Christine Lovatt's Hello Column

Christine's Hello column appears monthly in Lovatts BIG Crossword magazine – [GeoTargeted out=”UK,EU”]click here for more information[/GeoTargeted][GeoTargeted to=”UK,EU”]click here for more information[/GeoTargeted]

Hello – BIG April 2015

We associate Easter with chocolate eggs and a long weekend, but once Easter was bigger than Christmas. It still is in many denominations, a far more important event to Christians.

Christmas, being our big razzmatazz celebration, when families get together, with decorations and presents, puts Easter in the shade, but Easter was once a similar [more…]

Hello – BIG March 2015

One reason we have so many synonyms is a legacy of English history.
Anglo-Saxon was spoken until the Normans invaded England in 1066 when William the Conqueror made French the language of the courts. Anglo-Saxon was spoken by the peasants and French by the aristocracy, which is why so many English words have twins. [more…]

Hello – BIG February 2015

One of the big decisions I had to make recently was whether I want to be called Grandma or Nanna – or any other variation such as Nanny, Nan, Gran or even Grandmama!
Yes, I have just become a grandmother! While it’s not a life-changing decision, it made me think about why there isn’t [more…]

Hello – BIG January 2015

Many of the ancient pre-Christian celebrations were hijacked when Christianity arrived, and adapted – or toned down. Some of them have been forgotten altogether.
Candlemas on 2nd February was known as the festival of light in pre-Christian times. It marked the mid-point of winter, half way between the winter solstice (shortest day) and the spring [more…]

Hello – BIG December 2014

Christmas is coming and once again we prepare for the big day, as people have done for over a thousand years.

The date of 25th December was first declared by Pope Julius I, around 336 AD. The exact day on which Jesus was born was not recorded, so why was this date chosen? There were [more…]

Hello – BIG November 2014

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.” – Mark Twain.
Calling a woman a dog implies she’s ugly. Calling a man the same thing implies that he’s uncouth or of low morals, although it could also [more…]

Hello – BIG October 2014

“I want everyone to wear what they want and mix it in their own way. That, to me, is what is modern.” – Karl Lagerfeld
Many famous people are still remembered, not for their wise words or brave deeds, as they would like to be, but for the clothes they wore.

Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Italian revolutionary, [more…]

Hello – BIG September 2014

Synonym: “A word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language” – Oxford Dictionary

When is a synonym not a synonym? And does the synonym have a synonym of its own? Writing crossword clues for a living, we get to know quite a lot about [more…]

Hello – BIG August 2014

You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen, it said, ‘Parking Fine’. -Tommy Cooper
In the early 20th century when the automobile first came into prominence, the Sunday Drive became a popular family outing, often after church, with no motivation other than driving for pleasure [more…]