Monthly Archives: December 2014

Wednesday Word of the Week

Chaos – complete disorder and confusion.


“The dance floor descended into chaos.”


I’ve got a confession: I thought ‘chaos’ was pronounced ‘cha-OOZE’ for the longest time. This is what comes of being a bookworm as a child: there were many words I mispronounced (and occasional words I misunderstood the meaning of – I thought ‘embrace’ meant ‘kiss’ for ages). I knew also that there was the word kayoss, which coincidentally meant pretty much the same thing as cha-ooze, but in my head they were totally separate. (I was not helped, incidentally, by my mother’s insistence on pronouncing the word ‘CHOSS’ – however, my mother’s interesting grasp of language [she did know that one wasn’t correct] would make a whole post of its own…)

Satisfied Saturday Six

The SSS celebrates six things that have gone well, or at least okay, in the past week. It is the creation of Terry Egan, who is all things wonderful.

1. Though Child was ill just before Christmas and is now coughing and wheezing like a good ‘un, he was pretty well on Christmas Day, which is very excellent.

2. We saw all of the local family on Christmas Day, and everyone seemed in reasonably good form.

3. People seemed to like their presents, and I got some absolutely amazing ones.

4. On Christmas Eve (which I might possibly have mentioned before), we celebrated a couple of anniversaries –  ten years since I found out I was pregnant with Child, and nineteen years since I first kissed Partner. Yay.

5. An unwell friend of mine had an operation which has improved their health immediately (better but not well, I should say, but better is always a good start).

6. I didn’t eat too tooooo much over Christmas, so avoided that “oh gods why did I have another helping of X?” feeling.

Satisfied Saturday Six

Wednesday Word of the Week

Placket – an opening or slit in a garment, covering fastenings or for access to a pocket, or the flap of fabric under such an opening.


“I rubbed my hand against the placket of my trousers.”


It’s such a specific thing to have a word for – an opening which covers fastenings. I can’t help wondering who thought it was a good plan to create such a word. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining. I think it’s rather splendid. But I also think it’s odd.

Satisfied Saturday Six

The SSS celebrates six things that have gone well, or at least okay, in the past week. It is the creation of Terry Egan, who is all things wonderful.

1. I’ve written about half of my article for Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine. I’m looking at what modern medicine might make of some of her characters… and it’s an interesting ride!

2. We have a Christmas tree! And it has sparkly lights! I like sparkly lights. AND I’ve received some Christmas cards, which is both lovely and slightly guilt-inducing because I’ve failed to get around to sending any this year. But it is lovely to have them around the place being cheerful at me.

3. I’ve started blogging again, which will hopefully stay as a Usual Thing from now on.

4. Thanks to my latest story (in Hired Hands), I have this week introduced my mother to the words ‘gaydar’ and ‘wankfest’. It is always useful to educate family 🙂

5. I keep having to go back to the doctor with health problems (I have ME/CFIDS, for anyone who doesn’t know), which isn’t good, obviously, but he is being about as supportive as he can be, which makes such a difference.

6. My cats are as good as television and much more cuddly! I have been watching them play chase around the house and then curl up to fall asleep on my lap 🙂

Wednesday Word of the Week

Valetudinarian – (i) a person who is unduly anxious about their health; (ii) a person weak in health

“having been a valetudinarian all his life, without activity of mind or body, [Mr Woodhouse] was a much older man in ways than in years; and though everywhere beloved for the friendliness of his heart and his amiable temper, his talents could not have recommended him at any time. Emma – Jane Austen

I’m currently writing an article for Jane Austen’s Regency World about Jane Austen’s characters, and what diagnoses modern medicine might offer. Unexpectedly, thanks to the contradictory meanings of the word ‘valetudinarian’, as above, I have run into a great discussion about Mr Woodhouse, in Emma. Was he a hypochondriac? Or did he actually suffer from poor health? All opinions welcomed!

Posting Schedule

I keep being filled with determination to post more, so in order to help me keep up with this, I’ve decided to start a system of regular postings on specific things. I therefore offer, for your entertainment and amusement, the following ‘schedule’:

Wednesday Word Of The Week
On Wednesdays, I’m going to post a word, with its meaning and an example of its use. I may also (if you’re particularly unlucky!) ramble on about it – perhaps about why I chose it, or something about why I like/dislike it. This won’t necessarily be an Impressive Complicated word, just one which is filling my mind on that particular week!

Friday Fiction
Now, Friday ‘fiction’ is a bit of a misnomer, chosen more for the alliteration than because I’m actually going to post fiction. I may very well post fiction – either a flash fiction story, or an excerpt from something I’m writing or something I’ve written. But I may also post a bit of an article I’m writing, or a poem I’ve written. Anyway, I’ll post something! I make you no promises as to what…

Satisfied Saturday Six
The Satisfied Saturday Six was something which was invented by a very dear friend of mine, Terry Egan. Its purpose is to look back over the past week and find six things that you’re pleased – or at any rate satisfied with. They might be little things like “I had the most AMAZING ice-cream this Wednesday!” or bigger things, such as “One of my friends got married this week!” Big or little, it’s a chance to look on the positive side, no matter how good or awful the week may have seemed en route. It would be particularly nice if other people commented with things that have gone well for them – we could have an excellent celebration of things of joy!

So, prepare for posts. I am here, and I am chatty. Be afraid. Be very afraid…