It being a new year, I have resolved to bare my soul to my readers.  Within reason anyway.  When I’m at home and alone, and if it’s not too cold, I do without clothes. This sometimes leads to mild embarrassment, as when I went out to the clothes line and met my neighbour walking near the invisible boundary between our properties.  We smiled in silent greeting.  I had never seen her before and I never saw her again.

On another occasion I was baking an apple crumble (my favourite food) and I heard a bell ring.  I quickly pulled on shorts and a tee-shirt and opened the door.  No-one there.  As you’ve probably guessed, it was the oven timer.

“Hold on,” I hear you say, “This is not the kind of serious stuff we expect from StroppyGit!”  You’re right.  It is just a clumsy introduction to commenting on a nuance in the English language.  Is there any difference between ‘naked’ and ‘nude’?  Almost all European languages make no distinction, but I think English does.  ‘Naked’ implies vulnerability, shame, helplessness.  ‘Nude’ is proud, self-confident, empowered.

Or am I talking bunkum?  How do you use the words?

Trip Advisor


I have to share this news…  I have my Trip Advisor Reviewer badge!  It is a Passport badge, because I am so well travelled.  How does Trip Advisor know that I am well travelled?  Because I wrote a review of a B&B in St. Austell and a review of the Eden Project.

Mrs SG and I were travelling by rental car in Devon and Cornwall a couple of months ago – we can’t afford trains any more – and finding B&Bs as and where we could at the close of each day.  We discovered some interesting facts…

First, British B&Bs are very expensive these days: around GBP100 for a double in St. Ives, which could be why the man with seven wives was coming back.  Why is that?  Only 50 years ago you could stay at a B&B anywhere for between 6/- and 15/- a night.  Half-a-guinea was pretty normal, which was about 3% of the average weekly wage.  Now you’re lucky to get away with GBP30, which is about 5%.  True, you get an en-suite bathroom and a flat-screen TV now, but do those fripperies really justify such a hefty hike?

Second, Trip Advisor has replaced the AA as the arbiter of quality.  Every B&B has a certificate on the wall or even a metal plate beside the front door.  That’s why I’m so proud of my new badge!