Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Swinging The Lead

Since I delivered all the components for Book III, instead of getting stuck into Book IV (which I have started), I have been "swinging the lead". Apparently, this expression comes from the pre-sonar, depth-sounding practice of a man standing on the starboard chains of a ship (a small platform) with a lead weight on a marked rope which he is supposed to submerge to check the depth below the keel; properly called "heaving the lead". Owing to the drag on the line and the weight, this was an arduous task; so shirkers used to swing the lead in the air. From the degree of supervision, I think that the seaman in the picture is about to heave the lead.

I, on the other hand, am swinging the lead.

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