Tag Archives: alliteration

List your top 5 grocery store items

The title is taken from the writing prompt WP has decided to start sending me every day. That’s just what I need, more spam. You’d think that human wit could develop a system where someone with over 2,000 posts on their site, and a record of almost daily (though admittedly erratic) blogging didn’t get a writing prompt.

If it said “Write better!” 0r “Eat less!” I would accept it, but I rarely feel in need of a subject to write about. And I certainly never switch the computer on with the thought “I hope I have more spam waiting for me.” in my head.

The truth is that I have enough, including the annoying pop-up that pops up to remind me that for a reasonable sum of money I can buy something to stop annoying pop-ups.

Ironically, one of my top five grocery items is not Spam. I need bread, milk, margarine and marmalade. I’m not sure about the fifth. Beans?  Bacon? Carrots? It’s difficult to think of a shopping list without them. Cheese?

It’s not as easy as it seems. The problem is that I need them all and if you buy them, you need pickle and parsnips too.

So many groceries, so little time.

Eggs . . .

The final list is bread, bacon, beans, margarine and marmalade. I will leave the pickle alone and can cut out milk as I forgot to order tea. The five things interlock nicely and, as an additional bonus, are also awesomely alliterative.

However, I have to point out that it is not a sensible way to eat and, if you were to follow this eating regime for too long you would probably develop scurvy, an a longing for variety.

I used a picture of cake, to remind myself of the need for a varied diet.

When Alliteration Goes Bad . . .

I’m not sure what I’ve done, but I seem to have a new page when I start WP, giving me the chance to savour the whole WP experience. I don’t just a blog to write and people to see, I now have a few extra buttons and the sense that something random just happened. Good old WP, always something new and confusing.

We will be starting Numismatic Society meetings at the end of the summer, unless, of course, we have to cancel them again. It has been tricky organising speakers but the Secretary has done a sterling job (he is also the shop owner, so I have to say that) and some of the talks do look quite interesting. It will be nice to get back towards normal. It’s a big room and we don’t usually have more than 12 members attending, so social distancing won’t be a problem. The Banknote Society is also starting meetings but their Secretary has decided that they should limit it to ten members, and they have to apply for a place. I can see that causing some annoyance.

As I have said before – people who like making rules have loved  lockdown.

And that brings me onto the subject of alliteration. Apparently I have to practice it if I want to be a poet (another gem from that book I was telling you about). Unless you want to be a haiku poet, where alliteration and poetic devices are frowned upon. Well, that’s what they tell you. In fact some haiku editors are quite happy with alliteration. I’ve even seen it mentioned favourably when they have been picking their favourites. There is no consistency.

Anyway, as i left Julia at work I spotted two magpies in the road – clearly parent and child. The words “fat, fluffy fledgling” came to my mind, but they don’t work well, they are not alliterative, they are just  tongue-twister about a flat fluffy fledgling or, more confusingly a fat fluffy fedgling. I really don’t know what’s wrong with it, but I can’t make it fit a poem, there’s just something wrong with the words. Strange, isn’t it?



Sunday Salad

I’m showing off now – three posts, and the final one is about salad. Can’t generally stand the stuff, which is for girls, rabbits and Liberals, but now and again I do feel like a salad, particularly as I have been filling up on stodge this week, so it was time for a salad to give my stomach a break.

It wasn’t too bad.I started with rocket, then added slices of pear, a scatter of red peppers, home-grown red and yellow tomatoes, shop-bought coleslaw (I was feeling lazy), a fig, crumbled Stilton and some sweet potato pakora (also bought).

I always feel guilty about shop-bought coleslaw, but do I really want to be elbow deep in sliced cabbage and grated carrot or do I want to pass  over 85 pence?

I meant to add sliced mushrooms and balsamic vinegar but I forgot.

Looking at the picture, it seems that you can see a lot of plate through the salad, but I assure you, it was filling.

I had to face an unpalatable fact this afternoon, and I don’t mean the salad. I’m just not very good at writing fact-filled posts. I spent several hours researching a post and trying to write it and so far, have come up with six hundred works of seriously soporific pap. It’s fortunate I’m not in full alliteration mode…

Sometimes I get it right, but more often than not I end up droning on with increasing pomposity as I cull facts from Wikipedia.

I’m much better at lightweight pieces about salad, or talking about my plums.

Or making puerile plum puns with potentially perplexing polysemy.

(Apologies if polysemy isn’t quite the right word, but I needed something beginning with p, knew that poly was a promising start and Googled the rest. If I’m wrong I will have to endure the vilification of lexicographers, but I can’t see that being much of a problem).


Currency, Collectables and a Coin Too Far…

First trip of the day was running Julia up to Worksop for a First Aid course.

It was a lovely morning, with sunlight streaming through trees in Sherwood Forest and illuminating the mist with rays of golden light. By the time I could find a parking space to take photographs the trees were too thick to admit light. By the time we found a better spot the mist had gone.

Just one more missed opportunity…

I misjudged the timing and was ten minutes late for work. I hate being late, though I’d warned them in advance as a precaution.

It was currency today.

I now know the difference between Latvian Lats and Lithuanian Litas. As they have both been superseded by the Euro, this knowledge is of limited use.

I also sorted the shekels and thought of alliterative ways of making sense of the rest of the accumulated foreign currency. I divvied up the Dirhams, divided the Dinar, ranked the Rand, realigned the rupees (Mauritian) and zoned the Zlotys. The Peruvian Sols were a step too far.

Having exhausted the entertainment possibilities of foreign currency I spent a while sorting Royal Mint coin sets by denomination and the size of the presentation pack.

It was a close run thing whether my will to live, or my supply of soul-destroying jobs would last longer.

