Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Collins Fives

This is a story intended to help people remember the 667 new five-letter words that have come in with CSW.
It features all of them except for those which are inflections (plurals or verb forms)
of new threes and fours that have already appeared in earlier instalments of the saga.


I am awoken early by the sound of an ADHAN; it’s my next-door neighbour as usual, a devout MALAM who’s practising to be a muezzin. Nice chap, but he will keep trying to convert me; says it’s part of his duty to the Islamic concept of DAWAH. I get out of bed and do my morning exercises, standing in front of the mirror. Not bad for my age, I think, I’m still nicely ABBED and with a well-defined GLUTE. I flex my BICEP a few times, go into a ballet TENDU and hold it for a couple of minutes, then do ten minutes hard rowing on one of my ERGOS.
What am I going to wear today? I’m tempted by my new LYCRA SKORT, but I’m not sure it would go with my BEANY, so in the end I settle for an ORLON shirt with gold LUREX thread, very snazzy. I’ve also got a shahtoosh sweater made from the wool of the CHIRU, but unfortunately it’s gone pink in the wash so it looks a bit FEMMY and I have decided that wearing it might be a bit of a BARRY, in fact yes, it would DEFFO be a BARRO.

I have breakfast and check the mail. Two items: one is a bill for my COPAY, as my medical insurance is due; the other is about my holiday property in Spain, a FINCA I have shares in. I put on the televison to hear the morning news, but reception is playing up and all I can get is the IDENT.

Then it’s time to see to my pets. I feed the fish in my aquarium: I have a JEWIE from Australia; also a few crustaceans, including a couple of KOURA and a ZOAEA. Then I see to the songbirds in my aviary: I have a MOHUA from New Zealand, quite small with a yellow head and breast, a TAHOU, also from New Zealand, that is greenish-coloured, an Australian LOWRY and a YITIE. I check my stick insect, as usual having quite a job to spot it: it is quite amazing how its FURCA looks exactly like a cleft twig. I’m also thinking of getting another dog, because I’m afraid my apso is getting a bit old now and has started having trouble with its CAUDA. I’d really like an AKITA but they’re rather big so I think I’ll have to settle for something smaller like a FOXIE. I’d also like to branch out into reptiles and get myself a DRACO lizard, but there’s nowhere much for it to fly and I don’t want to overdo it: frankly the house is getting a bit ZOOEY already.

I check my plants too and DEBUD my homa a little, I don’t want it getting out of control. After breakfast I do a bit of work on the computer. I download an EBOOK, edit some text files with an EMACS program I’ve written, and add a TUPLE or two to my relational database. I wonder again about converting to LINUX, but think I’ll stick with Windows. I wonder how long it will be before quantum computing really hits the CYBER world. It will be funny to start thinking in QUBIT terms. I suppose people will get even more NURDY. But at least the encryption possibilities might put a stop to WAREZ, which really annoy me given that I make my living from writing software. I’m having a bit of trouble with my Internet connection, which is definitely UPTER, and wonder if I should ring technical support, but I do so hate to put myself in the position of a LUSER. Perhaps the problem has something to do with the LECCY supply. I could ring my TELCO, but all they’ll do is send some technician along with his GALVO, who will either decide that I need some fancy widget like a new BALUN, and charge me the earth, or else he’ll say the whole system is FUBAR and tell me I need new one, when probably all he needs to do is UNJAM some switch. I’ve LUBED a couple of things myself but it hasn’t done much good.

