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    Naming a Cat

    There are challenges most large in our lives today, Some are steep like the side of a cliff. It may have begun in the past long ago, When they penned the first hieroglyph.   To name a cat is an arduous task, It can take many weeks, maybe more. Feline charisma and traits are aplenty, Though it can sometimes feel like a chore.   Their size can determine a name such as Tiny, Or Donut, Titan or Smidge. Your favourite book as a child may prompt you, Using Mungo, Jerry or Midge.   A good suggestion is a cartoon cat, Like Sylvester, Garfield and Tom. Or the readers among you…

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    A Children’s Treasury of Milligan/Book Review

    Firstly, I want to mention that I love Spike Milligan. He was a comedian, musician, poet, playwright, actor and writer. A man of many talents. He was the co-creator, writer and main cast member of the popular ‘Goon Show’, where he played the characters of Eccles and Minnie Bannister. He was also a serious writer, and wrote a seven-volume autobiographical account of the time he spent serving in the second world war, beginning with ‘Adolf Hitler, my part in his downfall.’ He is considered, besides being one of the funniest men of all time, a genius of literary nonsense. His famous poem, ‘On the Ning Nang Nong’, was voted the…

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    Learning the Lingo

    As I’ve mentioned in recent posts, I’ve been learning to speak French at an adult learning centre since September. The course is interesting and I’ve learnt a great deal. I’ve also been using an on-line app called ‘Duolingo’. I have it downloaded onto my computer and my phone and use it for about 15 minutes a day. One of the best things is that you can register with your email address and it will give you a daily reminder to complete your lesson. There are 21 courses for users who know English. They are: Brazilian Portuguese, Latin American Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Irish, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Turkish, Norwegian Bokmal,…

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    Language Learning/Digital Dialects

    I was attending my french language class today and we were counting numbers up to 20. Our tutor emphasised the fact that when you begin the 11 for onze, 12 for douze, 13 for trieze etc, it is important to stress the ‘ze’ at the end of the numbers. It is like using our ‘teen’ in English. We were using an excellent website called Digital Dialects. This site includes free-to-use games for learning 80 languages. Within are games for learning phrases, numbers, vocabulary, spelling, alphabets and verb conjugation. It is primarily aimed at learners of a beginner and lower-intermediate level, with a couple of games aimed at a more advanced learner.…

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    Podged up to the Eyeballs!

    The English language is full of wonderful and downright weird phrases. My grandmother, after eating a very large dinner would exclaim that she couldn’t possibly eat any more as she was “Podged up to the eyeballs!” I have no idea whether this is just a saying that originated in the Midlands or it’s known throughout the UK as a whole. As English speaking people, we tend to hear them every day without giving the phrases much thought. It becomes a part of who we are; and they can be very different according to the region you were born in or where you live. I think some of them are very…

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    A Snippet of Shakespeare

    A while back, I took an English course, which helped immensely in the search for jobs, over the last few years, and still today. At the beginning of the 30-weeks, the tutor gave us handouts which explained what was in store in the curriculum. One of the literature books we studied was ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ by Shakespeare. We clapped and cheered with glee and there we sat, our faces beaming, ears hungry for the entire joyful lesson, wanting more! Well, actually, that’s not completely true. As each of us, our plaintive faces fixed upon the tutor, as he dragged us all, painfully, through the hour and a half. Even…