Thursday, 12 July 2007

Bishop's Stotford

I spent from 2 til 4 o' the clock this morning wedged between a hot water bottle and the impending doom of next semester. So strong was my sense of imminent pedagogical catastrophe, as the inner-eye eyed off a catalogue of infinite tasks, that it took several rounds of my unpatented Abecedarian Soothing Technique (wherein your trusty insomniac compiles mental lists - of dog breeds, capital cities, edible fruits, nineteenth-century poets - in alphabetical order, inevitably snagging on XYZ) before I could bore myself back to sleep.

Though I don't have time at the moment, I have concocted a plan to safeguard against future wrestles with sleeplessness. My plan is this: the forthcoming Harlot's Inimitable Compendium of British Railway Station Names, With the Proposed Humber Coast and City Railway Supplement. The almost irresponsibly soporific Spalding, Grimsby, Cleethorpes, Bishop's Stotford, and Sleaford will put narcotics-traders out of business for ever. Law-and-order advocates will demand the use of sniffer beagles at airports to snout out contraband Inimitable Compendia. Civil libertarians will argue that consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes should be able to read what they like, though Harlot's Inimitable Compendium should carry a warning.

10 comments:

TimT said...

Aha, I can see you would have more than one submission to make to Train Stations I Have Known. What, pray, is a Stotford?

A Ford that Stot drives?

alexis said...

You bet I do. Stotford's etymology, I think, may be lost in the depths of British antiquity. Happy to be proven wrong, though.

Pat said...

Stot is Scottish (Icel. stútr; Sw. stut) for a young bull or steer; ford of course, is a river crossing.

alexis said...

Thanks, Pat. That's very pleasing. Good on those old vikings.

Pat said...

Actually... I poked around a little more. There's a Scottish clan named Stott, so likely, one of them emigrated south into England, and the locals named the nearby crossing Stott's ford. Perhaps. Maybe.

I must have been a librarian in a past life.

alexis said...

And I poked around a little more too, and realise that Bishop's Stotford is, in fact, Bishop's Stortford, so there goes that very pleasing image of young bulls prancing across the river.

Dammit. This is far too interesting. Noone's going to be able to fall asleep to the tune of such giddying intrigue.

St John Nottlesby said...

Except, maybe, the good Bishop himself.

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