Finally, some relief from the scorching heat! There has been a beautiful sea breeze blowing in my wide-open, southern-facing windows all day and the temperature hasn't made it over 31C. It's still warm in some rooms of my flat, but nothing compared with the airless, ovenesque heat of the past week. Phew.
After a trip up the street for provisions this morning, I have spent most of the day on my bed reading The Age, listening to music and enjoying the comparative coolness. I haven't had time the past few weekends to properly read the weekend papers, so I'm lapping it up today.
More wordy books
The Age delivered up another two word nerd books to put on my must-read list. Ammon Shea spent a year reading the entire Oxford English Dictionary - all 59 million words of it - and has written a book of his favourite obscure and quirky words called Reading the OED.
The Age's Jane Sullivan writes - "He kept going because he was discovering so many wonderful words. You may think him quite mad. But if you have any inkling of the way the heart can quicken at the sight and sound of an obscure, beautiful or quirky word, then you're a bit of a word freak yourself." Yup.
The other book is Fopdoodle and Salmagundi edited by Edward Allhusen, which includes the fabulous word "sponk". When I asked Dictionary.com to define it for me, it told me to see "spunk". Not entirely sure which definition is the one I'm meant to look at - pluck/spirit/mettle or touchwood/tinder/punk. It's certainly not "spunk" as in a sexually attractive person (which I think is an Australianism. Anyone?). And - before one of you alludes to it - it is most certainly not the far less savoury definition of spunk (which Dictionary.com does mention). I'll just have to read the book to find out, won't I?
They call me Daisy
I love this. I read today on Grist.com that cows that are given a name and called individually by name rather than simply herded as a group produce 3.4 per cent more milk a year than nameless ones.
The researchers in the UK concluded that calling the cows by name fosters positive human/cow relations, which makes for happier cows and happier cows give more milk.
We had a cow called Buttercup when I was a kid but I don't know if she gave more milk because of it.