Wednesday, 28 January 2015


A pipedream is an unattainable or purely fanciful hope or idea. You know, like the hope that when you upgrade one thing on your computer you won't discover your printer, working practices, hair colour and country of residence are all incompatable and need to be changed before you can do so much as open an email.

Compared with that, becoming a successful novelist seems a perfectly reasonable plan.

I did know the meaning of the word pipedream, but not its origin. It comes from the visions or hallucinations experienced by people smoking opium pipes. Obvious when I think about it - presumably I never had before.

Here's an opium poppy, I grew this year. Even without smoking them they raise my spirits.

Do you have any pipedreams, or perefectly reasonable plans, you'd like to share?

Wednesday, 21 January 2015


Slight means of little consequence, barely perceptible or scanty. If a person is described as slight they'll be slender or frail looking. If you refer to someone slightingly you'll be treating them as though they're insignificant. I think that's more than slightly rude.

Historically castles were slighted to make them useless for military purposes. This kind of damage can be seen at Kenilworth. (There are more shots of the castle and it's grounds on my gardening blog)

Wednesday, 14 January 2015


Mutable doesn't mean 'able to be muted' which would have been my guess. It actually means liable to change or fickle. The meaning of words can change (wicked, gay, nice) so if mutable is a word which exhibits mutability, I might eventually be right.

Tulip flowers are mutable; often changing colour as they age or 'breaking' into intricate patterns as a reaction to a virus.