I used to be indecisive…

…but now I'm not so sure

Friday letters – the final July edition


Dear school summer holidays,  There may be many more children around because they are out of school now for six weeks, but the upside of that is that driving anywhere is so much quieter.  It’s not until you can get to where you are going without waiting in long queues of traffic, that you realise just how much school related traffic there must be on the roads.  Either that, or lots of people who would normally clog up the roads have actually gone away on holiday with their little darlings.  Whatever the reason, I would like to say thank you for the pleasure of quieter roads.

Dear the phrase ‘on the planet’,  When did you become the normal phrase to be used instead of ‘in the world’?  We used to hear about an athlete being the best ‘in the world’ or an event being the largest ‘in the world’  but now they are the best/largest/loudest/busiest on the planet.   I’ve been noticing it more and more recently, and just wondered if there was any particular reasoning behind it.

Dear wild swimming,  When I was growing up we went swimming – in the loch, in the river, in the stream, in the sea…  Now it seems we were wild swimming.  I had no idea -I thought I was just swimming!  Who decided to rename it, and why? Is it suddenly more dangerous than it was?

Dear sewing in the ends of crochet squares,  You are such a tiresome task.  I know I should have done it as I went along, but I didn’t.  Next time I will remember (I hope!).

Dear darkened room,  Thank you for being available for me to lie down in after booking a short holiday in the shortest time ever!  It took me a while to recover.

Dear all,  Have a good Friday.


7 thoughts on “Friday letters – the final July edition

  1. I shake my head at the term “wild swimming” too! I suppose it has arisen because people have become so trapped in their own houses/gardens/leisure centre that having any sort of freedom has to seem ‘wild’ to them. I am so thankful I grew up in a world where I was free to roam without supervision as a child.

  2. ” ‘on the planet’” I agree whole heartedly. There are other new ‘terms’ for things which you and I would instantly feel our brows furrow and that familiar feeling of the hairs on the back of the neck stand up…. but I’ve obviously pushed them to the the recycle bin of my brain and can’t summon them up anymore.

    However .. it doesn’t stop me from wanting to tear a strip of the person coming out with these new fangled words to describe something we’ve known all along as being called ____________ [fill blank space] (e.g. Marathon chocolate bar changed to Snickers. grrr. Oil of Ulay became Olay)

    Is there a petition Elaine? Where do I sign?
    ~ Cobs. x

  3. I always thought there was a naked connotation to wild swimming. Strange where I get my ideas. 🙂 🙂 Happy weekend, Elaine!

  4. Excellent letters, as ever. I think you’re right that a lot of the cars on the road are part of the school run traffic, and it makes me wonder why so few pupils walk to school these days. I had a fairly long walk to school and back every day and it was part of life, whether I felt like it or not. I did very occasionally get a lift if my dad happened to have some reason for driving past my school at the right time, but I’m glad now that I had so much walking to do early in life. Your ‘on the planet’ letter reminds me of the word ‘absolutely’ which seems to have largely replaced ‘yes’, especially during interviews when someone’s answering a question in the affirmative.

  5. I haven’t heard the term “wild swimming” but I’m wondering if it was coined by someone who saw me leaving the water in a hurry when a stingray passed by the day we were at Monkey Mia in Western Australia. I probably looked pretty wild. 🙂 As for yarn ends, you definitely need to darn as you go. It’s much easier. And you’ve left us with a cliffhanger…a short holiday to where???

  6. I’m more into calm swimming, which can be done anywhere…. Honestly, who comes up with these phrases?? The one I particularly hate is ‘Bolthole’, usually associated with (investment banker) Tarquin and (interior designer) Arabella’s seaside weekend retreat. Check out Coast magazine for at least three articles on wild swimming and boltholes!

  7. I think the term ‘on the planet’ must have come from the realisation that we are not the centre of the universe anymore (though President Trump might disagree).

    What I love about language is that it is a living, growing entity and changes all the time. Next up: he was the best athlete in the galaxy,


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