Wednesday, 28 August 2013


A hound is a type of dog used for hunting or tracking, a person in keen pursuit of something (eg newshound) or a despicable person (you ain't nothing but a hound dog). It can also mean to urge on or nag and to pursue relentlessly. (Sometimes I feel I'm hounding editors with my submissions.)

The dog in the picture isn't a hound, I know but Hev Ock is cute isn't she? She sits on my desk underneath the monitor between a glass goat and a musket ball.

I need a dog, well at least three actually, in the novel I'm working on - Poppyfield Farm. I can't decide on the breed. I want one that seems friendly rather than intimidating and isn't too big. For various reasons it can't be a border collie, Jack Russell or English setter. Any suggestions?

I've sniffed out this competition - don't send them a shaggy dog story!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


Spruce is a coniferous tree of the genus Picea, the wood from such a tree and a type of beer flavoured with its needles and twigs. I knew that. It's not the stuff in retsina, that comes from pine trees, but there is a tree known as a spruce pine.

Spruce can also mean neat or smart in appearance. I knew that too. Don't think I've ever heard a person actually use the word spruce on it's own in that way, but 'getting spruced up' is a fairly common expression round these here parts.

I think the spruce looking trees in the photo are yews. It wouldn't be a good plan to drink anything made with those.

Apparently spruce is also slang for lying, malingering, evading a duty or to practise deception. I'd be sprucing if I said I knew that before I looked it up.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013


Well, what I thought discrete meant was tactful, unobtrusive, not making a big hoo-ha. And that's exactly what Suzy was when she pointed out I was wrong. Discreet is the word I wanted (so I had the right letters, just not in the right order)

Discrete is a real word, but it means individually distinct or separate. Discrete and discreet are discreetly different words! Did you know that? 

The picture is of the buttonhole my uncle wore at my wedding (I asked everyone to wear something purple) Pretty discrete, I reckon.

Want to tell me about a time you've been indiscreet?