Yes, sir, that's me - moving with the times. I really am getting quite up to date with my vocabulary. To wit, I have come across the phrase "butt out". I was accused of having used those words to a fellow Lion last week and I'm sorry to say that he took umbrage at my actions. Happilly, we have since shaken hands and everything is once again hunky-dory. But as for telling him to butt out: I had never heard the expression until I read it in his email to me telling me of his upset!
I have also discovered the word "Movember". No, that's not quite the whole truth. I think I may have seen the word before - November last year, possibly - but it had never really entered my consiousness and I most certainly knew nothing of its meaning. This year I gathered that it was something to do with men growing moustaches - which let me out as I already have both a moustache and a beard. Then I learned from reading the weekend papers that it is something to do with prostate cancer. Presumably men (and women too?) are sponsored to grow moustaches and the money is raised for a prostate cancer charity. I might, when I find sufficient time, investigate some more. Then here is Fanuary, which is, I gather, something to do with women?
It is possible, I suppose, that this just shows what a sheltered life I lead - or how boringly old-fashioned I am. I even try not to split my infinitives or end sentences with conjunctions. And I say five-and-twenty instead of twenty-five. That last only sank in on Thursday. I can be precise because it was on Thursday that I telephoned a fellow Lion to confirm that I would give him a lift to the dinner meeting that evening. [At a village pub just the other side of the Downs. I had sweet and sour chicken with rice and very good it was. Followed with a slice of strudel and cream, and then I polished off spotted dick and custard which was going begging.] It is actually only when talking time that I use the expression. I don't say seven twenty-five or even twenty-five past seven; always five-and-twenty past seven.
At least I don't say four score instead of eighty. The French do: they don't have a word for eighty and say quatre vingts - four twenties. Mind you, they don't have words for seventy or ninety either! Seventy is sixty-ten, so seventy-seven becomes sixty-ten-seven, and ninety is four-twenties-ten. Ninety-seven gets quite complicated at four-twenties-ten-seven.
One day I might even learn what Americans mean when they say "a quarter of four". Is that quarter to four or quarter past?
These photographs have just come to hand. They were taken at Brighton Lions' fireworks display last week. I can't decide which one I prefer so you can see both.