Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on May 29, 2024 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with 2 comments

Spring cleaning or spuddling?


Spring is a time of hope and renewal.

And ticks and June bugs.

And beers and burgers.

In our part of the world, we have the luxury of four seasons. Now some cynics have often opined that we really only have two seasons in Nova Scotia: summer and 8 months of poor skiing! This past winter was similar to those that many of us experienced as children. We had many snowstorms, a few of epic proportions, delighting those who love to ski, skidoo and snowshoe. Lots of grumbling by those who needed to shovel their driveways.

Spring is busting out all over. With apologies to Messrs. Rodgers and Hammerstein. The leaves are out. June bugs have arrived on our screen doors. Allergy season is in full bloom. Many of us take this opportunity to do a bit of spring cleaning. Just last weekend, I got out the feather duster with the long extension, and dutifully went through my apartment. What prompted this call to action was not necessarily the onset of spring. After what seemed like months of dull, drab, cloudy weather, the sun emerged. It is truly a beautiful thing when the sun is streaming through your windows. However, it also exposes one’s shortcomings and this includes cobwebs. I was walking down my hallway the other day and was rather appalled at the cobwebs hanging from various nooks and crannies.

One other sure sign of spring is Bulky Waste Collection days in the town and county. It is a great opportunity to get rid of junk cluttering up your home and garage. Everything from old sofas to neglected treadmills can be parked on the sidewalk outside your home and municipal employees will come along and pick them up. It is a wonderful service.

Recently, I stood outside on Court Street for hours waiting for the garbage trucks to arrive. I guess I misread the notice from the town. I put on a few pounds lately and thought that it was Bulky Waist Collection week!

I have been doing a lot of reading lately and continue to learn new words.

We all know them and have probably worked with a few. These are people who have a knack of appearing busy but actually doing little or nothing. Folks in the 17th century had a word for this: spuddle: to work ineffectively: to be extremely busy whilst achieving absolutely nothing. It’s not always easy to spuddle but computers have made it infinitely easier. Theoretically, you could be in an office in front of a computer all day, frantically hitting the keyboard and never coming up for air. There’s a good chance that a spuddler is a) checking their e-mail; b) reviewing their Instagram page or c) playing Minecraft. The next time you see someone working hard at doing nothing, just tell them that they are spuddling. They’ll probably take it as a compliment.

We are all aware of the demise of newspapers. Gone are the days that we would eagerly wait for the early morning edition of the dailies and for those of us small town folk, our own weekly paper. Technology has overwhelmed the print business, and most people now consume their news, sports and entertainment from multiple platforms on their smartphones or tablets.

It makes me sad that we no longer employ reporters and writers who keep tabs on the comings and goings in our small towns. I used to be a writer for our hometown paper, The Casket but unfortunately it is now a shadow of its former self.

Bucking this trend is the Guysborough Journal. A family-owned paper, it has been in existence for 30 years, keeping people in Guyborough County and beyond well informed and entertained. I am pleased to inform you that starting today, I will be writing a monthly column for the Journal. It will be called Through Len’s Lens. The world as I see it.  For old times’ sake, why not go to the nearest store that still carries newspapers and pick up a copy of the Guysborough Journal. Or better still, take out a subscription.

Spring into action. Support local newspapers.

Have a great weekend.


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