Welcome to my Desk, where you’ll find all sorts of items to hold your interest. Unlike my real office desk, which is cluttered with books, files, news cuttings and the remnants of my lunch, this Online Desk will be efficient and easy to navigate.
Learn some of the tricks of solving those weird cryptic crosswords on my tutorials page.
If you wonder about the origins of some of our wonderful English expressions, Words & Phrases is the place to find out more.
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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 French they say, ‘when hens have teeth’, [more…]
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 cause a classic crisis. Okay, not that [more…]
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 that the human brain is the most [more…]
Unfortunately, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, and it is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Australia. The good news is that research and early detection have been demonstrated to increase the chances of a more positive outcome.
To show our support during Breast Cancer Awareness month, Lovatts will donate 50c from every sale of [more…]
Having three little granddaughters, I’m familiar with the favourite topics that little girls are into these days – rainbows, unicorns and mermaids. In fact it’s hard to buy a T-shirt for a toddler that doesn’t have one of these three depicted on the front – or dinosaurs, superheroes and trucks for boys (I have two grandsons too).
My oldest granddaughter, familiar with [more…]
2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages and a good time to look at the contribution made to our vocabulary by the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander languages of Australia. There are all the words you might expect, such as budgerigar, koala, billabong, corroboree, bombora, woomera, yabby, boomerang, kookaburra, dingo and currawong. However, some words you may think are Aboriginal [more…]