My employer, Vivienne, has unfortunately decided that as well as running the on-line side of her business, that I need to understand (or attempt) to understand the mumbo, jumbo element.
I never intended to work for a witch (and no I don't believe in magic - and yes she reads these pages), but due to an unfortunate incident at the bank (I've written about this elsewhere) have moved out of mainstream IT.
Permanently. Thanks. V.
And so this week, I've been researching spells in latin, which I might add, is really not part of my job description. Running servers. Yes. Scripting Yes. Coding. Yes. Latin for witches?
I know people reading these pages, imagine this is fiction, which makes me laugh. Fact can be stranger than fiction, and once you leave a normal career path, you discover that it often is.
V. decided to sweeten the bitter pill of making me read (and learn) spells in Latin by sending me on a field trip (her words not mine) to the British Museum to look at artefacts 4 real.
Sweeten the bitter pill!
I am good at three things in life (maybe four but I don’t want to go there at the mo. as number four kind of freaks me out) and languages is one of them, and Latin was one of my first loves.
Well. Well. Well. Aren’t I just the geek? Geek. Nerd. Programmer. Latinest. Four eyes. Etc. Pretty hot at martial arts as well as it happens, and have had plenty of practice. Life hasn’t always been smooth.
Still back in a past life, I had opportunities, and as it happened know some Latin. And not just dumb mottoes: omnis festinatio ex parte diobolis est, stipendium pecati mors est anyone?
And inscriptions, I love the simplicity of Latin inscriptions, on mottoes, and especially engraved on gravestones:
requiescat in pace which in my head I always pronounce in Church Latin with an Italian accent.
I could go on.
So, ditching the servers and witchy SEO for an afternoon, and reading Latin inscriptions is right up my street.
Vivienne, clever boss that she is, hoped to kindle my interest in Latin and through that spells in Latin, and why not? After all, graveyard Latin, is relatively speaking a new invention, so why not Latin spells.
And so off I trotted, happy as could be, and spent hours deciphering Latin inscriptions in the British Museum . None of them are magic, but that is beside the point.
Take a gander at the picture on the right (from the British Museum) and you can read the inscriptions:
primo quarito regnum dei caetera adiccientur scio cui credidi quum posui deum adiutorem meum
devotus dominabitur astris
Ok. These took me a while to decipher. I’m not an expert, more an enthusiastic amateur.
It was dark when I left. In passing, and in case you too are cool like me I picked up a book on Latin inscriptions by Dirk Booms. Totally recommend it. Geeky and proud.
I had taken the bus home and got off several stops before my gaff. I wanted to stretch my legs after all day reading Latin inscriptions, and it must be said composing some of my own - a therapuetic passtime if you are so inclined. All you need is a Latin dictionary and grammar.
My inscriptions were more like spells. Latin spells for raising the dead in fact. OK. I was playing around. I'm not superstitious and don't believe in magic. I thought I could use these to test V's understanding of Latin. (It turns out she knows far more than me).
Anyway, so there I was walking along an empty road in the half-light listening to ‘Another half hour till sunrise’ by the Meteors, very apt as it turned out, as it is all about some muppet who inadvertently raised the dead by messing around with some spell or other - found in an old book ...
... when and I know that this is going to sound really stupid - I knew absolutely and beyond any shadow of doubt that I was being followed.
You know that feeling, that sixth sense that you have when something just isn't quite right.
I looked around. No-one. Not even a cat, dog or bird. And the air felt noticeably colder.
But you know when you squint and almost see something.
That was how it felt.
It could be that I had freaked myself out with all that Latin spell nonsense, or being in an empty street after the crowds in the museum wierded me out, but I was scared.
Scared of nothing as there was nothing there, but still scared.
Almost scared enough not to look at my phone when it vibrated in my hand.
A text "It's taken care off. Go home. Lock the door and don't sleep until sunrise."
Well, that was cryptic, but given my state of mind strangely reassuring.
And that is what I did.
I needed to do something to avoid sleeping last night, and so for your delight and delectation present you the one and only Latin spell generator.
Pretty light-hearted all things considered.
Not that the subject of Latin spells for witches was closed. Far from it in fact. I'll tell you as soon as, but for now, be warned that the we (or mainly me) are at the start of what might be an interesting diversion from the run of the mill *nix type work that I do.