With cloudless sky overhead, this morning I partook in a social distancing compliant peregrination round my West Yorkshire village. Perambulating with sun beating down on the few areas of exposed skin on my hirsute visage, I concluded todays constitutional to be a good deal pleasanter than yesterday’s stroll in a bitingly cold north wind.

As yours truly walked along the predominantly people-less East Ardsley streets, it struck me how the accompanying aural silence was deafening. By that I mean, akin to be subject to a loud noise, the awareness of this quiet was inescapable; for me anyhow. My penchant of seeking poetry in most situations unearthing this romantic notion.

The other day, a friend told me they enjoyed my blogs, before observing mischievously “Although, at times it appears you’ve swallowed a thesaurus!” A well-natured jibe at my occasional use of more erudite words I’d rarely use in verbal communication. An accusation of which I’m guilty as charged.


With writing 1,800+ narratives containing a minimum of 500 words, there’s obviously a need to every now and again venture over to thesaurus.com, seeking an alternative word to avoid excessive repetition.

Loving words and seeking to constantly improve my penmanship/vocabulary, I’ve found these sporadic e-odysseys enlightening. I’ve learned many wonderful new words which, in acts of hubris and pretension, I occasional shoe horn into conversation.

Words whose eloquence either impress the recipient, or lead to the barbed response of “What the chuffing hell does that mean, Gary….. And did you know your flies were open?!”…… The latter observation only applicable if my flies were open and my conversational partner had spotted the inadvertent indiscretion!

Footnote –  This habitual, but unintended, faux pas of not realising my trouser zip fastener was open seemingly inherited from my late father, who was caught in that situation on a few occasions in public. A quiet and undemonstrative man, in the 1970’s he was mortified when an elderly lady approached him outside of Shepherds department store on Gateshead High Street to advise “Yer flies open, pet!”

As a fairly regular listener on YouTube to exponents of eloquent debate, such as the late Christopher Hitchens, Stephen Fry, Bertrand Russell and Richard Dawkins, their command of the English language both captivates and drives my desire to improve my understanding of my native tongue.

The romantic notions of which I alluded earlier making me long for the days of when the English language was communicated in pre-text speak. I’d also love a return to an era prior to business embraced the provision of meaningless platitudes. Soundbites which campaign creatives relish running up the flagpole and see if the cat wants to lick it….. See I can do meaningless platitudes too. Is there no end to my creative versatility? 😉

As I write, while front line NHS staff labour under immense COVID-19 induced workloads, somewhere a pen pusher will’ve been tasked to create a title or strap line to use for the UK governments lockdown exit strategy. Something along the lines of ‘Phoenix Rise’, or ‘Hermit’s Stirring’: or even for those 12 weeks separated from their suitors ‘End of Cockdown in Lockdown’.

To close, I wanted to relay a tale manifesting from a recent reference to recollections of a particular junior school assembly in 1970. During this commentary I touched upon the song ‘Morning Has Broken’ being performed by teacher Mr Downie on piano…. Upon reading this that very teacher very kindly sent me this clip below….. Thank you Keith E. Downie!!

Stay safe everyone!!