Email from my brother: Origins of the word bald and other important things

Hi Fay,

A teacher once told me that all it takes is a bit of reading to raise yourself up to a better class of person, so; did you know that the word “bald” comes from the Middle English “ballede” which meant “having a white spot” and that’s why the American Bald Eagle is so called without actually being a fully paid up member of the baldielocked slap head club?

No?  Well I’m glad I can finally prove to that teacher what a classier person I am being able to tell you this now that you’ve had to shave the rest of your thinning hair off because of the cancer drugs.

This week I had to take Eva and some of her five year old school friends on a field trip around Cambridge.  I’d been worried about it all week not because I was in charge of other people’s kids but because the three groups we were split into were called Tahi, Rua and Toru.  These may or may not be Maori words but seeing as I’m not Maori, no one on the school trip was Maori and, for me at least, Maori words seem to have far too many vowels in them to comfortably pronounce, I for one was a little bit concerned that someone was expecting me to be able to say the group I was supposed to be in.

What group are you in?  I’m in Roo-ah group.  Roo-ah group?  Oh you mean (rolled R’s) Row-ooh group.  Doofus!  Actually I just looked it up and Tahi, Rua, Toru is Maori for One, Two and Three.  So I’m in Group Two am I?  Brilliant.  Why not call them Group One, Two & Three and take some of the stress out of the situation? I suppose now though that if ever I come across Maori-Ted-Rogers I know that I’m in danger of winning a Dusty Bin.  Or as Maori-Ted-Rogers would call it, a Puehu Ipupara.  Come on, I’ll have a consonant now please Carol.   Or as Maori-Carol-Vordaman would say, an orokati.  Okay, stop that now.

When they did the register in the morning I noticed the kids said the Maori word for “hello” when the teacher called their names; “kiora” (remember to roll your Rs in Maori and not tag on the end the fact that “it’s too orangey for crows”).  All said kiora except a couple of kids, one of which was Eva, they instead said “good morning”

Damn right Eva!

We’re still pushing on with the calorie counting and the 5:2 diet despite it being the final week three of three.  Juliette’s decided to go for a six week trial period so we’re back to being half way through.  I’m a hundred percent sure that I’ve got a fifty fifty chance of deep sixing this diet before it knocks me for ten.   It’s probably just my imagination but it feels like numbers are everywhere at the moment.

Juliette’s friend Helen is on the same diet and says she eats a Weight Watchers meal in the evenings and this seemed the ideal solution as what to cook for only 300 calories.  I suppose the Weight Watcher meals are tasty enough, but when a grown man is left licking the plate clean I would say that the portion sizes are a little on the gerbil side.  Juliette also swears by the filling up power of the low carb protein bar.  I had one this week and while it was only 90 calories it had the consistency of hot tarmac.  I made the mistake of stuffing half the bar in my mouth because I was looking after Sam and had that horrible panicked sensation of literally knowing that I had bitten off more than I could chew.   I hadn’t had that sensation since the night before when I tried to eat six Pop Tarts in a Nutella sandwich.  Still not lost any bloody weight on this diet.

If you have to keep shaving your head until the drug trial ends can I recommend another medieval factoid; some monks used to use to keep their tonsures groomed by rubbing the area with a pumice stone.  I usually find the best way to remove hair is to gaffer tape the affected area and rip it off.  Let me know how you get on.

Love Mark xxx
An informative and entertaining email as usual. May give the gaffer tape a miss though

As always Mark, I ....

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