Monday, 1 October 2018

Talking About Words

Well that was a longer than intended break from my blog for no reason other than I seem to run out of time each day. I've been busy this past month following the 100 day goal with The Business Bakery, trying to build up my on line shop and increase sales for my little art business. I have been developing several more on line tutorials, which I will be back to tell you about soon, so there has been plenty of writing, plenty of words but just not here.

I have also been off with my girls to give some talks recently. I have given talks to groups for several years now. Once upon a time  I wouldn't have ever dreamt I would be doing something like standing up talking about what I do in front of an audience  yet it has become one of the favourite parts of my work.


I am always convinced beforehand that no one will want to listen to me and I'll bore the pants off everyone, sending them all to sleep. Actually, given that my audience consists largely of women of a certain age, and we are mostly in darkened rooms in the early evening, invariably there is at least one person who nods off half way through which sends me into panic mode. Never mind all those who remain awake and listening... I rush through my talk fixating on the snoozing individual... thankfully no-one has ever started snoring yet... praying they don't fall off their chair... convinced I must be totally boring, yet still I love it. I love the buzz and the adrenaline rush... and if I'm honest I love that feeling of holding an audience captive, even if they are asleep!


I do sometimes have a problem with words though and can be mid sentence knowing exactly what I want to say when the correct word hovers just out of reach... and I have been known to use a completely wrong word on more than one occasion. (Frequently if I'm honest!) The same goes for common phrases or idioms too. I get them muddled up, confused or only half finished. Only the other day I was talking about our estate agents and the progress (or lack of) on our house sale (not during one of my talks I hasten to add) and I wanted to say they had taken their finger off the button... or possibly they had taken the pot off the boil. But instead what came out was they had taken their finger off the boil! Fortunately most people are too polite to laugh out loud and point out the error of my ways.


I might be a bit worried about this tendency if I hadn't done it all my life. And it's not just me as the youngest two sons also have funny ways with words. Joe would always invent words as a child (and still does). He would combine words together or completely make up new words that were often hilariously funny and usually much better, more descriptive and oddly more appropriate than the original words. Of course at the time I always thought I would remember them but I don't and now wish that I had written them down. And Jacob, being on the autistic spectrum always struggled with phrases and idioms. Try explaining "it's raining cats and dogs" to a four year old who takes everything literally. As a result he would often come up with his own off the wall made up versions. 

As well as writing tutorials and talking to embroidery or quilting groups, I have also designed and stitched some cards that I've had printed so that other people can write their own words.
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Despite being able to stand up and talk about myself and my work for nearly an hour it's the self promotion part of running my business that I find the hardest, but I guess there's not a lot of point in getting cards printed if I'm not going to let people know where they can buy them... which is here since you ask!


Written words, spoken words, made up words and even the wrong words at the wrong time... I actually enjoy them all. And if you belong to a group who would like to hear me talk then please do get in touch and I'll visit you with my girls and my incorrect words.

My talk is all about stories... the stories of women's lives and the artwork that they have inspired... and words of course. How are you with words?

23 comments:

  1. I love language and am intrigued by language in its oral, written and expressive formats. I would love to hear one of your talks. My late mother always used to say “the world's your lobster” and eventually it became a family phrase. I have sent you some photos of the wee book with its kettle stitching in place-I hope I have done your pattern justice. I’m dead chuffed-to use a local expression

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    1. I rather like "the world's your lobster". One of ours is "a fig tree of you imagination ". Goodness knows where that came from! Your little book is fabulous!

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  2. I'd find it quite disconcerting to see 'Marie Antoinette' sitting in the back seat ;~)

    Your thank you cards are delightful.

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    1. I often wonder what the response would be if I was stopped whilst out driving with three of the bodices strapped into the back seat!

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  3. Ah yes, words. I am often searching for the right one and find that I cannot say it even though it is somewhere between brain and tongue. Quite disconcerting really. I am glad you are enjoying your presentations - despite the odd listener nodding off. It is sometimes really hard to stay awake when it is dark and when all there is to do is listen and enjoy :-) particularly when life otherwise feels like a race. I do a lot of "teaching" but is all asynchronous and prerecorded and this feels a bit lonely. Far more fun to talk to real people in a real venue.