I catch up with my Maori friend Tairongo’s blog. Good old Tairongo, I still chuckle at the thought of him chasing that UMPIE all over the place and threatening to stuff him in the KHAZI or do something painful to him with a PUNJI stick; it’s not surprising that he went BERKO though I don’t really approve of BIFFO. Good news – you remember I said he was working as an ACKER in Australia – well, it seems he’s well on the way to being an ASPRO. His family, or AINGA as they would call it in Samoa, must be thrilled to have such an ARIKI. He’s uploaded a picture of himself standing in front of his WHATA on the outskirts of his KAIKA. It looks as if he’s just come back from a trek, because he’s carrying a PIKAU and has his dog with him, a native GOORY, really a rather disreputable mongrel, but Tairongo has a great AROHA for it. I know Tairongo often goes off in the wild for days at a time, sleeping on a bed of RAUPO leaves and living on rather unpalatable things like KAURU, which is the edible stem of the cabbage tree, ARUHE, which is edible fern-root, and various grubs. Not the AWATO though, because his NGATI have a RAHUI against eating that, but vegetable caterpillars sound pretty YUCKO anyway, though better than the KIORE he says he ate once – ugh, fancy eating a rat, even if he did roast it over a HANGI. He admits he does sometimes snaffle the odd PULLI from a farm.

In the photo Tairongo’s head is outlined against the RANGI, and he looks even taller because he’s wearing a POTAE. He’s very solid-looking, and you’d certainly never take him for a KEHUA. He mentions also that he gets on really well with the native Australians who have adopted him as a MURRI, one of their own. He’s put up another photo of some initiation ceremony he had to undergo: it involved a lot of running round on a beach in the NUDDY; sounds NUTSO to me and enough to frighten any PARRA who happened to be passing, but it wouldn’t bother him. As least he’s put a WAGGA round him for the photo. He’s holding the tribal totem, a little furry BILBY. A bit different from his own tribe’s totem, which is the KAWAU or black shag.

It all reminds me how socially adaptable Tairongo is. He might not be one for a lot of BIZZO, but he’s just as much at home playing TRUGO, that’s a sort of Australian croquet, with the nobs, as mixing with a bunch of DORIC BREDS from the back of beyond. Yes, he has a great MAURI, and a good social conscience: there’s another photo of him taking part in a HIKOI back home about land rights.

It’s time to go down to town. I’m tempted to take my motor-bike today, but I don’t know, maybe I’m getting a bit old for it, it’s a rather BOYSY sort of thing and I don’t want to look like a BAMBI. In the end I settle for my pedal-bike instead; it’s a MIXTE. I sling my NUNNY bag over my back, ideal for shopping as sealskin is very tough and things can’t poke through it. As I get it out Mohammed from next door calls over the fence to ask me if I like his new hat. It’s a bit FEZZY, but I suppose it’ll do to keep the sand out of his hair when there’s a GIBLI when he’s on the way to whatever MEKKA he decides to visit next year. He says he’s pretty hungry, but it’s Ramadan and he can’t have anything else to eat till after sunset, when he can break his fast with an IFTAR. The Koran is pretty strict about this sort of thing and has a HUDUD prescribing various penalties for breaking ritual. He says fingering his SUBHA takes his mind off being hungry.

As I pedal out of the gate my West Indian neighbour on the other side greets me; he’s mad on old cars and is in his drive working on his RESTO. He’s a bit BLING but a very nice chap, though he calls me a BAKRA and thinks I’m a bit HINKY because of my taste in clothes. I suppose using derogatory ethnic names is an understandable defence mechanism of minority cultures, like Romanies calling a non-gypsy a GADJO, or Spanish-Americans calling a white American an ANGLO, and after all we do things like using the word GINZO for an Italian. I expect even a Malaysian aborigine or SAKAI has some uncomplimentary name for a white man. But as I say, he’s all right, and I went round to his place the other night and had a really tasty BLAFF.

My first port of call is the climbing shop. My girl-friend has ask me to pick up a spare BINER or two and also a replacement KLETT, she lost one of hers dropping it down a NAMMA hole when she was climbing near Alice Springs. I should explain that she likes climbing down into things almost as much as climbing up things: she has climbed down into MAARE and once in karst country descended into a POLJE.

