I’ve often wondered, but have been too lazy to explore, the link between the words journey and journalist. Both have the same root word, which means “day” in French.
Root words notwithstanding, this site has taken a most interesting road to get here: Droppington Place.
It began as a blog about a garden railway. My wife and I bought a house that had a working G-scale railway in the backyard. It was pretty cool, but rough, and not very well designed, which made running it with our young kids a bit of a challenge. The kids grew older and lost interest, and dogs and cats and nature all took their toll.
The blog chronicled the restoration of the railway from its semi-buried condition to an operational railroad. Along the way I realized I don’t like G-scale: at 1/18th scale, more or less, it’s too big for my taste. I say more or less, because the actual scale of G-scale is rather ambiguous, ranging from 1/18th to 1/32nd. Give me HO, at a constant 1/87th scale.
The URL for the blog, called PoolsideRails.com, was devoted to chronicling the conversion of a G-scale garden railway to HO scale. Experts shook their heads and clucked: you can’t do HO outside. Well, it turns our they are correct. I found out that I don’t have the engineering finesse to pull off an outdoor HO railroad because, really, I don’t like model railroading. I like the miniatures.
So, away went PoolsideRails and in came a new URL called Papertecture – an exploration of HO scale paper buildings with a whole section devoted to HO scale vehicles: I like little cars.
While all this was going on, I began working on a novel called Droppington Place, about a disenfranchised twelve year old who finds himself in a paper world run by a homunculus, a paper alchemical copy of a human being. It’s a pretty cool book.
Papertecture didn’t go anywhere. PoolsideRails didn’t go anywhere. The blog didn’t go anywhere. Because they were meant to come together here: Droppington Place.
Your reward: according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, journey comes from the twelfth century French word for “a day’s travel.” Journalism has at it’s root the word journal, which is a French word for a day, jornal in the 14th century. Some time in the 15th century it became synonymous with the word “diary.” Go figure.