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Word of the Week: Newt

An alligator

Don’t you just love an apocryphal tale? When it comes to the origin of popular sayings, you can hardly move for them. This week brought the first sighting of a newt in my garden pond. It’s always an exciting moment when something other than a cat or a bird happens across my natural habitat but there was something particularly poignant about the arrival of this newt, coming as it did at a time of national fixation with getting back to the pub. (more…)

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Word of the Week: Box

A cardboard box

Isn’t cardboard brilliant! Strong, pliable, lightweight, biodegradable, tactile and aesthetically pleasing. It even sounds good when you slide one piece over another. All these attributes add up to what online retailers call ‘the unboxing experience’ – the pleasure of opening a cardboard box. (more…)

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Word of the Week: Sponge

a sea sponge

Are you a sponge or a stone? Do you like to experience all facets of life? Or do you shut yourself off from new experience?

Fans of Withnail and I will immediately recognise these lines as Uncle Monty’s roundabout proposition to the terrified Marwood, to which Marwood replies in desperation, “I voted Conservative!” There’s something in the way Richard Griffiths says “sponge” that gives this most primitive of multicellular organisms a salacious quality that would probably surprise it if it knew. Most sponges are, after all, hermaphrodites. (more…)

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Drones: time to add them to your workforce?

drone silhouetted against the sun

We’ve been familiar with the concept of drones for some years now. Their use in the military, for everything from bomb disposal to surgical strikes, is no longer the stuff of sci-fi, their recreational use (and misuse) by consumers and criminals makes the news headlines with increasing frequency and we’re all still waiting for our first drone delivery from Amazon. (more…)

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