Next I call in at a picture gallery, where I choose a couple of still LIFES for my sister’s birthday, one of a beautifully VUGHY rock cavity lined with crystals; she likes things like that. Coming out of the gallery I meet my South African friend Hendrik. He is in even more of a FITNA and AGITA than yesterday; he has lost all his usual VOEMA and looks in a real DWAAL. ‘Things no better with you than yesterday?’ I ask. ‘Much worse’, he says. ‘NOOIT!’, I say, ‘what’s gone wrong now?’ ‘You remember that KERKY KEREL I told you about yesterday who crashed into my car then blamed me, well, now the MUTHA has taken out a prosecution against me and I’m worried I might even end up in TRONK’. ‘JIRRE!’ I say. ‘And then last night my wife was trying to put a picture up and managed to SMUSH her thumb with the hammer; I had to take her to the OZZIE and leave her there as a PREOP. The doctors are treating her like a GOMER and say she should just leave it to get better of its own accord but she’s sure if she doesn’t have it treated it will heal up all SKEEF. Hospitals, bah – they’ve got enough money to spend on a new SASER for their Ultrasound department, or a new microscope to study the CURLI on E. coli bacteria, or a new brain-scanning device to study the CUNEI in the cortex, or any kind of WALDO they need, but when it comes to treating patients who need it they’re too SNOEP to spare a bit of plaster. Perhaps it would be different if she had something more interesting to them, some rare tropical thing like BORNA disease. It’s enough to make you KOTCH.’

‘And this morning I get a letter from home saying locusts have eaten up all the crops on my family’s PLAAS back home – nasty GOGGA, the locust. And then my sister took a trip to Uganda and on her way home from a LOUMA she nearly had her money stolen by a KONDO; fortunately her husband was with her and he was able to grab a JEMBE from someone hoeing his vegetable patch and drive the fellow off with it shouting HAMBA! And then when they get back to Jo’burg she’s walking down the street and a HOMIE comes up and threatens to stab her if she doesn’t hand her bag over’. ‘JINNE!’ I say, ‘you are having a bad time’. ‘Ach’, he says, ‘she knew something bad was going to happen from the way the DOLOS had landed before she went.’ It appears Hendrik’s sister believes in divination using dolosse, or the knuckle-bones of a sheep. Hendrik is in such a state and so anxious to talk to someone that it reminds me of the state of extreme dependency you get among Malays after a trauma; they call it LATAH. I promise to go round to his place for a BARBY some time and he says he’ll get some special meat from his local SPAZA and teach me how to BRAAI it properly over hot coals; he’s sure I’ll SMAAK that.

By the time I get away from Hendrik it’s getting on for midday, and I decide to take lunch at the new International Food Court. This is a really good place: you can get dishes there from all of the world. The other day I had a Spanish AREPA – a sort of corn-cake, MUCHO YUMMO. I wander round, finding it hard to choose. There’s a Polish stall that does a wonderful BIGOS, if you fancy stew. There’s a Yiddish stall specialising in PAREV food if you don’t want dairy or meat ingredients. There’s an Indonesian stall that does a great SATAI and also a PILAO or as some say PULAO, though even better is their LAKSA which is noodles served in curry or hot soup, and their ROJAK, assuming you like chilli sauce on your salad. They also do various fish dishes with ASSAM or tamarind. There’s an African stall that serves POSHO and UGALI, washed down with MALWA. There’s an Indian stall where you can get THALI or a BHAJI for starters, follow it up with MACHI chips or a QORMA or a BALTI topped with BHUNA, then cool your palate with some delicious KULFI; if you want to take it away they provide a DABBA. The New Zealand stall has an amazing variety of fish – there’s NANUA, (you may know it as moki), KANAE, or grey mullet, PARAE, PORAE, AHURU, BARRA and many others. The New Zealanders also provide a little room apart where you can eat the food, like a DONKO in a New Zealand factory, or a MUNGA or army canteen. The Japanese stall is very popular, they do things like GYOZA, which is a sort of fried dumpling, served with ADUKI or AZUKI beans, KONBU (that’s a kind of seaweed) and SHISO leaves dressed in PONZU sauce. It all combines to make a delicious UMAMI flavour, and then you can follow it up with NASHI pears for dessert. Again if you want to take your food away they provide a BENTO. The only thing is that if you want a cup of tea with it they insist on going through this rather drawn-out CHADO: for a start the water has to be BILED three times.

