Braise Yourself

This morning my wee wife and I went for a stroll at Roundhay Park. The chilling wind was so bracing that my little spouses jaw froze, meaning she became temporarily unable to say the word bracing.

As a result, for a short time this morning, Karen described the strong breeze that was battering that scenic part of north Leeds as “braising”, “braceting” and “bruising”.

It was a strange phenomenon; especially when you take into account she could fluently relay all other words in her vocabulary during this time. However for some reason, she just couldn’t say “bracing” correctly until we got back to the car and her jaw thawed out!


I’m not sure if there is a medical name for this episode of verbal impotence; unless it is verbal impotence then I’ve just luckily guessed it.

While my wife and I sat on a park bench near the lake at the lower end of the park having a minor disagreement, a middle aged guy approached us to see if we would partake in a survey.

We don’t normally agree to requests like this, but as he was stood blocking out the freezing wind we said yes on this occasion. The questionnaire was to ascertain whether visitors would be interested in the installation of outdoor gym equipment in the park.

roundhay lake

His first questions surrounded my age and sex. I answered I was in the 45-55 age category to the first question and “Mind your own business!” to the second.

He then asked “What was the reason for your visit to Roundhay Park? – Walking, jogging, kids play area, visit the Mansion, see Tropical World or to stare at women’s bottoms.”

I asked “Is there an option on there of ‘arguing’?” He laughed nervously in response to my tongue in cheek answer, before a despairing Karen replied “We’re here for a walk.”

He then showed us a picture of the outdoor gym equipment, which looked not too dissimilar to the colourful heavily padded safety rides in the children’s play area.

outdoor gym

The canvasser asked “Do you think an outdoor gym is a good idea? – “Yes”, “No”, “Maybe”, “If you get a free ice cream” or “Do I f**k!” ……. Karen and I both responded in the affirmative.

He followed this with “Would you use this gym equipment? – “Yes”, “No”, “Maybe”, “If you get a free ice cream” or “No f**king way!” ……. I responded positively but Karen shook her head in the negative.

“Is that a “No”, or “No f**king way!” he asked Karen to clarify. She hid her displeasure at his swearing, smiled and responded “No!”

It was at this point I knew answering a questionnaire designed by the Tourettes Word Assessors & Testers Society (TWATS) was a mistake.

As the questionnaire neared its conclusion, I asked the affable facilitator of these queries how the gym equipment project would be financed. He said Leeds council were exploring the avenue of funding as we spoke.

I told him that if they added the question “What are your banking sign on and password details?” to the survey they might get the financing a bit quicker! He laughed nervously again, before telling Karen and I “Right, I have one more question.”

“Can you say the f***ing word bracing in very cold weather?!”


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