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September 2019



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notes from a small island

curiouswombat in photo_scavenger


Hmm - this one took a bit of thought. Some of you might know that I live in the British Isles - but not in the United Kingdom. I live on a small island which has had it's own parliament since some time before 979 - we celebrated our millennium in 1979 - it was the 1,000th anniversary of 'as far back as the records go'.

Our Tynwald (Scandinavian root - as in the Icelandic Althing - which meets at Þingvellir, or the Storting of Norway and so on) was presided over for most of its existence by The Lord of Man. This title passed, eventually, to the British Throne so that we are now a Crown Dependency. Tynwald was then presided over by the Lieutenant Governor, as the Crown Representative, until last century - when we decided to be even more independent and declared him to be purely ceremonial. Tynwald is now presided over by 'The President of Tynwald' - inside this building for most of the year -

Legislative building

Although, for a law to become a law, it has to be read out in Manx and English on the top of this hill -

365 week 24 Thursday


Tynwald still meets at Tynwald annually.

A picture of President of Tynwald Noel Cringle, and a close up of the wording in the first picture, is

This is Noel Cringle - aren't his robes wonderful. I did not use this as my picture as I didn't actually take it myself.

President of Tynwald.

And this shows the engraved glass and the slate sign on the Legislative buildings -


Motto in Latin, Signs in Manx, translation in English - yep - that covers everything!


Those robes are amazing. They somehow look at though they are made from delicate silk.
They're gorgeous, aren't they? I'm not sure what they're made from - but it very likely is silk.
It looks like a satin brocade; I'd guess a medium weight because the edges aren't terribly thick, but it would have to have some heft to support all that silver trim.

Wombat, how come you put president in quote marks? Is he not elected, or is there something else odd about the office?
Noel Cringle's job is to be the presiding officer when Tynwald meets - he is not the senior legislator in the way that a president as you understand it would be. That is the role of the First Minister.

The members of both chambers of Tynwald - the Keys and the Legislative Council, elect the president from amongst their number and so he is not directly elected either. It is an important role - but he is President of Tynwald, not President of the Island.
Your photos are always an education! I really enjoyed this post.
Thank you - I'm so glad it doesn't come over as unnecessary lecturing!
You live in such an interesting place! I love all these glimpses into another world - so familiar and yet so different. :)
Why thank you. It is quite good for me to remember that we are a bit weird different!
Extremely awesome!

Linguistically, I'm guessing Manx is somewhat related to Welsh? (Or is it Scandinavian?)
Thank you.

Linguistically, Manx is a Gaelic language, one of the three Goidelic languages - and so more closely related to Irish and Scots Gaelic than to Welsh - if Irish, Scots and Manx Gaelic are seen as sisters, then Welsh and Breton are their first cousins.

There are elements of Old Norse in some of the place names and also in the language. But it is pointed out in one of our museums that the incoming Nordic warriors married Celtic women - they often named their new homes in their own language, but their children mainly learnt to speak from their (Gaelic speaking) mothers... and so in a couple of generations the language became Gaelic sprinkled with Norse - if you see what I mean.
Yes, indeed. Very nifty.

I can only speak English (and Americanized, at that), but I'm fascinated by language!
Fascinating! And I love Noel Cringle's name, too. It's very Christmas-y, because Noel is Noel, of course, and then it sounds like Kris Kringle, and he even has the white beard and jolly face. (Why yes, I do miss the holiday season. Why do you ask?)
I've just checked on Wiki (as you do!) - Noel Cringle wasn't quite a Christmas baby - he was 73 on December 17th.

He does have a really jolly face, doesn't he?
Do people go to hear the reading of laws? Or is it simply and quietly done?

This photo prompt has been so much fun to see and read.
Oh the people are there! There is a picture in this article that shows what the atmosphere is like. The laws are promulgated on the hill in the morning - and the fair goes on around them for most of the day.

Traditionally people came from all over the island for Tynwald Day.

It has turned out to be a fascinating prompt.
His robes are wonderful!

I do love your posts. It's always like a history lesson-- and history was always my favorite subject!