Odd Words: Pics Along The Way

Many moons ago, I remember looking at my Late Father-in-Law's copies of the 'Reader's Digest' magazine.
Inside each issue was a section entitled " Word Power." The idea was to guess from four possibilities the correct definition of a word given. In this way, so it was said, you would build up your vocabulary usage.
However, I don't think they had this degree of difficulty:
"Neither agomphious not arctoid, neither creodont nor czigany, Howard Bly knew himself a lonely, imperfect being ever scrambling to imitate the manners and habits of those he loved and admired, not to mention worshipped, as was the case with Spencer Mallon." P.53

From "A Dark Matter, " by Peter Straub ( 2010 ). In this story which I am presently reading, the character Howard 'Hootie' Bly has a photographic memory and can remember every word and definition from an unusual dictionary source. To confound his friends, he tends to utter them in ordinary conversation.

So do you know the meaning of the four words underlined? I didn't, neither my trusty dictionary nor my app resource, neither my spelling checker or any standard online dictionary. So, if you did know any of the meanings, give yourself a pat on the back; you done good!

However the internet came to the rescue via the "Dictionary of Difficult Meanings."
so I can now reveal that:

agomphious = toothless

arctoid         = bear-like

creodont     = any extinct mammal from the Tertiary Period Cf. 65m to 1.6m years ago

czigany       = gypsy (Hungarian).

So now we know that Hootie, has teeth, is not of a chunky disposition, has no gypsy lineage and at this time was not in any danger of extinction; I hope that clears that up.


Since early March, D. and I have been walking in small stages the Gloucestershire Way from Churchdown to Crickley Hill. Our route started alongside the M5 Motorway.

 Then passed by  fields, until Badgeworth Church was reached.

The above picture shows the lych gate  and green at the front of the church.

The walk then continued across the village green, up  a track and then left into a field.

At this point I want to engage in a little finger-shaking; because the large sloping field had a wire barrier, preventing normal  forward progress. D. and I thought we had made a mistake with our directions and we thus returned to our car.
The following week, we went  to Shurdington and walked BACK along the Way, coming eventually to the same field, which still had the barrier and two bulls in it.

Furthermore there was a clearly shown yellow Way sign into this field, after crossing a brook.

You can just glimpse it on the leaning post, by the felled tree.

Now this I maintain, is bad practice.  The Gloucestershire Way is a public walk, properly instituted since 1996. It  therefore behoves land-owners to allow walkers to follow the trail without, hindrance, poor signing; or  as in this case, barriers and animals which could in certain circumstances be a danger to the public.

Right. Rant over.

The rest of the walk to Shurdington and the A46, was not from a scenic point of view particularly attractive; being mostly scrubby grass and muddy paths, enlivened only by a collection point for Bee hives and associated hardware.

Once, however across the A46 road, the route gained some elevation and the views over the severn valley opened up.

Our next point of call on this section of the Way will be Crickley Hill itself.


Finally, here's hoping tomorrow (13/5) Cheltenham Town A.F.C. will give a good account of themselves against Torquay United in their 1st leg of the play-off finals. They play at home, kicking off at noon.
But whatever the result, like Newcastle, they have enjoyed a great season and it was very gratifying to learn that Manager Mark Yates and assistant Neil Howarth have both signed new two year contracts keeping them with Cheltenham until 2014.



Whisper it quietly, but it might be a tad warmer next week; hope so.




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