howling at the moon

All over the internet, people are talking about tonight’s eclipse and the “super blood wolf moon”.

Me? I’m just wondering how many adjectives you can reasonably put in front of the word moon, and what order should they go in.

I understand tonight’s full moon is close to perigree, so is what’s called a super moon. (Though so are the next two full moons. And, of the three, the one in February will be the superest.)
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cat napping

The other day – well, Christmas Day, to be more precise – I wrote a post with poems about sleeping.

That post nearly didn’t make it through to publication, though, as I realised I’d made a stupid mistake when I decided on the title: since restive was entirely the wrong word, I came close to abandoning the whole thing.

Then I considered re-thinking things and using the title cat napping to post the same poems with a different set of photos.
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fall back

“Spring forward; Fall back.” – the mnemonic my father taught me to remember which way the clocks needed to be altered at the beginning and end of British Summer Time.

Fall back is also one of those marvellous English phrasal verbs – known by many EFL students as “frazzle” verbs, presumably because of the effect on the mind of trying to memorise them – where a main verb is combined with a particle (adverb, preposition, or both).
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de-bugging procedures

At first glance, it may look as if the rather snazzy spider in the photo is lying on her back waving her legs in the air. In fact she was dangling a few inches above the kitchen counter, suspended from the ceiling by a thread. It’s probably just as well that I saw her before I put the mixing bowl down and started measuring out the flour to make scones.

She was the second spider I had to ask to leave the house this morning. I don’t suppose either of them really fancied being outside in the rain, but I decided I’d be happier if they left the premises, even if they weren’t.
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words and birds

I mentioned recently that I sometimes need to ‘top up’ my supply of words by reading voraciously just about anything I can get my hands on. It doesn’t have to be anything of any great literary value; indeed, I think what I’m really looking for is not so much words as such, it’s colloquial and fluent usage and phrasing that can perhaps be repurposed so that not all the clients I work for in a particular sector end up with the same wording on their websites and marketing collateral.

Since then, I’ve been wondering generally about vocabulary knowledge and learning: how many words do we know? Do adults continue to learn new words and, if so, how many?
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sick as a dog

I don’t know what the ideal length is for a blog post, but some weekends I seem to spend a heck of a long time writing.

Today, though, I’m going to settle for posting this screen shot, taken from a local pub website. There’s definitely something about those last two words that makes me wonder what they put in the biscuits.

Text from pub website "dog biscuits on the bar and plenty of water bowels"

naming memories

On a visit to south Wales this week, when I stepped outside the back door, I found the iridescent creature pictured above sunning itself on the rosemary bush. Without doubt, it was one of the most eye-catching beetles I’ve ever seen.

I don’t claim to recognise all the insect life of the UK, but I was surprised just how unfamiliar this one seemed: I was pretty sure that even if my Observer’s Book of Common Insects and Spiders were not stuffed in a box at the back of a storage locker somewhere in rural Spain, it would not help me to identify it.
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