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« The fat duck | Main | The best name to look for in second-hand boats. »

Friday, 02 April 2004


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Andrew Denny

Wolfgang, that's interesting about the lady 'in the Scottish Lowlands'. One etymology for 'gongoozle' is that it originally comes from the Lake District and the Borders.


I came across 'gongoozle' in a somewhat different context: an 80 year old lady in the Scottish Lowlands was overlooking the valley and paddocks full of her herd of cattle. She turned to me apologetically: "Och, I am only gongoozling" and gave the feeling that it is an activity which is deeply satisfying.


Surely I can't be the only one who feels that 'gongoozler' could just as easily be a straightforward, mocking corruption of 'onlooker'?

Andrew Denny

What a coincidence - I was at the lock cafe at Stenson on Thursday morning,
only mine was one of the boats being gongoozled.

I didn't have an ordinary coffee - I had a 'cappucino' instead!.

David Hudson

Another good place to gongoozle is Stenson Bubble. I and my mates used to cycle out there from Derby when we were youngsters (I'm now 70+ and living in the West Country)and watch the one boat per year go through the lock in those days! Now with the new marina you can watch dozens of boats for hours! I didn't recognoise the old place. The other week my wife and I sat in the garden of the cafe by the lock (drinking my cup of cocoa, as you do. Why can't you get a cup of cocoa thses days? I went into my local Morrisons the other day and asked the young girl serving in the cafe for a cup of cocoa and she replied, "We don't do cocoa, Sir, we have drinking chocolate....")had a grand old time gongoozling for a hour or so. Nearly started on the road to becoming a multi-millionaire by riding out to Stenson Bubble one day in my early teens, but that's another story, as they say.

David Hudson

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