Then there’s a Canadian stall that does RAPPE which is grated potatoes with pork or chicken. Or you can go Swiss-German and get a ROSTI, Jewish and get a SHISH or DONER kekab, or Russian and get a BLINY. The French stall specialises in BOEUF bourguignon followed by charlotte RUSSE, though I notice a waitress just EXING this last from the menu; ‘we did not have ASSEZ’ she says. In comparison with all these the English stall is a bit uninspiring: it serves things like BAGIE soup and UMBLE pie, and a wine that wouldn’t be too bad if it weren’t OAKED. I tried some COLBY from their cheese section, but I’m afraid it was a real SWIZZ and tasted like SORBO rubber. It would also be better if they didn’t serve everything on PYREX and cover it over with MYLAR. They’ve taken a lot of trouble with the d├ęcor too: there’s an open-air quadrangle in the middle where they’ve planted a lot of tropical trees to enhance the ambience: there’s a BANAK from Honduras, a KIAAT and a sprawling BITOU bush from South Africa, a HINAU, a TAWAI, a MAPAU and a coniferous evergreen MATAI from New Zealand, a MUGGA from Australia, very handsome with its dark bark and pink flowers, and also from Australia a BELAR, a YACKA and a HOVEA with purple flowers. There’s a WENGE from West Africa next to a TONKA tree with its shiny beans, and a SITKA spruce from Canada. Naturally you also have to have a palm tree or two, so there’s a SABAL, and to make it look even more tropical they’ve trained a ROTAN up the wall, and put in a few clumps of BLADY grass.

Another feature of the Food Court is that each lunch-time they have live music playing. Some of the music is a bit CULTY for my taste, but it is always interesting. Today the theme is African and they have a young man dressed in beautiful gold KENTE, embroidered with a picture of a fierce-looking SIMBA. He is playing on a NGOMA: some rhythmic chant that’s supposed to summon an ORIXA. It is a mistake to think these people are PENDU, after all it’s not so different from our chants in church. ‘Do you like it, NKOSI?’ he says. ‘I learned it from my TAATA who is a great musician.’ It’s a little too BEATY for me but I say yes, very JIGGY. Other days I’ve heard a KREWE from New Orleans, a RAREE show, a Native Australian playing the WOKKA board, an Italian orchestra renowned for their FORZE – they certainly played with a lot of FORZA - and two young guys from Spain playing a beautiful OUTRO on the DOBRO; I tried to discuss it with them but their English wasn’t very good and when I tried them with my Spanish they used a lot of words from their CALOS that I didn’t know.

I spend a while looking round the food stalls but in the end just settle for a SANGO, a big POBOY from the American stall, with ANCHO peppers for extra flavour and a few BELON oysters. They do all kinds of exotic fillings, and I consider saying ‘I want a GATER sandwich and make it snappy’, but think they might have heard that one. There’s a bit of embarrassment when I come to pay because my credit card is MAXED out and I have to find some actual OSCAR. This would be all right, but all I seem to have in my pockets is various bits of foreign currency from my travels. There are some KOBOS from Nigeria, a NAKFA from Eritrea, a TOLAR from Slovenia, a TYIYN from Kyrgyzstan, a MANAT and a few GOPIK from Azerbaijan, a DIRAM from Tajikistan, a TETRI from Georgia, a TENGE from Kazakhstan, a DENAR from Macedonia, a MARKA from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and a RUBEL from Belarus. In the end I do find a ten-pound note, take my food and sit down.