Just one more coin could have tipped the balance.

The will to live and the supply of jobs were running neck and neck when the working day ended, and it was time to pick Julia up for an evening of Shepherd’s Pie and complaining about our days.

There was a hint of humour in the day when two customers managed to get lost entering the shop. They came through the first door then, instead of coming through the door with the bright, expensive sign, they turned into the Indian Takeaway.

You have to wonder how they managed to find us in the first place.


Do you think this sign is big enough?


Heckington, Hovis and Hearts

We were driving back from Springfields earlier in the week when, looking around for something to photograph, I spotted Heckington windmill. It’s an impressive sight, but as we drove towards it the sky turned murky and, as it was near closing time, we ecided to leave it for another day.

It’s one of those old-fashioned villages, which still has a few traditional shops, and even a Hovis sign.

Julia went into the green grocer while I took a few photos – she bought oats (which I still have to photograph) and meringues, which were very good when eaten with fruit and cream.

We will have another visit later in the year.

Finally, here is the phone box on the village green. It now houses a defibrillator, which is good for people having heart attacks and provides the third element of the title.


Phone box with defibrillator – Heckington, Lincolnshire

Next to procrastination, alliteration is probably my favourite thing. In a writing sense, that is. Neither, I feel, will ever replace Julia or jam doughnuts in my all time top two.

Bad Words for Poems

One of the first things I saw yesterday morning was the condensation trail of an airliner in the sky. At 6.45am the sky was clear and still tinged pink with the sunrise.

Later in the day, while we were between the seals and the chips, I saw more contrails. By that time the sky was bright blue, and seemed huge.

Suddenly my brain went into alliteration mode, with “cerulean” and “cicatrice”, following with “ceiling “. I could have gone with “sky” and “scar” but where’s the fun in that?

Cerulean isn’t a word you see every day, though after consulting Wikipedia I see it gets used more times than I think. Despite this I’m pretty sure that it hasn’t been used seriously since 1895.

I once read that the word shard should never be used in poetry, and I’ve searched the internet to check where I read it. I can’t find the original, but I found this list when I was searching.  Cerulean isn’t on it, but I think it should be.

Same goes for cicatrice. Their heyday was in the 1920s when they were often to be found on the faces of sinister foreign henchmen. Although Ian Fleming did his best to keep them going the sinister foreign henchman had all but died out by the 1960s, and taken the cicatrice with them.

I think I’m safe with ceiling. It’s not the most poetic word but I’m tempted go have a go at rhyming it with “sealing”.

With cerulean, cicatrice and ceiling, followed with sky, scar and sealing I’m well on my way to what could be a spectacularly bad poem.

Now all I need is a poetry competition along the lines of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

Gingerbread and Vitriol

I could start with my normal Saturday opening – “After dropping Julia off at work…” but I’m feeling like doing something a little different today. Same goes for the photos of the Mencap garden yesterday morning. They are OK but I’m just feeling like something more is needed. (As the post developed, not quite in the direction I intended, it became a little negative. It developed naturally, as I wrote, and I decided to let it stand. Not quite sure if it’s too negative or too personal. Let me know if you have any views on the tone.)

And that is why I am showing you pictures of cookie cutters.


Novelty Cookie Cutters

I’m torn here. I love alliteration and I am committed to resisting American English. In the case of cookie cutters I feel as if continents are colliding in my head. I really don’t want to say “Cookie Cutter” but some irresistibly force makes me do it. There is no natural alternative – Biscuit Bodgers just isn’t going to do it. I’ll try Biscuit Cutters and see if that works.

I found the cutters recently whilst decluttering. They had disappeared without being used during one of the chaotic times on the farm. We made a lot of gingerbread with the group and these cutters (with six different designs) seemed a good idea.

The problem was that after the introduction of the Farmer’s Sister into the mix everything went wrong. It started with her telling me “we’re all on the same team” which is a management shorthand way of indicating we weren’t all on the same team. Then it progressed to her shouting at me because she said I thought she was stupid because I had a degree and she didn’t.

All I had done was proof read something I’d been asked to proof read and send her the corrections. It seems that this was wrong – I should have sandwiched the suggested changes between telling her how good she was, how valued she was and how hard-working she was.

There’s a vulgar term for this, but rather than expose my gentle readers to it I’ll post a link to it for those of you who are interested.

The truth is, I don’t have a degree.

I also, at that time, didn’t think she was stupid. I just thought that she had made a mistake that needed correcting. She had used a word wrongly. I can’t recall what it was, but it was something like uninterested/disinterested. It’s no big deal. I have to think hard when using affect/effect. Getting something like that wrong doesn’t make you stupid. If someone had corrected me on it I’d have thanked them and looked it up to learn the lesson fully.

No, what made her stupid, for I did eventually have to admit she was stupid, was her refusal to learn or improve.

We were stupid too – we should have realised that it was time to move.

However, that all belongs to another story, and stupidity was probably the least vile of her personality traits.

After the team comment, and the shouting, she started a turf war, and kept moving out stuff. We had to start moving it back home every time we used it, and eventually, things got lost in the confusion. That’s how the cutters became lost.

Other things disappeared and turned up in bins or dismantled in the workshop. Like over-sized children the Farmer and his sister knew nothing of how they got there. She took down the group’s art work and binned it. She once needed a book for kitchen use, so she took the garden diary book off the shelf, tore our notes out and took the book away.

Sorry, but it just seemed the appropriate time for this to be mentioned, and once I started, I thought I would finish.

Anyway, back to biscuits. I found the cutters. I will make some biscuits.

Here, to provide a happy ending, are some previous biscuits (and some peppermint creams.