Bæda -The Feral Monk

January 12th, 2009 by admin

Sophia Arsenic Cladj was tinkering away in her laboratory in the University town of Oump in the Sminsk-Smir Republic on her time machine, when…..POUPH! back in England I suddenly found myself in a muddy vegatable patch with a what looked like a plain set of small churches near by.  What on Earth was going on?  I’d been doing the dishes back home in Hitchin in Hertfordshire, and now suddenly I was here in God alone knows where?  I must be dreaming?  This can’t be real?  All sorts of question came in and out of my mind; racing away and keeping me stuck to the spot where I found myself. I was jolted out of my incredulity by a voice shouting at me.

‘How! Yea! Gedoot me garden man’. Haweh man. Are yea listnin’ or waat’? Haweh, shift yersel man’. ‘Yer stannin’ on me kale’.

Oh lord. There was a middle aged man wearing a monk’s habit, and sporting a tonsure hair style like the old medieval monks and shouting at me. The language sounded familiar and different at the same time.

‘Yea alreet’?

‘Er yes thank you’. ( I had understood that at least)

‘Wat yea deein’ heeya’?

‘Oo, I’m sorry’. I said, stepping off the vegetables and on to a slightly less dirty  path next to them.

‘I don’t actually know. I was somewhere else and now I seem to be here. I don’t understand what’s happeing’?

‘Wat yea sayuh’? said the monk. He didn’t seem to understand me as much as I understood him. This was going to difficult to say the least.

‘Am not frum roond heeya’. I ventured tentatively in my own Geordie dialect. (it had been a while since I last had used it since moving down to the south of England)

‘Ur, ah git ya noo’.  Sooyah, where yea frum then’? he asked.

‘Am frum neeya St Alban’s. Me neyums Tony’.

‘Turnee yea sayuh’? he repeated.

‘Aye’. I replied. (This was getting easier) ‘Wat’s yor nayum then’?

‘Bæda’. He answered. (and in a tone as if I should have known)

‘Oh sweet lord’. I thought. ‘It’s the Venerable Bede’. Except he seemed a bit feral if you asked me.  Well, he wasn’t as clean as I would have liked or had expected of him. ‘Oh God’. I thought, and those buildings over there are The Monastery of St Peter & St Paul at Jarrow  in Northumbria and I’m not only in another space but in another time. No wonder it wasn’t too difficult to understand him. He was speaking the Northumbrian dialect of Anglo-Saxon. (Though I could have used Latin to converse with him just as well)

I suddenly  realised that I had no idea how this had happened or how on Earth I was going to get back home? Meanwhile back in Oump, Sophia Arsenic Cladj still hadn’t turned off her time machine.

NB. Bede didn’t know it yet, but he would go on adventures with a baby seal.

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