The Court is very crowded today and I have to CWTCH up to the person next to me on the bench, who happens to be a woman. It’s my lucky day: normally it would be some DRACK DORIS who’s frankly FUGLY, or one of your modern feminist WOMYN who turns out to be a LEZZA, but this is a real HOTTY, a beautiful dark-haired CHOLA, sitting perched on one shapely NATIS. I view the two GLOBI of her WAZOO with considerable APPRO and don’t mind telling you I feel a surge of ANDRO. We start talking; she’s been having some personal problems and I listen attentively and make a few SUENT remarks to show how HUGGY I am, then offer to get her a cup of coffee. Unfortunately there’s a lot of TOING and froing as people SNARF their food, and someone jogs my arm and I spill scalding coffee all over her COOZE. You should hear her CHELP; I’ve never seen anyone VAUCH so fast. I offer to SLORM it for her, but the offer doesn’t seem to be appreciated, and not surprisingly she’s SORTA ARSEY, or even downright NOWTY, after that little contretemps. Well, that’s one sure way to CROOL your chances of a bit of RUMPO with a woman. Never mind, on reflection she was a bit VAMPY, and if my girl-friend found out I’d been trying to chat up another woman I might well have found myself ending up like a TOLLY.

I glance through the paper. I see some finance minister has been arrested for a BOBOL; I always suspected he was a HOSER. The Palestinian Arabs have agreed a HUDNA with the Israelis. The US have got some new INTEL on an incident where some innocent civilians were NAPED. On the science pages there is an article about a new medical advance involving GRENZ rays, and another about some physicists who claim to have discovered a new particle related to the TAUON. The article uses a lot of words I don’t really understand, like KERMA which is something to do with kinetic energy and ROTON which seems to be a quantum of rotary motion. Sometimes with these articles I can’t even decide what the RHEME of a sentence is. I try another article about the chemical industry but that is full of words like ARENE, FOLIC, MUCIC, NERAL and LEUCO base which don’t mean much to me either. A mathematician has won the Fields medal for some revolutionary work on ANYON groups; I expect my friend Noel would know what they are but I don’t. An URSID shower was seen last night. On the business page there are articles about the importance of the HOLON in manufacturing, about the effectiveness of the BUNDE system in German politics, and about the latest NAIRU figures, that’s Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment. I note that the price of silver has gone up sharply, and there’s a picture of a Peruvian miner standing next to a TORTA which is now worth 50% more than last week.

On the sports pages there is bad news from the world skiing championships where the British representative has fallen off the INRUN and broken his leg. There’s more bad news from the Round The World yacht race where a leading British contender has had to withdraw because of a broken GENNY. There is a report of an amazing basketball game in which a very tall player scored LAYIN after LAYIN; there is an interview with the star who claims to be just an ordinary BUBBA except that all his clothes have to be TALLS. I look at the television pages. Clive James is doing a program on Japan, but I find him a bit of an ALECK and think he gets too AMPED to be a good presenter. But I see there’s a documentary about life in Tibet that could be quite interesting. Do you know that some of the lamas there claim to be able to conjure up a solid entity, called a TULPA, just by the power of thought? It’s not quite the same thing, but I knew an old Inuit, a great hunter of caribou, who swore he could make a TUKTU come his way just by thinking about it, and could also make seals come to an AGLOO. I wonder how he’s getting on: I remember how he laughed at me because I bought a souvenir parka to take home, a beautifully warm ATIGI, but it turned out it was a woman’s one with an AMAUT or AMOWT for carrying a baby.

The complex has its own cinema, offering a very cosmopolitan program, and after lunch I decide to watch a film. I see that the choice today is between a Chinese WUXIA, fine if you like sword-and-sorcery stuff, a Bollywood saga accompanied by lots of loud FILMI music, and a Japanese tale of a RONIN during the JOMON period of Japanese history who comes under the influence of a ROSHI – that’s a sort of SENSI who specialises in the teachings of Zen – and gives up his life of violence, except for the occasional participation in a judo SHIAI just to keep fit. He actually ends up as a LOHAN and attains nirvana. I choose to watch the Japanese film. The star is a real THESP and the film is very well produced; it must have had a good FOLEY, but I think there was a little too much use of KLIEG lights.

There’s also an amusement arcade offering slot machines and various entertainments like POKIE and QUINO or KEENO, but there’s no time for that as I have more shopping to do. First I pop into a FOREX to see if I can exchange some of my spare currency, then I call at the Post Office to FEDEX a parcel, and while I’m there get some business cards printed on their FLEXO, and some labels that say SIGNA though I don’t quite know what I’m going to use them for.

