Riding on branch lines

steam train

I think the time has come to broaden this out a bit. You’ve heard about some of the treats on my list. Now I want to hear about yours. As I said in Permutations, the chances are that many of my treats won’t appeal to you – and I probably won’t like some of yours. But it’s always intriguing to see what people come up with when they give free rein to their imagination.

Taking the time to think about what you really want to do and committing it to a list has benefits that aren’t immediately apparent. At first it might seem self-indulgent and even a little narcissistic. But all I can say is that these mini-projects have brightened my life immeasurably over the past few years. They’ve propped me up, filled in gaps and offered unexpected experiences.

Knowing what’s on someone’s wish list tells you a lot about them. Are they thrill-seeking, contemplative or a mixture?  Who has influenced and inspired them? What have they done, or missed out on, that makes these dreams special to them? You learn surprising things about people – even those you think you know well. Try asking friends and family and see what you discover-  (it helps with present-giving too, particularly for ‘got everything’ kind of people).

Some of my friends and family have lists and I’ve posted these on The Treats Collection page. They range from Continue reading

Cruciverbal Thursdays

 crossword start   biscuits

Words are such a source of pleasure and fascination. It improves my life no end, to know for example, that pantophobia is not a fear of lingerie but is instead a fear of everything, and that a gongoozler is someone who stands and stares idly at canal boats and locks. And I probably spend more time than I should, puzzling idly over the fact that I’ve never heard anyone say that they’re gruntled, and wondering why I’ve been both overwhelmed and underwhelmed, but never knowingly, whelmed.

Then there are the words that are intriguing because they’re counterintuitive. If someone says that they’re a peripatetic teacher, my reflex reaction is to commiserate. Bucolic sounds more belligerent than idyllic and for years I could not remember what colour vermillion is. Somehow it just doesn’t sound like red. Do choirboys wear hassocks or cassocks? I’m never quite sure. And which man would be brave enough to flatter his wife by telling her she is ‘truly pulchritudinous’?

However, despite having a largely happy relationship with words, I’ve never been able to get on with cryptic crosswords. Continue reading