    Idioms are very tricky for me, I get one or the other wrong all the time, or sometimes, I translate one directly from German, which rarely works.... Have a lovely week. xx

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    1. I'm so pleased it is not only me... I feel so inarticulate at times, but I don't think it would stop me teaching or giving talks. I imagine that translating from one language to another must really confuse things.

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  4. Better on paper than in public I fear. I hate it when the word I was about to say suddenly disappears too. We alsi have a lovely store of mispronounced words which have been added to family vocabulary over the years - currently we're relishing beout (without) and beprise (surprise) from granddaughter.

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    1. I'm loving all these little wrong words from everyone else. Looking forward to when our grandson says more. His vocabulary at the moment mostly consists of "Oh dear!"

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  5. As I get older the right word often evades me. I too, thought I would remember all those amusing little mistakes my young children made with their words. I have to write everything down now!
    One of my aunts would always use 'fox paw' instead of faux pas. She knew the right phrase but it became a family habit, and I'm sure it slipped out sometimes and people thought how ignorant we were.
    Lovely post, as usual, and I can't imagine anyone being bored by one of your talks.

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    1. Ha! Love "fox paw"... I will make point of using that one! Isn't it a shame we can't remember all those little phrases from our children.

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    2. Lovely wordsmithy post Gina. Following on from Heathers fox paw a well heeled Scottish aunt was visiting my fairly newly married mum and asked what paint my mum was using to which my mum said "Durex"! I think that was the same lunch that she served up roast chicken with the giblets in a plastic bag still in the cavity! Ooops! Bless her. Keep on going Gina with the blogs- some of you need to! Much love and can we expect a technical or signature bake any time soon?!! x

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    3. I love that one Liz... made me laugh over my breakfast! I hate to admit it but I really am starting to tire over the bake off. I haven't watched last night's episode yet so possibly this week?

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  6. And you say I'm busy! :D I come and go with writing, sometimes I love it and sometimes I get so bored of re-crafting a piece that I just want to throw it out of the window. Currently I'm in the throes of writing my thesis but I had a little time to write an abstract for a conference - this basically means a succinct summary of what you want to talk about to an academic audience. The first time I had to do that I was terrified, until I realised that my years of doing children's work had stood me in good stead and my presentations were more colourful and interesting than most. I often have comments from people about my writing and how it is easier to read than most academic stuff - again something to do with having done children's work and not steeped in academia from the start. I'm so pleased that I took the route I have over the years, it has stood me in good stead indeed.

    I have to admit though, due to the fact that academic presentations are 15 mins or less and I would wander off topic, I pre-write what I have to say. Again children's work has helped here as I used to read books to children, so I learnt how to read with expression from text. Little do those academics realise why I can stand there and read so well. :D The reality is I'm just reading them a story. Hahaha!

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    1. I think you have hit the nail on the head with your experience with children's texts. Personally I find simple writing with shorter sentences so much more entertaining and accessible even if the subject matter is complex and weighty.

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  7. I don't know about you but my vocabulary seems to be shrinking by the day. My dad used to come up with some corker phrases (he was quite the comedian). At this time of year, when the nights draw in, he'd say, 'It's getting late early.'

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    1. I love that from your dad... it's the sort of thing my dad would have said!

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  8. I hesitate to mention the times I forget words and have to leave off the conversation whilst I struggle! Well, I am old now...

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    1. I always think at least I can forget about the times I forget things! 😉

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  9. Oh yes, been there many times. I used to do presentations at work fairly often, usually to grumpy, time-starved consultant surgeons, who would then grill me afterwards. Never mind falling asleep, they would just get up and walk away if they didn’t rate what was being presented. Most of my nursing collegues hated that part of the job, whereas I actually enjoyed it. (For the record, none of the, ever left mid-presentation!) x

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    1. I'm so glad no one left mid presentation... that really would have been awful! I can cope with old ladies dozing off!

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  10. I love family words and phrases which become part of the vocabulary. We still say "it's laning" (it's raining) which was what one of our daughters used to say before she mastered the r sound. Or 'saisons' instead of raisins!

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    1. It's funny how these things stick in families isn't it. I'm enjoying reading about everyone else's little sayings.

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