Blog Archives

Traditional ways

If you drive east out of Southend-on-Sea you’ll reach the coast within ten minutes; walk south and you’ll be in the Thames estuary. Head north and you are in an out-on-a-limb strip of flatlands bounded on three sides by water: the River Crouch, the River Roach and Paglesham Creek. It is here on a Sunday you can see plenty of cyclists, motor bikes and trotting horses with traps whizzing up and down the lanes. It’s quite a sight.

There’s a pub where the road runs out at Paglesham Eastend. It has a small car park of the regular sort next to the pub and then another over the road behind a tall hedge – like this.

Plough & Sail car park

Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter.
It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark.

~ Attributed to travellers from the Claddagh area of Galway

Rokkerin the jib

Photo from – horse-drawn holidays in Cumbria

The title of this post is in Romani, language of the Roma people.  Rokkerin the jib translates as speaking the language and that sums it up.  It is not, and never has been, a written language, it is purely oral.  Some words have found their way into English language e.g. chavi and kushti, and to the best of my understanding modern Romani also includes loan words from English.

Given that Romani is not written down, it’s hard to find out much about the language, but I think that rokkerin the jib is one of the most expressive phrases you could ever roll round your tongue.

For more genuine rokkerin visit Traveller Times here.

It’s the flat kids, but not as we know it…

Our Ladies Day at Epsom featured countless zebras, but none in the paddock, various stilt walkers, golden fauns, swing singers, plus pink feathers and pizzas.

We were coralled on the top of a very hot hill and therefore entirely at the mercy of the sideshows, the feather ticklers and the water-sellers: that’ll be two quid please.

The best result was finding a free car-park, in the middle of a travellers’ encampment. It was hard by the £25 version. When we came back to get the car there was some kind of really serious coin tossing game going on. A showman in the middle of an enraptured circle of shirtless men was offering a 20 note if…

I would liked to have stayed to find out if? but I erred on the side of caution for this occasion. Maybe next time, with a picnic.