more horsey bits

The horses and riders who passed by at 7 am were obviously up too early to have had a chance to titivate. But at the ones who came by at eleven had all their ceremonial trimmings and trappings, and positively sparkled in the sunlight:

guards and horses in ceremonial uniforms, london

This gives me a chance to look back at a word I learned yesterday when I ‘bumped into’ the Lord Mayor’s Show. I knew the parade was scheduled, but was really rather hoping to avoid it. I was on my way to an exhibition when I suddenly heard drums and trumpets and found myself in a perfect position to watch everything. Since I rather like marching bands, I stayed.

At the corner by the Guildhall – yes, I should have known the parade would pass by there – some 20 policemen were ‘controlling’ a crowd of about half a dozen on a stretch of a hundred yards or more. (A little later someone did manage to come and stand directly in front of me, but there were still only a handful of on-lookers and I only needed to move two paces to my left to have a front row place again, so it was more amusing than irritating.)

Anyway, all the worshipful companies drove by in their floats: the fletchers and bowyers, the clock makers, the woolmen, the paviors, the glaziers, the broderers, the gardeners, the patten makers, the glovers… and the loriners.

I don’t remember ever coming across the word before, but there were quite enough visual clues to make it clear that loriners make the small metal harness items: bits and bridles, spurs and stirrups etc.

While trying to work out the proper English terms to write about that, I’ve been puzzling over the Spanish word guarnición. I am pretty sure that’s the term that includes all the bits and trappings the loriners make, but Google translates it as ‘garrison’.

The Real Academia gives a number of meanings:

1. f. Adorno que se pone en los vestidos, ropas, colgaduras, etc.
2. f. Aditamento, generalmente de hortalizas, legumbres, etc., que se sirve con la carne o el pescado.
3. f. Engaste de oro, plata u otro metal, en que se asientan y aseguran las piedras preciosas.
4. f. Defensa que se pone en las espadas y armas blancas junto al puño.
5. f. Tropa que guarnece una plaza, un castillo o un buque de guerra.
6. f. pl. Conjunto de correajes y demás efectos que se ponen a las caballerías para que tiren de los carruajes o para montarlas o cargarlas.

The sixth meaning suggests I should be using the plural form guarniciones, or I might be confusing loriners with gold or silver smiths (definition 3 would be a clasp or setting for jewels), or suggesting that they specialise in making salad garnishes or vegetables that are served alongside a main dish of meat and fish (definition 2). And that might well offend the members of a worshipful company that’s been going for seven hundred and fifty years.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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