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Word of the Week: Canvas

Tent in a storm

It’s camping season again. The sites and their toilets are open once more (you can almost smell it) and happy campers throughout the UK will be asking the usual questions: Where shall we go? What’s the weather doing? Have we actually got a tent? Is it watertight? What did you do with the pegs? How’s your lumbago? And what’s the correct spelling of canvas? (more…)

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Word of the Week: Roger

Jolly Roger pirate flag

There are certain customary jokes that are so well worn that they have ceased to be jokes at all and have shrunk back into the shadowy alcove of mundane tradition, as automatic as saying “bless you” when someone sneezes. For example, a friend sends you details for a meet-up of some kind; you respond with the universally recognised word of acknowledgement “Roger”; and they come back saying, “No, he can’t make it this week.” (more…)

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Blackcurrant and Rhubarb Cake

blackcurrant and rhubarb cake

It’s July and the blackcurrants are ripe, raising the perennial question: what the hell do you do with blackcurrants? Not a big fan of the jam. Can’t seem to make it taste like Ribena or fruit gums. At the same time, my rhubarb is throwing up its usual disappointingly small stalks (maybe I bought a bonsai version by mistake). So I decided to try adapting a favourite apple cake recipe to see if it might prove a tasty depository for all those blackcurrants and scraps of rhubarb. And guess what – it’s a bloomin’ revelation! (more…)

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Guest Word of the Week: Trap

mouse trap

Ever felt like you’ve been caught in a trap? If I recall correctly, I think Elvis did, but I don’t think he meant it literally. For many of us, quarantine and isolation may be the closest we’ll ever feel to being literally TRAPPED, so when I set foot on a golf course the other day for the first time this year, and felt the freedom all around me… where do you suppose I ended up? In a sand trap, of course. And it took me two shots to get out. OK, Jack Nicklaus I am not. Traps do, however, also have the ignominious distinction of being responsible for the premature termination of life, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking all traps are bad. That’s total claptrap.

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Word of the Week: Pivot

pivot

You may have received an email recently (or perhaps 400 emails) encouraging you to pivot. And you may have thought, “Bit rude.” But that wouldn’t have been the intention. While ‘pivot’ may mean the same thing as ‘swivel’ in engineering terms, its use in vernacular English is quite different.

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Word of the Week: Repetition

So, having advised you all to spend your weeks of isolation sitting under a tree, I’ve discovered that I crave the occasional change of scene. Fortunately, the scene is changing day by day, as buds burst and petals drop, but I can feel a creeping sense of repetition with which I’m not entirely comfortable. When are these flipping blue skies going to end?

Oh, there they go. (more…)

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