In search of a tree stump (part two)

Generic tree stump image!

Part two, in which I talk about Waterstone’s and holiday destinations. For an explanation of what is going on, see this post.

1. Which confectionery or product that is no longer available do you miss and would like to bring back?

The front of a book shop. If you are reading this in 2023 this will no doubt confuse you.

An interesting question, and one which is hard to answer as most of the things I loved do still exist, they’re just harder to find… or they’re not that hard to find but I have less of a sweet tooth.

I do wish for the return of Opal Fruits. “Starburst” is just silly.

To broaden things slightly, I wish there were more independent stores on the high street. I’m not too much of a grass-skirt-wearing hippy (I don’t think) but I used to like being able to browse for books in four or five different shops (in the middle-size city in which I live). Now there’s just Waterstone’s and WHSmith. But WHSmith is out unless you want celebrity cook books, Twilight* or tragic tales of abused children. And I don’t (mostly). Now we’re at a point where even Waterstone’s is under threat. Without wishing to belittle people who were beaten as children, this is a genuine tragedy.

And repeat all the above and replace books and Waterstone’s with music and HMV. I can’t quite believe that we’ve arrived somewhere where I’m cheering on Waterstone’s and HMV as underdogs… where did it all go wrong?!

And loads of other stuff in a similar vein!

2. What was your favourite cartoon or kids programme as a child? Tell me what it was about!

Where's my breakfast?

I used to like all the same stuff as everyone else, I’m sure. Thundercats, Transformers, Dungeons and Dragons, Count Duckula, whatever the one with the roadrunner and Wile E Coyote was called.

My favourites for a long time were Fraggle Rock and Trap Door.

And I liked Trap Door when I was a genuine child and not in a hip, retro way when I was a student, which is better and more credible, so there!

If you don’t know about Fraggle Rock or Trap Door you should definitely Google them, or YouTube some episodes or whatever young people do these days.

3. What is your favourite word and why?

This one has a sundial on it.

I am very fond of churl, obstreperous, defenestrate, whittle, smorgasbord, recalcitrant and, of course, plinth.

I love these words because I love words. They combine a pleasing sound and form with a fun meaning. On the other hand, “blog” is a word which has no redeeming features. But I’ve covered this ground before.

4. Which place do you really have no desire to go to on holiday and why?

Nice. But I'm happy to leave it to the locals.

I am very boring when it comes to holidaying/travelling**. I am interested in other cultures, societies and languages but have a very weak desire to visit most other places.

So I am not particularly bothered about visiting almost any continent that isn’t Europe, as unless I get much richer the extra cost would not provide more enjoyment than, say, camping in the peak district (where I already live). This is particularly true of a holiday where you only relax (or worse are hemmed into a controlled compound while hostile locals complete with AK47s are rampant outside the ramparts – I’m thinking of somewhere like the Dominican Republic) as somewhere like a greek island is no different to a park in England if you aren’t going to go exploring local culture.

A further problem is that I have become so habituated to camping that I balk at any holiday costing more than £200 for a family of four. This could detrimentally affect my future travel plans, as you might imagine.

One thing to note is that no man is an island+ and I do have a wife and (so far one) child. I don’t dislike travel and it’s entirely possible that they would want to go somewhere and I would almost certainly enjoy it. I’m just unlikely to be the prime mover behind the travel plans.

5. Likewise, where would you MOST like to go and why?

"DOCTOR DOCTOR I LOVE CAMPING!!" "You're intense!"

Well, see previous for my peculiar outlook on travel.

For more rambling++, why not read the following?

I am very keen to see more of England, Scotland (which I really like even though I am so horrid to Scotch people on this blog), both bits of Ireland (although I am sometimes a bit scared there, especially in Belfast) and Wales (I suppose, as they would feel left out if I didn’t include them on this list!).

I am really looking forward to Panther getting a bit older and taking her to some of the place RJ and I have already been and sharing them with her. First stop – walking along Hadrian’s Wall. Once she has learned to walk, obviously!

I can definitely see myself as the kind of boring dad who insists on telling her all about a stone we have found while she rolls her eyes and wishes she was with her friends/her mother/anyone else.

6. How many _________ does it change to change a lightbulb? Give me your best question and answer to this joke!

Lightbulb, lightbulb burning bright; in the bedrooms of the night.

A: One.
Q: How many psychics does it take to change a lightbulb?

Always good to finish on a high!

* a young girls tragic choice between bestiality and necrophilia (joke courtesy Jimmy Carr)
** which implies a more serious mindset than merely holidaying
+ quote courtesy Jon Bon Jovi
++ this is a (weak) pun but you might not this realise yet – in fact it is so weak that you might not notice when you come to it, so I wanted to draw attention to it now. Once you feel you have enjoyed it enough you may return to the main body text.

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4 thoughts on “In search of a tree stump (part two)

  1. I love the detailed, thoughtful replies (And the word choices! I like the word plinth, but I don’t like actual plinths!)
    I agree that blog is an ugly word. It lacks imagination, poetry and joy (unlike myriad! My class and I really love that word at the moment! I taught them plethora and multitude as well but they all shunned them in favour of myriad!)
    Your thoughts on holiday are commendable both that you are happy to stay local and will let RJ choose all sorts of exciting locations!!

    My dad is exactly that type of Dad (Love him to bits!) except he delights in talking to me about latent heat and all sorts of other confusing chemistry concepts!
    Brilliant!

  2. I also loved all the comments on those two post links! I love Welshy and Chris Walesy’s dialogue! Funny! One cannot say that I am not a dilligent reader!

  3. Oh and I hate those wretched tragic books! Really really really loathe and despite them!!!!! My sister loves them! Uhrgh, Danielle Steele, Jodi Picoult especially- bleurgh!!!!

  4. Kezzie spam!!

    My favourite of the three is definitely plethora. I used it quite frequently, alongside cornucopia. I rarely use myriad.

    Your dad sounds amazing and latent heat is a fascinating subject! Do you ever discuss enthalpy points?

    Yes, Walesy and le Welsh are a right old pair of comedians, although Welshy sometimes oversteps the mark and says something unutterably crude!

    Aren’t Jodi P &c novelists? I didn’t realise they were based on real life too, having never read one. (I won’t be trying one out based on your review.)

    And you haven’t said whether you liked the joke or not!

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