Wednesday 28 March 2018


'Hoy!' is a call for attention, sound made to drive livestock or a way to hail a boat ... apparently.

Personally I'd go for 'Hi' or 'Hello' in the first instance, always used 'cummo-on' to get the cows moving (and was pleased to hear the exact same call used by the people moving these cattle in the Outer Hebrides), and wouldn't be able to resist 'ahoy there' should I ever need to yell at someone on a boat.

Another thing my dictionary claims is that hoy is an Australian game resembling bingo which is played with cards. It's a long time since I played bingo, but I'm fairly sure it doesn't even vaguely resemble cards. Anyway ...

A hoy is a small vessel, usually rigged as a sloop, which carries pasengers or goods for small distances. I can't argue wth that, as I've not yet done sufficient research. Clearly I need another boat trip or two.

Here's a free to enter short story competition with a prize of publication in a glossy magazine and a two night stay in a castle; ideal if you want to get away from the hoi polloi ;-)

Wednesday 21 March 2018


My dictionary gives several complicated definitions of saline, but they all come to pretty much the same thing – has salt (or salts) in it.

The process of making something salty is salinization. The level of saltiness or salinity is measured using a salinometer.

What's your favourite salty thing?

Wednesday 14 March 2018


If a person is froward, then they're perverse or difficult to deal with.

I'll admit that I occasionally act frowardly, but I don't think my overall character displays much forwardness.

The same is mostly true of Jess in my novel Leave Nothing But Footprints, but she does have her moments.

Don't we all?