Light reading for when you’re stuck at home (for extended periods of time)

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Not too long ago, I explored the origins of some of the world’s most iconic idioms. Now, I’m moving onto classic low key expletives and insults.

Well-trodden and woven deep into the fabric of British language in particular, these mildly offensive expletives are still utilised in casual conversations today.

But, what do they mean, exactly, and where did they come from? Let’s take a look, shall we?

Without further ado, here are the supposed origins of the classic insults, Berk, Twit, Plonker, Git, and minger.

Berk

What does…


The #AutismAwarenessElf is here to sprinkle a little educational cheer.

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The festive season is upon us and this year, I wanted to write something around seasonal autism awareness.

Revved up and ready to write, I became distracted and after a short gander on Facebook, I came across these brilliant images created by Faithmummy.

Everything I wanted to say is depicted here — these clever visuals are right on the money. So, rather than rambling on, allow me to present…the#autismawarenesself.


A poem for awareness

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It’s Invisible Disabilities Week and to spread a little awareness on the subject, here’s a little poem called ‘Under Your Radar.’

Under Your Radar

I look like you, I suppose. You look like me, too.

Two eyes, a nose, a mouth, four limbs, and a smile to boot.

But under your radar my days are unique —

It’s the way I experience the world around me.

Sometimes I’ll stumble and trip up in my head,

With ailments or struggles that fill me with dread.

Not because I’m stupid, or weird, or less —

Because you have a preconceived notion…


One small act or reasonable adjustment can create giant ripples…

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As a family, we like to go to Alton Towers — and for good reason. Not only are the rides bleedin’ brilliant and the grounds quite magical, but the special needs provision is excellent.

Not too long ago, my wife and I took our son, Sidney, to Alton Towers as a treat before starting school. The reasonable adjustments the park made for us as a family made our day one to remember for all the right reasons — unlike some other excursions we’ve been on in recent years.

Sidney is…


Writing a novel is a big deal.

It’s soul-consuming, and creating a feature-length work of fiction takes a great deal of time as well as dedication.

But, you probably already knew that, right?

One of the most haunting thoughts for any budding novelist (the kind that wakes you up at night) is: will my idea support a lengthy work of fiction? Is it even worth writing at all?

You could argue that with the right level of care and development any acorn of an idea could flourish into a mighty work of fiction. …


The beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

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From the piercing light to the bellow of dawn’s frost, all of a sudden it was Thursday. I was outside The Honch’s room and stacked among the barrels with my phone and jacket resting on my lap. The sun exposed every crack and blemish in the space around me, much like it had on my life on most mornings for years prior to that day.

My head was sore. I remember it feeling like a tiny JCB was excavating the inside of my skull in a bid to reach…


Things are starting to get groovy. It might not be a good thing.

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Am I losing you? A load of old bollocks, is it? I can tell what you’re thinking. Well, at this point in time I suppose you’re hoping there’s going to be some kind of payoff for lending me your ear for the day, but in the grand scheme of things does it really matter, my friend?

You’re stuck here just like me and it’s not like you’re going anywhere anytime soon, hey? We’re just a pair of fools trying to pass the time in this soulless purgatory…


Things are heating up at The Old Lamb pub.

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It was a groggy start to the day, and I remember getting frosty feet about going over for my catch-up with Daisy.

There was still a burning desire to do so but I’ve never really been one for grabbing life by the balls and anyway, what was I going to say? If I even tried to play it cool, my words would trip over themselves like an infant trying to tie their shoelaces for the first time. Basically, I just knew I’d make myself look like one giant cockhead.

My aunt…


From hangover to heart-pumping, toe-curling anticipation.

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I woke up around half nine, AM, with a crippling headache and the taste of garlic and onions lingering in my mouth-a taste so stale, that until I managed to chomp down some toothpaste, it intermittently tickled my gag reflex, causing me to puke into my mouth and swallow.

But that wasn’t unusual, waking up regretting the last few fateful shots of Tequila and Apple Sours after a Saturday session in The Cross is quite commonplace.

All in all, I don’t really hang out with many people my own age, so propping up the…


Bizarre beginnings in the industrial town of Stunston.

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Have you ever wondered what happens in between the episodes of your favourite drama or sitcom? Well, I do. I think about it a lot, actually.

I mean, when the curtains close and the ad breaks come on, or the episode ends, what’s left for the characters? Do they just pause in some endless darkness-a personal purgatory-until they’re told to continue with the next vital scene or do they carry out mundane chores like hoovering and the big supermarket shop? …

Dan Hughes

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