French/English near homophones that may cause confusion – Part 3

Oh please, just one more.


or the humble yet oh-so-useful hyphen


Trade Union

Not such a visually arresting post as I would normally strive for, but hyphens aren’t all that striking, are they? Mind you, neither are Trade Unions these days.

On vaguely the same topic, I must just share with you a conversation I had with my husband the other day.

Husband: I think I must see a doctor.

Me (abstractedly): Wha’?

Husband: It’s about all these ducks I keeps seeing.

Me (puzzled): Wha’?

Husband: Or maybe I won’t bother. He’ll just think I’m a hypochondriac, and tell me that they’re mallard imaginaire.

You see why I love him so?


You might well be what you eat

Like Gillian McKeith, I don’t have a PhD in nutrition, so I feel perfectly well qualifed to share with you my theories … of which, as you may have already gathered, I have many.

When it comes to fruit and veg, I’m all in favour of 5-a-day. Here’s how: 

It’s well established that Jaffa Cakes are a prime source of vitamin C, but it starts to deteriorate once the pack is opened, so you have to eat them all up as fast as possible.

Popcorn – obviously. But not the Cinema Sweet variety. That’s just yucky.

Maple syrup, as we all know, comes from a tree. So that makes it a vegetable (and Rilly Super will back me up on this). Have a little more.

Come on – they wouldn’t call them fruit shoots if there wasn’t loads and loads of real fruit in them, would they? I mean, that would be wrong.

And what better to end with than carrot cake. Especially if you eat the little carrot things on top – that’s practically salad!

Bon appetit!

Mood indigo

I thought I’d give you (and myself) some respite from those awful bi-lingual  puns. Mind you, I could keep that kind of nonesense going all day – years of training round the family table has taken care of that. But I digress.

I was so encouraged by your supportive comments re the skip that I thought I’d share with you something that’s been bothering me for years.

I don’t know what ‘indigo’ is. I barely even know how to pronouce it. Is the ‘d’ silent? Like Inigo Jones? It’s got to a point where I’ll even avoid any conversations that might lead to ‘indigo’. Not that there are so many, you understand, but you never know.

I know, of course, that it fits in between blue and violet, but there never seems to be any room for a completely distinct colour there. In fact, that whole end of the spectrum is, frankly, cluttered. Apart from that, the only place you generally come across it is in the context of jeans – indigo-dyed. And the thing with jeans is, the colour is so mutable anyway, you don’t have to really deal with it. Just wait a few more washes and call it blue.

 I was brought face to face (as it were) with indigo a few years ago when I took up Tai Chi. Yes, really. One of the warm up exercises involved a particular Qigong routine accompanied by a visualisation of the colours of the rainbow, each in turn. Red, orange, yellow – I was fine with those. By green I was starting to worry. Blue saw me tense with fearful anticipation, and by the time I got to violet I’d completely lost any chi I’d accrued in the earlier part of the process. The whole indigo bit had passed in a blur of anxiety and desperate mental pan-tone consultation.

I dropped T’ai Chi. I just couldn’t take the strain.

What has encouraged me to re-confront my issue with indigo has been the recent resurgence of green as a fashion colour over the last couple of years. Do you wear green? What kind of green do you wear? Think about it now.

There are loads and loads of different greens. Ranging from nice green:

to nasty green (although the man looks rather nice, doesn’t he?):

Green is HUGE. It takes up far too much of the spectrum with it’s enormous range. (Can you see where I’m going with this?)

I suggest – a modest proposal, surely – that the rainbow should be changed thus:

red, orange, yellow, green (nasty), green (nice), blue, violet.

No indigo at all. No more indigo, no more stress.

Now, I know what you’re going to say here. I accept it may involve altering the rules of nature and physics, but that’s a small price to pay for my peace of mind. It also interferes with the acronyms for remembering the colours of the rainbow, but I’ve thought of that. Instead of: Richard of York Gave Battle In Vain we could have Richard of York Grew Great Big Vegetables or something like that. Cut me some slack – I’m working on it.

Anyway, it could be worse. We could be stuck with a rainbow like this:


Back to front and only FIVE colours (and a worryingly flatulent horse). You’d be better off with me running things, now wouldn’t you? (Could someone send some new felt pens, for goodness sake?)

French/English near homophones that may cause confusion Part 2

Well, thanks for all those brilliant (and frankly weird) suggestions. I’ll be posting a list, with full attributions, soon. In the meantime, I did think of another one. And here it is:

Pastis – that potent and aromatic aperitif,  redolent of lazy afternoons in the baking sun of southern France


pasties – Cornwall’s finest, saturated-fat laden gourmet treat, redolent of days spent shuffling round the Eden Project, paying through the nose for parking and amusement arcades where your shoes stick to the carpet.

French/English near homophones that may cause confusion – Part 1

So here’s my new idea. I’m inspired by Salvadore Vincent and his series Venn that Tune, and Tim Footman’s reply to a comment I left the other day. I’m aiming for an occasional series, but since this is the only one I’ve thought of so far, it’s going to be very occasional. Suggestions welcome.


L’Age d’Or – Bunuel/Dali shock flick, and …

a large door.