Looking Something Up in an Actual Book.

An interest in Buddhism, a fluctuating chronic illness and a near-fatal bout of cancer has left me with a feeling that belongings aren’t terribly important.

However, probably because I studied English at University,  I absolutely love my bonkers, hard-to-use, compact Oxford English Dictionary. We’ve been through a lot together.

The complete twenty volumes of the O.E.D are squeezed into a single book – “micrographically.” Nine pages are printed on each page and you have to use a magnifying glass to read anything. I bought the one-volume version in 1991, while I was at University, for £50.

A text search doesn’t compare really. I would miss the ceremony of looking something up. Also, an old book doesn’t charge you a year’s subscription for reading it (the online O.E.D.’s annual fee is £215 to those that can afford it.)

The light on the magnifying-glass still works after nearly three decades.

Samuel Johnson’s dictionary was published in 1755. It remained the standard text for 150 years until the OUP began publishing the Oxford English Dictionary in 1884. The first CD version of the O.E.D. was produced in 1987. The third edition of the dictionary will be published in the 2030s.

(P.S. I do a lot of my reading digitally, after all it is 2019.)

Iced Tea Guidelines


Summer is coming – my taken on this refreshing drink.


6(ish) tea bags – experiment with mix of fruit, black tea

2 pints nearly-boiled water

2 pints room temperature water (Cold water makes the tea cloudy)

Metal or glass receptacles for steeping (NEVER plastic)


Bring 2 pints water near to boiling point – but not boiling;

Place tea bags in receptacle.

Pour the near-boiling water into receptacle over tea bags.

Steep for 5-7 minutes (or to taste)

Pour into 4 pint receptacle and then add the 2 pints room temperature water.

Cool or refrigerate.

To serve – Fill glass with ice. Pour the tea over it, and sweeten to taste.

(Sugar syrup is best for sweetening, as granulated sugar never quite all dissolves. Make syrup by dissolving sugar in a saucepan. Once it’s clear, keep in jar and in the fridge.)

And there we are! Thanks to anyone I’ve borrowed ideas from over the years. These are just guidelines.