As dull as the doldrums
is a quotation from Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. The doldrums are an area of the ocean where ships may be becalmed.
In the doldrums is an expression about a state of one’s life where nothing much is happening or a lack of motivation or opportunity.
To tide you over may be a reason for giving or lending you money. Tides are well-known on the coast, but here tide means last until payday.
Greenwich Mean Time is also known as UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). It is the time at the Greenwich meridian (0° longitude) and is used to standardise international time zones.
Half-mast is half way up a flagpole. Flags are flown at half-mast to mark the death of an important person. Trousers which are not really long enough for their owner are also said to be worn at half-mast.
The shipping forecast is a source of important information to those at sea and fascinates many landlubbers too. Several books have been written by authors inspired by the ideas raised of sea areas and the rather soothing rhythms of the shipping forecast as read on BBC Radio. I enjoyed reading Attention All Shipping by Charlie Connelly, when it was the set book for a reading group which I used to attend.
A sorry crew is a group of people who inspire pity rather than admiration. They may not be anything to do with a ship’s crew.
Like the Marie Celeste means abandoned. The Marie Celeste was found floating at sea with no-one on board and no indication of what had happened.
Down the hatch may be said before drinking. A hatch is an opening on the deck of a ship, which may be closed by a trap-door. I suppose a related, rather rude expression, is, “Shut your trap!” meaning , “Be quiet!”
A red herring is something misleading. Herrings are fish. A herring dyed red by smoking is called a kipper. One may be used to set up a trail for hounds. In many posts on this blog I have introduced an expression which does not really fit. These expressions are red herrings. The Oxford Concise Dictionary suggests irrelevant diversion. Perhaps that sums up my blog and blogging in general. What do you think?
The Bible passage I have chosen to go with this post is Psalm 107:23-32