A friend posted this morning that she’d mistakenly bought a spread based on oats instead of cashew nuts. It made me think of porridge, which is made from oatmeal, or porridge oats. I hate porridge. I know, it’s a terrible confession for a Scot but there you go. My father ate porridge every morning of his life, the traditional way, with salt, and I woke up every morning of my childhood to the smell (disgusting) of his porridge and of his aftershave (that’s right, Old Spice!). Yuk! I used to pull my jumper up over my nose to keep the smell out.

The Dutch word for ‘oats’ is haver. Thinking about porridge and Scotland brought me to the Scottish verb ‘to haver’ (rhyme with shaver). It means to talk rubbish. For example:

Me:        Daddy, the smell of your porridge is making me feel sick.

Dad:       Ach, stop yer haverin’!

In English, to haver (still rhyming with shaver) means to be indecisive, or more colourfully ‘to hem and haw’, from the procrastinating sounds you mumble while being indecisive.

The word ‘haver’ is alive and well and living in Scotland still. Listen to the Proclaimers (from my very own Edinburgh) if you don’t believe me.

Oh, and don’t buy the oat spread. Apparently, it’s as disgusting as porridge😊