Sheet music lesson #1

By | Pot Luck, Word play | 6 Comments


Normally I find Wiki a quick way to learn about something that I have no idea about (at least as a starting point). But this time I was presented with the opposite; having played the clarinet for 5 years I knew what B flat was. However, Wiki’s definition challenged my modest brain matter.

B (B-flat; also called si bémol) is the eleventh semitone of the Western chromatic scale (starting from C). It lies a diatonic semitone above A and a chromatic semitone below B, thus being enharmonic to A although in some musical tunings, B will have a different sounding pitch than A.

Hair mousse

By | Pot Luck, That's life | 4 Comments

Use liberally…

hair mousse

I remember when hair gel hit the market

I grabbed a tub and lathered liberally in an attempt to bring some control back to my 80’s perm (What was I thinking?)

But these days, one can be overwhelmed by the choice. Take your pick: traditional hair spray, mousse, putty, glue, glypto, whip, styling paste and pomade. Brylcreem, (that stuff Grand Dads put in their hair) is a type of pomade. It was invented in 1928 and made it’s mark in the market place with its successful 1950s TV advertising campaign, with the following jingle:

  • Brylcreem — A Little Dab’ll Do Ya! Brylcreem — You’ll look so debonaire.
  • Brylcreem — The gals’ll all pursue ya; they’ll love to run their fingers through your hair!.”

What hair styling fads have you tried?

Bottle of homophone

By | Pot Luck | 10 Comments

Bottle of wine

I love a bit of word play and today I’ve played with homophones

I can’t help but feel that a group of engineers must have got together and felt the need to create a set of labelled boxes to sort out all of the peculiarities associated with words of the english language. What am I talking about? It’s the old homonym, homophone, heteronym, polyseme and capitonym boxes. So what does each box hold?


  • Words that share the same spelling and pronunciation but have different meanings.
  • left (opposite of right or depart the building)

And now the engineers get a bit tricky with a box partly in a box (the homonym box that is)…

Homophone (‘same sound’)

  • Same pronunciation, different meaning and regardless of their spelling
  • wine (good to drink 🙂 ) and whine (speciality skill set possessed by my children)
  • to, too, two

Another box partly in the homonym box…

Homograph (‘same writing’)

  • Words that share the same spelling, with a different meaning and regardless of how they are pronounced
  • bat (animal or sports equipment)

And this type sits squarely inside the Homograph box…

Hetronym (‘different name’)

  • Same spelling, different pronunciation and meaning
  • bow BAU – front of ship  and BOH weapon of choice for Robin hood and his merry men
  • desert dihZURT– don’t leave just yet, we’re nearly at the end and DEZert– arid region

I think they just wanted to see if they could partly place another box inside the Homograph, introducing the…

Polyseme (‘many signs/words’)

  • Same spelling and distinct but related meaning
  • mouth (used to eat chocolate or the opening of a cave or river)

I think they came up with this one after a few glasses of whine… I mean wine…


  • Same spelling but different meaning when capitalised
  • march (uniform walk) and March (third month in year)
  • earth (soil) and Earth (our home)

I love the English language. What peculiarities do you like about it?

When Pie met Pi

By | Pot Luck | 6 Comments

Pie versus Pi

And now for a few fun facts about Pi / Pie. See if you can tell which fact belongs to which one!

  • March 14 is Pi/Pie day (3.14) and Albert Einstein was born on that day too.
  • Pumpkin Pie/Pi was introduced to the pilgrims second Thanksgiving in 1623.
  • In the Star Trek movie, Wolf in the Fold, Spock foils the evil computer by ordering it to compute to last digit the value of pi/pie. In the real world, computers can undergo a ‘digital cardiogram’ (a stress test) by computing pi/pie.
  • The American Pie Council is an organization committed to preserving America’s pi/pie heritage and promoting American’s love affair with pi/pies.
  • The Guinness World Records for memorising pie/pi (this practice is called piphilology) was achieved by Chao Lu, who recited pi from memory to 67,890 places. It took him 24 hours and 4 minutes with 4 years of practice.
  • Pi/pie cannot be accurately represented in fraction form. Most of us know it as 22/7, but this only represents 0.00000849%. However, it would be more accurately represented with this fraction 104348/33215 (00000001056%).

What’s your Pi/Pie story?

The hungry ghost explained

By | Pot Luck | 4 Comments

… and that’s why he’s hungry

Why ghosts are hungry

…or so I thought, until I did more research…

Let me explain. I was surfing the net for inspiration for my next cartoon.  Sometimes I like to draw cartoons that play on words or phrases.  I found myself on an idiom site that listed popular sayings, of which ‘hungry ghost’ was one of them. I hadn’t heard of the saying before and the site didn’t offer an explanation, so I just assumed it referred to someone who is always hungry – just like a ghost would be because the food goes straight through them.

Well, I was wrong and should have realised that I was being a bit too literal with my interpretation.  After drawing the cartoon I hunted the web for a definition and it didn’t take me long to find out how wrong I was.  For those of you as unfamiliar with this one as I was, here’s what said

‘in Buddhism, a supernatural being filled with more desire than it can consume’

and provided this example

‘The hungry ghost is often depicted with large belly and tiny mouth, a metaphor for people futilely attempting to fulfil their illusory physical desires.’

Have you ever misinterpreted some of those funny english sayings before?

Share, we’ll both have a laugh together.  

So what do you think?

By | Pot Luck | 6 Comments

I’m the process of sprucing up my website with a range of things (actually ideas) I’ve been hiding on the back shelf until now.  

But I can’t do this one on my own – I need your help by giving me your thoughts on this quick survey.

I’m creating a monthly newsletter for subscribers (this is in addition to the blog subscription you might already be on). But it’s a bit hard to entice people to click that funky new subscribe button without giving away something for free. So, here’s the question.

[polldaddy poll=8185877]



Back in time, when cell phones didn’t exist…

By | Pot Luck | 2 Comments

… but the obsession with oneself did

Yea old day selfieIn a recent ad campaign, National Geographic decided ‘if you can’t beat them join them’.   Titled ‘there are lots of terrible animal pictures out there’, National Geographic showed a series of animal selfies. The intent behind the campaign was to get people to look at the good shots that National Geographic take. 

My favourite is the gorilla. What’s yours?

Have you been caught snacking?

By | Pot Luck | 9 Comments


Snacking before dinnerAh yes, snacking before dinner – how to get every mother annoyed.  

I sometimes find myself in snacking discussions with my children; holding the offending but circumstantial evidence (chocolate wrapper) in my hand.  But I’m not perfect myself. I used to enjoy sneaking in a biscuit or two before dinner.

What’s your snacking weakness?