Christine Lovatt’s Hello Column

Christine’s Hello column appears monthly in Lovatts BIG Crossword magazine

Why do we have leap years?

Good news this month for anyone whose birthday falls on 29th February – this is a Leap Year so you can celebrate your birthday on the correct day instead of 28th Feb or 1st March. Or maybe you don’t mind not having a birthday, because you claim to be only a quarter of your [more…]

‘Head over heels’ and other phrases about love

This month it’s St Valentine’s Day once again, and so much has been written about romantic love, in stories, poetry and song, that you might think there is nothing left to say. But it seems that we never tire of the romantic dream, which after all makes the world go round. Love will never [more…]

The two meanings of second

Have you ever wondered if there’s a connection between the two meanings of second? It means both ‘a sixtieth of a minute’ and ‘coming after the first’. Also, the two meanings of minute, ‘a sixtieth of an hour’ and ‘very small’. Well the fact is, they ARE connected.

When the hour was divided into sixty [more…]

The Name David: Meaning, History & Famous Davids

The name David is of Hebrew origin meaning “beloved”, and it’s probably true that everyone (at least in the Western World) knows a David or Dave.

The first David we know of was a musician and shepherd boy who killed the Philistine giant Goliath with his slingshot. He was rewarded for his courage by Saul, [more…]

2020: Chinese Year of the Rat

As we have just entered into the Chinese Year of the Rat, we thought we’d take a closer look at the phrases and literature surrounding the rambunctious rodents from the genus Rattus.

Many of you will recoil with horror at the mention of rats, because of the bad press they have had for years. A [more…]

Wake up and smell the roses ?

It’s often said that smell is the most evocative of senses. Just a whiff of some particular smells can transport you back in time, triggering memories from your childhood. The smell of lavender always reminds me of my grandmother. The scent of my newborn grandchildren takes me back to the days when my children [more…]

Favourite foreign phrases

You might think our English language has some crazy sayings, but we’re not alone. Here are some of my favourite sayings from other languages:

We might say ‘when pigs fly’ – meaning we don’t believe something will ever happen. Germans have a saying ‘I think my pig whistles’ meaning I can’t believe it. In [more…]

Selling Sea Shells by the Seashore

Hello!

Tongue twisters have been around for years, challenging us to contort our lips and tongues by trying to pronounce the almost impossible.

To make a good tongue twister, you must string together words that are similar but not quite the same, and then make sure they make sense. Such as Sharing crazy crossword clues should [more…]

The most complex machine on earth

Hello!

The expression ‘plastic brain’ doesn’t mean your brain is made of a cheap, disposable material. Plasticity means the quality of being easily moulded, and scientists have discovered that the human brain has this capacity, to change continuously. It can modify its connections and rewire itself, at any age, for better or worse.

Scientists agree [more…]