Tag Archives: punctuation

Day 165

I’m doing my normal thing and having a lazy two weeks as deadlines loom. I need the pressure. Even with pressure, I don’t always get on with it. I really should work out a way to write more.

The trouble with the diary format of blog is that it can only be as interesting as the life of the writer. One based round lifestyle or the discussion of issues might be more fun to write and would cover subjects of more interest. Later this week I will be going for a blood test and a face to face consultation at the hospital. It will be my first sight of a rheumatologist for over two years The blood test is tomorrow.

The birds have been going mad today. Blackbirds have been singing from TV aerials, sparrows have been very active (we don’t normally see many of them these days) , and magpies and pigeons have ben uncommonly trusting and have allowed us to get close to them. It was the same at the shop, where the jackdaws were very noisy this afternoon as we left. It might be the warm weather, or the closeness of the longest day.

So far, I have resisted temptation  to become more active. I find it very easy to resist the temptation to be active. The temptation to eat and watch TV is much more difficult to avoid. That’s a place where I could use another comma. Without it, it sounds like my temptation is to both eat the TV and watch it. I of course, mean “eat, and watch TV”. Isn’t English strange?

I used the bee picture again – a symbol of activity.


I’ve done it again. Not long to midnight and I started reading instead of writing. At school, they said I could do better. That is the one thing I have preserved from youth, I still could do better. Actually, as the promised Limerick will show, I have also preserved my love of a smutty joke.

Last week  . . . something happened. Unfortunately, as I wrote “Last week” I forgot what it was. I don’t usually lose my thread when I’m sitting at the computer, so I am clearly losing my marbles at an increasing rate.

Give it a few more years at this rate and I’ll have to tie an address label to my wrist so kindly strangers can return me to Julia when I forget where I live. The only problem with that system is that it’s open to manipulation if she puts someone else’s address on the label . . .

I have 102 words left before I hit my self-imposed minimum target, though I usually find that mentioning it is good for  another twenty or thirty.

The major discussion at work today was over the question of when W. H. Smith, the well known stationers, became WHSmith. The decline of punctuation in High Street chains (and I’ve certainly covered it before in relation to Bettys Tearoom (sic) ) is mirrored by a continuing decline in standards in public life. That’s why we now do our online cake shopping at Mrs Botham’s – if she has a proper regard for apostrophes, I feel she can be trusted in the matter of comestibles.

If you can’t trust therm with punctuation, what can you trust them with?


I recently had a message to congratulate me on four years with Word Press. I’ve written 1,304 posts in that time. That’s, conveniently, 326 a year. If I’d written one more, or one less, it wouldn’t have worked out so well.

The fact that I find this important probably means that I need to relax more.

As a child I used to avoid the cracks in pavements and, coming from an unpoetic family, I didn’t even know about the bears; I just didn’t step on cracks.

Anyway, any milestone is welcome as it gives me a chance to reflect and write a lazy post.

At this point I intended to start using photographs from the last few years, but the curse of WP struck my media library, again, and everything ground to a halt. They need some more details from me, including what happens when I try a different browser.

I get confused, that’s what happens.

And I can’t get into the blog because I’ve forgotten how to do it and what the password is. I have it set up on the only browser I use and I can get straight in. Changing this is an uncomfortable experience. I will have another try tomorrow.

I’m beginning to see a pattern here, and that’s not the end of it.

I’ve been trying to address letters in the manner specified by the post office. They say:

  • The name and address go on the bottom left corner of the front of the envelope or parcel.
  • Use a clear and easy to read hand writing (or font if you are printing the address).
  • Use a pen or ink that is clear against the colour of the envelope or parcel.
  • Left align the text (no centred or ‘stepped’ lines).
  • No commas or full stops.
  • Leave a generous margin around the address.
  • Place the correct postage on the top right.

Obviously we make a few changes, as you may have noticed from my photos. We tend to stick the address to the right and the “generous margin” can be a bit tight at times. I posted 70 florins overseas today. It cost £16. You try getting 30 stamps on a envelope and leaving a “generous margin”. Not going to happen.

The thing that really causes grief is the fifth one – “No commas or full stops”. I did a couple, but the need to punctuate properly made it a very uncomfortable experiment. I’m back to proper punctuation, as beaten into me fifty years ago, and it feels much better.

I’m seriously beginning to think I have to relax a bit more, step outside my comfort zone and let go of my comma fixation…




Ramblings, art week and the first post of the day

It’s Sunday and this is just a few random thoughts to get me warmed up so don’t worry if you have a feeling that you’re trapped in an overgrown garden of rampant verbiage.

Belly pork tonight, a NIgella recipe. I made it last week and it turned out well so tonight is to test bif it was a fluke or a repeatable result. If it works again I may add it to my regular recipe selection. There is a recipe on the internet where she marinades the pork and stuff – but as this is great in its plain form why mess with tahini and lime juice? Air miles, Nigella, air miles. We’re going to be eating ours with the first broad beans of the season. I am looking froward to it.

We’ll be having radishes for lunch tomorrow – there are four of us here tomorrow so we can have a couple each. I’m not a great radish fan, but I do love stuff straight from the garden.

Sunday started, as always, at an unreasonably early hour. I then did laundry; wondered if this was what my life will be like for ever (there’s nothing like using a launderette at 7am on a Sunday to make you examine your companions, ambitions and lack of success in life); went home to tidy and make sandwiches, and then went shopping before coming to work.

I’ve used semi-colons there because it’s the right thing to do, as I recall. I’ve also had a go at sticking in an Oxford comma. It’s probably a little late in my life to start worrying about such things – particularly when my normal habit is to use commas, dashes and brackets in a manner that looks like a chimp has thrown a bucket of punctuation marks at the screen. On the other hand, what is life if it isn’t a series of attempts at self-improvement?

Well, having just had a quick look round the last day of Sherwood Art week in the Nottingham suburb of Sherwood, life might be a journey to self-improvement through the medium of novelty knitting – check out the pictures.