Sunday, 27 September 2015


Been a good, hectic, weekend; but I think I must leave Friday (which was, incidentally, my birthday) out, and start on Saturday, which, as per the photo above, started with brekky at Hollow Trees farm shop Restaurant, with five of our friends. The usual excellent,tradional breakfast was held. Then, after we'd run the two foremost females (or, to put it more politely - the two ladies nearest the camera) back to Highdale, we got back in the car and motored over to Cambridge, and had our annual quant along the Cam in a pair of punts with as many of our descendants as could make it.

Above are the two punts, with, central to the picture, senior daughter, Sarah and her mate, Mikey.

Passing, above photo, King's College Chapel to prove it ( where we were, I mean).

Then back to the Double Tree Hotel, as it's now called, to a long table where a mini version of tea at the Ritz was laid out for us. Above shows Ann with our youngest descendant, Great Granddaughter Astrid.

Above photo shows second youngest descendant, Elsa, feeding bits of egg and cress sandwich to her slightly younger second cousin Astrid. A very responsible position, being a senior second cousin.

And finally your blogger Pa Magna Mike, with his two Great Granddaughters, Astrid and Elsa; which names trip off the pen nicely, I think.  Yesterday was a Great Day, set in the middle of a GREAT WEEKEND!!!!!

Off now, for a mid afternoon Zizz, or Kip.

Cheers and Regards, Mike.


Rog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rog said...

Bubbly on board? You have to keep the punters happy, I always say!

Mike and Ann said...

Well, to give them their due, Rog - they bought it with them, and shared it handsomely!

Crowbard said...

Happy families Mike, Babes bring out the best in you! (And you probably bring out the best in them.)

stigofthedump said...

LOL Rog.....punters!!!
PM (Pa Magna!) lovely set of photos, it was indeed a GREAT afternoon, thank you again

paul cully said...

Your use of the word "quant" had me scurrying to "Google" but to no avail. So I dug around in my bookcase and came up with my Concise Oxford Dictionary, Ninth Edition and by God it did not let me down. There was "quant" in all its' glory. Although it's called the concise version and men of your erudition would probably sneer down your very distinguished noses at such a paltry resource it does clock in at 1673 pages and is by far the heftiest tome in my collection.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Paul. Nice to hear from you. Good word -Quant- can be handy for Scrabble. However, the point is that I grew up in the Norfolk Fens where the word is still in everyday use (or was then). I've just looked it up in my Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary, and it is given as referring to the quant pole, a word used in East Anglia / Kent. The word derives from the Latin 'contus', and Greek 'kontos'; so it has a respectable ancestry - not just an East Anglian dialect word..

Mike and Ann said...

P.s. Heads down. I'm sure Crowbard will pick up on that lot.

Crowbard said...

Oh, well, if you insist Mike; I found most of this info on Wikipedia and it required only minor editing. A quant or quant pole is a pole used to propel a barge (when it may be deemed to be a barge pole) or a punt through water (there are no punt poles, only quants). A barge quant often has a cap at the top and a prong at the bottom to stop it from sinking into the mud. On the Norfolk Broads these are called a Bott and a Shoe respectively. A quant used with a punt is about 4 metres (13 ft) long and made from either wood or a hollow metal, so that in either case it floats if left in the water.
On the Norfolk Broads a quant is used to propel yachts, especially those lacking an engine, when the wind does not suit. Large sailing wherries employed a quant pole at least 8 metres (26 ft) in length.
A quant is used not only to propel such craft, but also to steer them by acting as a rudder. The operator of the quant can slant the quant behind the barge or punt to determine the direction of travel.
There is also a popular saying: "I wouldn't touch that thing with a barge pole!" (sometimes rendered as "10 foot pole") but I have never heard of ‘quant’ being used in this expression.
1. Propulsion
The quanter stands at the front of the barge or, for a punt, normally on the rear deck. The angle at which the quant is held depends on the depth of the water and the desired speed of travel. A steeper angle is required for deeper water (the bottom of the quant must be able to reach the bed of the river or canal) and a shallower angle required for speed. The quanter drives the quant downward and slightly backward to push the craft forwards. On a larger boat, the quanter then walks down the side of the boat, facing aft and braced against the quant pole, the boat being propelled forward at the speed he walks. To reverse, the quant can be pushed forwards. The quant is then pulled out of the water by placing hand over hand on it and pulling upwards (as if one were climbing down a pole).
(Continued in next comment due to Blogger’s inability to count enough characters)

Crowbard said...

When quanting a punt, as in Oxford and Cambridge, the quanter stands stationary at the back and pushes off from the mooring (Oxford and Cambridge disagree on which is the rear end: decked in Cambridge and undecked in Oxford) and slides the quant into the water at an angle forwards. As the punt glides forwards the loosely held quant becomes increasingly vertical. When the quant is just past vertical i.e. sloping downwards from front to back of the punt, the quanter pushes on the quant to propel the punt forwards. At the end of the pushing stroke the quant is twisted with a downward roll of the wrists to break it free from the bottom, and then retrieved by being thrown forwards hand-over-hand in readiness for the next stroke. A rhythmic and smooth style is usually considered to be 'good form'. Disaster may strike if the quanter loses grip on the quant while attempting to extract it from the bottom, and the quant is left 'stuck in the mud' at an increasing distance behind the punt. This is not 'good form'.
It is not unknown, when the quant sticks in the mud, for an inexperienced quanter to choose to hold onto the quant rather than letting go, with the result that the quanter is left dangling from the end of the quant, and subsides slowly into the water. This, too, is considered not good form.
2. Steering
By dragging the quant at an angle behind the barge or punt upon the water, the craft can be made to turn. The craft will slow on the side on which the quant is in the water, so the craft will move in that direction. The greater the angle made between the quant and the barge or punt, the greater the turning angle. This effect can be enhanced (greater turning force) by pushing the quant forward through the water on the desired direction side of the craft. Alternatively, placing the quant such that there is an angle between the direction of motion and the line of the quant itself will push the rear of the craft away from the planted end of the quant, and so enable changes of direction. This method allows for corrections and steering to be accomplished without significantly slowing the craft, although generally requires a greater degree of skill.
3. The word is also used properly as the regular verb ‘to quant’ which takes all the usual English persons and tenses. id est the first person, second person and plural persons ‘quant’ but third persons (he & she) ‘quants’.

Crowbard said...

Contus is Latin for a pole (for any purpose).
πόλο (polo) is Greek for pole so is κοντάρι (contari), πάσσαλος (passalos, and παλούκι (palouki). I've not come across κοντos but it sounds OK as a variant of κοντάρι.

Crowbard said...

Just checked out 'κοντός' (kontos) and it appears to mean short or snippy, the latter being a North Americanism meaning curt. Don't know how this could etymologize itself into 'pole' but language evolves in a most convoluted manner. Perhaps the Greeks called poles short for the same reason Robin Hood called Little-John by that name. ???

Crowbard said...

Looking at παλούκι (palouki), I can at last understand why persons from the Bronx exclaim "Ya big palooka!" at tall, clumsy persons who spill beer on them in bars.

Mike and Ann said...

Dear Crowbard, our old acquaintance Michael Sajdak was a Pole and he was quite short.

Crowbard said...

Yes Mike, he was a Polish cousin-in-law and he became an English Baron, quite elevated for a short-house, possibly higher than a pole.