Day 27. A cabal (noun, pronounced ka-BAL) is a secret clique or faction (sometimes political) trying to overturn something or have their own way. I attribute this word to Michelle, as she used it several times during our visit. Beware cabals for those in them may not be aware they are cabalists (which is now a word, sort-of-rhyming with "catalysts", and therefore can also be spelled "cabalysts."). They may be lurking in unsuspecting places. They may be the reason for your inexplicable stomach aches or back pains.
Day 28. Something pluvial (an adjective) relates to or is characterized by rainfall; it is ultimately from the Latin word "pluvia" for rain. Yes, we had our rainy days aplenty in New England this last week. Michelle and I spent a few afternoons huddled by the light-box, drinking tea.
Day 29. A mackerel sky (noun) occurs when the sky is dappled with rows of small, white fleecy clouds (cirrocumulus), a pattern which resembles the spots on a mackerel's back. I saw such a sky when Michelle and I were on the boat after seeing whales, heading back into Gloucester, a testament to the near-perfect weather we experienced that day. Whales, mackerel-clouds, water painted silver in the sunwash. What more could one ask for?
And a whimsy for today. The great Salman Rushdie, whose autobiographical work Joseph Anton was published recently, was quoted commenting on Fifty Shades of Grey in the Telegraph: "It made Twilight look like War and Peace." I laughed.