Leaf it out!

Our backyard needs sweeping as our lovely, abundant cherry tree is weeping leaves. Sweeping is my job. I do it every year. Here are the Before and After photos:

Backyard 25 November 2014 D

Backyard 25 November 2014 B

Sod it. I’ll do it tomorrow. Maybe.

Musical Monday: Taylor Swift

Snapshots from my foggy éco-parc today

An abandoned Vélib' bicycle on a pile of rotting mown grass.

An abandoned Vélib’ bicycle on a pile of rotting mown grass.

A heavy fog/smog hanging over my usually lovely panoramic view of Paris. The Eiffel Tower and Tour Monparnasse, normally so prominent, are nowhere to be seen this morning.

A heavy fog/smog hanging over my lovely panoramic view of Paris. The Eiffel Tower and Tour Monparnasse, normally so prominent, are nowhere to be seen this morning.

A river of stones flows through the centre of the park and under the bridge from which I'm taking this snap.

A river of stones flows through the centre of the park and under the bridge from which I’m taking this snap.

Musical Monday: Lilly Wood and The Prick

Don’t keep the home fires burning

A bonfire conveniently situated in the middle of the path. The council thoughtfully supplied firewood disguised as safety fencing.

A bonfire conveniently situated in the middle of the path. The council thoughtfully supplied firewood disguised as safety fencing.

I’ve written before about my lovely little éco-parc being defiled by thoughtless morons scattering empty bottles, cigarette packets, general debris here and there and everywhere. A couple of months ago I wrote a blogpost with pix of the mess some people make here.

The cooler weather seemed to have kept out the people who like to party in the park when the sun goes down. Or so I thought.

This morning I went for a walk, a fine sunny day for Armistice Day, and I was stopped in my tracks, literally, by the sight seen in the photo above. I could excuse these people lighting a bonfire because it was cold but not where they made it or with what.

Some of the wooden fencing, which has been erected to stop people plunging down the steep hill – especially toddlers running off the edge, was ripped up and used as firewood.

And the bonfire was located in the middle of the path – mothers with babies in strollers and people being pushed in wheelchairs had to divert round this mess.

I can imagine the very old might wonder why their fathers gave up their lives in the First World War.

Lest we forget.

 

Musical Monday: Jet

Playing with words

ThesaurusThe farmer was in the field sowing while his wife was in the sitting room sewing. They were both sewing, er, sowing, er . . .

. . . what fun can be had with homophones!

I bawled when I became bald.

Well, that wasn’t so funny.

Just to be clear: homophones are words that sound alike but differ in meaning or spelling or both (flour, flower); homonyms are words pronounced or spelt the same way but have different meanings (suit yourself, buy a new suit); homographs (or heteronyms) are words spelt the same way but have different meanings and pronunciations (desert [abandon], desert [land]).

The English language is packed with words like these: Altar, alter; alms, arms; pause, paws, pores, pours; ball, bawl; bait, bate; there, their, they’re; sees, seas, seize; heel, heal, he’ll; rite, right, write, wright etc etc.

I was going to further expand this blogpost by discussing synonyms, antonyms etc, and figures of speech such as litotes, zeugma, synecdoche and the rest, but if I accidentally misinterpret one of them I don’t want to be accused of being an oxymoron! See, what I did there? The use of oxymoron in that context is a malapropism – I’m turning figures of speech into figures of fun. Is there no end of joy in the English language?

One last thought on words: do people use dictionaries nowadays, or do they just google to find out meaning of words?

I have a lot of dictionaries of varying sizes dotted all round the house.

My father left me his huge two-volume Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (Unabridged), printed in 1961. Each volume measures 12 inches by 9 inches and one has more than 2,600 pages, the other 2,200. That’s a lot of words.

And within these tomes there are some exquisite definitions.

My favourite entry is the definition of “sky green”:

A light yellow green that is greener and deeper than glass green and greener and stronger than reed green.

My second favourite definition and an entry just ahead of my favourite is for “sky gray” [Americanism. Grey please!]:

A light bluish gray that is redder and paler than chicory.

I couldn’t have put it better myself.