Why I was in the UK – NOT ignoring friends, exactly.

It isn’t that I meant to snub all my friends but this is inevitable when you go “back home”.

I mean, I was going back for Best Mate’s 40th birthday. She hasn’t been so well over the last few years and, although I intended to stay for the weekend, I didn’t know how she would be and whether I would a) be with her the whole time or b) if she was up for “nights out with friends”.

So, I couldn’t take the risk and chose not to tell anyone I was going back. If I had, I would have had people trying to make arrangements to see me – which, in other circumstances I would have loved, but, in this case, would have just been hassle, particularly, possibly, for her.

In the end, I spent the whole weekend with her (also her kids and her Mum and Dad). We met one mutual friend in passing in Hay-on-Wye and sat and had a drink with her and chatted for a bit, which was lovely but, it was Best Mate’s birthday weekend so, for me, anything she wanted was what we did.

And it was really lovely. She seems much better now and it was so good to spend some quality time with her.

As we discussed (and have discussed many, many times before), there would appear, on the surface, to be no good reason why we are best friends. Nobody ever really understood why we were and since we don’t really understand either, it’s difficult to explain. And yet, within about half a day of our first meeting all those years ago, we had a “connection” and, even if we don’t speak or see each other so often, the moment we are together again it’s like we’ve never been apart from each other.

It’s all so easy and we can just relax in each others company.

And I like that. A lot.

I’m hoping she is on the first steps to a full recovery and that, maybe, I can see a bit more of her in the future.

In any event, to me she has always been and will remain a star.

Some English words. Well, not really but, as they say, you learn something every day.

You see, being in a foreign country, I’m actually learning more English than I would if I were still in the UK.

Take one of those words.

Lacksidaisical. Great word, isn’t it. Meaning lazy/not paying attention.

Except it’s not. I’ve used this word so many times over the years. Pronouncing it lack – see – daisy – ical. No one has ever said, “no, you’ve got it wrong.” Of course, I’ve never actually written it down as I’ve never had to use it when writing but, if I had, I would have spelt it as I did above.

Today (courtesy of Lola) I find that after 40-odd years of using it, I would have spelt it wrong if I had written it and, worse, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all this time! It is, of course, lackadaisical. There is no “see” in it at all! In fact, neither in the spelling nor the pronunciation is there an “s” after the “lack”!

And then there is the word “cutch”. We used it in my family a lot. “Give me a cutch,” we’d say, meaning give me a cuddle or a hug. Or, “cutch up to me” – cuddle up to me.

Of course, we lived on the Welsh border and so, I suppose, it was inevitable that we would “borrow” some Welsh words. And, previously unbeknown to me, this is a Welsh word and, in fact, the word is cwtch (the “w” sounding like an English “u”).

So, all this time, I knew some Welsh words (I think there were others that we used but don’t remember them now).

Do you have any words like this?

I am excited.

I’m quite excited.

This weekend I am going to buy an external hard disk for my computer which is now completely full with music, pictures and films.

I have picked the one I want and can get it from FNAC near the centre of Milan.

We have a holiday on Friday (!st of November) so I’m going to go then (if it’s open) or Saturday.

It will also mean that I will be able to “tidy up” my computer and, so, make it run faster.

Actually, I’m very excited. Just thought you should know :-)