But there isn’t. There’s no word for that peculiar sense of smug superiority mixed with pity that (for example) newly liberated non-smokers feel when they see a group of freezing nicotine addicts huddled in doorways; and there should be a special word for the singularly annoying detritus of dried-on chewing gum stuck to the pavements around litter bins.
So however adaptive and innovative English has been, other languages - with much less global clout - can match it. Dutch has a word that means ‘the pleasure of leaning into a strong wind on a clifftop’ and the Welsh word hiraeth signifies a mixture of longing, nostalgia and world-weary homesickness which is utterly untranslateable (as any Welsh-speaker will tell you).
Here, thanks to Hildie’s researches, are some more…
The feeling of being alone in the woods.
The mark left on a table by a cold glass.
A person who asks lots of questions.
The time spend after a meal talking to the person you shared it with.
The feeling of anticipation that leads you to keep looking outside to see if anyone is coming.
Sunlight filtering through the leaves of trees.
The feeling of isolation and disorientation that comes from not being in your own country.
The transporting suspension of disbelief that can occur in good storytelling.
An unfunny joke told so badly that you can’t help but laugh.
The act of scratching your head in order to help you remember something you’ve forgotten.
The road-like reflection of the moon on water.
They’re lovely, aren’t they? Thanks, Hildie.
* * *
PHOTOBLASTS FROM THE PAST
My continuing campaign to de-clutter and de-junk my living quarters here in Truckshunter Towers has once again turned up some forgotten photographs squirrelled away in places photos just don’t belong.
Children in Need - but I don't know which year. Sorry!
At the Tall Ships on Tyneside in 2005
Two tableaux - a greengrocer's shop and a café - hand-knitted for the Blue Bus programme.
I love them - and wish I still had them. I also wish I could remember who made them.
Broadcasting from Ryhope Pumping Station Museum.
Producer Steve Drayton is on the left.
After carrying the torch on Wearside for the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2005.
Left to right...Mam, me, Vicky (my nephew's partner), John and our Barry* * *
The first AGM for ages and ages will take place at 1100 on Thursday 6 February, starting at Oliver’s in Grainger Market.
If you can, please try to get there and prove that AGMs aren’t just Ian sadly sipping coffee and struggling with a crossword…
* * *
Post comments on this blog or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org