Wandering by the Rusland Pool beck this ewe was keeping an eye on me, as I was her
with her embellishment which is a practical identification but also gives her a blue punk style I found enchanting.
Reece Ingram who says he is "fascinated how closely the sheep resemble the landscape they live on. Each sheep looks like a gathering of hills". He too is fond of sheep and has made many representations in stone and sandstone. This is one is made of oak, the national tree of England, like the sheep it has endurance in all weathers. It is one of six called "Sethera" in Ridding Wood. I could only spot four so the other two must be hidden somewhere waiting to be found. Or should I say I could only spot methera and the other tyan are hidden for the artist has used the old shepherds counting system and sethera means six. Long gone out of use its final death-knell I imagine with the 1870 education act providing schooling for all. Each valley had its own counting system although they had their similarities. The method may have be been brought here by the Celts or Norsemen in the ancient past. Today only one (or should I say yan) is used in dialect; yan =1, such as "can I have yan of them"
Ready to count? 1 yan, 2 tyan, 3 tethera, 4 methera, 5 pimp, 6 sethera, 7 lethera, 8 hovera, 9 dovra, 10 dick, 11 yan a dick, 12 tyan a dick, 13 tethera a dick, 14 methera a dick, 15 bumfit 16 yan a bumfit, 17 tyan a bumfit, 18 tether a bumfit, 19 methera a bumfit and 20 figgot. In some parts of the county 15 is mimph but the child in me prefers to say bumfit.
An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet.