zo o log i cal #AtoZchallenge

Warning – there’s a pic. of a large spider on me so please leave now if you’re an arachnophobic.

I am zoological.  What can I say, it’s my very being.  I was born, bred, learnt and grew zoologically speaking.  My parents worked in a Zoo and I was passionate about species conservation when few knew what the words nature conservation meant.  I’ve always cared about the natural world, particularly animals, though I am becoming a bit more botanical as I grow.

There are times when I’ve hidden, I think, from my past, particularly when surrounded by people who do not have a similar background or understanding of what the zoo world is like.  After doing Zoology at University my Dad asked if I was going to get a proper job when I was working nights in a works social club and doing nature conservation volunteering during the day.  I wrote to a few zoos asking about jobs to show willing and was shocked when London called my bluff and offered me a job as zoo keeper.  That’s how I remember it.

I’m sure they must have interviewed me and I would have had references..  That’s what set me off on my wonderful life and has led me to Peterborough.. hmm… My choices(ish) at ever turn.  Whilst I live on my own, I have wonderful friends and family, a great job (comments here my own..) and amazing memories.

Now, in my fifties, I look back over my zoological life with pleasure and want to compliment all those who helped make this life of mine.

Not forgetting those new friends who encouraged me to blog and those who helped and supported me while I prepared for and participated in this AtoZ Challenge.  It’s been my first (may be my last) and I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.

To all of you, whatever differences we may have had,

what ups and downs we may have shared.

The wonderful memories shine out.

It’s my life.

Zoological through and through,

I wouldn’t change one moment of it.


I knew I should have done A is for aardvark..

I knew one once.

zo o log i cal

‘1. of animals and animal life.  2. having to do with zoology.’

Your final chance to see ‘live’ blog specimens on the AtoZchallenge.


yachts man ship #AtoZchallenge

There are very few words beginning in y of 10 or more letters and this one called to me.  Perhaps it was the ocean calling or a long lost love.  Every time I watch a film where they’re pootling along in a little yacht and sailing, I wish I lived somewhere I could do that and have my own boat.  I do not have yachtsmanship but do have a yearning to have some.

Perhaps that will be my challenge for the next year.  Find somewhere to learn how to sail a yacht.  Get some yachtsmanship.

Do you have yachtsmanship?

Want to teach me?

yachts man ship

‘skill or ability in handling a yacht.’

The rest of the AtoZchallenge bloggers are yearning to see you.

xxxxxxxxxx #AtoZchallenge

If you’ve read this far in the AtoZ’s I need to say a big thank you for staying with me.  By now you probably know more about me than I had planned for or than you expected.  I hope we’re still friends or new friends if we weren’t before.

There are 12 words under X in my dictionary.  None of them have 10 or more letters unless I put an s on the end.  I’ve made a choice and chosen xxxxxxxxxx.

xxxxxxxxxx could mean:

  • there was a word that I obliterated


  • lots of love from me to you

You choose…

and now you know me a little better which do you think I would choose?

take some xx’s from me to the other AtoZchallenge blogs.

wool gath er ing #AtoZchallenge

There’s a woolgathering in my shed or should that be a gathering of wool?  Don’t you just love this word?  I’d never heard of it before today.  It jumped out at me as I was pouring over my dictionary.  The one that’s been churning out my theme of words of 10 letters or more.  I LOVE wool and all things wool.

There’s a Woolfest that happens once a year in Cumbria.  It’s the most wonderful event though I keep getting distracted with other things. Peterborough holds it’s heritage festival the same weekend and this year I agreed to participate in Peterborough Artists Open Studios before realising it was the same weekend.  Next year.  Next year I will spend a weekend of June in Cumbria again surrounded by wool and all things woollen marvelling at the fleeces and the sheep and the skills of everyone.

If someone’s woolgathering whilst they appear to be inattentive of what you might be saying they may be very attentive to something wonderfully creative.  I think I’ve been gathering wool or should that be woolgathering all of my life and proud to have been so.

 wool gath er ing

‘1. Inattentive; absent-minded; dreamy.’

‘2. Absent-mindedness; absorption in thinking or day-dreaming.’

Go a woolgathering around the AtoZChallenge

Ver i sim i li tude #AtoZchallenge

As I near the end of April, I wanted to post one wondrous word of 13 letters or more.  If there had been enough big words in my dictionary the whole month would have been filled with wondrous words like verisimilitude.

Most of the words I’ve posted are ones I’ve known and felt I could write about without too much research.  I wanted them to be understandable, truthful and real.  Little did I know I wanted them to have a verisimilitude.  Or have I misunderstood its meaning?  If something has an appearance of truth does that mean it might not be? Hmm..

As I get to the end of my AtoZ I will allow a little reflection on my theme.  Verisimilitude is one of the words mum would have loved to read, teach me and my sisters and talk to us about.  Verisimilitude.  We would have laughed as we tried to spell it and remember it.  Verisimilitude.  Don’t you just want to say it over and over?  I love it!

Look in a mirror. What do you see?

Ver i sim i li tude

‘Appearance of truth or reality’

Do the other AtoZchallenge blogs have an appearance of truth or reality?

un bon net ed #AtoZchallenge

I rarely wear hats these days though I have got myself a lovely woollen one for winter now.   Looking in a more recent dictionary this word’s not in it.  There were times when to be bonetted or unbonneted was part of the etiquette and may still be in some cultures.  Women at ascot on women’s day without a hat?  Culturally unheard of.  We live in a huge mix of society and cultures but if you are from a particular culture and find you self ‘unbonneted’ or it’s equivalent that can be very unnerving.

There have been times in my culture when I was ‘unbonneted’.  Usually because I had no idea what the etiquette was and if you don’t think you need to ask, people sometimes forget to tell you.  That can lead to some unfortunate, though humorous (with hindsight) images.  One where I didn’t know I had to say grace when invited to lunch at the home of a bishop…  Another when I wore my best red top for a church service that I was supposed to wear white at.. hmm I would have liked to be in the audience for that one!

What does unbonneted now mean to me?

Unbonneted is how you can find yourself when your Dad brings you up, through your teens, on his own.  He did a great job of bringing up a very independent, unconventional, brightly dressed woman, with a lot of brilliant, hilarious (with hindsight) memories!

 un bon net ed

‘Wearing no bonnet or cap; bareheaded.’

bon net

‘head covering usually tied under the chin with strings or ribbons, by women and children.’

No hats required when visiting the AtoZchallenge blogs.

toi let ry pl. –ies #AtoZchallenge

T’s been tormenting!  You nearly got tintinabulation (the ringing of bells)!  In the end, I asked twitter pals to help.  Two words tumbled out triggering me to touchtype!  Temperature and toiletries.

Last week I was ill again (if you’ve been reading since I started blogging in January you’ll know I’ve had a few colds already this year).  This time I had a fever and was thankful when I found an unused thermometer, in my first aid drawer, which I must have bought years ago.  Luckily I was able to hunker down and recover at home with my thermometer for a friend!

A Twitter pal suggested a nice hot bath which I duly had, daily, using toiletries I got at Christmas.  Toiletries are things you either love getting for presents or not, if you are particular about what you use.  I’m not particular in the least and love trying new things.

I don’t need any more soap for a while (just in case you were thinking I might).  The bath bombs I got last Christmas all got used up last week while I was trying to recover from my cold.  They were wonderful and fun with the foaming bouncing balls and amazing colours appearing from plain looking concoctions.  One of them made my skin feel so luxurious afterwards (I must get more of those).

Posing my toiletries, for their picture, in the old picnic hamper they’re kept in, I met some old friends, who don’t get used that much these days, including the wonderful massage oil.. memories came flooding back.. ooh.. err.. Not here, missus..

What toiletries do you have ample of?

Which ones do you crave as presents?

When did you last have a fever?

toi let ry pl. –ies

‘soap, face powder, perfumery, or other article for the toilet.’

toi let

‘process of dressing.  Bathing, combing the hair, and putting on one’s clothes are all parts of one’s toilet.’

tem per a ture

‘degree of heat or cold.’

Done your toilet? Ready to go out? Trot along to see AtoZ challenge.

Si ne cur ist #AtoZchallenge

This one got me thinking.. what is an easy job?  Is a job requiring little work easy?  How many of us really can take a lot of money for little work?  Oh we all dream of winning the lottery.  That’s not what I’m talking about.

When I’ve been in roles that weren’t full and challenging   I’ve really struggled.  I’ve never heard of sinecure (the spell checker has) and wonder if it’s true for anyone.

Could you be a sinecurist?

If you could would you become a skirmisher or get up to some slanderous skulduggery?

Thinking on, I would like a sinecure if I could spend all of my spare time doing my hobbies.  That would work!  Why did I assume being a Sinecurist meant having to work 9-5?

si ne cur ist

‘Person who has a sinecure

in case that doesn’t help…

si ne cure

‘extremely easy job; position requiring little or no work and usually paying well.’

Pop and see what s also stands for on AtoZchallenge blogs.

re spir a to ry #AtoZchallenge

I really wanted to write about romance as I’m so good at it.. (yeah, right..I do try though) romance is not 10 letters.. hmm… shame.  Respiratory it is then..

Last year I convinced myself I was dying.  Yes self diagnosis is a strong point of mine.  Since I was dying why should I bother with relationships or anything else come to that.  Oh, I was cheery enough most of you who know me probably never noticed..  You did?  Oops, sorry!  Well I was just waiting for the day when I didn’t wake up..

This went on for a few weeks until I confided in a friend who threatened me unless I went to the doctors.  How can you threaten someone who thinks they’re dying..  Well, I didn’t want to show I had no sense of responsibility and went to the doctors.  Blood pressure borderline but ok.  Then the doctor said ‘you do know you’ve got a chest infection?’.  Oops.. 😉  I’d self diagnosed heart problems from chest infection symptoms.. oh well, she decided to take full bloods while I was there it appears I’m very healthy..

I decided I’d better get back to living, then came a chance encounter which led to me blogging and then to this lynnelives blog and then to AtoZ challenge.  Where will my respiratory tract lead me next I wonder?

How’s your respiratory organs?

Do you have a tendancy for self-diagnosis?

re spir a to ry

‘pertaining to or used for breathing.’

Take a deep breath and plunge into the AtoZChallenge blogs.

? #AtoZchallenge

I’ve put a lot of questions on my blog.  You’ve commented on some and many are unanswered, at least in print, but I guess many who read my ramblings are left questioning themselves.  Insightful someone said of my blog.  My dictionary only has insight – penetration; clear or shrewd understanding.

If I question you with a clear understanding I’m very pleased.

Is there a downside to my theme?

Is there a mistake in my dictionary?

The typeface is justified.  The words are split to show how to speak them but question mark is written as that ‘question mark’.

Should it have been written as que stion mark?

Have I found an error in the dictionary?

Alas no.  Where the first word is already written as in que stion the next time it’s written as in question mark it’s without breaks.

Should I pick another word?

Perhaps one that really is 10 letters or more.

Would you have preferred quadratics or something quadragesimal?

Did you know a quadrillion has 9 more 0’s in Great Britain than it has in France or theUSA?

Is that where the bankers went wrong?

Should I drop the questions at the end of my posts?

What do you think?

Should I keep the questions?

Do you need quiescence?

question mark

‘mark put after a question in writing or printing’

quad ra ges i mal

‘of or during Lent.’

qui es cence

‘quietness; stillness; motionlessness; absence of activity.’

Why not visit other AtoZblogs now?