Monday, July 31, 2006

Traps for the unwary

Three addictive things distracting me from work today:
  1. The Helene Hanff Omnibus - I re-read all of 84, Charing Cross Road at lunchtime,
  2. Orisinal which has many, many small, cute and engaging games,
  3. Blogging.

Fortunately I can work and eat chocolate simultaneously or there would be four.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

A clowder of cats

Clowder is the collective noun for cats.

The thing that fascinates me is that this is such a rare word. A pack of dogs, a herd of cows, a flock of birds, a swarm of bees and a school of fish are all deeply familiar. I'd confidently talk about a pride of lions, a gaggle of geese or a pod of dolphins (even though thinks that the correct term is a school of dolphins). I even know the words for a murder of crows, a leap of leopards and a parliment of owls.

So why not a clowder of cats?

Even though cats are not as social as dogs and humans, if it was a common word - like pack for dogs, I'd use it from time to time. I'd say "Does N still have a whole clowder of cats?", "Today the local clowder of cats was practicing staring" and "We got Andy from the SPCA. We went in and look at the clowder of cats in the cat room and then sat in the middle of the room talking about whether we could leave without choosing one (as none seemed quite right) when Andy jumped on D's knee and chose us". I'd talk about the clowder of cats that Slinky Malinki hangs out with when I read Slinky Malinki Catflaps aloud.

But instead I am left pondering the oddities of English.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

What are books for?

Overheard snippet of conversation:

"I got her a lovely coffee table book. She's got a lovely coffee table but she didn't have a book, you know, to put on it."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Flippant Scifaiku

Reading this inspired these:

Oh no,
the time machine

aliens are

Monday, July 24, 2006

Surfing for animals

Sometimes in the evening I entertain an audience of two three and a half year old humans sitting on potties by surfing the web for them.

They like animal noises and so I've found a site which has lots and one with pictures too. But these sites just don't cut it for the specifics, like when I needed the sound of a mad budgie and a picture of an angry budgie to go with it or a whole variety of owl sounds.

What would other animals surf for?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Not about penguins

Before I named this blog I googled "not usually about penguins" and found nothing. Then I googled "not about penguins" and found this.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A toe in the water

Here goes my first post.

The water seems inviting and there are lots of people splashing about out there already but I feel rather exposed standing on the edge in my togs so I'd better dive in.

-- splosh --

[That should have angle brackets but I haven't worked out how yet]

Welcome to my blog. Built as a place for odd whimsies and occasional rants which as the title claims will not usually be about penguins.