A Pilgrim's Progress and other novel adventures

Sunday, 7 April 2013


The skies above Haddington were filled with starlings first thing this morning.  It's that time of year.  Apparently Swindon is having a bugger of a time with them at the moment, all ignoring their one-way systems and befouling their multitude of roundabouts (an obsfucation of roundabouts?)  

Collective nouns are great: a paddle of ducks, a business of ferrets, and - my personal favourite - an implausibility of gnus.

Gnus are strange - ungainly and badly put together, as if someone gave up on the job half way through, or cobbled them together from the odd bits of horn, leg and dewlap left over from the other antelopes.  They are highly improbable, even in the singular.  But in the plural...? I don't think I'd like to get tangled up in an implausibility on the Serengeti... or Swindon, for that matter.