Coming out I meet my Irish friend Paddy, and stop for a CRAIC. He says he’s very sorry for being such an EEJIT yesterday and getting drunk. I make the most of his contrite mood and really try to get him to see the error of his ways. ‘You’re a DROOB, a DORBA, a DUBBO, a DUFUS, a YAMPY, a BLERT’, I BLART at him. ‘What’s the point of getting in a MAZEY state like that, in such a MIZZY maze that you think you see SIDHE in the garden. What pleasure is there in drinking so much it makes you a SPUER? It’s just so SUCKY. You know what’ll happen: you’ll end up as some pathetic SCODY JAKEY or DERRO, some FESTY PIKEY, drinking any disgusting stuff you can lay your hands on, like METHO or RUBBY or MAUBY. Don’t be a DROID, make your own choices in life’. ‘It’s just that on days like St Patrick’s Day I miss the Auld Country’, he says. ‘Ah, I had good times there when I was a lad.’ He shows me a picture of himself wearing a CRIOS; he’s just drawn his PUCAN up on to the beach and is mooring it with a SUGAN; to me straw ropes don’t sound strong enough to hold a boat, but he says they do the job just fine.

I tell him that he’d be better off getting himself a job, even if it’s only a NIXER or spare-time job, as long as he doesn’t MODGE at it and is careful to BUNDY on time. ‘What can I do?’ he says. ‘I’ve tried being a JANNY, I’ve been a GANDY dancer on the railway. I wanted to be a FIRIE but they won’t have me now because I’m too old. All I’m fit for now is to be some supermarket HIREE collecting trolleys.’ I like old Paddy but he can be a bit of a WOOSE sometimes.

After leaving Paddy I call in at Deepak’s shop. He has bad news: his son was arrested last night by a BIZZY for carrying a BOWIE knife. ‘I can’t understand it’, says Deepak, ‘I know he’s a pain now as a teenager, but he was a beautiful BACHA, and the worst he’s ever done before is play NICKY NICKY nine doors. Sometimes I wish I’d never come to this country. Of course, life was hard out in India. To start with I was a DURZI, but then there was a long BANDH in my ZILLA and people weren’t earning during the BUNDH so they couldn’t afford clothes, so I had to become a SAMMY and go round selling fruit and vegetables from a RATHA, and at weekends run a stall at a big MANDI they have in the local CHOWK. But I was happier then: we might have had to live in a BASTI, but at least I never knew the BESTI I feel now. And to top it all my daughter comes in last night and says she’s decided to be a NAUCH girl. I’m not one of these Muslim fathers, I don’t expect her to go round in a NIQAB all the while, but I wanted better for her than that. KASME, SAHEB, I just don’t know what to do. This morning I held an AARTI and prayed to my MURTI for guidance. Tonight I shall do some HATHA yoga and try to take consolation in the doctrines of ANATA’.

There’s not much MERCH I want from Deepak today but I do buy some DUKKA for that DESHI Indian taste. Then I remember I’m supposed to be going to the dentist to see about getting an ONLAY. I take a short cut down an ENNOG - it saves nearly a KLICK - and across some OLLER. It’s a bit TOCKY after recent rain, and my TRABS get rather VUTTY, but I watch where I put my feet so at least they don’t get CACKY and I don’t tread in any GOOBY. This a regular HAINT of teenagers, and I see several of them swaggering HIPLY along. One of them is a WIGGA, who is wearing dreadlocks, which look a bit silly with blond hair. Another is a YARCO from Down Under; he is having a conversation with a couple of girls in KIRBY grips with DEELY boppers; I thought those went out years ago.

