Welcome to a new feature on WLOV called simply “Village Ways” in which local villager and expert on country matters Major Fore-Shortener sheds some light on the mysteries of the country side of the village.
Today Major Fore-Shortener tackles all things “Dray.”
Good day to you. I am Major Flemington Glastonbury Fore-Shortener. Bit of a long name – but unfortunately no real way of making it any shorter. Some people call me MFGFS, which is a bit shorter. Or Major FGFS. Which is a bit longer, but somehow feels shorter. Funny how some words or phrases feel longer or shorter than they actually are – although I can’t think of any at the moment.
In fact every single word or phrase that I am thinking of at the moment is exactly the same length as you would think it is. Funny that. Funny how when you’re trying to think of an example of something you can often not think of one.Ah, just had a thought. Words with silent letters are probably a bit longer than you may think – words like psalm, or psychology. Or Subtle.
Hang on a tick. I need to get this straight. ‘Subtle’ has a silent letter in it – but it takes the place of another letter you might think is in it a ’t’ in this case. As you might think it is spelt ‘suttle’ by the way it sounds. So the silent ‘b’ doesn’t really lengthen the word at all. Not really sure what it’s doing there to be honest – though I do think it does add a certain class to the word. A bit of breeding.
Anyway, you’ll find me popping up on this website every now and again to tell you a bit more about ‘village ways’ that we have here in the village. There will be stuff about animals and birds and farming and nature. It’s all going to be pretty terrific. Hang on I just came up with some examples of things without even thinking about it there. Funny that.
Anyway, we’ve all just read about Geronimo Gibson on this terrific new village website. We all saw that Geronimo was a ‘Dray Horse’ now the term ”Dray” according to all manner of books I have available to me may refer to a “wagon without sides used for delivering barrels and other heavy loads’ and/or the dray horse derives from the old English word “Dray” meaning to draw or haul. So not sure which of those to choose. But it’s all pretty terrific and exciting.
Now then. This kind of ‘dray’ is not to be mistaken with a “Drey” which us village folk know is the name of the ‘nest’ that squirrels build high up in trees. “A mammal in a nest!?” I hear you cry “Don’t birds live in nest?” well of course, you’d be right. But squirrels do too. And many’s the time when I thrown the odd stone at a drey to get the little fellas running – makes it easier to take a potshot.
Now don’t come on all ‘but they are just cute, defenceless animals’ to me. The grey squirrel, though a cute chap is vermin and pushed out all the little ginger chaps that we had in this country for centuries. So don’t feel too sorry for them.
Now finally, my other interest apart from searching for examples of things to illustrate a point I am making, shooting things and saying ‘funny that’ is hip hop music. And I know that some of you – particularly the younger ones among you, will, as soon as I mention ‘dray’ or ‘drey’ immediately think of legendary hip hop artist and producer Dr Dre. Now this chap’s real name was ‘Andre Romelle Y0ung’ and do you know it’s his 48th birthday coming up on February 18th? This young man is the founder and current CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics – I love those headphones and I sometimes wear them when I am out shooting as they look pretty fab. Young Andre has a fine body of hip hop work as both a performer and producer – my own favourites being his work with Ice Cube in NWA and later his production work for Snoop Dogg’s debut album ‘Doggystyle.’ So there you have it. Dray. Drey. And Dre. And I didn’t even mention Richard Dreyfuss – who sounds like a houseproud squirrel! More laters. Major FGFS.