Saturday, 2 January 2016

Browned Off

The first day of the New Year saw us heading over the border into Hampshire for a clan meet and greet. The journey from ours is one which takes in great swathes of the beautiful countryside and as a passenger this time I really appreciated the changing views. The one thing that struck me was how brown everything looks on a dull day whether it be the ploughed fields or the bare skeletons of the trees against the skyline. Brown...probably my least favourite colour I thought but then I started thinking that actually I'm rather fond of a nut brown, autumn tints, chocolate, earthy hues... indeed one of the first things that tells me that I'm away from my stomping ground is the change in colour of the local mud.

One day a Sussex man found a hat in the middle of the road when he was returning home from the pub. Imagine his surprise when upon lifting the hat he found a man's head beneath it. Digging down further he then discovered the man to be wearing spurs, deeper again said man was mounted on a horse...such was the dreadful reputation of the mud which blighted the would be traveller trying to traverse the county. Indeed Dr John Buxton in 1751 surmised that all the people and animals in Sussex were particularly long legged and this was purely down to the effort needed to pull their ankles out of the quagmire which stretched their bones and muscles. The "Sussex Butter" of January is infamous...somehow "a regular honey pot of a lane" sounds so much more charming than a muddy lane!

One of the pluses of all this mud is that there is a veritable treasure trove of words to describe the stuff in the Sussex dialect.... please allow me to leave with you with a few choice examples. If you rebrand your mucky boots with one of these adjectives perhaps you may feel a little more inclined to give them a good clean!  Cledgy, gawm, pug, slabby, sleech, slommocky, stabble and stodge to get you started! I am pleased to report that we meanwhile made it home safely.



  1. Wow mate! Do you know that about ten minutes ago I was thinking of a blog post about colour and that brown was my least favourite colour? Spooky!!! xx

  2. Great minds and all that. I'm sure your take would be different again and make an interesting read. Arilxx

  3. Brown-We go from beautiful fall to grey and brown of November until we get our snow, thankful for the sheet of white. Then, tured of cold and shovelling, we grumble until March when things melt and then brown looks wonderful.Depends on the mood I guess.

  4. I agree Sam- brown can be a hard colour to take to!


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