January 6th 1973

“Julie’s Party in Fair Oak Hall 7:30 – didn’t go” / “Tom & Doris came up, flogged Mart Chopper for 2/-” / “Dad gave me 1st birfday present – book called Roget’s Thesaurus (wot?)” / “Got 30p for doing car”

The beautiful Raleigh Chopper bike. Something I was never lucky enough to have

Once again, I write about the things I didn’t do in my diary. Odd. I wonder why I didn’t go?

I know that this Mart is Tom & Doris‘ son, but what was this “Chopper” I speak of? I know for a fact – something of a rueful fact as it happens – that I was never lucky enough to own a Raleigh Chopper bike, so my comment must have referred to something else.

Does the 2/- mean £2 or 2 shillings (or 10p)? I’ll suspect the latter and suggest it was maybe a model or toy helicopter I had, and which he wanted.

Cartoon taken from (and © of) the superb (but often NSFW) B3TA.com website

Dad unknowingly set me off on a lifelong love affair with ‘language’ by giving me a copy of Roget’s Thesaurus, the (to me, still) fascinating book about English words and phrases. I can remember pouring over the pages amazed at how many alternative phrases there were for certain words and how sentence construction can be transformed by utilising alternatives.

The simple birthday present ended up being very advantageous, apposite, appropriate, auspicious, convenient, expedient, fitting, lucky, opportune, pertinent, promising, propitious, relevant and temporal, even if my initial reaction of “wot?” was somewhat impertinent, inapplicable, inapt, incongruous, indecorous, malapropos, unsuitable and untoward.


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