EPL is one of those books - like One Day - which has sold millions and everybody has read. A copy found me and I interrupted Stuart - A Life Backwards because I was so intrigued. (I'm always doing this. I will read Stuart, eventually. I currently have three books started and not finished but I usually do finish them.)
I've just reach the point where Liz is in Rome and Giulio has asked her what her word is.
"Don't you know the secret to understanding a city and its people is to learn - what is the word of the street?" Giulio says. He affirms that Rome's word is SEX (Liz uses upper case for the words, so I'll follow suit). He goes on to explain that the Vatican's word is POWER and Liz suggests that the word for New York is ACHIEVE and the one for Los Angeles is SUCCEED.
What was the word in Liz's family when she was growing up? FRUGAL and IRREVERENT.
Then Giulio asks her: "What's your word?"
What a fabulous question! Liz cannot answer (if she could there would not have been a book, I presume.)
Can a single word define a person? I love words, their power is awesome (which is a rubbish word, by the way but it would be a good word for a person - what's your word? AWESOME. I like that but I don't think it's me.)
Of course I put the book down to think what my word would be (I was sitting on the laundry bin in the bathroom assisting my children showering. My role is to adjust the temperamental temperature of the shower and avoid scalding sensitive skin.) At that precise moment my word could have been MOTHER or it could have been EXASPERATED. The two words are inescapably connected but they are too specific.
Would I be a noun or a verb? Sometimes you meet someone and they are so complete that if you cut them in half (you wouldn't, obviously) like a stick of rock they'd have their word running through them in big, pink minty letters. Like ROCKSTAR (Freddie Mercury), POSH BOY (David Cameron) or TOSSER (Tony Blair). The Queen (as opposed to the lead singer of Queen) would be MONARCH. Bankers would all be W... well you get my drift.
My word might be ENIGMATIC. I'm going to try it out for size and see if it fits. Meanwhile, what's your word?
The Big Bread Bakeathon #5: Oaty Wholemeal
These wholemeal rolls were supposed to be rolled in a coating of three different types of oats - pinhead oatmeal, medium oatmeal and oat flakes - which would have meant buying, and then being left with the tail-ends of, three different types of oats. Instead I used rolled oats, linseeds and sesame seeds, which were not strictly correct but made a lovely coating nevertheless. These are my favourite type of rolls; unapologetically wholemeal and crusty with virtuous seeds.
They didn't last long. Their word was: YUMMY!
Next: Malted and seeded loaf.