By: Blonde Two

Whilst I was in Austria, I got all excited.  Let’s face it, there was plenty to be excited about; mountains, cable cars, sausages, cake … bright blue down jackets.

I am not talking about those typically Austrian delights though.  I am talking about a little word that reminded me of home – “Tor”.  I saw it on a few signs and spent a couple of days of my holiday looking in vain for Dartmooresque rocky outcrops.  There were outcrops a-plenty but they were a few hundred metres too high to be what we in Devon would call tors.

As it turns out, Tor in German means gateway or goal but it’s European usage doesn’t end there.  It is a popular name in Norwegian and a beetle in the Netherlands.  Maybe I should have christened Six-Foot (son) “Tor”, it would have suited him.Ali at TreeTo me though, tors will always be shapely, dark, rocky outcrops.  So distinctive that you can (if you try really hard) name them by their silhouettes.  They will always be shrouded in mist and have wind whistling through their crevices.  They will have people huddled around them and the moon rising over them.  They will look like giants’ toes, grand castles and old men.  They will be at the top of a hill, be exposed to the rain and offer wild views that tempt you further into the moor.  They will be on Dartmoor and one of them will be called Blonde.

I was going to tell you about the root of our English word tor.  But I seem to have come over all poetic … you can always look it up for yourself!