Junior Oxford Dictionary – reinstate nature words, petition

Friends, collies, tiny  tots

Being a dog of words, I’m doing my bit to try and save some v. v. v important nature words for the little two legged things to read.

All over the country, there are words disappearing from children’s lives. These are the words of the natural world — Dandelion, Otter, Bramble and Acorn, all gone. The rich landscape of wild imagination and wild play is rapidly fading from our children’s minds.

Please, pleeeeese sign this very, very, very important petition (so important I’ve written it in long paw). After that, you can read this book about it all by a man who is teaching me to write well about the mountains. It’s called Lost Words by Robert McFarlane and it’s half price (£10.00) on Amazon. After that you can have a nice sleep.

The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustration by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages. Lost Words on Amazon

Re instate the lost words petition

Wearing my heart on my sleeve,

and so to bed.


Love Ben xx untitled 1

4 thoughts on “Junior Oxford Dictionary – reinstate nature words, petition

  1. Ben,
    You are a little hero in so many ways. With all you have to think about – Munro climbing, Micky, how to stay warm by the fire to get ready for another busy fund raising season – now you take on this cause too! Your people must be so proud of you.
    I am making sure that Mimi, Kera and Merry have as wild as possible lives, just as long as they are safe, home for supper and snuggled up in the warm. Merry has just discovered the joy of sniffing where pheasants have been sitting – such a delicious smell.
    I hope the word snowdrop is in the dictionary still and that children will learn the joy of seeing the brave little snouts pushing though the leaves in the woods and the sheets of white as the flowers open. And at my advanced age I still see a tree every now and then that I am tempted to climb. Wild childhoods are just wonderful and I feel very lucky to have had one.
    With love to you special boy,


  2. That is utterly terrifying, Bernadette. They will not only disappear from children’s vocabulary but poetry itself will be the poorer. I’ve signed the petition.

    As for ‘carpe diem’, this is what Tony Harrison wrote in his poem about Delphi:

    “’Carpe diem’ but don’t translate ‘carpe’ as ‘seize’.

    Think of a day as a fruit or a flower

    And ‘seize’ at once sounds too grabbing, too rough.

    The word ‘carpe’ goes with ‘flores’, ‘violas’, ‘lilia’

    In Ovid’s METAMORPHOSES, and in Virgil

    With ‘rosam’, ‘poma’ ‘violas’, ‘papavera’.

    Once you have taken the sense of snatching away,

    You can simply, less desperately savour the day.

    Most of these Latin words in English are under threat by that Oxford Dictionry. Barbarians!

    By the way I went to Salisbury on the day before New Year’s Eve to meet Michael. We almost missed each other in that I was looking in the one station cafe for him while he was waiting in the other station cafe for me. But we met and went to the Cathedral, had a cup of tea there, ‘did’ the Cathedral and MAGNA CARTA. Then we adjourned to ‘The Cloisters’, the pub but under new management and so did not do snacks. So we contented ourselves with a few drinks and crisps. It was just wonderful meeting Michael again after nearly three years. We agreed we might meet again at the end of this year of grace in Salisbury and take the Stonehenge bus for a visit there.

    I hope you and David are well and that the weather around The Bitter Withy is tolerable. It has been appallingly wet down Southsea and bitingly cold. I picked up a cold somewhere and have spent most of the week at home and content. This should be a written letter, but for convenience I email it. Sorry.

    Did you get ‘Portsmouth Point’? I have noticed that the Post Office after Christmas has become appallingly slow. Like me!

    Love to you both,



  3. Dear Sue,

    Thank you for writing to me. The are are some causes that a word dog just can’t let go by them. I love the word snowdrop too, particularly the snow bit. I get all excited in snow and do a lot or running and jumping and then, eating it. I have to make sure I have lots of visits to the garden because I get a chill in my bladder and there’s only one dog here who is allowed to have accidents in the house. I’m not so keen on the drop bit of the word. That makes those butterflies in my tummy start flying around. Me and B are going to see even bigger drops than we have already but, perhaps, I’ll get used to them as I get older.

    We have some snowdrops poking through the flower beds at the moment and this tells me that spring is just around the corner and it won’t be that long until our next round of Munros. While this is very exciting it also means that I have to get in as many hours by the fire as I can. It sounds to me like Mimi, Kera and Merry have a wonderful life. All that smelling of wild life and smashing walks and then getting a nice big dinner.

    I especially like the words snuggle up. I hope those silly people who compiles those books of words don’t try to loose that one, or the word cuddle. Where would I be without those?

    Love Ben xx


  4. Dear Tom,

    Thank you for writing to me via Ben’ Blog. I love the Tony Harrison poem. He talks of a dinner with the great Seamus where they exchanged Harrison’s Oresteia and Heaney’s own translations of Greek tragedies. If the barbarians had existed as these writers were brought up we would have neither. I shall remember to savour, rather than seize, the day. I can’t speak for Ben.

    Love Bernadette


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s