Another youth, a BOOFY, rather KEMPY GINGE, does an OLLIE on a skateboard. One is never quite sure about teenagers these days, they can be a bit GOBBY and irritating with their ‘YEAHS’ and ‘whatevers’ and you worry that they’re going to try to steal your MOBIE, and you never know whether they’re discussing some DADAH deal or are hyped up because they’ve just taken a YABBA. But perhaps that’s just me being FUDDY and this one seems friendly enough. ‘That looks difficult’, I say to him. ‘Nah, it’s NIMPS’ he says. ‘Where ya GWINE, man?’. He asks if I can spare a DURRY or a BEEDI. It’s one of the few occasions when I’m a little sorry I don’t smoke: there’s no denying a cigarette can be an EASER in a social situation. I did use to carry a lighter with a flint of MISCH metal just so I could at least light other people’s cigarettes, but I lost it.

I walk on and meet a small child on a TRYKE, pedalling hard to keep ahead of his mother; I’m reminded of a young EYASS on its first flight from the nest. I just about remember being that age, and how we used to HOSEY sides in the SKOOL playground. His mother gives him a drink from a SIPPY cup, and he holds it in his little DANNY, very careful not to SLART it. What a dear ICKLE boy he is. Bright little chap, too: his mother tells me he had a perfect APGAR score at birth. She says she’s really enjoying being a mother, though she admits she did get a good start because her Greek mother-in-law trained as a DOULA and was able to give her a lot of assistance after the birth. The little boy informs me that Daddy BRUNG him a water-pistol home yesterday. ‘Brought, dear’, says his mother, ‘not BRUNG’. I have to tell her that BRUNG is now good in Scrabble, but not surprisingly she doesn’t believe me.

I come to a corner of a playing field that has been set aside for wildlife, where they let the grass grow long. It’s a good idea, though it gets a bit HAYEY and can be rather MIDGY in summer. I’m sure that’s KNAWE I see growing at the edge. There’s also a SPEUG on the fence and a CHAWK pecking about in the grass. They’ve just added a pond and I think the idea is to build a bird-hide next to it and DAYCH it with reeds, ADZED and tightly FRAPE with willow twigs. A little further on I meet my Jewish friend Aaron. I forgot to mention yesterday that he is a DAYAN, a senior rabbi. We talk about meeting up one Saturday and he consults his LUACH to make sure it doesn’t clash with any religious festivals. ‘The 14th should be all right, ah no, what I a SHLUB I am, that’s got a DALED against it which means it’s my wife Diane’s birthday, better make it the 21st.’ He is on his way to the BRITH of his godson. ‘Is it very painful for the child, this BRISS’, I ask. ‘Ach, a few tears, but they soon KVELL again.’ After that he’s taking a SHIUR, a religious lesson where the group will study a passage of the Talmud and discuss MUSAR or literature involving right conduct. He is carrying a SEFER, a book of religious literature, to use at this lesson.

Next I run into Hamish. I ask him if there’s any news of Kenneth. Hamish says he went to see Kenneth’s wife last night, and she still hadn’t heard from him and was really upset. ‘Och, she’s really got the GLUMS, you should see the puir wee WIFEY SHOWD to and fro’ he says. ‘It ISNAE a canny sight, I can tell ye, and it makes me VERRA DOWLY myself. I asked here if there had been any trouble between her and Kenneth and she says that like ony couple they’ve YIKED a few times and ONCET when he came home drunk she’d PIZED him over the head with a CLEIK from his set of golf-clubs and kicked him out on his JAXIE. And she bursts out crying at the thought. ‘DINNA fash, woman’, I say to her, ‘Nae doubt he’s gone off drinking with a couple of FIERS and is afraid to come home’. ‘WISHT!’ she says. ‘He would have CAAED me. I thought he LOUED me. Och, I canna STAUN it’. And she sets to crying again, and I canna comfort her, though I try with all my MICHT. Och, the way people carry on and mess up their lives, it’s enough to make you YOKER.’ I deduce that he is using YOKER in the dialect sense ‘to spit’ given by Collins dictionary, and have to remind myself that for mysterious reasons YOKERED* and YOKERING* are not in the new Scrabble word list.

After all the excitement of the day I decide that I can’t be ARSED with the dentist, and make my way home. THE END

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