Life in a Dol house
2017 - Week 33

A short language guide to Dolski

This week has been a bit of a party week. I've been out to dinner, twice, and then we have the Puhjada

A poolside dinner with my neighbours was most enjoyable.

A couple of things have reminded me of the strength of the sun. 

We have had almost cloudless skies now since 1st May, and a total rainfall of just 34.1mm (1.3 inches), just under one third of the average rainfall in past years of 107.5mm. 

There has been just 0.8mm in the whole month of July. Today (Saturday) it has been cloudy all morning with an occasional rumble of thunder and spot of rain, but with the thick cloud, it was a very acceptable temperature of just 26ºC, thirteen degrees cooler than yesterday. 

Then by mid afternoon the sun came out and the temperature rapidly increased to 30ºC. 

The relentless sun and the absence of any meaningful rain have dried the soils and everything planted in them which isn't irrigated, apart from a few weeds and the odd tomato that seem to grow and thrive regardless. 

You can feel the heat radiating from stone walls well into the night, but what you cannot see is the UV light. I have increased my water intake to 3 liters per day, but even so I can still feel a bit dehydrated at times, and I am not venturing out into the sun!

I was helping a 5 year old this week to remember the colours of the visible spectrum to draw a rainbow in approximately the right order - Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain ~ Red, Orange,Yellow, Green Blue Indigo, Violet (have you tried explaining the difference between "indigo" and "violet" to a five year old?) - but beyond the red end is infrared and beyond the blue end is the Ultra Violet. 

Neither of which can you see, but that does not lessen their effects. It is UV which causes damage, to skin and to plastics. There is only a tiny amount of the spectrum that we see as sunlight.

The UV Index is a forecast or actual amount of skin damaging UV radiation expected to reach the earth's surface at the time when the sun is highest in the sky (around midday), based on the latitude and cloud cover.

The amount of UV radiation reaching the surface is primarily related to the elevation of the sun in the sky, the amount of ozone in the stratosphere together with the amount of cloud cover. 

However, thick cloud can greatly reduce ultraviolet radiation levels and, surprisingly, certain types of thin cloud can magnify the ultraviolet radiation strength. 

I had a UV sensor for my weather station, I have actually had two of them, but they have both been damaged by the, ahem, high levels of UV Radiation, and they stopped working! 

So at the moment, I am unable to record the actual UV we receive, but it is high. The forecast level is 8/12 but the actual may well be stronger.

With day time temperatures close to or over +39ºC this week, the searing heat plus the strong UV causes damage to anything and everything left in the open. I was watering on Thursday, with a pistol grip hose nozzle, when without warning, the side split open and I received a welcome, if uncalled for shower.

This sprayer was new in the spring. I bought it along with heavy duty hose pipe, allegedly UV resistant, and have left it in place in the orchard. 

Obviously the UV and the heat has weakened it to the point of failure. Then there are the fastenings for the covers on my solar water tubes. 

I bought two sets of ratchet fasteners in the spring to make it easy to attach and remove the covers. When I checked the covers this week, the polymer straps have decayed and frayed through and are about to fail.

I have removed the straps because if they failed, there is a strong possibility that the metal ratchet fasteners would damage the glass vacuum tubes. As a temporary measure, I have wired the covers in place with garden wire, but I need to think of a more permanent alternative for next year.

This is the week of the annual Dol festival, known as the Puhjada. The Puh is the so called Edible Dormouse, Glis glis, found in the forest around Dol and "Super Puh" is a cartoon character super hero to be found in the village magazine, Tartajun.

A number are trapped here every year, and are sold as a delicacy at the Saturday evening BBQ. 

I would much rather see them in the forest, looking rather like Yoda from Star Wars and this week I have had one taking ripe grapes from the vine over my patio. It was Risha who alerted me to its presence. 

I couldn't see anything as it was dark, but when I put the lights on and peered closely into the vine where Risha was indicating, two large, round black eyes were peering back at me. As I moved, it scampered away over along the vine and then over the roof of the Konoba, its bushy tail disappearing into the darkness. That is how they should be seen, not spit roasted!

I have done some translation for the village magazine, including the Puhjada programme and also some idioms. I struggle with the Croatian spoken in the village, because it is mostly dialect. Almost every island in the Adriatic has it's own dialect and some like our immediate neighbour to the north, Brač, have their own language. The area around Milna is recognised as the only place where Chakavian is spoken in our islands.

Meanwhile, here in Dol, it is "Dolski" which is spoken. A dialect is distinguished by its vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation and Dolski is mutually unintelligible to people outside the immediate area, even in Split, just 24 KM away.

Words have been imported from all the languages of this island's rulers over the eons of time. For example "Polje" which in standard Croatian means 'field'. But here the word "ager" is used. 

I didn't spend very long learning Latin at school, and I wasn't very good at it, but I recognised it straight away, 'Ager' in Latin means 'field'. 

The island of Hvar was under Roman occupation and for a number of centuries was ruled by Venice, but it is not the Italian for field, "Campo" which has become embedded in the dialect, but the Latin from centuries ago. It does make it difficult for a language learner when speakers slip effortlessly between standard Croatian and Dolski in mid sentence.

I have posted two 360 degree photographs, taken on Saturday evening, one of the Esplanade outside St Anne's Church, while there was still enough light and the children were being entertained, and the second of the inside of the Church where an exhibition of children's paintings was being held.  Click on the links to open them and explore the images.

In the latest village magazine, I have contributed some english equivalent idioms for some common Dolski sayings, but I found the exercise challenging. 

The magazine needs to be understood by people whose first language is not English. Even when their first language is English, it might be the American or Australian variety. 

Across the British Isles, there are many local idioms, often geographically or professionally restricted, so it took a little while to choose the right phrase. 

In the area I used to live, someone who is perhaps a little intellectually challenged would be described as being "a few bales short of a full stack" or being "a bit ten-seven".

But to understand the idiom, you need to know what hay bales were. I doubt there is a single baler on the island.

And what happened to them.

However today "hay bales" probably means a machine like this

And in a field, they probably look more like this

So the whole meaning is lost.

And if you want to see how it is done, here is a video...

However, I think the idiom I found will cross all cultural and linguistic boundaries - enjoy! 

Kratki jezični vodič za posjetItelje Dola ~ 

A short language guide for Dol visitors