Huer Missus

For as long as we can remember (though do bear in mind that often I can’t even remember what I had for breakfast the same day ๐Ÿ™‚ ย ) Shana and I have been playing each other at Scrabble and, more recently, Lexicon.

The trouble with playing too intensively though, is that sometimes you can sort of go blank, albeit temporarily.

I blame all those notorious two-letter words that Scrabblers find essential. Poor Shana was left scratching her head a few weeks ago, agonising over whether one particular word was permitted. She even spelled it out to see if that might help.

“S-O. No I’m not sure. I’ll have to look it up.”

“Of course it’s allowed,” I said. ย “It’s ‘So’, the well known conjunction, as in the sentence ‘I didn’t score enough points, so I lost the game’.”

“Oh, that ‘so’,” said Shana. “Sorry. Forgot.”

“Easily done,” I said, pencilling a quick note on the back of the scoresheet for future reference.

The other major problem with word games is that sometimes you want to look something up, either for an exact definition, or for its interesting etymology. And it’s so easy to get sidetracked and end up reading the dictionary instead.

Sometimes though, that’s when you discover fascinating words. Like tonight’s Word of the Evening: ‘Huer’.

Here’s what the dictionary tells us. A huer is, and I quote: ‘A pilchard fisherman’s lookout man’. Apparently, a huer would stand on a clifftop and would signal to his fisherman friends on their boat at sea, where shoals of herring or pilchards could be found. For some reason it’s easier to spot them at a distance rather than when you’re sailing right next to them.

Anyway, huer was never on the list of options during careers advice day at school back in the Dark Ages. Shame that, because if it had been I might have found my lifelong vocation.

Lexicon ten

At last, it has finally happened. ย This evening I got my first ten-letter word in one of our regular games of Lexicon. No letter changes, no relying on the Master Card to stand for a letter of my choice. Just ten cards straight out, spelling a valid word: ‘HOSPITALER’. This is defined as a member of a charitable religious order, if you were wondering.

Shana was a tad peeved, as it was she who had dealt the cards out. In the end it cost her a shade over sixty penalty points. We don’t include audio files on this blog, but you can imagine here an appropriately melancholy tune played on the violin ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, and as well as being peeved, Shana was also a trifle miffed, because she recently made a lovely pink crocheted card case in which to keep our Lexicon deck. ‘It will bring me luck,’ she said hopefully. Famous last words, alas, Famous last words… ๐Ÿ™‚

Why Smoky goes nutty for neon

A lot of cat ‘owners’ might not know this, and we ourselves only found out by chance when watching a documentary on kitties. Your beloved houehold moggy sees most things in various tones of grey.

Blue and yellow, however, really stand out, and cats see those as real colours.

Smoky though, goes one better. He gets really excited and goes nutty when we present him with rainbow/neon colours. Wave a piece of cordage (specifically a length of 1mm or 2mm satin cord) and we believe it actually flashes in front of his eyes. Gets his attention like nothing else. Even some neon acrylic yarn we bought a little while ago doesn’t quite do the trick. It has to be shiny satincord.

Here he is playing with a few feet of satincord that I braided into a kind of mini rope. He loves to pounce on it and chew it as if it’s a mouse or something. Shana captured this shot of Smoky just after his breakfast this morning, shortly before I got up. As far as I knew, Smoky was a quiet well-behaved, even sedate little kitty.

But look here at how he has rolled his head backwards as if to see the world in new and interesting ways. Now I know he’s an absolute loony ๐Ÿ™‚

See the little grey squeaky mouse to the right of that last picture though? He knows trouble is a-brewing. Wouldn’t be at all surprised to find him scuttling off to the nearest bolthole before the Neon Nutcase catches a glimpse of him Scary times….

Advice to spring lambs everywhere

Shana is a keen armchair sports fan. Rugby, cricket, tennis, Shana can lose herself in all of them. But on commercial telly channels it is virtually impossible to avoid all those ads for betting firms, all shown well before what used to be a mid-evening ‘watershed’. In sometimes minuscule and very faint typefaces, customers are urged to be careful with their money. No idea if these warnings work. Maybe for some.ย Who knows?

Anyway, this evening we were playing Lexicon and I came up with the word ‘gambol’.

‘Just wondered,’ I said, wondering aloud why it had never occurred to me before. ‘Do spring lambs remember to gambol responsibly?’

Shana was, for once, at a loss for words. I’ll say one thing: she’s never speechless when the rugby is on, with the usual coaching advice being something along the lines of ‘Run, you bugger, run!‘ With insight like that, the England rugby manager’s job could be hers for the taking ๐Ÿ™‚