come to the match, which as you will by now be aware was against Carlisle, but went shopping instead in Carlisle town centre. They came to meet us at the ground after the game which we, and all of 125 other Cobbler fans, had seen us win 1-0. My sister told me that as they approached the ground my niece asked a security guard who had won. ‘”Northampton” he replied. “Oh good, “ she said. “Who were we playing?”

Errh, that would probably have been Carlisle sweetheart.

My niece had obviously spent the entire week managing not to listen to a single word any of us said – nothing new there of course.


Martin said...

A pedant writes:Maybe your niece was confused because you billed it as Northampton vs Carlisle and not the other way round.

Is it pronounced Cogunhoe?

J.J said...

Martin - you could have something there - it could indeed my fault. And there was me worrying that my beloved niece was in fact very stupid!

I regret however that your attempt at the prize is not successful. It is a far more obscurely difficult pronounciation that that.

Gill said...

cghw? said like a kind of spitting sound? that would be the cumbrian pronunciation anyway;-)

As I live in cumbria and can look at mountains anytime I like I don't feel compelled to try and climb them. But they do look nice if you walk along the bottom and look up- when it isn't raining of course.

J.J said...

I am sorry Gill - you have not won teh prize either (thankfully as I still haven't worked out what a fitting prize might be.)

When I lived in London I never went to any of the famous places there. Hill climbing is hard going - but on a clear day so well worth it.

naldo said...


Your niece sounds like she's gonna grow up to write comedy like Peter Cooke. She musta been takin the piss.

J.J said...

Naldo - good try, but afraid not.

But yes, I do notice a distinct tendency from my niece to take the piss. She is going to be a nightmare teenager!